Page by Page


We learn just about everything we know about daily life through experience.

  • how to...walk
  • talk
  • ride a bike
  • dress
  • chew gum and not to swallow it
  • play well with others
  • work
  • love

On Wednesday, November 23, I began to learn the lesson of grief.  

My Dad died unexpectedly at 11:05 that night.  I've experienced death before many times.  But never the death of a parent.   We all know that death will come, however, that knowledge does nothing to get us prepared for the heart wrenching, I can't breath pain that follows.

I have so many reasons to be thankful and I will share them with you one day soon. For now the grief is too strong and has clouded everything I think and see.  I know the fog will lift and the memories will be sweet and when that happens I will be able to share the life of,  for me...

...the Best Dad Ever!


                                   "Don't just exist, LIVE!
           Live Everyday, Love Everyday, Laugh Everyday,
                                       And Cry Everyday!"

These are the words that rest above the grave of a very special man!  My cousin,  Andy Scott Hampton.  Youngest son of my Mother's youngest sister.  

It's been sixteen months since Andy left this world and still my hands shake and I'm having to type this with the box of tissue close at hand. Losing any loved one is always hard, but when someone dies at such a young age, 45,  it makes it so much more difficult .  Andy left behind a beautiful wife and two lovely children.  You will learn more of them in future post, as I am going to make quilt tops for the children out of his Firemen Uniforms.   That's a project that I can't wait to start!

I wanted to share with you today, the bag that I made for my Aunt from a pair of Andy's jeans.  I know you've seen this style before but look closely at the choices that make this one special.  Especially to his Mother, who carries him in her heart everyday and a small part of his physical life when she travels!

If you look closely you will notice that the red fabric is of  Firefighters helmets.  Andy spent most of his adult life in service to the Monroe,LA Fire Department.  He was a Captain when he died.  The top charm contains a picture of him as a boy with his big brother, Randy.  The bottom charm is Andy.  I have requested a picture of him as an adult that I will add as soon as I get it.

Sometimes projects bring tears, sadness and joy!  This one brought all three. Sadness at our loss and joy at his life and all he meant to his family. 

" Andy,  thank you for your example of...Living, Loving, Laughing and Crying! Extraordinary

Had company!  Special company!  Tennessee BFF Company!

Hubby out of town...oh! I know! 

GIRLS night!

Called the sisters and Mom. 
Bought food,
not a little,
got a lot!
Added a few fall decorations,


I know what you're thinking!  Wow!  She must have a lot of sisters. three!
One Mom! My TN friend and me...let's see...that's a total of...OH!  

All that food for only six women!

I did say it was Girls night!  And everybody knows that girls night is always full, and I mean FULL, of food, fun, food, talking, fun, food, talking and did I mention FOOD?!!!!  

Yes, we ate leftovers.

And ...  NO ... I'm not going to tell you for how long!



keep; kept,
          2. to take care of, (a) to protect; guard; defend; (b) to look after; watch over; tend; (c) to raise; (d) to maintain in good order or condition; to preserve;

I realized today that I've become an expert keeper!

At what you ask?


I obviously have been maintaining the perfect household environment that has allowed me to become quite good at this. You don't have to worry about spoilage, due to the temperature. It can be cold, cool, hot, sunny, calm, windy, windows open, windows closed, live in a house full of people or an empty nest...and still maintain a level of  " dirt" !  And you will never have to worry about anyone taking it away from you! "dirt stealing" going on in my neck of the woods.

So...I'm safe!  I can always have any amount of dirt I  want!

Your jealous...I know you are...admit it!

You want to know how I became an expert?  Oh!  That's the easy part...

Just stay busy doing other things and look the other way!


Here are  some of the bags that I've done during the last few weeks.
Can you guess which one was done for me...?

Is it # 1, #3, or maybe...#5?

Drum roll please....................................................................

