Sunday, November 28, 2010

Guest Artist ~ Jeanne Winters

Hi everyone! Are you ready to meet another artist? This week I want to introduce to you the talented Jeanne Winters. I found her amazing art on Etsy some time ago and I just love her fresh, vintage, inspirational artwork! Jeanne's Simply Inspiring gift collection may be purchased at Hallmark Gold Crown stores and her Inspirational Home book is available in her Etsy shop. If you purchase no later than Monday, you will get an extra signed copy of her book!

The following are just a few questions and answers to acquaint you with Jeanne. You'll have to visit her blog to read more. :)

1. Why do you do the art that you do?

An artist just has to get it out. ideas pop into my head and then I'm compelled to make it happen. I want to create "happy" inspirational art. my art is an expression of my faith. I think the Bible is so amazing and I try to portray the love & uplifting messages from it in my work.

2. What is your favorite decor style?

Beach cottage! I love the clean look of whites & aqua blues, with casual eclectic furnishings and some vintage accent pieces.

3. What is your earliest memory of crafting / creating?

I can remember drawing pencil portraits of my little friends in 2nd grade. That's one of my first "real art" memories.

4. What time of day (or night) are you most creative?

I'm a night owl and can really get into a groove staying up until the wee hours. It's terrible thing to do when you have little kids, as it's painfully hard to be bright, perky and "always on" the next morning! So, I can't pull it off much anymore!

5. Describe your dream studio.

My dream studio is light and airy and full of every type of paint, brushes and craft supply known to man. No big requirements. Oh wait! It has to overlook the ocean! A warm ocean with a white sandy beach between my open french doors and the softly rolling waves. And lots of space for my kids to get messy doing art alongside. And a nice sound system. :-)

Jeanne ~ thank you so much for letting us learn just a bit about you and your work. :)

Please leave a comment for Jeanne, and when you are through, be sure to visit her blog and websites.

Jeanne's blog ~
Jeanne's Etsy shop ~
Jeanne's twitter page ~


Take Care and God Bless,

p.s. You can read previous Guest Artist posts here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Vintage Book Wreaths for Christmas, French Decor, and more...

I've been slowly working on wreaths for my Etsy shop and website. I don't have nearly as many made as I'd planned on having at this point, but I'll be making more over the next couple of weeks.

There are four new wreaths still in my Etsy shop. I had listed six, but two already sold today ~ thank you! :)

Besides the wreaths, I'll also have several more Vintage Book Spine Cuffs in another week. All but two of the previous ones have been sold. I'm looking forward to making more of these... searching through my fabrics and finding just the right pieces to coordinate with each book spine.

Sunday, I'll introduce you to another wonderful artist, so be sure to come back for another visit.

Take Care and God Bless,

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!




by Lydia Maria Child

Over the river, and through the wood,

To grandfather's house we go;

The horse knows the way,

To carry the sleigh,

Through the white and drifted snow .

Over the river, and through the wood,

To grandfather's house away !

We would not stop

For doll or top,

For 't is Thaksgiving day .

Over the river, and through the wood,

Oh, how the wind does blow !

It stings the toes,

And bites the nose,

As over the ground we go .

Over the river, and through the wood,

With a clear blue winter sky,

The dogs do bark,

And children hark,

As we go jingling by .

Over the river, and through the wood,

To have a first-rate play—

Hear the bells ring

Ting a ling ding,

Hurra for Thanksgiving day !

Over the river, and through the wood—

No matter for winds that blow;

Or if we get

The sleigh upset,

Into a bank of snow .

Over the river, and through the wood,

To see little John and Ann;

We will kiss them all,

And play snow-ball

And stay as long as we can .

Over the river, and through the wood,

Trot fast, my dapple grey !

Spring over the ground,

Like a hunting hound,

For 't is Thanksgiving day !

Over the river, and through the wood,

And straight through the barn-yard gate;

We seem to go

Extremely slow,

It is so hard to wait .

Over the river, and through the wood—

Old Jowler hears our bells;

He shakes his pow,

With a loud bow wow,

And thus the news he tells .

Over the river, and through the wood—

When grandmother sees us come,

She will say, Oh dear,

The children are here,

Bring a pie for every one .

Over the river, and through the wood—

Now grandmother's cap I spy !

Hurra for the fun !

Is the pudding done ?

Hurra for the pumpkin pie !


Have a blessed Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Guest Blogger ~ Lea Helmerich of My Letters to Emily

wise ...
witty ...
charming ...
inspiring ...

