Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blue Eyes

Her youngest daughter was out of college and now living in a nearby city. Her mother was enjoying an entry back into the career world. Many asked how did she secure such a position. She was approached and it was offered to her. Community events, training employees and some public speaking. Never in past years would she attempted standing in front of people with a presentation, but at this stage of life it did not phase her. The position lasted about 2 years but it got her back out into the world for a short time.
She was making her early morning inspection of stores. She noticed him for several days,
sitting by the window. The saddest expression she had ever seen on someones face.
She usually did not offer to freshen a customer's coffee, the shop was almost empty and she approached him.
He looked at her and she saw the most beautiful blue eyes that she had ever seen.
A slightly built older man with sad blue eyes. He smiled and said thank you.
In a few days she noticed him again. She once again approached him with fresh coffee.
A conversation started. She learned that he had lost his wife not many months before.
What sparks that deep compassion for someone when you really do not know them or their story?
A friendship developed and he was always special to her. He often told her that he was so depressed when she approached him and that she saved his life by reaching out to him. She adored him. Not the adoration of someone that she would marry. But a love that just came out of her heart and there was a tenderness towards him. Almost maternal.
At times she would hear a comment of "why do you enjoy that older man's company"?
She just did.
Much was shared over the years. She would listen and encourage him when he had struggles. He would listen to her. She was with him through several surgeries and she could have dinner with him and hardly utter a word and all was well.
She watched him come out of his deep grief and once again begin to make a life for himself. Interest she really did not share. She smiled at his popularity with the older women and would tease him about it.
He never forgot her birthday, Christmas or what he called their anniversary of the time she poured him a cup of coffee. She misses him. They were always a phone call away from one another. He passed away this year.

So special friend you are not near, but you are never forgotten.

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts.

Friendship needs no words

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Horizon

I am not one to pay much attention to horoscopes. I seldom read them but with an extra minute on hand I clicked on my birth date.
Oh my, this sounds good, especially since I have a number of creative thoughts going through my mind. Wonder if this is just teasing me.

It's hard to understand where your inspiration comes from now, yet it is like a fresh wind blowing in a new season. Your muse may be leading you on to manifest something of great beauty, however she is speaking in an alien tongue, making it a challenge for you to use the material. No matter how odd it seems, try to take the ideas that come to you and work them into what you create.

This may be too much for this One Woman to take in at this late stage of her continued journey

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Surprise in the City


Surprising what you can capture with your camera, standing in the middle of a city street. I rushed out without my shoes - in my socks. Lucky a car did not turn the corner. Went back outside 20 minutes later for the first image. Guess there is some beauty on this city lot.
A warm December 28, 2008 - 50 degrees.
From One Woman this warm December evening.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008



Thank you my two youngest granddaughters for letting grandma see some of the joy and wonder of Christmas through your eyes.
Love, Grandma

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Goats



She was truly enjoying her dream life. The beautiful old farm home, gardening, animals and a swing on the porch. We had chickens. Enjoyed the fresh eggs and even had thought of how good they would taste. But we made pets of everything and no way could we eat them. Her young daughter had named every chicken. Looking through papers a list is dated 1980. Mary Ann, Gertrude, Henrieta, Andrew Sisters, Elizabeth, Lavina, Laverne, Shirley, Brenda and Eleanor. Every chicken has a description. Will not go into that.
Also found a list of chores and scale of pay. Feed chickens and dogs 10 cents, help in kitchen 10 cents, vacuum, dust and mop 10 cents, practice piano 15 cents, feed horse when necessary 10 cents, anything else 10 cents.
We had everything we wanted but some goats. We talked about it often. One day on the way to the store we were at the stop sign before pulling onto highway. To our amazement a big truck just went by and it was filled with goats. She pulled out behind it and another surprise as it stopped about a mile down the road at a small country store. She pulled up, parked and went inside to talk to the driver. A deal was made that he would follow her and put 4 goats in the barn. They were put in a stall and it was secured tightly. Oh she and her daughter were so excited, they had goats. Thoughts of putting them on a rope and letting them clear some of the wooded area.
The next morning right at dawn she excitedly went out to see her goats. They were gone.
Where did they go? Nothing was disturbed. A puzzle all through the years.
Sometimes a neighbor would tease her that some goats were seen several miles away, running in the fields. She was also told that someone had a barbecue and how delicious the goat was.
Two thoughts - they just got out and kept running. Another thought that the owner came back and took them. Hey maybe they were barbecued. Mystery still unsolved.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve - 2008


The memories come flooding into her mind. Christmas season in the past was filled with the endless shopping, baking, picking out just the right gift and hiding them so they would be a surprise.
Stacks of cards sent and many letters written as it seemed a special time to get in touch with those who were special. Many of those special ones had not been seen in years but they came to mind at this time of the year. The endless decorating the house inside and out. Special candle light Christmas Eve service at church. The beautiful hymns and the Lords Supper. A special time of reflection into the past, present and future. The children so excited they could hardly sleep and then Christmas morning everyone was up at dawn. Really special if it was snowing.
The excitement of the gifts everyone would receive and she would always receive something so special from the father of her children. Gifts at that time for a lifestyle at a different time in her life. Now her life is so much simpler and that type of gift would have no appeal.
A special big breakfast was made. A southern breakfast. She scrambled a dozen or more eggs, sausage, bacon and ham, biscuits and milk gravy. Usually banana bread or pumpkin bread, a coffee cake and special jams and jelly's that had been made the summer before. Coffee, tea and juice for everyone to help themselves. Oh the smells of Christmas breakfast. Later in the day more family and sometimes some friends of the children would arrive. Then the big dinner of turkey, dressing, scalloped oysters (my son's favorite) several kinds of vegetables (some from the freezer of summer freezing, corn and green beans) and a relish tray filled with stuffed celery. At one time her homemade yeast rolls and sour dough bread. Then on to the desert of jam cake, sour cream pound cake and every one's favorite chocolate fudge cake. Along with tea, coffee, wine and eggnog on a sideboard.
She cannot remember all that was prepared but these she remembers this cold rainy morning.
She remembers the endless pictures being taken and the movie camera that dad used continually.
She remembers with a thankful heart and tears. She is amazed at how fast the years have gone by. Some children and grandchildren near and some far away. She wonders if they remember the family times in the past.

Now there is a special meal during the holidays for her family and then on to her youngest daughter on Christmas day to view the excitement of those two special little ones. Three and six years old is such a special and magical time for them. They run and and hug her and usually say "grandma I love you" sometime during this visit. The sentiment and hug bless her. Guess she misses the hugs of life so much.
She has so much to be thankful for. There is much with some members of family that she wishes was different. They view her as very strong, self sufficient and not needy. She is this and a rich life has been given her. A life of little and a life of much and now a life of desired simplicity. But in these last years the love and the contact with her are the priceless gifts that can be given to her.
So another Christmas Eve and she has thoughts of what her continued journey through this life has to offer.
She smiles to herself for all is well in her heart, mind and soul. What more could you ask for then this.
One wish for all to be together once again on a Christmas morning.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mourning Dove


When I look out my kitchen window there are about a dozen mourning doves. Why is it that when I see them I have a sense of peace.
They are so gentle, soft and innocent looking. I love their call during nesting season.
After my mother passed away there was a dove that stayed outside my bedroom window for months. Many thoughts came to mind. One thought continually came to mind, she was sending me Peace.
I can remember when I lived in the country and in the fall there would be dove hunts. This truly saddened me.