It's number...none!
Yep, that's right, after, I don't even know for sure how many, bags...I don't have one!  Well...I do have the original bag made from Hubby Honey's jacket that I wag everywhere and love, but I do not have a weekender or a tote of any kind.  I have a trip planned in two weeks and I will be taking something from a, shhhhhhhhh, "store"...UGH!  

I guess it's like the plumber who has a leaky faucet or the carpenter who's house is half finished. 

Maybe, someday, who knows????

It's a Girl!

Oh! thought I meant...Oh...not yet!
And besides, when a grand-baby heads into this family, trust me, I won't need a computer to announce it to the world! You'll hear me screaming without the aide of any man made device!

Thanks to my brilliant and very talented Hubby Honey I now have my very own...

 Pink Bag Lady!
 I needed a place to hang the bags I make while waiting to deliver them to the storeSo, I thought to myself, "Self...if you ask just right...Hubby Honey might would weld you a stand" !

I asked just right...and got a Hubby designed,

... new companion!  She'll hold my bags, listen to my ideas, keep all my secrets under her hat, and just be an all around perfect...

Bag Lady!


                           Purple Petunia Eater...

Here she is in living color.  I know that you can see the lack of green grass on our ground.  Our area is famous for growing really pretty, high quality, abundant rocks! Mixed in with the rocks we, usually, have grass.  This has been a summer of no rain and high heat (113) which means no grass!

These conditions will cause a girl to commit the unpardonable to continue to feed her child!

When you look at it like that...who can blame her! 

Aren't Mother's always supposed to take care of their children? 

Something, from not much...

What do you do when you have a tiny, 8x12, room, no money in the decorating budget and you really want to change things up?


you sweet talk, con, cajole...whatever it takes, Honey Hubby into sharing his stash of old shelving that's gathering dust in the attic at the shop...


you paint and place...

then, you get your BFF to come for a visit

and you have

TA DA....

A beautiful, cozy, warm, fun, full of memories, place to curl up with a book or visit with a friend on the phone, or if you should really be blessed...they are in the chair across from you!

I love my room and it's cubbies!

Thank you Hubby Honey and Teresa!

Do you know?

Cows love to eat!

Purple Wave Petunias
Fig bush
Tomato plants
Lemon Balm
Mandevilla...esp. the white blooms...pure bliss!

Where's the gun?

I love steak!


I know an artist!

A true artist!

You of those people who can take pen, pencil, paint and paper and make beautiful pictures!

This artist friend drew my logo for me.  I called her and said  " I have this in my head  "  and she put it to paper...perfectly!

And so to say thank you I wanted to return the favor...but, I didn't think she would have much use for anything I would draw...


I may not be able to draw or paint


With old clothing, a set of old curtains,
a western shirt from my thrift store stash
and a piece of vintage fabric...

I'm an artist!

I started with a pair of shorts her hubby wore when
they married and jeans she had saved that her boys wore as small children.


 All the denim in this bag came from those three items only. 


You will see paint,

worn spots and mending...

proof that they were worn and loved.



Useful and Fun!



Diane,  I hope you enjoy using your bag as much as I enjoyed making it for you.  Without your talent, I would not have my lovely dumpster diver. She is perfect in every way and exactly what I wanted...thank you so much!


As  I was driving to the chicken houses to work one day recently this was the scene at the top of the hill and I had to stop and stand in awe of the sight!  I don't mind my work and I've challenged myself to get better at it.  However, I never wake up and think...Oh Boy, I get to go to the chicken houses this morning...can't wait!  Nope, not once have I said that to myself.  But, look what I see as I drive over. 

God gave us beauty, stop and see it!


If laughter is the best medicine, you are about to be cured of all ailments, large and small!

TN BFF is here!  Having a blast... yack, yack, yacking and finding treasures at garage sales and the famous thrift store in town.  So, this afternoon she leaves me at home slaving over the sewing machine and keeping an eye on big chickens and goes to a sale without me.  Rude? I know...and she finds clothes, all clothes, priced $1...yes...$1!  So, she brings home her treasures and even bought me some...makes up for the being left behind.  Anyway, as soon as possible, we jump in the car and head back so that I can find treasures.

