Books by the old Leather Chair

  • Snow In The Summer
  • My Bible
  • The Power of Silence
  • What Comes Next and to Like It
  • Encore Provence
  • A Year in Provence

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Over the Clouds

High in the Air

Over the Ocean Deep and Blue

This Special Son of Mine

Returning from a Far Off Land

A Cottage awaits Him and

Even the Windows are Smiling

Instructions of Where Key to be Found

Thinking Mom May be Sleeping

She Will not Sleep

Until a Soft Glow in the Window Appears

Telling Her

One of Her Children is Once Again Safely Home.

What Do I See

When I sit at my kitchen table and have a meal, this is what I see when I look straight ahead.
My small screened porch is where I stay a lot when the weather permits. I like to eat my meals, read and just sit and try and be still on this porch. Visual appeal is very important to me. I have said a number of times that if I had one room with a dirt floor. The floor would be swept and on a crate there would be a container with some kind with a flower in it, if the container was an old tin can. Everything on this porch is old. The iron furniture has been used for many a family picture. I have an article that was in the newspaper about our home when my youngest was about 3 years old. We are all sitting around an old iron table. The wicker rocker I bought at a shop about 35 years ago and at that time the papers said that it was over 100 years old. The rug old old also. At one time it was in my sons bedroom. Not a fine rug but I like the colors and it has been put on my screen porches for years. I have learned over the years that these type of rugs never wear out. It took a young bride a few years to appreciate these rugs.

I love flowers. Hey that is some kind of a statement. When winter arrives I have some plants inside, my 2 orchids and a Christmas cactus that usually blooms about Thanksgiving. Also bring in several off of my porch to winter inside and especially my wonderful Begonia which is about 20 years old. It is huge and so root bound. But I am afraid to take it out of the pot and replant. It would probably make a dozen smaller plants.
When I sit on my front porch swing my eyes always see this use to be fountain, then birdbath and now I have have some vines planted in it. It is over 40 years old. I have moved it to six different locations. Each time a focal point in a garden. It is a woman carrying an armful of logs and holding on to a small boy's hand. I smile when I look at it. It was purchased at a time I was carrying a briefcase. With a lifestyle change to the old farm home it truly represented me.
I kept a fire going in the fireplace all winter and on cool and rainy days. Now it has a new home at my city cottage.

I never cease to smile to myself when I look at this lady and a small boy. Brings back memories of my small son and his mother.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chasing a Butterfly

Oh my what a morning. Up early as usual and thought I will go out and admire my soon not to be here garden. There they were, butterflies everywhere. Quickly I came inside for my camera. My first attempt and I am really trying.
There she or he is. Take camera out of pocket. Focus, where is it. They are flying everywhere. I am not quick enough!!!!!
This goes on for over an hour. The sun is getting hotter and hotter. I am having trouble seeing without my sunglasses. Cannot focus camera with sunglasses on.
About to give up. Then I spot him.
First attempt at an image like this in my garden.
Will not win a prize.
But hey it's a beginning.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Spider Lily Tribute to Miss Robbye

Settled in my old farm home in a rural community. Miss Robbye was one of my first friends. If she were living she would be over 100 years old. She was a widow, no children or family near by and loved flowers.
As I got to know her I would pick her up to go to grocery, to have her hair done, go to church and sometimes go to lunch. She was with me so much that many people thought she was related to me. She had a tender heart and shared many stories with me.
Almost everytime I would visit her there would be a flower I was not familar with in her yard. All country flowers with country names. She always shared that she never had as many flowers as she wanted and she would share any of them. I can remember when I spotted what seemed like 100 Spider Lilly's. That is what she told me they were. I had never seen them before.
I loved them, she shared some plants and I have had them at every home since that time. They reseed themselves. Come up late, almost June and look like a clover. A number of people I have shared seeds with would exclaim "they did not come up" and I would comment it is too early. I always save seeds and sow them, just in case.
The down side is that the stalks are covered with hundreds of tiny thorns. I am repeatedly cutting myself. I do not have gloves on and I think I will be careful.
No Way. So many people who view them in my yard and want seeds - later tell me they like them - but they come up by the hundreds and with the thorns are not to pleasant.
I always thin them and have just a few.
A number of flowers Miss Robbye shared with me I lost during my many moving times.
But I have flowers that I remember who gave them to me and they brings back memories.
Some of these people are no longer living. My beautiful yellow daylily came from one of my previous Sunday school teachers years ago. A number of other daylilys from my dear friend who passed away 8 years ago with a brain aneurysm.
So many of my flowers have memories and stories. These flowers are more meaningful and beautiful to me then any I buy.
A two day rain and the soil was soft enough for me to move some plants. I was successful in taking an image and posting. A new challenge for "One Woman"
Enough rambling this morning, especially since this is grandma day for my 3 year old granddaughter and I think it is about lunch time!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Aging And I Cannot Deny It