A thought this early morning from One Woman on her Journey Through This Life.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Shoes

Arriving home from school she saw the box. There was usually a box about once a year. Her grandmother would send them.
Hand me down clothes that she was thrilled to wear. They were usually much nicer then what mom could buy. Or rather more expensive.
She spotted the shoes. Oh they were beautiful. She would usually have a pair of shoes purchased for her once a year. Such a narrow foot and only some kind of not very pretty oxford that laced up. Oh these shoes were beautiful. She tried them on and they were a little big but that did not matter. She stuffed paper in the toes and proudly wore them to school the next day.
She was so proud of them. The first comment from a classmate "those shoes are too big for you." She quickly replied "oh no - they fit just fine." She kept a smile on her face throughout the school day.
But the comment saddened her, she cried all the way home from school that day and never wore the shoes again.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Night

A snowy evening. Cuisine perfect in a restaurant that looked like a log cabin. Roaring fire, candles on the tables and soft music in the background. A glass of wine, salad and her favorite crab stuffed shrimp was set in front of her. In many ways it became a night to remember. She was young, a career and no lack of interested beaus . Here she was on another date just to fill time. A boring time. She vowed never to spend any more evenings like this.
Trip to to restroom and a waitress appeared sharing that someone quite well known would like to meet her. A stranger she would not consider. After several episodes like this a phone number was shared. It was shared with the thought that this individual, whoever he was could easily be rejected.
A week later on an evening with this stranger in the same setting - it was magical. As the evening ended and the car pulled out with the soft snow falling he held her hand. At the moment she would have gone anywhere with him and he felt the same. The beginning of love in youth is magical. Many times it does not last. Then it is good that we all grow up.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dr. Jeff


After my youngest daughter Jamie graduated from college and was no longer living at home I kept having thoughts of leaving the old farm house.
I loved it but the upkeep was tremendous for One Woman. A home that is over 100 years old always has something to be done to it. Also the size of the home was large and I began to feel like I needed something smaller.
When I started the country lifestyle I vowed not to be so fussy and let things look more natural.
Guess that is not me. I was constantly grooming, painting and cutting grass. Had a garden, raised animals and everything that went with that lifestyle and I never caught up.

I had mentioned to several people that I was thinking of making a change.
This was the only home I have truly love and I lived there longer then anywhere else in my lifetime. It was the first home that was mine alone. A home that came into my life at a time when I began a new lifestyle. A home that I totally remodeled, added additions, and groomed. A home where I healed, where my youngest daughter was raised, and family and older grandchildren frequently visited. A home where there came a time that I felt in my heart it was the time to move on and not look back. There was a grieving period but I can say with all honesty that I did move on. I have continually had a bond with the land surrounding that home. A bond that will not go away and I guess that is why in my later years I hunger for the land that came into my life over 30 years ago.
This home was not on the market but one day a neighbor who was in the real estate business came by to see me. She asked if she could bring someone by to see it and I agreed.
You cannot help but love Dr. Jeff. He surely is in the right profession of being a doctor with his compassionate and warm nature.
He walked in the door, all way over 6 ft and inches of him.
This was an advantage since he was a former basketball star at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
Anyway with his big smile and kind nature I was immediately drawn to him.
To this day I cannot think of him without a smile coming to my face. Also with thankfulness for the help he would give me for my many poison ivy woes.
The old home with the high ceilings and the new part I had added with a vaulted ceiling were perfect for him. He did not have to bend over to go through the doors. I think the size of the rooms and ceiling height offered him a freedom that other homes might not have. There was a barn for horses and a pond behind the barn.
Several trips to continue looking at house and when his wife returned from a trip she joined him in looking at my much loved old home.
I knew they were drawn to the home and I have always felt a peace in my heart that they would live there and finish raising their two sons in that home.
This is one of the neighbors nearby as I venture out more often to the country.

One more memory this early morning from This Woman on Her Journey Through This Life.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. Arriving this December 21st.
These short days and long nights should be a time of semi-hibernation, a time for One Woman to rest and rejuvenate. I am staying inside more but I have not slowed my mind and body.
I do not like the restlessness that I am experiencing. Wonder if anyone else is like this? It may have something to do with the holiday season. I am doing less this year then ever before and I like it. I would like to curl up in my chair in front of the fire with a cup of tea and read all day. This has not happened. How can One Woman find such endless activities as morning yoga, meditation, cleaning, cooking, washing, errands, writing, phone rings and a quick bite to eat and the day is gone.
Maybe my time by the fire with book in hand will happen in the next several months before Spring starts surfacing. I surely hope so.

It seems I hear a voice speaking to my heart and it is saying "what do you intend to do with the rest of your life". I want to answer " at the moment I do not know for sure but I have a pretty good idea". I do know I am increasingly aware how limited my time on this earth is from now on.

If we had no winter, the Spring would not be so pleasant.
Anne Bradstreet

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Encourager

Ellen Collins born October 24th, l886 - Parents - Sarah Jane Collins and William Nealy Collins
Married - William Lee Nolen - October 18, 1908 - Parents - William Nolen Sr. and Rebecca Jane
My maternal grandmother "Ma." I believe I was the only grandchild that called her this.
I reach out in love to her with all my heart - this early morning. I reach out with a child and grown woman's heart. Oh how she would have loved my children and grandchildren.
She was left a widow in her early 30s and had 6 children. She moved from her home and built a smaller one (maybe where some of my creative energy comes from). She never drove a car, had a washing machine, central air and heat, and so many items we have in our homes now that we take for granted.
Will not go into all of the stories. She passed away at the age of 81. I cannot think of her without my eyes filling with tears and a deep sense of gratitude for all of the encouragement and love she gave me through her lifetime. I do not remember ever receiving a written card from her (or I would have saved it) or a gift. But she gave me the best gift of all "love".

She loved me in a way that no one else has ever loved me. My parents were young. Mother 17 years old when she married. Now that is a child in my eyes. As I grew older and more mature (which took a while) I realized that I expected something in my childhood that was just not there.
I spent my happiest times with this grandmother. There was always encouragment. My parents relocated to Detroit to work when I was a toddler. I was raised in apartments and my grandmother would come to Detroit and take me home with her. Also when my parents went to Nashville during the summer they would sometimes leave me with my grandmother. I can remember running and hiding at departing time as I did not want to go home with my parents. I wanted to stay with my grandmother. What wonderful memories. Times at my aunts homes, family gatherings and just sitting on her porch on the swing. Memories of home made ice cream, playing under sprinkler, her starching my dresses until they could stand in the corner and no way could we miss church on Sunday morning and Sunday night and on Wednesday night. I can remember walking to the church in the sweltering heat and everyone fanning themselves with paper fans.
I remember night sounds, her brushing my hair, the ice cream man going by in front of the house, a man going by with a horse drawn cart selling vegetables and even chickens. I always wanted a bike but because of living in the busy city I never had one. But when visiting "ma"
my cousin would bring his over. I would ride and ride until my hearts content.
On these visits I would also spend time with my maternal grandmother. She loved me but it was not the same as with Ma. It might have been because there was just the two of us in her home and she could focus on me completely.
It does not sound like enough to just say she loved this skinny little girl and made me feel bright and pretty and just plain wonderful. So many wonderful memories from my childhood visits with her.
Since I lived in an apartment it seemed at that time like her white cottage surrounded by hedge with big trees in the yard was a mansion.
In the past I drove by and could not believe my eyes. I viewed this very small home, hedge and trees no longer there and it looked so small, simple and plain.
My other grandmother lived in the country. I remember times of enjoying the peacefulness, picking blackberries and being covered with chiggers, my grandfathers cows and on and on. Maybe this is one of the reasons I am drawn to nature. I did not have it while growing up and always longed for it and came alive when I would see my grandmother's flower gardens.
I can remember continually dreaming of green fields, trees in the woods and animals and sometimes a pond or creek.
So these dreams have been fulfilled throughout my lifetime. I am so very thankful for this.

Some more memories from this One Woman on Her Journey Through Life

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday Thoughts

I drove to pick up my little girl early this morning. Grandma's day. The weather is cold, misty rain and almost foggy. Traffic early in the morning is horrendous. Or rather it is always terrible here in the city. I do not like it.
Lately I have been noticing a hum in the atmosphere. Told my son about this and his reply was "that's the interstate". Certain times of the year you notice it more. Still getting use the sounds in this city cottage. Also I can remember waking up in the night and thinking "what is that".
I opened the front door and could hear the train. I never notice it in the daytime but do at night .
In my country space there is no sound. Or rather you might hear some cattle in the distance.
With frequent trips my memory is returning of the special country sounds. Here in the city with the street lights on it is never dark. I remember in the country the total blackness at night. Then you would become use to the dark and the moon would light up different places.

