He Makes Me Smile!

After my less than cheerful  post yesterday, today is time to remember to smile when others touch your heart! I just wanted to share a very special little guy in my life that always makes me smile! Life is full of heartache, that's a given, but it is also about remembering to keep balance in our lives. And never, ever forget who warms our heart and makes us smile.  My "baby boy Bo" managed to add some sunshine to my morning today! Thought I would spread some of that around!

This boy's teeth need to all come in, and come in soon! He is like a drool machine, but so happy, so easy going. Bodhi's now standing and pulling himself up, and he will only be eight months old on the 9th of March! I'm not sure if I'm ready for what is ahead! 

"Babies are such a GOOD way to start people. . ."


In The Blink of an Eye

I always speak of Country Roads as a family. This family of mine includes many, many people. There are customers that have been shopping with me since the early days back in January of 1993 when we first opened. I have watched their kids grow-up just like mine. Then those kids get married, and they have children of their own. I sometimes forget just how large, after all these years, that my Country Roads really family is! While I use to talk to many of my customers about our kids, now we share conversation about our grandkids, and just life. We become friends, and those friendships I value so much. There is no way I can describe that. They have a big piece of my heart. And when something horrible happens, it hurts just like they are your own family. It really hurts, it knocks you right up the side of your head.

I just found one of my customers was shot to death by her husband.  Just writing that sentence is almost too much to type. Those words I just typed are difficult words to write, as the reality of this has not yet settled.  The wound has just been open, and not sure how fast this one will heal.  Her name will always be Faith Sieber to me, but she re-married not to long ago and changed her name to her new husbands last name, Bater. This morning her sister called the store because Faith was like the rest of us, she too always had a layaway going.  Thankfully, this is one time I'm glad I am sick and not at work. I'm not sure I could have handled the conversation and thankfully Brande was there to take the call. And I know that had to be tough for Brande, because like me, she had known this family forever as well. Faith would always come in with her Mom (who has had her own struggles), her sister, and sometimes her daughter and grandkids. We would chat about life, I would help her at times with my opinion on something she wanted to buy. When Faith was at the counter, it meant I "had" to visit with my friend. You know, we had to catch up! Especially after almost twenty years of a friendship that we shared. Usually, when Faith was finished shopping, it involved three things. A layaway pickup, new stuff she was buying that day, and a new layaway. She almost always bought plants as well. She lived in the mountains near Lake Arrowhead.  My last conversation with her was about how well her plants had been doing and she was trying to find a way to keep the deer from nibbling the plants. Always cheerful, always smiling and just a wonderful person. 

Faith had gotten married not to long ago. She had been a nurse at Arrowhead Regional Hospital up in the mountains and just retired.  As Katie said to me on the phone when she called to tell me what happened, "Mom, she was SO happy". All I could say was "I know". I will always remember Faith and her wonderful smile and laugh. I can grasp hold of death a bit better if it is from illness, but this one, I've gotta tell you has me baffled. I will miss you my friend. I think it's time we plant one of Johnnye Merle's plants in the garden in your honor. May love & peace be with you always!


After the Rain

Last night it rained, a lot. Since I'm not a big fan of the rain, my favorite time for it to rain is overnight. This morning when I went outside to pick up my newspapers in the driveway, I noticed how everything is nice and clean. I took a moment to look a my garden, and decided to snap a few pictures. Spring is bringing flowers, lots of flowers this year, but also LOTS of weeds too! Try to ignore the weeds as you look at the result of lots of rain this year for sunny SoCal!

The above plant is from Annie's Annuals. Brande planted it several years ago, and it has turned out to be this crazy kind of vine plant that pops up everywhere in my garden. Seriously, this plant is everywhere! It gets these weird flowers, as you can see this one is starting to bloom. After they bloom though, you are still left with the crazy vine. Looking for something fun to do today? Stop by Country Roads and lose yourself in about 15,000 square feet of "stuff"!  


Cowboy Boots for my Babies!

In the picture above is my Grandpa on the right. His name was Hobson Durham, and he was originally from Lubbock, Texas but being a cowboy wasn't paying much. So he took his family, my Grandma Madge and his daughter, my Mom, Johnnye Merle and moved to Temple. He got a job driving an oil truck. There are a few things I just love about this picture. Even though my Grandpa had to give up the life of a cowboy, he still has on his cowboy boots! You could take the cowboy away from riding the broncs, but you couldn't take the cowboy out of the man. As you can see, he still has his cowboy boots on. I always joke with my kids that I KNOW where we all got that love of animals. I love that my Grandpa is posing with his dog, and kind of enjoy the cheesy smile of his buddie's face on the right. I have so few pictures of my Grandpa, but not in one, did he ever not have on cowboy boots!

When Bryce was born, he was the first "boy" in our family.  Bryce was only a few days old when my Mom made a little shopping trip to a store that sold western attire. She wanted to make sure that "her" boy Bryce had his first pair of cowboy boots! They were/are so small. My Mom was so excited to give them to "her" baby boy Bryce!