And I do. 

Chico's!'ve seen those commercials and may have even gone into a store and me!  Way out of my price range and there I was, finding Chico garments for $1!  I had hit the mother load. Would they fit me?  No...but I was buying them to cut up for a new skirt project so size didn't matter.

Come home, am washing said clothes so that I can make the new skirt tonight to wear tomorrow...I's so fun!  As I'm looking at the tags and putting things in the washer I realize...and I die laughing...I'm talking the   "oh...I'm gonna wet my pants "  laughter.

Did you know that the word CHICO  means SMALL in Spanish?

Tales from the dog side!

Hello!  I know that my new Mom has told you all about getting me.   After being called  "girl'' for a few days my new Dad decided to give me the name Rae. Mom slips up and calls me Girl sometimes but I don't care.  She's older and I've heard they have trouble with things like memory sometimes. She seems to be nice, most of the time.  She has yelled at me and gotten this sound in her voice that seems a little angry.  It happens when I pee or poop on her floor.  I think I belong to the man who is my new dad because I hear Mom say,  "he's your puppy'',   "you wanted a new dog...well, she needs to go out...NOW!''

I'm busy getting to know my new home.  There's lots of things to chew on. When Mom and Dad aren't looking I really go for these long wire looking things.  Mom is always telling me, "NO NO...that will shock you''! I wonder what shock means...hope I found out...sounds like fun!  Our house has these two long pieces of furniture that Mom calls a sofa or couch. I love to lay under there.  Dad thinks I'm hiding and that I like a cool dark place to nap.  Well... really, I saw all this dust on the floor that Mom must have trouble reaching and I thought it was the least I could fur makes  really good dust mop!

They are constantly saying my name.  Come Rae, don't Rae, let's go Rae, Rae are you hungry? Rae, do you want a drink?  Really?  Do they think I'm so stupid that I can't remember my name already? I'm sick of it and I've only had it a few days.

Oh well,  I do like it here. I get to sleep inside and I do get plenty to eat and even a treat now and then.  
I hear talk that I'm going to get a sister soon...that sounds like fun...

What is a sister?  Wonder if it's the same thing as  "shock''?


I pulled out my volume of Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged printed in 1957.  Wine red in color and containing two huge volumes of words, the books were rescued by Hubby Honey from the trash...grabbed because of the date of my birth, 1957, and knowing that I would want to have them.  These books are kept close at hand as I work on the computer.  Yes, I have spell check and the dictionary through the web, but I love thumbing the pages of paper to look up a spelling or meaning.

Sorry, got sidetracked.  The word "company" has a long list of meanings.
" 9. a guest or guests; a visitor or visitors."

I have company coming!  My BFF from TN is on her way!  Packing her car as I type this and will be here either tonight or in the early evening tomorrow.  She is coming a couple of days earlier than planned and I can't wait.  I hope you are like me and have at least a few of those very special friends in your life that will come to your home and not care in the least that:
a. floors need to be swept & mopped
b. sheets washed and put back on the bed
c. frig could stand a good cleaning out
d. guest bath spiffed up
e. furniture dusted
f. laundry done

I have a few of those kind and they are my favorite!

She'll be here soon...and we'll catch up on everything 


New arrival!

We are  proud  parents,  I meant to say owners, of a new baby girl.  She is a mix of grey, black, brown and a touch of white.  She has four legs, is six and a half weeks old and was delivered to us last night.  I use the term  " us'' loosely as Hubby Honey is out of town which leaves  "little girl'' and me to ourselves. 

As you have guessed, we are a  "dog's as pets'' family.  When the children were young an  "outside'' dog was permitted.  You could NOT have one IN the house.  You might get hair everywhere, have pee on the floor, end up cleaning  poop from places you'd rather not even think about, yes...even kids will do those things too! But, somehow it was different if it came from the least a little bit.