Oh well I am dreaming again. I am enjoying the process of planning this cottage and garden area. Many times I have heard the comment that I should have done this professionally.
I have only had the energy to do this for my dwellings. They are a part of me. Do not think I could give this much of myself to someone else.

Just received call for septic system approval and driveway approval. Next to have my area cleared and picture in my mind my setting and then building permit.
Will be interesting to see if this will progress. So I send up to Heaven requests for positive energy, health, wisdom and financial plans to fall in place.

If there is any problem with any of this - I stop. I Continue to take one day at a time.

How do geese know when to fly to the sun. Who tells them the seasons? How do we humans know when it is time to move on. As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within if only we would listen.

Elizabeth Kubler - Ross

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Poison Ivy



Oh my memories of Poison Ivy. For the years that I lived in the country - poison ivy was a several time a year occurrence. It would start out with a small rash. I never learned that I could not keep it from spreading. I would put items from the drugstore on it. Natural healing suggestions were used to no avail.
Within a few days or hours the rash would be spreading. So off to the doctor for a shot and pills. This always took care of it. I just did not like this process. Seemed like the pills made me feel like I was on some kind of high and could run a marathon.

I have not had poison ivy for several years now since living in city areas. Where do these thoughts come from? In the night the memory of poison ivy surfaced.
With thoughts progressing of a family home in the country - I know poison ivy is out there.
Also also with the ticks, chiggers and whatever else is out there to attack this One Woman.

I can remember a dear friend sharing a phrase with me that always worked for her. If she was still living I would call her for the correct words. Something like this "leaves of 4 you are fine, leaves of 3 let it be".

I think one of the worst cases I had was one winter. Could not figure out how this happened. Then in an enlightning moment I knew that it was on the wood I was burning. I had a habit of reaching under my shirt or top of my jeans and scratching myself. Anyway the rash appeared below waistline almost on my bottom. So you can guess how embarrassing it was for me when I went to the doctor and told him I need poison ivy medication. He asked to see the rash and I told him I was very familiar with this condition and just give me a shot and prescription for dose pack. He kept questioning me of the area. I finally shared with him and you can imagine telling him - in the dead of winter - that I had poison ivy on my back side.


Poison Ivy streaming vine of red wrapped around brown bark tree, warning of danger. Denise Girod

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Ice Storm of 1994

I can remember the weather forecast. Calling for snow and ice mix.
I felt secure as I had plenty of wood on my porch and my little red wagon was loaded and was at the back door in the house. Plenty of groceries, batteries and I felt there was no need to worry.
In the night there were cracking sounds, like tree limbs falling. I fell back to sleep.
I awoke a little later to utter blackness. The current was off. I thought it will back on soon. I fell back to sleep.
When I awoke just before daybreak and could see my surroundings Oh My!!
First thought that came to mind was the sight was spectacular and beautiful, but almost frightening is what I just read in my journal entry at that time. The landscape looked like someone had decorated every branch, bush, lawn with shining crystals, it was a sight to behold. Almost unreal. Every branch sparkled and was bent from the weight of the ice. Then I saw the hundreds of branches and limbs lying everywhere in my yard and in my drive. There were large branches that were broken but had not fell to the ground. My drive was totally blocked. I could not have pulled my car out of garage if I wanted to as the door was frozen. I could only walk on the grass as my brick walks and concrete drive were so slick I was afraid to step on them even with my boots in place. All surfaces looked like a skating ring.

So, I thought it will melt in a few days and I will be fine. But it did not melt in a few days. I was confident the current would soon be restored. My children used one of their favorite words regarding me. Look at this as an adventure. Well the adventure turned into a nightmare as far as this One Woman was concerned.

It continued to be bitter cold and nothing melted. No current was restored.
I will be fine I kept thinking, I have wood and food and this cannot go on for long. It was very tiring with the continual filling the wood stove. This wood stove was made for pleasure on damp or cold days. It was not installed as the main source of heat for this old farm house.

As the days went by and the house grew colder I was wearing my jacket, scarf and gloves in the house. I kept pipes from freezing with the wood stove heat but the house was truly cold and I was getting to the point that I felt continually chilly. I would read at night with the aid of my flashlight and the dim light of the fire. Mostly my Bible.
Items in my freezer began to thaw and I knew that all the wonderful summer produce that I had worked at putting in my freezer was ruined. It truly did not matter as I just wanted to be warm again.

Well the current stayed off for 14 days. I would listen on my battery radio to the local station every morning and every day they would share how many more area's the current had been restored too.
It was finally reported that there are just a few homes still without current. I was one of those homes.

My son did make several trips to my home to bring a cooler with ice and some things I needed. He brought in a big supply of wood. Now I was stacking it in the house.
He cleared my drive. Later a chain saw had to be used to cut off huge limbs that had broken. He wanted me to leave my home and I would not. I was not comfortable leaving it and not keeping the fire going. Afraid of frozen pipes, telephone finally was restored in about 7 days. So children kept in touch to see if I was making it. Also a few calls came in. I think because my appearance of always having everything under control most people probably thought I was fine. If I had not been alone this experience probably would not have phased me.

I remember catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror. My heavy jacket, scarf on my
head and gloves - and I was in the house. I remember shaking my head at my reflection. Everything I ate was cold. I would keep water on the wood stove to warm for tea and oatmeal.

Someone asked me later did I miss hot water for bathing. I truly have to say this did not enter my mind. I did not think of bathing at this time. I thought of just surviving this storm. I wanted to be warm again and eat something warm.
It was at this time that I began to have severe colon problems. It has never left. The stress of this left a depth of anxiety I guess that I have not been able to reach and heal.

It took me weeks to recover from this experience and I began to seriously consider leaving my isolated farm home. This did take place a few years later.


Enough shared this early morning from my city cottage.

Another memory on this One Woman's Journey Through This Life.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Home

I continue going through paperwork and found this poem. I remember cutting it out years ago when I lived at the old farm house. It makes me smile this cold wintry morning. I guess I could change the wording to "Homes". That seems to be One Woman's Journey. Homes she created and they have all been special.

There's a home
whose rooms
I know by heart.
Where I tend the garden
and read my books.
Where dreams are dreamt
and memories made.
Where children grew up
and grandchildren visted
and I grew old.
There's a home
where life is lived
A home where I belong
Author unknown

Some thoughts from this One Woman on her Journey Through This Life









Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm Dreaming Again

Oh my what memories. My last trip about 20 years ago. In another life, there were about a dozen trips made to this island. After setting out on my own, I took my mother with me one time.
Another time, my aunt who is now 95. My last trip a young woman from our small town community accompanied Jamie and myself. I can remember that at this time I seriously considered of relocating to this island. I even inquired about employment and business opportunities.

I close my eyes and I can see that blue water when our plane is landing. A color of blue that I cannot even describe. Once at our location at Half Moon I can hear the waves, smell the ocean smells and feel a special peace and quiet coming over me.
Remember at breakfast time having fresh fish that was cooked with lime juice in a way that I have never had again. The rolls, coffee cakes and the fruit. Everything was perfect.
In the evening at dinner time as we walked to the outdoor eating area, the aromas that filled the air. Especially the night when every thing was cooked outside. The array of food was mind boggeling. Every type of fish, lobster, beef, pork, and veal. Everything you could imagine was being cooked for you to view. Every type of vegetable and on and on. The desert area was one of my favorites. Especially a home made fudge that they made. I was given the recipe but never could duplicate it.

It always seemed to me like everyone moved in slow motion. But guess that was because this mom with 4 children moved at too fast a pace. I can remember when arriving back at home that for a few weeks I continued at this slow pace and then it began to speed up and I was back to my normal fast pace.