Those 4 words come to mind when I think of Lea. I loved her blog the first time I visited. I love that she includes a verse from the Bible that ties in with the subject. I never, ever leave there without feeling inspired or encouraged. With that, I will let you see for yourself what I am talking about. I know you will be blessed.


make a joyful noise

my favorite holiday is thanksgiving, and i used to get

fussy about halloween and Christmas squeezing it

off the calendar. now i begin celebrating thanksgiving

in september, skip halloween, and slide right on into


thanksgiving is all about families gathering together to

give thanks to the Lord for His goodness. when my

children were younger, we memorized psalm 100, the

beloved psalm of thanksgiving.

"make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands."

nobody does this better than children. as soon as your

hands are greasy from stuffing the turkey, you can be

sure a loud noise will erupt from the farthest corner of

the house!

"serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence

with singing."

when assigning chores, remind your little noisemakers that

servants are the heroes of the Kingdom. last year i had a

pie boss, a marshmallow topper, a potato masher, a turkey

carver, and a green bean casserole mixer. i watched the

football game. :)

"for the Lord is good and His mercy is everlasting. His

faithfulness endures to all generations."

at our table we will have a jumble of cousins, aunts, uncles,

grandparents, and the first great grandbaby. the more

generations the better the food tastes!


many blessings on your gathering,



Lea, thank you so much for sharing this post with us on Thanksgiving eve.

Everyone, please be sure to leave a comment here for Lea, but also visit her own blog: my letters to emily.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving ~

$25 Simple Joys Paperie certificate giveaway!

Oops!!! I nearly forgot to announce this!

Pop on over to The Shabby Chic Cottage to enter this giveaway. I'm offering a $25 gift certificate to go towards anything in my shop (not valid with any other discount coupon).

And while you're there at The Shabby Chic Cottage, be sure to enter all the other Christmas Carnival giveaways that Gina has listed!

Take Care & God Bless,

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Guest Artist ~ Sharon Mitchell of Homespun Heart Primitives

This week's guest artist is Sharon Mitchell of Homespun Heart Primitives. I first met Sharon when I joined Simply Primitives, an online market for folk artists. She has always inspired me with her love of early, primitive art and her kindness towards all those she comes in contact with. Following this introduction are photos that Sharon has shared of her wax ornaments made from her own molds and a few questions and answers to get you a little bit more acquainted with Sharon ~ you'll have to visit her websites to learn even more! :)

{Mold for this new design, above, will be available soon as a benefit to raise money for Betsy's (Foothills Primitives) daughter. A single mom, Terri had surgery on September 28 and will not likely be able to return to work until after the New Year. Details coming soon on Sharon's website.}

1. What is your favorite décor style?

Primitive Early American is my favorite décor style. I love the sense of warmth and comfort from something that has a history and has been loved by others before me.

2. List your 3 favorite colors.

Red, White and Blue

3. What time of day (or night) are you most creative?

When I was younger late evening was most creative time of day after my children were in bed. Now I find the mornings are my best creative time. I attribute this to a good nights sleep and a good dose of morning daylight to work in, which my eyes greatly appreciate.

4. If you could acquire any piece of art by another artist, what would it be?

An Izannah Walker doll would be my hearts desire. Her dolls to me are the embodiment of beautiful three dimensional folk art.

5. Describe your dream studio.

My dream studio would be in a rustic log cabin filled with primitive antiques to house all my supplies with plenty of windows for light.


Sharon, thanks so much for sharing a bit about yourself with us! :)

Please be sure to visit the following sites to see more of Sharon's wonderful, folk art designs:


Thanks to everyone for visiting. I'll have a guest blogger on Wednesday and on other days this week I will share some very interesting things I found hanging on my wisteria vine and I will be asking for some decor advice.

Take Care & God Bless,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guest Blogger ~ Monika Drake of My European Touch

This week's guest blogger is Monika Drake. I met Monika through an Etsy group, the Cottage Style Street Team {cssteam in etsy searches}. At first I noticed her amazing home decor mosaics {be sure to visit her shop} and then as we visited more on the online group, I saw what a kind, caring lady she was ~ always having uplifting things to say to everyone. Please welcome Monika in the comments at the end of her story... a story that will leave you in tears as it did me.


~ Monika's Gifts ~

As human beings we so often make plans for our life’s and I think sometimes GOD just smiles about our ignorance…

I have to speak about our gifts given by the grace of God. I have been singing God’s praises ever since I was 2 years old.