The other day at Country Roads I saw these little cowboy boots. They just had Bodhi's name all over them! How could I resist? I love that the toes on both boots show a little wear. I like to think of a little cowboy out kicking rocks created that "worn it" look.

Riley has a pair of these red cowboy boots at her house. I'm thinking now I may have to get these so I can create a little vignette in my home with little cowboy boots for my  grandkids. What is the appeal of little cowboy boots? Maybe because it brings back so many fond memories of my Mom and her stories of Texas.

I have posted pictures of these cowboy boots before. I've been wanting to get them for Morgan, you know just like my Mom got cowboy boots for "her boy Bryce"! And I'm sure these will fit in just perfect with the other little cowboy boots for my grandbabies!

Above is one of the few pictures of my Grandpa Hobson in his early days of riding.  I have so few photos of him, especially when he was younger. This will make a great picture to add to my little vignette of my Texas roots and cowboy boots and to remember our "roots" as a family.


Today, I just have a few photos left that I took this past Monday, the last day of our sale! That was indeed a crazy three days, but then again, many of our days at the store are just that way. A couple of my favorite episodes that occurred over the week-end were amazing. On Sunday, and elderly Asian gentleman had come in with a luggage rack on wheels, and since it was so busy it was hard to see him. Thankfully another merchant happened to be standing by our front door and noticed the above guy had added a $170 leather doctor bag on top of his luggage with the price tag still on it and walked out the door. Yesi had just saw him as well. So, off I go and I'm thinking, I'm REALLY going to be pissed if I have to run down Olive to catch him. With my speed walk, I managed to catch him down my Antique Station. I just said, "hey, you didn't pay for that". Immediately he starts saying, "so sorry, so sorry, mistake, I pay". At this point I just want the bag back, so I take it off his cart and he is "supposed" to be walking back with me to the store to pay for it. Half way back,  I see him stop, act like he's fixing his remaining piece of luggage then he walks away in the opposite direction. At this point, I just give up and am happy I got the bag back! Then the very next day, in the middle of the day, one of our "local" homeless guys decides to stop next to my building and pee on it! Yep, you heard it. With all that said, here a just a few pictures of "my boy Bryce's stuff"! And yes, the one below is blurry, sorry. I just had no time over the sale week-end!

Speaking of time, I just got banned from the store for the next few days. I have been really tired, not feeling all that good lately. Yesterday when I woke up, I really felt like a truck had run over me. I had Bodhi and Riley and was just wiped out. I don't get sick, so I just ignore that kind of stuff when I don't feel good. Katie didn't like the way I sounded and tried to tell me I was sick. In my world, I don't have time to be sick. She made me a doctors appointment. I hadn't been in since 2009, and that was just because I had water in my ear. Apparently when all was said and done, including a couple of x-rays, the doc told me I have bronchitis with some "strands" (whatever that means) of pneumonia. Perfect! Especially for someone that can't sit still. Funny how life works sometimes. I JUST changed my health insurance on February 1st, because you know, I'm never sick! One of the prescriptions didn't have a generic brand, and I haven't reached my deductible since it's brand new insurance. So, $163 later, for 10 pills, some other pills, and thankfully two inhalers the doctor gave me, I have been banned from "the store"! Hope to be back soon before I go crazy at home!!


White Wednesday

For this weeks "White Wednesday" post, I decided to sneak out back yesterday during our busy three day sale and take some pictures of our "winter whites" that are in our Johnnye Merle Gardens & Nursery! Don't let the sunshine fool you. It has been cold here for us, and I'm not handling it well. The statue above was placed in our flower beds we first created at Country Roads back in 1993! It always warms my heart, even on cold days, when I see "her" still in the garden after all these years! Here are a few more of my favorite "winter whites" I hope you will enjoy!

This year Johnnye Merle's has been growing their own plants which I absolutely love. They have now reached a point that we have them for sale and our sweet peas (one of my personal favorites) are just waiting to go home and thrive in your gardens. I hope you all make it a point to stop by Kathleen's blog and see not only how beautiful her blog is, but all the many other blogs that are featured for this "White Wednesday"! And for those of you that live where it truly is cold, just remember Spring is just around the corner!!


The Last Day of Our Really Big Sale

Today is the last day of our big sale! As I sit in front of the computer screen, my eyes and body tell me to go back to bed. But, I have work to do and am grateful for that. We have had an incredible week-end, and I want to thank all of that have stopped by Country Roads to shop! Our customers are an amazing group of people and myself and my Country Roads family appreciate your business more than I could ever put into words. So, with that said, here are a few more pictures of my favorite store, Country Roads!!

It's a beautiful day outside. The sun is shining and the air is crisp! Almost too "crisp" for me, but nonetheless, it's not raining and it is a great day to come down and see us and the rest of the merchants in our own little piece of paradise, Old Towne Orange!