From the depths of my heart I have yearned to return. But no traveling companion and this is not a place for a woman alone to set out to visit. But then those are my thoughts. I always had a slight feeling of being uncomfortable even with my husband and children. Might be because I was so far from home.
Everyone was so very nice and courteous but I was aware of how far from home and in the middle of the ocean I was staying. I can remember the time all the current went off on the island.
I have never experienced such darkness. I can remember the time we went in September and preparation was being made for what might be a bad storm. I can remember the Jamacian's doing special things with my son. I can remember the evenings listening to the native music and dancing. I can remember over and over being told what a beautiful family we were.

In those years we traveled with a lot of luggage. There had to be sport coats for the men and the girls and I always wore long dresses in the evening. Except for the casual barbeque night. I think resorts of this type are more casual at this time. But I do not know since my world has been close to home for a number of years.
So I can close my eyes and smell the ocean and hear the waves. I can remember the special islanders who remembered our family each time we returned. Can remember the time that one special young man never left our family and when I returned home I did some special inquirying about bringing him to our home in the states. I still remember him bringing a box lunch to our family on departing day and I could see him waving as our plane pulled off. Remembering it still brings tears to my eyes. Winston, what has happened in your life? Please forgive me that I could not fulfill your dream at that time.

I am thankful for these memories but there is a small part of me that would like to sit on that beautiful beach once more.
Some more memories from this One Woman on her Journey Through This Life.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Balance

It seems I continually struggle with balance in my life. Could being a Libra and born under the sign of the scales, have anything to do with this?
I have always had the ability to take a chance and go with my gut instinct. Always felt in my heart that when you are doing what you are suppose to do, everything falls in place. I do not go against the flow. Any major problem or something does not look right - then I stop in my tracks. It has always worked in the past for this One Woman.

Now at this later stage in life - I wonder do I continue to take a chance and go with my gut instinct? Then I answer my question - why not - I am not ready to sit and do nothing. At the moment I take one day at a time. I am aware that much could change but I am enjoying the process of planning and dreaming. Health issues or finances could stop this project from becoming a reality. But nothing will stop me from this planning project!!!
I have no answer on a number of things that are staying on my mind and taking up a lot of time. The process of planning and visuallizing a finished project seems to make my energy level soar and my creative nature takes over. When project is finished on paper, I will continue sketching a small fenced area and what I will plant. Since this home is at the edge of the woods I am going with Rhodedendrums around the house. Less flowers then I have in this city garden but must have a small vegetable garden and a swing in a tree for my little girls. Clarity regarding an image continues to surface. It always does.

So I continue to sketch the floor plan of this country home. Measuring where the furnishings that I keep will fit it. If this falls in place it is another downscaling project and a number of items will have to go. A challenge for this home to blend into the wooded area and to use the most economical products.

Destiny, the path that gets you exactly where you are suppose to be.

I truly do not know any other way to go through this life. So this One Woman will continue on her pathway through this life - until the last leaf has fallen

More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity
Francois Gautier

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Truck

Have you ever had a love affair with a truck? I have!!
When I moved to the country I wanted a truck sooo bad. My son found an older truck that a professor was selling. So that was my first truck. It was really my son's but he did not drive it but several times. So it was mine. I could drive all over the fields and through the woods and not worry about banging up anything. I could haul mulch, feed, fence post, dogs and grandchildren. It stayed on the farm and I did drive it to the place where you took your trash.
But I never drove it to town.

When Jamie, my youngest left for college I began to think of leaving my isolated country home. SO the farm home was sold and the truck had a new owner. I sold the truck for $200 to the doctor who bought that home.
After a brief episode at an upscale condo on a golf course I returned to my country property. That is another story. I thought I was ready for retirement or whatever they call it. Possibly I would travel I thought looking out my windows at the golf course would seem like I was looking at my country property. How wrong I was. I was there 6 months. I guess I am happiest around nature and digging in the dirt.
Went back to my country property and built a new home 1000 feet off the road. There was an article in the paper about me moving back. Saying you could return home.
I Immediately bought myself a new Ford pickup.
Oh, I loved that truck. Now this truck I drove everywhere. I had never driven a truck for my daily errands before. I liked that I was sitting up higher then in my car. So my truck and I had a lot of fun. Did get stuck in the mud by my pond after many days of rain and had to call a neighbor to pull me out with his tractor.

The first couple of summers in this country home I think I hauled mulch for my garden weekly. Not to far from my home they would load it with a tractor and I would head home and spread the mulch with my pitchfork.
I can remember the owner of this business commenting one week of all the mulch I spread and also my daughter in Massachusetts commented on this also saying "mama you spread more mulch then anyone I know".
I really was doing more then I should for my size and getting older. But I love working outside. All the outside work and being surrounded by nature was healing and I was never happier.

One of my problems I have always worked hard at what ever I do but this continual physical work was a new older life experience for me. Like when I moved to the farmhome and kept a fire going in the fireplace many months out of the year. There is nothing like a real fire. The pleasure was worth all the work of me bringing in and burning many ricks of wood.
This home was eventually sold to another doctor and a retired professor and I built a home in the historical part of a neighboring town. This home located about 10 minutes from my country home. I hauled a number of truck loads of cuttings from my plants and once again created a garden.
By this time several injuries to myself had occurred in regards to the truck.
One time when up in the bed cleaning it out I fell over the guidewire. Also from spreading so much mulch and lifting heavy bags I tore a muscle in my right arm. Still have damage to that arm. Anyway several accidents of this type.

My son intervened. I can remember him saying "I do not think with you living in the city that you need a truck and a car and keep hauling all the things you do. You are going to hurt yourself and it may not be minor". He could use another vehicle at his business - so my son bought my much loved truck. Occassionally when something is delivered, like many bags of mulch or sealer for my terrace and walks one of his workers will arrive with my truck.
I always tell them how I miss that truck and even have asked for it back. But Jimmy smiles and says "mama you sold it".

So there is nothing wrong with my car but I am having thoughts of a truck.
When I drive to the country I have all kinds of wild thoughts. Like I could drive back in the fields and in the woods. I could pick up rocks for my flower beds and what I haul in my car (which I never thought I would do this) could be in the truck.
I have always been fussy about my car and keeping in perfectly clean. But then again my son keeps telling me " whatever you pick up just put it in the car".

So again, to anyone that follows me on One Woman's Journey, you will begin to know a little of my past, present and future, my thoughts, strong points and the weak side of me. My oldest granddaughter wrote me the other day and said "grandma I love reading your journal and I am learning some things about you that I did not know". That said it all. This writing may bring some pleasure to my other grandchildren. Especially my little ones who can only know of my much loved country homes by grandma sharing about them.

So some more thoughts of the past from this One Woman on her Journey Through This Life

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sarah's Vegan Menu

Sarah is my middle granddaughter. She is home from Northwestern in Illinois for Thanksgiving holiday. She ate some of grandma's vegetables
BUT
Since she is vegan - totally vegetarian in every way - she prepared a meal at her mom's
She brought me a plate a little while ago.
Oh my, it was good.
Her menu:
Tofu encrusted with pumpkin seeds and fresh oregano
Baked pumpkin and cranberry relish
Garlic roasted Brussels sprouts
Wild rice pilaf with shitake mushrooms
Field greens with maple - mustard dressing
Double corn cornbread with sauteed corn and Pumpkin pie

Sarah whenever you visit and cook, please bring grandma a plate.
You are Good.

Some sharing this evening from One Woman

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Dancers

Entertainment for grandma before Thanksgiving dinner. These little girls surely warm my heart. They would make anyone feel good. But then I am their grandma!!!!

From One Woman this Thanksgiving Day

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Update

Many of you have commented on my journal and written me emails. You were encouraging and comforting to me regarding the last 10 days swollen gland and not feeling well dilemma. Well appointment with oral surgeon early this morning and I was told I do not have a tooth problem!!!! I am so thankful as I was dreading the first time of having a tooth pulled. I will wait until Monday to see if this still slightly swollen gland has gone away. If not then on to primary doctor or specialist to see if I have a stone in a saliva gland.
I shared how very - not normal - I have been feeling. He said it was probably a combination of three things. Swollen gland usually means infection, strong antibiotic for 10 days - they always make me feel bad, and the sinus or whatever virus that has been going through this family. Also since I have Sjogren's Syndrome and am plagued with dry mouth and eyes - was told that may be why the gland was swollen and infected.
So thank you for thinking of me and have a happy Thanksgiving in whatever way you are celebrating.
I continued on to the country after doctor appointment. My special friend had a plate of lots of good eating and her special coconut cake. Her and twin sister had prepared a luncheon for 50 relatives and friends that would soon be arriving. I was invited but headed back to my city cottage.

