One month from now is the big day.  Santa's sleigh ride.  Where did the year go?  I don't know either.

And in two days we will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day - with turkey, taters, stuffing, and veggies.  Just the two of us.  No family, no friends.  So not normal.  We will drop off food for his dad and my sister without any contact and come back home and stare at an un-decorated Christmas tree. Also, So Not Normal. The towering monstrosity is standing tall in my living room waiting for me to get out of my funk and dress it up.  Hopefully, before next week I will have a photo to share.  I mean I do need some place for Santa to put presents and me to put mine.


Speaking of presents, I was thinking about Monday's experience and how I will be moving forward shopping for those things I want to get for the holiday.  

I wasn't thrilled with other peoples poor choices to not protect themselves and others...including protecting the workers of the store - um hello, with the removal of their masks to smell everything.  I mean...come on -- they are candles.  Do you really need to slide down your mask (and your kids mask) and stick your face inside of the jar until the wax rubs your nose, and then his?  For candles, that you claim, you won't be buying until Candle Day - which is twelve days away? 

This virus is no joke.  You may not think it's a big thing when you pull down your mask either because you don't think it is real or don't fear that you may get it...but we never know who we are around that may be very susceptible to getting sick.  People are coming and going all day in these businesses that we shop in and we can...come and go.  The workers there cannot leave because of inconsiderate behavior.  If not for the sake of others in the stores it for the workers.

I had to leave the store.  I wanted to go over and whisper to her, " put your damn mask on" but she probably wouldn't hear a whisper through the THREE masks I wear out.

I was close enough to her to simply tell her...loudly...but I have seen the news and how some react when you tell them about their mask usage and who wants to end up on YouTube or the Nightly News. cuffs.  Any thoughts of me in cuffs does not include a store selling candles,  wearing a mask and being dragged through a Christmas decorated mall while onlookers record it (and store employees applaud). HA HA HA Because they will...have to drag me.  HA HA.  And the officers best be wearing a mask.  :)

And before you think it, I shouldn't need to Stay Home if I am concerned about mask wearing and being out among others.  Our state and every business operating in it requires a mask worn, (when we leave our home) and worn correctly.  There are actual posters put on the door of  HOW TO WEAR IT and how not to.  Yes, we have come to that.

So I have to decide do I want to shop online only?  These great sales are being offered in stores where you can apply your coupons (and stack them this week) and online sales sometimes need a code...and no other coupons can be applied.  Online sales have shipping ( which isn't much, don't get me wrong that's one of the cheapest rates) and wait time until you get your item. 




I am not telling anyone not to go shopping at any store, or that it is unsafe to. I am sharing my thoughts and experience how I felt this week, and how I am trying to navigate life with a pandemic and soaring case numbers in my county while caring for myself and those elderly around me daily - with a bit of levity among the seriousness.  Only you can decide what is right for you.

Thursday, 26 November 2020 22:29

Life Writing | Making More Masks

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One of the things I love to do to relax when I find time...sewing.  I always made time to sew quilts and craft some time ago, then life got more hectic.  It's still a bit hectic but I make the time to make a few fresh masks at night.  The red truck fabric came from Walmart as a folded square piece just under $6., and the other fabric was a $1. roll of fabric from the Dollar Tree.  Both worked perfectly for this mask project.

When the pandemic first happened I found the pattern on YouTube.  The size when expanded protects your nose and chin.


Saturday, 28 November 2020 22:23


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Don't Forget!  Today is Small Business Saturday and these small businesses need our help in any way we can, especially today.

Please think about your gift giving list and seek out, safely of course, those small businesses in your area that can use a helping hand after a year of many shut downs.

And check out online your favorite ETSY shops, as well as those others we follow on FaceBook and Instagram.  I know they will appreciate it.  Happy Shopping!