In October of 2008, going through anterior cervical spine surgery, I was told that there would be a 98% probability of vocal damage and my voice would be gone. Singing; I should not plan on it ever again.

The surgery was successful and the surgeon WAS able to safe my speaking voice. What a blessing. Now I was praying and hoping that my ability to sing God's praises would come back. Nothing happened! Even though I was told and warned that this could happened before the surgery one is never prepared for this when you have been singing in church for 55 plus years. I started mourning my loss, grieving; I practically had tunnel vision and could not think of anything else. My sorrow and cries were so deep, part of my very essence and who I am- was gone. After month of such emotional, painful grieving process I could not handle this anymore without something breaking in me. One evening I said my prayers and just gave my pain to GOD. I fell asleep and awoke startled, felt emotionally lifted and light, I had a vision of the most beautiful gold beaded triple cross, a Chrismon Ornament I had seen somewhere. The Crosses at Golgotha. I had vision in my mind of our poor Christmas tree from the year before, it was not pretty at all.. GOD had reminded me of the other gifts he had graciously given to me, creating with my hands. Immediately I jumped out of bed, stumbling to my craft closet. Remembering 2 large glass jars of pearls beads I had for 5 years not knowing what to do with them, and started beading on a piece of fabric. I did not quit until 3 AM in the morning and was so delighted and happy.

GOD had heard my cries, and his answer to my pain was totally different, unexpected, but filled me with joy and lifted me. Essentially that was the beginning of my Chrismon Team, stitching for Christ. We made 195 Chrismon Ornaments, I was able to teach some of them who never held a needle in their life’s, 17 lady’s met with me every Friday afternoon faithfully.

I really do know that GOD has HIS plans for all of us and we just have to do his bidding. This time, and so many other times in my life GOD has shown me the way according to HIS plans and not mine. I don’t know about you, but I forget so easily that GOD is in charge and asked me to use all the gifts I have been given. They are not mine to keep, I need to share.

It is now over a year after the surgery and GOD has blessed me again with my Singing voice. How rich I am to receive such a gracious gift from GOD a second time in my life.

Monika S. Drake

Find Monika here:


Monika, thank you so much for sharing that inspiring story with us! :)

Take Care and God Bless,

Monday, November 15, 2010

We Have a Winner!!!

Congratulations!!! :)
Henria O.'s last comment

( Henria O. said...

I like #22!
sazzyfrazz at gmail dot com
November 07, 2010 12:24 AM )

was #61 ~ the number chosen by the random number generator at

I'll be contacting you by email in just a few minutes with your CSN Stores code.

Thanks so much for playing along everyone!

Take Care & God Bless,

Guest Artist ~ Jenny Batt of Hank + Hunt

Welcome to the second Guest Artist post! This week I'd like to introduce you to Jenny of Hank + Hunt. I first met Jenny back in September when she did a blog post about my Simple Joys Paperie shop. When I visited her blog to read the post, I was immediately draw to her lovely fabric garlands and knew I'd want to feature her as a guest artist. So... here are the 5 questions Jenny chose to answer, along with photos of her work:

1. Why do you do the art that you do?

I love finding the perfect decorations for parties. I usually make my own because I can never find the color or pattern I need. I am sometimes overly ambitious. One day I was playing with my new sewing machine goodies from last Christmas and the lovely that came out looked like garland to me. I had never seen fabric garlands before and thought it would be a great idea. They are durable and more enduring than paper streamers, which I have ripped countless numbers of right before the party. I love touching them and knowing I will still have these lovelies years and many celebrations from now. I also REALLY love to share things…so Hank + Hunt was born.

2. List your 3 favorite colors.

Martha Blue, Kelly Green and any range of white.

3. What is your earliest memory of crafting / creating?

The first thing I ever sewed was a fabric spatula. I don’t know why, but it was ninth grade and my best friend and I were feeling crafty. It makes me laugh every time I think about it. But what I really remember about it, was that I sewed without a pattern. I still have that sewing style. I will usually make it up rather than sewing from a premade pattern.

4. What time of day (or night) are you most creative?

Usually anytime during the day, when I should really be doing my errands or chores I will have a great idea. I have to make lists (a lot of them) or else I would never get anything done!

5. Of all the pieces you have created, which one meant the most to you?

It’s not garland. I just made this little monster; well, okay…he’s almost as big as my 3 year old. I made him to go with his little monster birthday party. He loves it. It makes me feel all proud inside to have him insist on bringing it with us everywhere and to bed. I made it and he loves it. I can’t describe how wonderful it makes me feel.