Sharing this evening from One Woman on her Journey Through This Life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Smile

I had my 6 year old yesterday. School is out. She is a joy and keeps herself busy with a backpack full of items plus a video.

Lunchtime and grandma still not in normal health. We decided on a cheese sandwich and soup. I called it toasted and she called it grilled. Guess toasted is in the toaster and grilled is in a pan on the stove.
We settled on grilled. Her comment as she was eating "grandma you could be a chef".

Oh my, you know that made me smile.

My grandchildren are always passing on simple words and they are not aware how they bless me. They always seem to come at the right moment.

Also as time goes by - it does not take much to please this One Woman. A smile, hug, saying "I love you" or telling me I could be a chef.

Caitlin just arrived for another day with grandma. In hand a gift from her mama to me.
AND WINTER CAME by ENYA. If music can heal - this will heal me. Jamie, thank you.

Kind words are such a blessing, if one but knew the pleasure they bring
John McLeod


Monday, November 24, 2008

My Big Time Imperfections

People who have not known me long sometimes think I have it all together.
No way!!

What are some of my difficulties? I have a problem of sitting still. I envy people who seem so relaxed and can sit for hours. I am well organized and everything always appears neat and taken care of. I have a number of lists of things to do. They are on my desk and in the kitchen. You would think I was running a business instead of One Woman living in the smallest home she has lived in. Now I want something even smaller and sometimes think of wanting to be an aging female Thoreau. Maybe I have lost it!!! Do know I am more at peace surrounded by nature.

One of the reasons for the title of this journal "My Journey To Mindfulness" is I am trying so diligently to do one thing at a time instead of multi-tasking. In the past I would never talk on the phone without roaming. I would be straightening a drawer, dusting and just pacing the floor. When I was eating I would sometimes be glancing at something that needed to be read or sometimes be watching the news.

I find it very difficult to still my mind and relax. That is one of the reasons I like to garden. Also read when I can make myself sit still. Winter months are good for this. But I find I am restless.
My new interest in writing my journal and photography should be good for me. My stepfather use to make the comment that I had to many interest. I would marvel at this man that could sit for hours at his desk or a table tinkering with a clock and my mother could sit for hours and quilt.

For as far as I can remember I have always had a project. Guess that is one reason for me planning another project. I do have a good trait that I can plan in detail something and if it does not come to be it does not bother me. I had someone remark once that if they put all that thought into something, it would bother them if it did not become a reality.
When I was looking at homes in this area and thinking of a move I could visualize living in the home and where I would place items. In my mind the landscaping and gardening was also created.

I obsess sometimes to a fault. When I do not have the full information it truly bothers me.
If I have all the information - like health concerns - then I am fine and can accept what is happening. I stay concerned about my children, my grandchildren and close friends.
I plan to far in the future. Having different options in my mind for different things that might happen. This is good as I age but then again I do it to a fault. I try to take one day at a time and not look back. I do not do to well at this. I want so to be good at this aging process and I do not think I am doing to well, at the moment - hope to improved.


So, what are some of your imperfections? Can you confess like this One Woman?

Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh is a book I pick up often. Maybe not often enough.

Some thoughts from One Woman on her Journey Through This Life

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Seeking Shelter

This cold but sunny Sunday morning my cottage bird feeder is filled with a bird that can hardly fit under the roof. Mr or Miss pigeon I would also like to be in my cottage garden then on the buildings in the city.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Everything Must Go

Cleaning out paper work I found this. The story of a bargain hunter, and a dog.

The words were hastily scrawled on a piece of cardboard: "Yard Sale Today, Everything Must Go." Beneath it, in smaller letters, were the words "Free Dog." Yes indeed, I thought, everything must go.
I intended to look at the glassware and skim through the books on one of the tables, but my eyes were drawn to a large, comfortable-looking dog in the backyard. He scratched and yawned, revealing two rows of teeth that could in all probability take care of a good chunk of meat whenever they were allowed to. The dog looked over the horde of bargain hunters, decided they posed no threat, then plunked down in the sun for probably the fourth snooze of the morning.
I focused my attention on some interesting looking glasses with etchings of sailboats on them and decided to take all six. As I reached into my purse for some money. I realized I was being watched by an elderly gentleman whose job, I presumed, was to mind the table in front of him. I handed him the money and pointed to the etched glasses. He removed the short stub of a cigar from his mouth and said, "Do you want the dog too?" It seemed like an odd question. I had momentarily forgotten about the poor animal in the back yard, who was now blissfully lost in sweet slumber.
"Do you want the dog, too?" came the question again - this time with an edge of impatience.
"Oh my, no, just the glasses" I replied. The old man looked at me as if I had insulted the queen. His eyes lifted occasionally to meet mine as his work-weary hands carefully wrapped each glass.

I reminded myself that the good thing about a yard sale is that you don't have to feel obliged to buy anything, and you certainly are not obligated to take the family dog, even if it is free. "Why are you getting rid of him?" I asked, hoping not to appear too interested. Through his parched lips "It's Time". A chill went through me and I knew that this giveaway was perhaps the dogs last chance at a longer life. I didn't ask any more questions.
To get my mind off the dog, I picked up a vase with a picture of a goose on it. The vase had a chip near the top but the man still wanted a dollar and some change. Before I could give him the money, he had maneuvered himself out of the his chair and limped into the backyard to unleash the day's real bargain. The dog, as if on cue, came lumbering over. He was quite a friendly mutt. He looked like he might like to shake my hand, pat me on the back, and say, "Well ma'am, I am mighty happy to make your acquaintance. When do we leave?"

The elderly gentleman was seated once again and shared that the poor old beast went by the name of Ralph.
Ralph and I continued to make eye contact. Ralph followed me to the edge of the yard and watched me as I got in and closed the door of the car.
I passed the same yard later that afternoon. There were few shoppers at this late hour and most of the junk was gone. But not Ralph. Ralph sat obediently next to the old man now, his future still uncertain.
There sits man's best friend, I thought, with probably a decade or more of loyal service, companionship, and unconditional love, and he cannot be given away.

Now, several days later, I reflect on the possibility that if we are lucky, our fate will not be in the hands of others someday. If we are lucky, we will be loved and cared for and valued until the day we die. Who among us is destined to be that lucky, I wondered.
My thoughts are interrupted by a soft tapping sound on the kitchen floor.
"What's the matter, Ralph old boy?"

Written by Helen Loring Smith who lives in Kingston, Mass.

I do not remember what magazine I tore this out of - but I found it touching.

From One Woman on this cold afternoon.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday

Smile, breathe and go slowly

Thich Nhat Hanh


Thoughts from One Woman on this cold Friday morning.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday News

What do you share when you feel horrible. I noticed a gland in my neck was swollen last Friday.
I hoped it would go away. I had my little girls on Saturday night as mom and dad had a wedding to go to. My son returned them to their parents on Sunday as I did not feel up to driving them home.

Monday I had the thought, could this be a tooth. Nothing was hurting but my neck was really swollen. So Tuesday morning trip to the dentist and an x-ray was done. Seems I have an infection under a tooth by the bone.

I have never had teeth problems. I have all my teeth, and just two crowns and three fillings so I was surprised, especially since there was no pain.

Long story made short I am on a strong antibiotic and then could not get an appointment for consultation with surgeon until week after Thanksgiving. The dentist shared the tooth needed to be removed and he did not feel comfortable doing this procedure.

At the moment I have a severely swollen neck and do not feel too well. Forgive me for complaining.

Just miss being on computer and this is the first time I can remember that I just do not feel like going online.