Thursday, 17 December 2020 22:09

Life Writing | Winter Storm December 17th, 2020

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I love living where the four seasons are...because of the beauty of nature when it exposes all it has to offer.  Snow, while chilling me to the bone, shows me another facet of my world just outside my window.  We had a light dusting of snow today that accumulated to 18"+ and while it wasn't too hard to move, the city plows made clearing the front sidewalk major work.

In our town we alternate parking to give residents the chance to get their parking areas cleared.  What started out as a good idea never amounted to one when the city pushes all of the snow from the middle and side onto our sidewalks to clear...while the neighbors across the street have nothing to tackle.  Such is the life of city living.

These photos bring me joy, not in the way I was frozen with trying to lug a heavy snowblower where I needed it to go but in the layers of beauty that is shown.  I hope you enjoy seeing them.



 I walked to the office with hot tea in hand thinking that today I would get caught up with all of the things on my desk.  I opened the blinds in the room to let the sun in, placed the cup of tea in the corner of the desk, and heard my husband running up the stairs.  He rarely runs so I wasn't going to be good.


There are those things you never want to hear your husband say and, " there is water coming down in the kitchen from up here." is in the top three.

I couldn't imagine what it could be...everything seemed fine.  We pulled the basket out from under the vanity and voila, there it was...the hot water pipe was soaked and you could see the water pushing up what looked like through the shut off.

My first instinct was to shut off the valve...which would not move.  Hubby tried it too and it was plastic and frozen in place...while the water ran, and ran.  Into the vanity, down the pipe into the space under the vanity where I could not reach and down the pipe on the floor which is the kitchen ceiling.

We grabbed towels to try and stop the excess water from further damaging the cabinet and the ceiling and I called our plumber.

Upon inspection, we saw that the new faucet system came with the flexible pipes attached to it, and they were attached into the coupler that was connected to the shutoff and copper piping. So it wouldn't be a simple removal of the flexible pipe.  After trying to stop the water with the still frozen shut off, we saw the flexible pipe was where it was leaking.  We were told later that happens a lot with that product.

Finally the shut off gave and stopped the heavy water flow, and finally the plumbers wife answered the phone.  She had her worker out already for the day fixing furnaces that were out.  And with frigid temps here, of course, they always take precedent.   She asked some info about the situation, and mentioned if it wouldn't be today, then definitely on Christmas Eve he could come.

We changed out the towels often and I noticed the water damage already happening inside the cabinet.  My concern was for the space under the cabinet I couldn't reach and hoping it would dry up before mold came.

A return phone call from the plumber came and the repair man would be stopping by shortly.  I asked if he is wearing a mask and I was told yes.

Adam is a sweetheart, and very knowledgeable in many plumbing aspects and our home so we were thankful he could get here and take care of this mess for us before the holiday.  He did mask up when I asked him to at the door because he wasn't wearing one ( because truth be told, he was not getting in here without one ) and we were wearing masks as well.  We stayed outside of the bathroom down the hall, while he worked with the window open.

He couldn't see the leak at first and when he released the shut off valve, he saw it pour out and told us what the problem was.  It all needed to be replaced, and he stopped before coming here and grabbed a new Moen unit just in case.

Thankfully, it didn't take long to repair the pipes and we caught up with him as he worked about family, friends, and funerals that have happened since this pandemic began.  

Adam isn't just a plumber, he is related to us down the family tree too and the last time we saw him was in January of 2020 when we were all together at my husbands uncles funeral.  We told him we would see him this spring to clean our furnace and he was off to the next house to start their furnace.

While it was a huge mess, and inconvenience at the time, we were blessed to have it taken care of so quickly, especially around the holiday...Christmas Eve, Eve.  What concerns me is the bill.

My aunt just had a plumber at her home last week who charged $591 for a small box added to the furnace and it was a twenty minute job.  Adam was here for one hour!!

As Adam was leaving we were talking about Christmas and gifts and I told him, " You know all girls like a little something shiny under the tree for Christmas.  I didn't mean Chrome." He and hubby both burst out laughing.

