The Color Blue

I love the color blue. I always have, not sure why. I painted my big family room blue, and liked the color so well that I had the exterior of my house painted in the same color! I think it is because it reminds me of the beach, the ocean and all that goes with that "feeling" blue gives me! When you are in this business of "stuff", you often ask yourself, "do I really need all this stuff"? And as I always say, I don't think it as much about the "need" as it is about the "want"! There have been several times I've thought about selling this old blue cupboard and the pottery inside. Then I know I have to get that piece of glass cut for the cabinet door that I've meant to do for years. And then I look at some of my blue pottery and I start think how much I really like it. So the "want" quickly over rules the "need" factor! Here is some of my favorite blues below.

I only have about  pieces of the old Sleepy Eye pottery. You don't see as much of it as you use to.  And like a lot of us in this business, I think we are constantly asking ourselves if we really need this. Honestly, we probably don't need it. But when you love what you do, the buying and selling of antiques, I think it is our right to be a bit fickle when trying to answer the questions of "want" vs "need", don't you?


Country Roads Randomness

For this post you will find more Country Roads "stuff" than you will  "words". Three little kids under the age of five can make you want to go to bed early! Seriously. I love the variety of merchandise that CR always has available for our customers. It is always displayed well, always changing, and never disappoints. Here are just a few random things we have at "the store" right now!

I am loving this summer like weather. It is a nice change from the cold weather of the past few weeks. It has been just beautiful out. Hope you 've had a chance to enjoy it! Take care. 


White Wednesday

This "White Wednesday" finds us back at Country Roads. We have such a variety of looks, styles and decorating trends that it blows me away at times. I thought on this "White Wednesday" I would share the softer side of my very favorite place to be, Country Roads!

The weatherman has promised those of us that live in Southern Ca that we are finally going to get some Spring weather. Actually for a couple of days, we will even have weather warm enough to give us a preview of Summer! I love the warmer weather, I always have. Be sure to find the time to go visit my friend, Kathleen! And I mean that!! Not only is her blog really great, but their is a list of many other great blogs to visit as well. Happy Spring to you all! Take care.


The Old Stuff

What is it about the old chippy, rusty, beat up stuff that calls our name? I don't usually use the word "patina" because it sounds to fancy. To many this old rusty junk, and chippy painted furniture should be "stripped & re-painted". I remember my first farm table I bought many, many years ago. My kids were elementary school age and Mr. Wonderful (my ex-husband) was petrified they were going to get lead poisoning from the paint. I asked him one day, "is it like you think they are going to chew on a table leg instead of their dinner?" I love the feeling of the OLD stuff. I just can't help myself. Here are just a few pictures of some of that stuff below~

I don't think Country Roads would BE Country Roads without being filled with the "old stuff"! We even built the inside of the store out with the old, rusty, and chippy stuff. Looks like finally, here in sunny SoCal that Spring is on the way. Actually Thursday we are supposed to have temps in the 80's! I can't wait!!



After I got off work today, it was time to head over to Hart Park here in Old Towne Orange for Arianna's fifth birthday party! How do they grow up so fast when it seems just the other day I went to the hospital to see Ari when she was first born? It was a "Princess Party" and the little one's looked so cute. After my heavier post below, it was nice to smile and laugh today. The pictures below are a few of my favorites of my familia!!

And the new five year old Arianna rode off into the sunset on her brand new birthday bike! As I always say, "familia" isn't about blood lines, it is all about the heart! Happy Birthday Ari! I love you!!

Where I Catch My Breath

Back at the end of February, actually on the 27th to be exact, one of my customers that had been shopping with me since we first opened back in 1993, was senselessly murdered by her husband. Sadly she was shot in her head, and the bullet went straight through and hit her dog as well. The dog survived, but my friend, Faith, lost her life. I wrote a short blog post after I found this out that you can read here assuming the link works. Faith's sister, Cindy, had called "the store" because Faith had a layaway due and she wanted to make sure that it didn't get forfeited because Faith's daughter really wanted it. Of course I took care of it because it was what my heart wanted to do. That is what you do in life, the "right thing". Actually it has been a month today since that happened and it still feels like yesterday.  That is the kind of store Country Roads is. Many of our customers truly become our friends, our family.

As you know, Brande named her nursery after my Mom, her Grandma, "Johnnye Merle". I've always found peace out in the garden. If I'm having a crazy day, or if I need a moment or two to "catch my breath" this is where I go. I find comfort there and somehow know my Mom is looking down on me to help me find the comfort or peace or whatever else I may be seeking. Built on asphalt, eighteen years ago or so, the garden to me is one of the best spots at Country Roads. There is just something that is very calming about it. And for me, when you stand at the counter and have to deal with not only customers, but your own "life" as well, there are days you do need to "catch your breath". So I always head out to the gardens!

I had heard that Cindy, Faith's sister, had come in a couple of times to pick up Faith's last layaway for Faith's daughter, Chloe. But Cindy never had a car big enough to fit the last purchase Faith will ever make at Country Roads. And the very selfish part of me was glad I didn't have to take the phone call that day letting us know Faith was gone, glad I didn't have to see Cindy. I don't mean that to sound cruel, but when you are in a store filled with people, and you have no where to go when you work at the counter, I wasn't sure I would be able to handle it. The sting of it all is still too fresh.

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting on the "paper table" behind the counter. The paper table is just a table that holds a big stack of paper that we wrap our customers merchandise in. Brande was working the counter when a girl about Brande's age and a young guy walked up to the counter. I knew immediately who it was, it was Chloe, here to pick up the last thing her Mom bought at her favorite store, Country Roads.  And then when I heard the words, "I'm here to pick up my mom's layaway" that was said with a lot of pain in her voice, I jumped down and don't even remember the first words I said to Faith's daughter. I asked her where she was parked, and as Brande offered to go with them, I knew I needed to go and wanted to do this. As we walked to the last building of the store, we didn't say much to each other. Our hearts said it all. As we walked from the first building to the second, Chloe's eyes filled with tears and all she could say was, "just being here, walking through the store, it reminds me of my mom." I simply told her I understood and we continued our walk from the second building to the third to get Faith's layaway.

When we got to the third building, and to the last layaway Faith will ever had, her daughter's eyes filled with tears again. I don't believe she had even knew what the item was. She is a very strong young woman, pulled herself together very quickly. I don't know if I, at her age going through what is was dealing with, could have done the same. Then we got busy with carrying the item out the back, who would take what, and going out the back garden gate.

As I unlocked the gate, opened it  and really worked hard on keeping myself together, I knew it was time to say good-bye. I looked at Faith's daughter, seeing a great deal of Faith in her and simply said, "I have no words" and just put my arms around her for a few moments. Sometimes words aren't always needed, you know? I wasn't ready to go back to the counter, so I escaped to my favorite little place as I composed myself to get ready to go back to work. I walked through the garden, looked at our beautiful flower beds and just tried to sort out my thoughts before going back inside. I will never, ever understand "why" these things happen to such wonderful people. But it isn't important right now. Country Roads has always been more than just a "store". When I talk about my Country Roads family, there REALLY is a family feeling about Country Roads. I know many of you that are reading this understand totally what my words, my feelings, are saying. I hope you all remember how fragile life is, and the importance of doing the "right" things in life. If it comes from the heart, then you know it truly is the "right" thing in life!

"Blackbird singing in the dead of the night

Take thes broken wings and learn to fly

You were only waiting for this moment to arise"