I have always had Thanksgiving dinner at my home. In earlier years my parents always joined us. Sometimes other members of family and friends.

This is the first Thanksgiving I will not be cooking and thought of taking family out to dinner. Now I am having thoughts of just being home and not going anywhere.

I know this is not that big a deal considering all that you can have. But I do not like it!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Love Affair With Books

I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them - with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself.
Eudora Welty

I love books. I always have and always will. Even if I am not reading them I have to be surrounded by them. On shelves, tables, beside my chair, beside my bed, on my desk and on and on. I seem to find comfort in their presence. All types of books, serious, humorous, mind stretching, lessons to learn, biographies, cookbooks, old sellers, and best sellers.

I usually have three beside my chair with bookmarks in them. One for pleasure, another that is teaching me something, and one of my old friends that is yellow with age and many passages are underlined.

I can remember on long winter days surrounding myself with my cookbook's and reading them like novels. After my divorce, I read my Bible constantly. Would read for hours and underline passage after passage that spoke healing, wisdom and a way of hope for the One Woman.

Books have aways brought me joy. I can remember as a child receiving my short list for Christmas and devouring them in a few days. Finding a corner in my small childhood home or I can even remember reading in a neighbors tree in the summer time. I have learned late in life to seldom share my special books because when they are not returned it troubles me. If someone is truly interested in a book I have I would rather buy them a copy and then I am not worried about them returning it. I can remember a comment one of my youngest daughter made to me regarding borrowing one of my books. She commented she did not like to borrow my books because some of them were like a diary where I had underlined special words or made quotation
.

Now that no family is with me I can read whenever I want to. As a wife, mother and working years ago, there seemed to be no time to pursue this pleasure.

My saddest memory regarding my books is when as a young woman I married and packed my books away to store for a few weeks. They were at my parents home and when I returned to retrieve them they were gone. They had given them away. That is painful to this day and it has probably been 50 years since I lost these friends.

It gives me pleasure to see some of my children's love of books, especially my son's extensive library.

From the memory of One Woman on her Journey Through Life

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Last Rose

Two roses and several buds cut before the heavy frost and rain yesterday. Also brought the rest of the plants in from screen porch.
Here it is November 16. Wonder what our winter will be like. It is cold today but the sun is shining. As long as the sun is shining it warms my heart and my spirit.

The early mist had vanished and the fields lay like a silver shield under the sun. It was one of those days when the glitter of winter shines through a pale haze of spring.
Edith Wharton

Just some sharing this morning from One Woman

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Clarice

Going through my pictures this rainy morning I came across this picture. One Woman and a dear and special friend who passed away 7 years ago this fall.
We shared the love of nature and gardening.
I loved visiting her home on the edge of the woods. After I sold the old farm home I used a part of her house plan in the newer home I built on the farm property.

One of the dogs that I was the most fond of "Sam" came from Clarice. I remember the day she called me saying that a beautiful Golden Retriever had come to her home and she did not need another dog. She tried to find the owner but was not successful. She went on to urge me to come and see the dog. I told her that I also did not need another one. But the next day went to see her and there he was "my Sam". I immediately fell in love with him. Opened my car door and he jumped in. A lot of memories of this much loved pet.

Clarice died of a brain aneurysm. Still cannot think of seeing her go through this process without a deep sorrow. I remember them playing "Unforgetable" the song by Nat King Cole at her funeral. I can never hear this song without thinking of her.

She loved my country property and her spirit is urging me onward. Clarice I miss you.


Some thought this morning from One Woman on her Journey Through This Life.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Back From The Country

A quick trip to the country this cloudy and dreary day. Someone that has helped through the years put up a post for me with the address numbers on it. Looks like someone lives in those woods and also in case 911 needs to find me. Hopefully not. Several neighbors stopped on the road and warmly shared with me.

One more piece of the puzzle fell in place. Electric company just called and said there will be no problem putting current to this 1200 to 1400 feet off the road property and no extra cost. That was something I did not think I would hear. So water department contacted and also gas company. Now health department about septic system approval. Then the big one is sitting down with my builder and showing him my sketch.
We will go to the material supply source and get estimates.
So it will be interesting to see if this is going to be a dream or a reality. I may have a shelter next Spring instead of a chair under a tree.

Oh, I almost forgot I saw a dozen wild turkey coming down the road but could not stop car and get my camera out fast enough.
Also wrote a neighbor that joins my woods on my back line to alert him that family will be in those woods and I want no deer hunting.
As I read some of my postings I have the thought - I sound rather simple and boring.

Some afternoon thoughts from this One Woman on her Journey Through this life.

The Little Red Wagon

I bought this little wagon over 25 years ago.
It was bought mainly to bring wood in the house for my woodstove. I was making too many trips carrying wood in my arms. So I had the idea of buying a wagon and loading it and pulling it in the house. Saved trips in the evening as I did not have to go out on the porch for wood.
I liked the way it looked. At one time I was not the kind of lady that would have a wagon full of wood sitting in her great room. But that is me at this time.
In a few years my older grandchildren would play with it whenever they made a visit. Sometimes pulling each other in it and at times a dog that would sit in the wagon.
It has been with me throughout my many home building and moving projects.
The change is I now use it for help in the garden. I have loaded it with bags of seed, fertilizer, mulch and whatever I wanted to take to another area.

Grandchildren continue to play with it.
This little red wagon is now at my city cottage. Caitlin and Amelia play with it. I am still pulling it around and it still looks like new.
Earlier in the summer I was working in the yard and it was sitting on my walk and someone passing by stopped asked if I would sell it. I replied no way. Never will I part with my wagon.

Who else would love it like I do?

Another memory from this One Womans Journey on her Journey Through This Life.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tickled Pink

This would make any grandma smile. Especially on this rainy day.

Caitlin I am proud of you. http://blondemomblog.com/

The Good Son

Yesterday a gloomy and cloudy day and the same today and on and on. Sometimes I welcome days like this. It is a chance to catch up on inside chores and pleasures.
I did a couple of loads of wash, vacumed and some dusting and finished reading "The Big House".
I enjoyed this book but it seemed to make a lot of past memories surface.
As the day went on I seemed to become very blue. Many thoughts of past, present and future.
I truly thought with the creating of this home and garden that I would settle into city life and live happily ever after. Well that is not happening. I am becoming very restless and I do not like it. I know the time of year is contributing to this. Also I thrive in a state of doing. Happiest when creating homes and gardens. I have created 3 in the past 10 years.

I strive so for balance and maybe this is a part of being a Libra which is the sign of the scales.
It is difficult to make new friends as you grow older and at my age and given the fact that throughout my lifetime most of the people I felt the closest to were older then me and the fact that I have continually put myself in new enviorments every few years - now it seems I almost stand alone. In a new location and with my interests being home, family, gardening and nature - where does that put me. I shared with my son recently that lately I feel like I am invisable.
He smiled and said that well known people travel places where they can enjoy this. So maybe it is an asset that I have not realized.

My son encourages me continually to get out of my enviorment. Go the the library, book store,
yoga lessons and on and on. Just seems it is becoming more difficult for me to want to go anywhere. I do not like crowds or large gatherings of people. I have shared bits and pieces throughout my journal. My grandchildren will certainly know some about their grandmother's personality. I probably would have been a good Thoreau.

My youngest daughter encourages me to do volunteer work (I did try some of this) find a new church home (this has been a big part of my life in the past) and I am not led to do this.

Thoughts entered my mind yesterday if I would be anymore lonely looking out my window at the fields, woods and wildlife then looking out of this city cottage window at the cars whizzing past and the city sounds?
I know my children are tired of me sharing and I do not blame them. But I know my answer will come for direction as it always does.

I also am well aware that when I can stay outside and garden I am the happiest. So with my new interest of writing and photography I will have some added interest for the winter months.