Anyway, our daughter and youngest, developed a really rare and difficult disease while in her early teens and after her first surgery she was given a Boston terrier puppy. Our first, stay in the house dog.  Do you know, all those dreaded things happened.  Hair, pee and poop!

Strange though, so did love, companionship, loyalty, entertainment, conversation, (Hubby claims I'm a dog, beats talking to the wall!)  and just an all around good thing!  He lives with her and her hubby now, and so...



we have a new arrival! 

Another is expected in about four more weeks so that Hubby Honey and I will have a  "his and hers''...

When he leaves town I suspect that they will be mine and mine!

I feel a stirring under my feet...wonder if it's for pee, poop or a ready to play...

maybe... we just need to talk!

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $


Have any?  A lot?  A little?  Just the right amount...whatever that is?

I have on my mind this morning the cost of items we either want to purchase or sell.  You make a decision in either much money am I willing to pay or how much money do I want to make!

As a seamstress, I am faced with the question, How much?

" OH!  I LOVE much is it?'' answer is given and then you get "OH! Okay!''  see 'ya!

If you are looking at a product that has been handmade, it's ONE of a kind, the quality is EXCELLENT;

then count the cost...





All of the above factors into the cost of an item.  Just the minimum time that I have in a weekender travel bag that I'm making now is 11-15 hours!  To make each bag unique takes time.  To give it the quality you want and deserve takes time.

If you want the same thing that everyone else has and you want it cheap...

Shop WalMart!

From a little...comes much!

Before I got sidetracked by the need for a new email, I had plans to show you some projects that have been taking place in my nest. The following will let you see the wonders of a little time and some velcro! 

If you are like me and need to use every inch of space for storage, but don't like the way it looks,then...

take any fabric, or in my case, the skirt of a dress bought at a garage sale and a shirt found at the thrift store sack sale ...

and hide it!!!

Yes...I know,  someday, I must address the issue of the clutter that hides beneath...

Just like the bodies that hide underneath our clothes, I don't have to look at it while waiting on the day of ...Oh! that's perfect... to come.

 You don't sew?  Okay, no big deal.  You can use the iron on products that are available to  "hem'' your fabric and attach trim, then use the sticky velcro to attach the curtain.

Happy hiding!

Wonders never cease...

Wow!   I sit here in shock!

I logged on to my blog account this morning to compose a post about the clever, new tidiness of my sewing room, complete with pictures.

Well, due to changing our email address recently, I could not access my log in.  In the past this would have promted a panic phone call to my computer whiz BFF.  But, due to her patient teaching and encouragement in the past...thank you Teresa...I managed to cick and follow and click and ( call Hubby Honey, but only for email addie info) follow and behold...there I was...done!  I had replaced my old address and logged in with a new one and hadn't lost anything!  

I am amazed, proud, encouraged and Yipee...excited!

Wonder if Bill Gates has any openings?


ex.cite'ment, n. 1. the act of exciting or the state of being excited;  according to Mr. Webster.

When I was growing up, Christmas was a really BIG deal!  We got excited weeks in advance and could not wait for Santa to come. You couldn't sleep, it was all you thought about and all you talked about...esp. with four sister's under one roof!  Even after the  "truth'' of Santa's identity came out it never diminished the excitement.  We have Mom to thank for that...!  So...thank you Mom!

I am FULL of that kind of excitement now!  

Why? TN BFF is leaving her house at the end of this month and heading west to my house.  We will then load my stuff in her car and head to my BFF who lives in NW AR  for days of fun. 

We will talk, talk, talk and then talk some more...subjects?...  oh, they won't matter, just the chatter and sound of our voices will be enough for me.  We'll have a day trip to Eureka Springs and will tour  Mrs. Quigley's home and grounds.    We will take tons of pictures and come home with awesome ideas for our own yards and gardens...I can hear the hubbies groaning already!  We will walk the streets for miles, stop to rest on a park bench, eat ice cream and watch the people go byWe will gather and store hundreds of memories to bring home and save for a rainy day. 