Thank goodness we can still laugh.


But one other note...the hardest part of all of this for me was I haven't seen my family, nor was I with my family most of this year with trying to be safe.  

To the point of much frustration with me that I wouldn't.  More than frustration I think. I even missed seeing my brothers engagement a week ago and watched it briefly on a zoom call instead of being present...which I know hurt him.  It hurt me too.

I wasn't the only one on the call, a few of his fiances family members were watching too since they are dealing with Covid currently...but you know what I mean.

And then the pipe broke and I had to have a stranger in my home, even briefly, to fix it. UGH.

I suppose all I can do is trust that the choices I make are right, and take each day as the blessing it is.

My Dollar Tree store is beginning to set the Valentine's Day Collection as well as New Year's Eve, Easter, and Garden Supplies so if you like to do some DIY decorating it is always best to get what supplies you need when they come out.

I grabbed a few things yesterday including those glasses with the hearts on.  I thought they would make cute low centerpiece holders.  The Love and Heart Sponges are cute accents for a bathroom. 

There are stuffed gnomes coming and a few gnome wall signs that haven't arrived here yet that I wanted to get for gifts.  I did grab the pink rose bushes they put out - now for spring grave arrangements.  I try to get the silk flowers for all of the graves early before they get picked apart ending up with missing flowers and with the price being so cheap, I can make full arrangements on a budget.   

Those Russell Stover Strawberry Cream Candies are so delicious, I can't remember seeing them before but one bag came home with me.


Here is a peek at some of the Valentine's Day items out in my Dollar Tree stores now.  There are some Easter items also being set, along with Gardening pieces.  I bought a few things that I will share on my next post.
For those who go all out on decorating for Easter, there is a boxed Easter Tree too!  I didn't take it out of the box to see how it looked, but I will on my next visit.  If it is like the Christmas trees it will be very cheap looking...but can be doctored to look amazing. I usually put up an Easter tree, and now use fairy lights for illumination. 
Also in one of the photos below, the Easter section has the sparkly felt drapes - like we would use under a Christmas Tree as a drape - in assorted brightly colored pieces.  These can be used in numerous craft projects that I will also share so you may want those as well.
Oh, one more thing.  Those wood Easter Baskets to paint with the letters in the center --  most of the alphabet is not available.    Don't pass them up if your letter isn't available. Tons of ways to use those too.  Adding to wreaths, adding colored film ( that you wrap baskets up with ) can wrap this basket up and add it to so much more.  Stay tuned!

Photo Credit Charles Schultz

Some of my most favorite gifts to give are those that I can get the most bang for my buck.  And candy is always a welcome give and to get.

Russell Stover Chocolates are my favorite chocolates to eat and to gift and this Wednesday they will be having a holiday tin set combined with four pounds of candy to go with it as the special value of the day.

They are currently available online for early purchase and there is Free Shipping and easy pay available to help save a bit more.


Whether you buy them to break up and make 5 separate gifts ( about $10 each ), gift the entire set, or buy it for yourself and enjoy them with your family and friends, this set should be added to your holiday shopping list.  We can enjoy the sweets now and have the tins as a keepsake and decor piece later.

How I would gift these:

  • In Coffee Baskets
  • In Baked Goodies Baskets
  • In Spa Baskets
  • In New Mom Baskets...give her two tins!
  • In A New Home Basket
  • In Your College Students Who Is Studying Virtually Now Stocking Or Gift Box If At School
  • In A Beauty Products Stocking/Basket
  • In A Wine Basket
  • In A Gift Card Filled Stocking ( Peeking Out Of The Top)
  • Add To Your Holiday Charcuterie Table 
  • For Those Who Help Out In Big And Small Ways: Hair, Nails, School Bus Driver, etc.
  • For Those In Assisted Living And Nursing Homes ( if sweets are permitted, if they aren't, fill tin with lottery scratch tickets, small gifts) 
  • Send to Family Out Of Town ( Bill to Ship to)
  • Send To Friends Out Of Town ( Bill to Ship to)
  • Send To The School For The Teachers Helping Teach Virtually
  • Give One With A Christmas Card To Your Hard-Working Bath and Body Works Store Workers
  • Leave One For Your Mail Carrier With The Christmas Card.  ( we tip our carrier so this is a nice add on)
  • If You Help Out The Homeless With Gift Baggies Of Supplies They Need, Add The Candy
  • Keep A Set Wrapped Up In The Gift Cabinet / Drawer In A Cello Bag, With A Bow For The Unexpected Gift Need


Click to Shop On QVC

Advanced orders ship 11/9/20.

What's the sweetest way to say Season's Greetings? How about keepsake holiday tins filled with delicious chocolates!

Five festive characters (Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Snowman, Gingerbread Man, and Holiday Bear) contain some of your favorite flavors, along with new exclusives (hello, peanut delight, orange cream, and dark chocolate truffle!) that are sure to be a treat for your taste buds.

So whether you're stuffing stockings or getting a jump start on your holiday gift list, save a few sweets for yourself -- no matter if you've been naughty or nice! From Russell Stover.


  • Includes five character tins, each with 21 individually wrapped chocolates for a total of 105 chocolates
  • Net weight 4.14 lbs
  • Flavors include marshmallow, crispy caramel, peanut butter delights, mint patty, coconut, orange cream, peanut delight, and dark chocolate truffle
  • Holiday character tins include Santa, Mrs. Claus, holiday bear, gingerbread man, and snowman
  • Character tins and flavors exclusive to QVC from 9/23/20 until 12/31/20:
  • peanut delight, peanut butter delight, dark chocolate truffle tile, and crispy caramel
  • May contain peanuts, tree nuts, and wheat
  • Tins measure 9.25''H x 5.15" W x 4.5"D
  • Ships ground
  • Cannot ship to AK, HI, PR, VI, Guam
Sunday, 20 February 2011 22:08

Begin Here

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Hello! And Welcome

I am Tess, the blogger behind Life Inside the Page and it is a pleasure to have you join me here.
Why write a blog page you may wonder?
Since I was young, I have always written a paper journal of sorts.  I thought it would be interesting when I am old and grey to sit back and relive my life...just in case I forget.  I truly think of my life as a journal of days.  Every day I wake up, I get the chance to add another page to it as the chapters of my life grow.
Sadly and devastatingly on one ordinary day, my life changed drastically. And for a time I blogged publically as a release of the pain that comes with dealing with the loss of a child; the murder of my daughter Angeline.
I'd like to think that my Faith and the keyboard saved me then.
As I healed I found enjoyment once more in sharing those other things in my life that have inspired me...and here we are.
Some things about me:
I watch the sun rise and set every day.  They are a gift.
You will find I love all things that transform my house into a home.
Nature is what fills my heart with hope and wonder while creating things with my hands lets me release my inner child.
As a child, my mother taught me the value of all things and her love of creating things has spilled in my everyday life so much so that I see something to be created in live a creative life.
You will find many cameras on me at any given time.  They are an extension of my soul it would seem.
Capturing life's moments as they happen brings my heart so much joy.
I have a love...okay, an obsession with Bath and Body Works products for a very long time now, and I enjoy sharing all of the sneak peeks and insider information I get on that subject.  Before I was writing under this blog URL, I was writing under...Bath and Body Works Insiders.
A very patient man has been at my side for over three decades. I think it's because of his love of food and my love of cooking.
And I have more beauty products than I care to admit even though I believe beauty comes from within.
So that is just a little bit about me...for now.  The rest will be revealed... daily.

Let's Get Started!
Hugs, ❥Tess    
For any inquires or questions feel free to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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