Thank you, Jenny, for sharing a bit about yourself!

Please be sure to leave a comment to welcome Jenny.
You may visit her at these online places:
Hank + Hunt twitter:

You have a few more hours to enter the CSN Stores $55 Voucher Giveaway:

I'll be closing comments and announcing a winner later in the day.

Take Care & God Bless,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Guest Blogger ~ Suzanne Davis, Pear Tree Primitives

I met Suzanne a few years back on an eBay group, Simply Primitives. We became online friends, chatting nearly every day, talking about our families, our faith, our work, our dreams... and finally in 2008, she came all the way from Idaho to Tennessee for a visit! Suzanne is as sweet and as dear a soul in person as she is online. I asked her to be my first Guest Blogger to share a story with my readers. I'm sure all of you will enjoy her guest post and when you are finished reading, please leave a comment for her and then visit her shops and her blog to see all of her wonderful work! :)


Home is Not Where Your House Is ~

My husband and I have purchased four homes in our 23 years of marriage. We’ve never experienced the joys (and I’m sure, ‘frustrations') of having a custom home built, nor have we ever purchased a "brand-spankin’ new” model home. But each time we’ve moved and started the exciting and sometimes disappointing adventure of house hunting, the perfect house for us has always been found, and I believe God had His hand in every "find".

With each purchase, the house always needed lots of love and lots of fixin’ to eventually become the “perfect house for us"...but we are both blessed with either an ‘eye for potential’, or at least a gullible denial of reality, along with a healthy dose of "can-do" spirit!

(We did paint the outside a cottage-y white with dark blue trim)

Tiny Green House #1~ Tiny, as in 700 square feet, but it did have a detached garage and mother-in-law apartment we rented out for extra income. Fixer upper?-definitely!

We were newly married and on a limited income, so we had to be very resourceful with our money. We gutted the bathroom to the floorboards and gave the house a pretty new bathroom. And this house is where I began my passion for painting and stenciling on walls.... partly to disguise flawed walls. The end result was a cute CLEAN place to live for three years.

(We were so sad to leave this one!)

Medium-sized House #2~ Loved, loved this home! With 1600 square feet, we literally doubled the size of our first home. This home had character and cuteness just because of its age. It was built in 1901....claw foot tub and all!

Of course, because of its age, it didn’t have the amenities of central heating. So, we put that in...this southern girl couldn’t live in the Northwest without heat!

(Our Brady Bunch House)

Larger-sized House #3~ This one didn’t have any character, but it did have space. 2200 square feet of space for our growing family. Remember the Brady Bunch house? That is what this one reminded me of. It was a split level and it had an upstairs, basement, and a main living area. We lived in this one for nine years and remodeled just about every room. By default and with no desire of his own to become one, my husband was an expert on bathroom plumbing after remodeling the three bathrooms of this house!

(Our Colonial Cottage)

The Current House #4~ Having to move once again, we were caught in the declining economy. So when searching for our latest house we had to make some tough decisions about size and affordability. Going in reverse, we now live in a house half the size of house #3. And a happy medium between house #1 and #2, but with the “UN” characteristics of house #1 and #3....well, you get the idea, and we were prepared for this house. We knew how to remodel it to make it our own and to make it the “perfect house for us”. We also came to realize that size really doesn’t matter. Yes, there are days a second bathroom would be own private spa would be even better! (But, I don’t really miss cleaning three bathrooms!)

I think I can safely claim that it isn’t the size or square footage you live in that makes a house a home. We’ve found that our family can adapt to just about any space as long as we are ALL living together under one roof.

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." John 14:2 KJV

Suzanne Davis

Suzanne's website ~ Pear Tree Primitives

Suzanne's blog ~ Painter of the Past

Suzanne's Etsy shop ~ Pear Tree Primitives on Etsy


The CSN Stores giveaway is still going on! Visit this link to enter:


Take Care & God Bless,



Sunday, November 7, 2010

Guest Artist ~ Gina Luker of The Shabby Chic Cottage

Hi everyone ~ thanks so much for stopping by!

{handmade by Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage}

I'm sure that all of you will agree that there is sooooo much talent out there to be seen, so many lovely creations to discover, and so many wonderful people to meet. I have wanted to feature other artists for quite some time and I have finally started lining up folks to showcase.

{handmade by Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage}

In this weekly feature, I will introduce you to one artist, share links to their work, share photos of some of their designs (and possibly a peek into their work spaces), and give you a glimpse of their artistic life with 5 Q&As (they get to choose 5 out of 10 to answer).