Another day will be spent at the famous Fayetteville Farmer's Market. On the our way, we will keep well trained eyes wide open and on the lookout for garage/treasure sale signs!  We'll walk the aisles at the Health Food store and stock up on supplies for home-made granola!  C and I will listen closely to T as she patiently tries to teach us to have and to live, healthier lives! 

I'm feeling just a little sorry for T's hubby!  Bless him...three fifty something teenage women in his house for ...well, maybe we shouldn't say just in case he reads this and gets cold feet about allowing us to come!

My friends...through thick and thin!

Excitement...doesn't even begin to cover it!

Nest Builder!

Just had an  "a ha!'' moment!  One of those...never thought of that !  I love those moments.  They can be serious, fun, or simply, Oh...okay!

This one is in the fun and oh...okay department.

I'm a nest builder!  I love to arrange and change and dream of arrange and change.  Drives certain members of my family crazy ( if I ever get a daughter-in-law I must warn her)!

My "a ha'' moment happened this morning while cleaning the kitchen...I know...sometimes it's really weird...those ''where did that come from''!  Anyway, I'll get on with it.  I realized that I have been a nest builder all my life. As a child of the late fifties and the oldest of four girls, we were raised in the era of playing outside just about all the time that the weather permitted.  One of my all time favorites was to make pine straw houses!  Did you do that?  Oh, the homes we built!  We would take the rake and our hands and rake the straw into the outline of walls complete with doors and windows.  Huge homes that covered the yard.  No going  "over'' the wall to come inside, you had to step through door openings only.  I wish I knew how many houses and how many hours were spent in that play.  I don't remember a lot of T.V. watching.  I'm sure we did our share but it must not have had the appeal that a pine straw house did because that's the memory I have.

Along with...

Bag Swings,
Monkey bars, 
An empty oil drum that my Dad removed the bottom and top from and was  climbed on and in and ''walked'' like a circus performer all over the yard...miles of fun!
Barbies that were sewn for and had houses that were kept arranged and changed!

I'm a nest builder and always will be.  And that's okay!

We've taken some  "nothings'' and made some really cute ''somethings'' and I'll share those with you soon!

Green grass!

I need you to do something for me...

Stand...legs straight...bend at the waist until your elbows touch the floor and rest on your forearms...stretch your neck as far forward as you possibly can...

Sound impossible? 

I'm sure a few of you are flexible enough to actually do  ...what do you think!

While making a "check the chickens run" last week I witnessed this feat!  A large bovine that belongs to the neighbor down the road, was  down on her front legs with her head stretched through the barbed wire reaching as far as possible for, what she thought was greener grass!  

I wanted to stop, roll down the window and yell..."hey! Stupid...look at your feet...your standing knee deep in beautiful, green's all around you."

I wonder...

How many of us are standing, knee deep, in blessings and still...we will stretch ourselves to the limit to attain more and more "stuff" when...if we would look down, up,and all around, we would see how green the grass is under our feet!


From trash...

to a weekender bag for my Mom!

Isn't it amazing what can be made from...

old jeans...

The lining was made from an old skort that I found during "  sack" sale at our local thrift shop. I love those sack sales! Think I'm becoming a tad obsessed. My calendar is marked with the dates and I hesitate to tell you when the next one is coming up for fear of having you get that treasure before I do!  

If I start shoving the people who are ahead of me in line...then I'll start to worry!

Until then...I'll just keep marking the date!

Like a Good Neighbor!

Picture this…two old, out of shape, fat people…(husband and wife) go to feed and check cows for their son who is out of town.  The wife noticed earlier in the day that two of the cows have had new babies.  When new babies are born they receive a pretty orange tag in their left ear that matches the numbered tag that their Mother has. This really needs to be done asap if at all possible! 