Back to yesterday. About 4:00 pm my son called and told me he was going to a wine and cheese open house at his accountants office and invited me to go with him. I tearfully shared I just do not like these gatherings. There is not much that has not touched my long life. He went on to say it was right after work at 5:30 and he would only stay about an hour and he would call back at 5:00 to see if I changed my mind.
Well I did change my mind. At 5:30 he pulled in front of my cottage and helped me in his car.
Long story made short, it did pull me out of the pit of gloom I was in. Each room and there were about a dozen of them represented a different country. Wine and cheese from that country. Enjoyed the different types of cheese. Also with a dry mouth condition I do not enjoy dry wines. But a local winery from my country area had some fruit wines. I bought a bottle of peach and another of strawberry. Will be good to make smoothies or at some time when I feel like a touch of summer.

So my good son, your mom thanks you. You are the best.

Some more sharing on another gloomy morning from this One Woman on her Journey Through This Life.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Guillain - Barre Syndrom

A serious disorder that occurs when the body's defense (immune) system mistakenly attacks part of the nervous system. This leads to nerve inflammation that cause muscle weakness.

I remember so well the day I noticed my youngest daughter sitting on the steps that led to the upstairs bedroom. She would sit on one step and then scoot up to the next step. She was doing this instead of walking up the steps. I just thought she wanted to do this instead of walking up the stairs and did not comment on this even though I saw her do this several times during the day. Soon after that she came to me and said "mama I can't put my barrette in my hair"
I commented "what do you mean" she shared she could not squeeze the clasp. I put the barrette in her hair and immediately I knew something was wrong.

We had moved to the country farm home a number of years earlier but since she was 11 years old I still took her to the pedatrician in Nashville. I called and had an appointment the next day. She was checked, many questions asked and I do not remember if they did blood work at that time. I do know that my baby girl was admitted into Vanderbilt Children's Hospital for more tests.

The results Guillain Barre. Another name is French Polio. I had never heard of such a disorder. It surely unsettled this mother. It turned out to be what they called a mild case but the constant fear of how far it would progress never left me. I read everything I could pertaining to this disorder.

Even though it was mild it was disturbing that summer to see my healthy young daughter become thinner and weak concerning her walking and arm skills. It progressed during the summer and then suddenly started going away. The good thing was this was the end of the school year in the Spring and she was well enough in the Fall to return to school.

Who knows what makes memories arise from out of our consciousness. During the night this memory surfaced. I realize more and more that I have some deep memories that are surfacing on their own. Some of them happy, some sad and some very painful. We all have our stories, special memories and dreams.

Some more sharing on this One Woman's Journey Through This Life.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Woods Cottage

A quick drive to the country this early morning. Errands in this small town and continuing to dream and plan. The stillness in comparison to the continual hum in the middle of the city is startling.

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dream, and endeavors to live a life which he imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry Dvid Thoreau

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Garden Man

I am well aware of my new addiction of writing in this journal. My goal is to not write on the weekends. I am not doing too well. With making my life so public for present and future readers
there is no way I can hide my weakness.
Hey, do not want to forget anything.
I have spent the weekend going through a dozen boxes of old photographs, boxes of paperwork and meaningful clippings, cards and on and on.
I have cried and laughed at the memories. I mean really cried. Nice to be One Woman in this home as someone else residing here would think "I had lost it".
I know Fall is here but I could not help sharing this. It might give some fellow garden friends an idea.
I have had this picture in my file for years and I have dreamed of having this in my garden.
Some that came calling through the years said they would make it for me "but I got rid of them to fast".
Several hours later entry. I have an afghan I started about 3 years ago and it is sitting by my chair to finish. Also I have missed reading my books and will start reading again now that cool weather has arrived. In the crock pot a mixture of pinto and white beans that are topped with a handful of chopped carrots, onions and celery (a close friend use to do this) a colander full of turnip greens from my fall garden will be cooked in a short time along with cornbread.

Some more sharing from One Woman on her Journey Through Life

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chinese Poem

I came across a copy of this poem yesterday. It was among a stack of papers that I save because I find them meaningful.

Ten thousand flowers in the Spring
The moon in Autumn
A cool breeze in the Summer
Snow in the Winter
If your mind is not clouded by unnecessary things
This is the best Season of your life
Chinese Poem

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Remember

Could not help but share this article that my daughter posted this morning about one of my young granddaughters. Brought back memories.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Best Ever Chocolate Pie

This was posted 3 1/2 years ago.   Made it for this 4th of July  and took a picture.  I thought it looked real good.   Will see how it tastes...

I can remember the day I tasted a piece of this pie at my mother's. I know it has been close to 25 years ago. My mother's younger sister had left off several pieces. I tried this and thought this is the best I have ever tasted It has become a family favorite.
So many years later with a recipe card that is so stained I have to retype - here goes.
Thank you Aunt Johnnie

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbs flour
3 tbs cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 large can evaporated milk
4 large egg yolks, beaten
2 tbs melted butter
2 tsp vanilla

Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa and salt. Add milk beaten egg yolks, butter and vanilla. Mix well. Pour in deep dish pie shell and bake 425 degrees for 10 minutes and then 325 for 30 to 35 minutes.
Spread meringue on pie. Bake until slightly brown.

Best Ever Meringue

8 tbs sugar
1 tbs cornstarch
1/2 cup water
3 egg whites ( sometimes use the 4 left over )
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine 2 tbs sugar with the cornstarch in small saucepan and add water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and clear. Beat egg whites with salt and vanilla until soft mounds form. Add 6 tbs sugar gradually, beating well after each addition. Add hot mixture in a stream and continuing beating until meringue stands in stiff peaks. Spoon over filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Late Afternoon Thankfulness

Just returned from cat scan and doctor consultation. This spot on my lungs that has been in a corner of my mind continually for 8 months has not changed.

Hallelujah

Enough Said

Now on to my next project. I will continue to check out cost and feasibility of my Thoreau Cottage at the edge of the woods. Time will tell if it will be a shelter or a chair I sit in at the edge of the woods. Either way I will have my camera, binoculars and a pad and pencil in my hand. I do not think all three at once. But there will be peace in my heart and a smile on my face.

Some more thoughts from One Woman on her Journey Through This Life.

Obama

I said that as I wrote my journal I would not write about politics or religion.
But there is no way I cannot write about my faith and
there is no way that I cannot make an entry on what I witnessed last night. I enter this for my children and especially for my grandchildren. It comes to mind and makes me smile that my older grandchildren who are in college are commenting "grandma I am getting to know you in a way that I did not know you - because of what you write and share".

I thank God for what I witnessed last night.
I thank him for allowing me to witness this historic moment.
I do not have the words to describe the emotion that I feel. I have wept in a way that I thought I could not weep anymore. Tears of thankfulness and tears of joy.
I feel such a pride and love for this young man that is going to lead our country.
I am so thankful.
Our world has hope.
I felt deep in my heart that he would win. If I had been wrong I think I would have lost much hope and wept a different kind of tears.
Obama has my continual prayers for his wisdom and safety. Oh what a monumental job he has ahead of him. So my children please pray for him. I have never asked you to pray for a leader before.

Some special thoughts from One Woman on her Journey Through This Life

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Buddy

Life is a book that we study,
Some of its leafs bring a sigh,
There it was written, my buddy,
That we must part, you and I
My buddy, my buddy, no buddy quite so true.
Miss you
Just long to know that you understand,
My buddy, your buddy misses you.

Some of the words from "My Buddy" by Gus Kahn

My son lost his much loved pet "Buddy" about a year ago in November.
Sometimes when I look across the street at my son's cottage I can see Buddy sitting by the front door.

Buddy you are missed.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall Day at Home

My son has some Fall beauty in his cottage yard.

Rose partially protected from frost.
Oh my, looking at herself in grandma's mirror.

A beautiful fall day at home. I cleaned a lot out of my garden. Yesterday morning in the low 30's and went to almost 70 degrees. Now this early morning a high prediction of 70 degrees for the next week. I could have left the tomato and green pepper plants in the ground. Oh well. My garlic plants are about 2 inches high and I am enjoying my turnip greens.

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Mahatma Gandhi

Some sharing from One Woman on her Journey Through This Life

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Country Pictures



Sharing my adventure in the country yesterday.