{handmade by Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage}

Please make our first guest artist welcome with a comment at the end of this post and be sure to visit her blog and shop. Her shabby coastal style with light and airy colors is going to wow you!!! :)

~ Gina Luker of The Shabby Chic Cottage ~

1. Why do you do the art that you do? Handmade items add character to a home like nothing else can. The pieces I make for a room are generally my favorite part - and I want to share that feeling with people who can't or don't have time to make pieces for themselves.

2. Describe your art with 7 adjectives. Classic, weathered, farmhouse, cottage, vintage inspired, quality

3. What is your favorite décor style? I love coastal cottage with a French inspired twist

4. What time of day (or night) are you most creative? Early morning - between 5 a.m. and noon - after that I just want to nap and snuggle my kiddos :)

5. Describe your dream studio. I'd love to have a big loft space so that I could have room to cut, sew and create - a space to paint anything and everything - and the more architectural details, the better!

{handmade by Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage}

Thank you, Gina, for sharing a bit about yourself! :)


The CSN Stores giveaway is still going on! Visit this link to enter:


Take Care & God Bless,

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Happy Book Lover's Day!


I wasn't going to mention it, but I can't help it... Can you believe it's already November??? The holidays are upon us and before you know it, we will be in 2011! I am making out a schedule for myself for the rest of the year, otherwise I will not get much of anything accomplished.

What are your plans? Are you going all out with decorations and festivities this year or are you taking the holidays a bit slower and just enjoying everything around you? I hope to decorate a bit more than usual (with some pretty silver ornaments and several pretty paper embellishments I have made). I will have a couple of special dinners at home with my family that we normally don't get to do because of other obligations. And I plan on designing and creating lots of lovelies for my shops! Having said that, I want to work in some "just relax and breathe" time, as well. Is it possible? :)

Have you ever heard of Book Lover's Day? I hadn't until someone featured one of my vintage book wreaths in a treasury collection on Etsy and mentioned it. I searched for the holiday online and I found it to be listed as the 1st Saturday in November or November 9th. No one can quite agree except that either day is a good day to enjoy a good book!

In honor of Book Lover's Day, I am offering any one ready made item from my Etsy shop ( or from my Simple Joys Paperie website ( at 20% off! This means if you've had your heart set on a particular wreath such as this one you can have it for $40, or this paperweight for $24, or you may choose from any of the other items that are ready to ship, including vintage book spine cuffs or curiosity cones!
This Book Lover's Day sale will run November 6th - November 9th.
If buying from my Etsy shop, please email me with your choice and I will adjust the price before you purchase.
This sale is available to my facebook fans, email list and blog readers, so when you order, be sure to tell me you want the Book Lover's Day discount.


The $55 CSN Stores giveaway is still going on here:


Thanks so much for the comments and email messages I get from you. Living out in the country has its advantages... but it also has its isolation from customers and friends. I truly enjoy hearing from you! :)

Take care & God bless,

Friday, November 5, 2010

CSN Stores Giveaway ~ enter here!

Ok everyone, as promised, I'm back with details for the giveaway! CSN Stores has asked me to host a giveaway for a $55 one-time use gift code, similar to one that I won a few months back. With over 200 stores, you'll have no trouble at all finding something you want. I have been looking at their furniture (bookcases in particular) and I just recently sent my sister to the CSN Stores websites to look for kitchen bar stools. Hmmm, I have another tab open and just found this bookcase. I may have to save my wreath $$ for this one!

I'll give you 5 chances to enter. You only need to do one of these, but are welcome to do up to 5 of them.
I will be using to choose the winner so each entry has to have a separate comment.

How do you enter, you ask?

1. Leave a comment on this post that you want to enter the giveaway. (Make sure I have a link back to your blog or an email address so you can be notified if you win.)

2. Blog about this giveaway and link to this post on your blog. Be sure to come back and comment again for your second chance and to show me the link to where you blogged about it.

3. Become a follower or subscribe to my blog. Both options are in the sidebar at the left. Again, be sure to leave another comment to let me know.

4. "Heart / Favorite" my Simple Joys Paperie Etsy shop, and come back here to comment and let me know.

5. Visit the Paperweights page of my website, and come back here to comment and let me know which one is your favorite. Choose by item #.

You have 10 days to enter. The drawing will take place on November 15th. I will announce the winner here on the blog, and then email the winner with their one-time use code for any CSN Store.