Well…the son will not return until Sunday, so the old fat couple must perform this task. While feeding, the wife observes that the two, very selfish and uncaring, Mother’s have abandoned their babies for food.  The decision is made to hurry and locate the babies and get them tagged while Mother’s are away.  How to tell which is which?  Thankfully, the wife is nosy…I mean observant…and she knows that the calf born first is larger than the second one.  And she was very clever to remember which Momma was which and what their number was…so they find baby number one.  Husband gets the ear tag ready and tells wife to “sneak up on baby and catch it…”Hmmmmm….okay, well…she is unsure of exactly how to do this. Having waited too long to leap, the husband dives on baby and catches it and the wife stands in back and hollers ‘” what do I do?” He replies…” get on it, get on it”…well…I must say that when she “ got on” that poor baby expelled the biggest whoosh of air…poor thing, I know he already wishes he’d never been born.  As they were tagging the calf, the wife happened to look to her left and what does she see?  This big, black momma cow was running…and I mean Forrest Gump,  runnnnning, right for them.  Just before she got to them she caught sight of the dog and decides to go after it instead…whew! Turns out that this wasn’t even the Mother of the new baby.  Apparently this “woman” had been left in charge of the children and had abandoned her post for food. ( I’m sure that’s the last time she gets asked to babysit) 

Now, on to baby number two. 
“Where is it?” ask the husband.  Well, nosy, oh yea, I mean observant wife, points to where she last saw mother and child.  They find the baby…this baby gets tagged without mishap because the Mother, it looks like, may turn out to be an unfit parent.  The wife has noticed her being very neglectful of her new baby all day.  There have been no signs of “oh…come see!  He looks just like his Daddy!  He has his mothers feet! I was in labor for…”. After the baby was tagged and let go, he decided to “RUNNOFT” (Oh Brother Where Art Thou”!!!!) Anyway…back to my story! Well…he heads for the woods that are in front of the couples house.  Goes down the steep hill and halfway back up the other side and lays down and is “ very, very, quiet”.  Husband goes one way, wife another and the deaf dog comes along to help.  Please keep in mind that it is cold, wet and very physical…remember to, the words at the beginning of this story…old, out of shape and fat!!!! 

Okay…am running out of time and must cut to the chase…yes, it was a chase. Down the hill…up the hill…under the fence…across the road…under another fence…in the neighbors pasture…back under the fence…back down the hill…up the hill…across the water…through the thicket and briers…across the snow covered hill to the pond…

Now, you must understand that the husband is hollering instructions AT the wife,  wife is cussing the Mother of said baby, and threatening her with a call to DHS and wife is hollering at DEAF dog…(a lot of good that did)! This chase took about the span of one hour! 

Moral to the careful of offering to watch your neighbors cows! 

You may get more than you bargain for! 


About two days after my last post some sort of illness wafted into my house! 

I got sick and I do mean sick!  

I'm talking...
don't touch me...
don't talk to me...
please leave me alone...
I think I'm pregnant...Whew! that hysterectomy and my fifty-three years finally convinced me it wasn't so!

It lasted for five weeks!!

It was awful!

However...the way I felt wasn't the worst part.

Hubby Honey got sick at the same time!

Now, I love my husband.  I enjoy him and his company and he makes me laugh more than any comedian I've ever seen. We have been married for 35 years and I hope we have 35 more!

But...I can tell you that if we ever get sick again at the same time...well, one of us will have to go!

If I ran fever, he wanted me to feel his brow, he thought it felt hot too!  If  I coughed, he coughed!  If my comment was " I feel awful" he felt worse!  I kid you not...I was beginning to think we had a "who's the sickest" contest going.  On one of the toughest days I told my daughter " if your Daddy moans one more will become fatherless"!!  The only thing I never heard him say was that he felt pregnant!!  

I can't tell you how happy I am to see the sunshine, flowers popping up and spring just around the corner!'s a few weeks late...but, Happy New Year to you and Happy Wellness to me!