A spot picked out and I surrounded it with orange stakes to show shape of cottage and location of front porch and back screen porch (or deck). Gives me some kind of idea of what my view will be.

We had our first frost yesterday morning and the wind was blowing. I had on a heavy jacket, scarf and gloves but still the chill was penetrating. So I did not take the chair out of the trunk of my car to place in the imagined rooms. Something I always do.
During some of my building projects I have had people ask what are you doing sitting out in the field or this city lot. I would reply "this is where my kitchen table will be" or what ever room I imagined I was sitting in, kitchen, desk, or propped up in bed reading. This would give me an idea of what I would see as I looked out windows.

I could not grab my camera fast enough to take a picture of 3 deer that were near by. Did take a picture of a creekbed.
Also no one was home at Mr. B.B's old homeplace. This home is close to 200 years old.
I stopped and went into the yard to take this photo. Hoping the whole time that a large unfriendly dog did not come around the corner of the house and possibly bite me.
There are not many of these old large homes still standing.

As I continue to be obsessive about this new creative energy that is raging I came upon something among my papers that I had copied.

Obsession - If you want to be good at something you have to be obsessive. When you are not doing it, you have to be thinking about it. Not saying I am good at anything. But whenever I have created a home it became an obsession with me. It is on my mind 24 hours. All through the day I am thinking about it. In the night I am planning views, rooms and placing furniture. With all of this going on I want so to be a balanced person. I do not think this is truly balanced. I do know that I feel a lot better this morning and more sure of what I am going to do.

A roller coaster night was experienced. So many thoughts. They are becoming clearer and I am more at peace this morning. I am planning on going forward with my plans of building on my country property unless some unseen problem arises. If a problem arises I will stop in my tracks.

I thank all of the special people who read my sharing, thoughts from my heart, images and whatever else comes to mind. You are dear to me and your names come to mind often and I have not even met you in person. But whatever way is out there to send affection - you are sent a hug. Your encouraging words and comments are so very meaningful to me.

This early morning as I read Judy's comment "If you do not follow your dream I think a part of you stops living. I do not choose to die in that manner!!

On a lighter note. My day will be filled with my youngest granddaughter. I am going to pick her up in a couple of hours. A sun filled day planned in the garden and watching my girl paint with the new set grandma bought her.

When a dream takes hold of you, what can you do? You can run with it, let it run your life, or let it go and think for the rest of your life about what might have been.

Patch Adams

Just some more thoughts from this One Woman on Her Journey Through Life.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another Special Daughter

With November soon arriving, another birthday in my family will be celebrated. Beth Ann is my middle daughter. She is an RN and is presently doing administrative work at a local hospital. She recently moved near me and two of my other children. So nice to have my local children living about 5 to 10 minutes away.

My family celebrate birthdays in about 8 of the months of the year. In the past I always had a family dinner. We also would celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas at my home. Recently I started taking each of my children to lunch for their birthday. This gives me some one on one time with them and is less tiring on their mom.

After Beth's birthday it always seems like Thanksgiving, Christmas and the end of the year rapidly approaches.

Beth is the mother of one of my older granddaughter's. Sarah is a music major at Northwestern in Illinois. The French Horn is her passion and she dreams of playing in a symphony.
I am posting this a few days early since Beth will be traveling to Illinois to see Sarah in a special recital. She will be in Illinois when her birthday arrives.
So - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY SPECIAL DAUGHTER - BETH

Just some more sharing from this One Woman on Her Journey Through Life.

Mothers and Daughters are closest, when daughters become mothers
Author unknown

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween

Dressing up can be a Scream
and Playing Tricks is Dandy
But When it Comes to Halloween
It's all About the Candy

All through the years Halloween was a big deal for my children. But my Jamie, the youngest, somehow got left out.

Memories surface how she would stand at the window watching to see if a car turned off the main highway and was heading down our country road. The outside lights were on and a big bowl of treats awaited any visitor. The visitors never came. Once in a great while she would become excited and say "I see car lights I think someone is coming." No they just were on our road and drove past our country home. So this is one of the disadvantages of living in the country.
I can still picture her standing by the window. I think one time a friend from church brought her little girl by our home.

So my youngest daughter's Halloween was usually spent at a party at school or church.
Usually not trick or treating like I remember from my childhood and her older sisters and brother. Also not like her little girls who are all dressed up and everyone visits the homes in their neighborhood.

Just a memory from this One Woman's Journey

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Amazing Mr. Toad


Mr. Toad made a visit. I captured this shot of him. Click on for close up. His colors are unreal. That is not the right word. His colors are magnificient. Just looking at him he looked like a plain brown toad. A close up shot caught all of his glory. Just think of what our naked eye is missing

Things I Didn't Do



When I lived in the country I always wanted to have bee hives. My elderly neighbor had them. His name was Mr. BB.
He realized how interested I was in them so he put 3 hives on my land. I never felt brave enough to care for them (especially since hundreds covered me one time when he was checking the hives) or learn more but did have honey from my area.

My oldest daughter in upper Michigan has bee hives. Her husband Dan built the boxes from a plan on the internet. It looks like they are going to have honey. Hopefully the bees make it through their cold winter season. I love hearing her share about her bees. The main reason for this new adventure with bees is the fact that Mary has allergies. Some articles are stating that eating honey from your area is helpful with allergies. As time goes by we will see.

I use to love to go down to his huge old farm home and view all Mr. BB was doing. Many plant sharings came from him. My first strawberries, asparagus and some of his small game.

He had an incubator and that fascinated me. He ordered me one and installed it in one of my outbuildings. I raised quail, ducks, geese, chickens, and a number of small game from the eggs.
It could hold 500 eggs. I loved watching the process of the eggs hatch. I would keep a light bulb on in the box where the eggs were, spray them with water occasionally and turn the eggs. Childish thought I would have when they hatched and I was the first thing they would see "I bet they think I am their mother." It gave me pleasure to see them emerge and I had to hold myself back to keep from helping them out of the egg. Some took longer then others.

I had the thought at that time of raising pheasants and quail for restarants and even went so far as to contact several. I was told they would take all I could supply.

I liked having our own eggs. Jamie even named most of the chickens. I still have that piece of paper with each chicken listed. She described them and gave them a special name.
I can remember the time that there were not as many eggs in one particular bucket. I shared this with someone and they told me I might have a chicken snake. I was instructed to put a lightbulb in the nest. If the lightbulb was gone the next morning that indicated I had a snake.
Well the lightbulb was gone. I almost had a stomach ache for that poor snake. I think I enjoyed my peacocks and guinees more then anything. I had never seen a guinee before. Their head the size of a walnut and the strange noise they made. The peacocks are the best watchdog you can have. I also raised 4 baby calves and bottle fed them. When the farmhouse was sold I had about 16. I remember so well the evening the cattle sale people came to get them. How they cried and I cried all night. The mothers were separated from the young calves and to this day I can hear them crying. Everything Jamie and I raised were pets. Even the chickens and I dreamed of how tasty they would be. But we could not eat them. Many stories regarding our life on that farm.

I also always wanted a greenhouse. But the more I investigated about them I realized how very time consuming they were. Heat in the winter and cooling in the summer. Had many business ideas. Thought of an orchard. Did plant 10 fruit trees for our use. Also had the idea of planting many evergreens and also fields of flowers for people to pick. None of this materialized.
Bottom line, I could not do it without help. I truly worked very hard physically at this time. Over the last 30 years I have continued this. Guess I still do but on a smaller scale. Difficult for One Woman to continue to carry this through and none of my children were interested in this lifestyle. The older ones had been raised in private schools and a were drawn to a different lifestyle. They did love to spend time with me and later my older grandchildren loved to visit grandma in the country.

Now grandma is on a small lot in the middle of the city. But may have a small cottage in the country sometime in the future. Would be a treat to be surrounded by nature once again.
As time goes on I will be posting many pictures of that time in the country.

Just some more thoughts and memories from this One Woman on her Journey Through This Life.