Have fun! :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Feed Readers, Giveaways & Guest Artists

I follow a lot of blogs using the follow button in the sidebar, but I usually forget to check them in my blog account. For that reason, I subscribe to them via the RSS feeds. That way, they come directly to my email and I can read them there, then click on the link to be taken to the blog website if I decide to read more. I've had some friends tell me that they are having difficulty with Feedblitz, so I have taken that option off my blog and added a different feed reader button. It's the one that says "Subscribe to Honeysuckle Lane". Click on the Posts button and choose how you'd like to receive my blog updates. I hope that works better for all of you. :)

Now, about the giveaway... I have been asked by the CSN Stores to host a giveaway on my blog. I won a voucher from them some time ago and blogged about it and my coffeemaker purchase here. I will officially start the giveaway Friday, Nov.5th, in another post, so please come back then to enter. I just wanted to give you a heads up in case you came by for a visit today. :)

In that same post, I mentioned how blessed I was to win several giveaways. Well, this was another giveaway that I had recently won! I just didn't want to mention it until I actually got the gift card and spent it. :)
The talented Mary, at Urban Farmgirl (whose painted furniture I just LOVE!) gave a link to the Purdy paint products giveaway. I thought I would be entering to win the actual paint brush products (guess I didn't read the fine print) but instead I won a $100 gift card to the home improvement store of my choice! As far as I know, it's still going on ... a winner a day ... so head on over and enter! Oh, and here's what I got with my gift card: a white, 4 shelf, multi-purpose cabinet. I had to pay just a little extra (it was $139 at the nearest store). I would much rather have an antique or vintage cabinet painted by Mary, but this is something I needed for storage in the bathroom... 4 months ago! It's neat and clean and serves its purpose until I find just the perfect antique piece.

Sunday night, I will introduce you to my first Guest Artist. I have wanted to do this for quite a while, but never got it organized. I have several talented artists lined up for a weekly spot and I think you will enjoy meeting them and visiting their shops.

Ok, now that I've talked your ears off, I need to get back to work. I have a few wreaths to pack and ship, a few more special orders of wings and wreaths to start, and then a giveaway to draft and have ready to post tomorrow.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Take Care & God Bless,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reflections From A Mother's (& Daughter's) Heart

I planned on having a guest blogger for you to meet today, but things didn't quite go as planned. This first "guest post" is in memory of my Mama, Frantie Voiles, 1927-2006.

{house that Mama's father built ca.1930 when she was a little girl}

I bought a journal for Mama several years ago. It had daily questions for her to answer throughout the year. She filled in several pages with her tiny cursive handwriting, but so many pages were left empty, not because she didn't want to write in them, but because she was so busy with life: church, family, grandchildren, always helping neighbors, constantly doing for others. Sometimes when I see those empty pages I can't help but cry. I want to know the answers that she would have penned in that book, but I already know them in my heart. The blank pages are just that, blank pages. What really matters is that my heart is over-flowing with memories of a wonderful, kind, caring, unselfish, beautiful person that she was and always will be.

The following is an excerpt from her journal. The question is followed by Mama's reply:

What scent or sound immediately takes you back to your childhood? Describe the feeling it evokes.

"When I hear the sound of a lone airplane going over, I'm immediately taken back at our old home place at Little Crab and I'm in the front yard watching a plane go over.

The sun is shining and everything is so peaceful.

The skies are blue and you can see the mountains all around. I'm so content in my own little world.

When the sound of the plane has faded, everything is so still and there is not even a movement except a butterfly going from one flower to another or a bird flying by. Our little valley was such a happy, peaceful place to grow up in.

When I hear someone singing "Shall We Gather at the River" it always takes me back to the river down below where we lived at Little Crab. I can see the big open place just before you get to the river, and all the people are standing there except for the preacher and those wanting to be baptized, and they have waded out into the river. It is a really beautiful scene. I seem to feel that something sacred is taking place. The feeling is almost over-whelming."

Mama and I often went back to Little Crab. We'd drive down the little country roads and she'd point out the field where the cabin used to stand where she was born. She showed me the old country church that she attended as a little girl and where Daddy later was ordained to preach.We'd stop and walk around old homeplaces where nothing was left but a stone foundation or a few rows of daffodils in what used to be a yard. We'd always stop by the cemetery where generations of Mama's family were buried and where Mama and Daddy eventually made their resting place. The cemetery sits atop a little knoll in the valley. It's always peaceful there. The skies are always blue. Just as Mama described.

{all photos were taken by me in the Little Crab community near where Mama was raised}


Please check back next Wednesday for our first guest blogger.

Take Care & God Bless,