First thing each morning I read Ronni at This morning she had a list of books on aging. I have read the majority of them. Trying to figure out if I am doing it right!! Since in my past I walked to a different beat of the drum and took the road less traveled a lot of what is shared I do not relate to but lately a lot of it speaks to me.

These two quotes spoke to me.

It is our presence that is important to the young. They want us to be there. Not in their homes, perhaps, not watching them with a baleful eye as they go about there daily work. But there. We reassure them that life continues, and if we listen, we ensure them that it matters to us that it continues.

Aging particularly in the later decades is a drawing in, encounters with the world diminish for many reasons. The solitude of old age is often pleasurable. There is peace and a sense of the present.

So my children and grandchildren, I am here, but not under your feet.

I have to agree that my solitude is very pleasurable and I love my world. Just me and Miss Sadie.

Monday, August 25, 2008

All Is Well

Monday Late Afternoon - The rain is falling. Heaven's Thank you.
My garden is beginning to come back to life and I am aware it does not have much longer. Quickly picked 12 tomatoes, a green pepper and a basket of basil. Breeze is blowing. Prayer flags are waving in the the breeze. Sadie is peaceful under the swing on the porch of my little garden retreat.
And "One Woman" has fast speed internet. Thank you my special soninlaw.
Now time to curl up with a book.


The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.
Madeline L'Engle

Life is a process. We are a process. Everything that has happened in our lives has happened for a reason and is an integral part of our becoming.
One of the challenges of our lives is to integrate the pieces of our lives as we live them. It is sometimes tempting to try to deny huge periods of our lives or forget significant events, especially if they have been painful. To try to erase our past is to rob ourselves of our own hard-earned wisdom.
There is not a child or an adolescent within us.
There is the child or adolescent who has grown into us.
When we realize that among the most important strengths that we possess at this time are our life experiences and the ages we have been, maybe we will not resent getting older.
My wisdom emerges as I accept and integrate all that I have been and all that has happened to me.

Taken from the book "Meditations For Women Who Do Too Much"
By Anne Wilson Schaef

A favorite little book of mine that I have been picking up, at random, for 10 years.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Am I In The Wrong Place!!!!!!!!!!!!

As I am spending more time on the computer I am increasingly aware of my dial-up system. It is slow and phone line is busy. Phone line does not matter because I receive very few phone calls. Most of family use email. The slow process of what I have does bother me. So a few weeks ago I began checking into the specials that are being offered for fast speed internet.
Finally made a decision and I am pleased at the cost. It is very little more then I am paying now and a new cell phone part of the package.
The new phone (to replace my 5 year old cell phone) was received in the mail yesterday. Some of family will be coming on Sunday and my soninlaw at that time will upgrade my computer. I think I lost some of my independence when I acquired a computer!!!! I was told to activate this phone was very simple. Scanned the instructions last night before going to bed. I should not have!!! Woke at 3:00 this morning with it on my mind and just got up. Finally put phone together and I call to activate and it will not activate. So between talking to an operator in Canada and her instructing me for one hour it is working. Seems the Sim card in the new phone was faulty. When I finally was able to remove the card from the new phone it seemed there was tape stuck on it and I had difficulty reading the numbers. So I had to remove the card from my old phone (because it was good). Could not get the back off of phone and then could not get the card out. The whole time she is telling me what to press and to find some tweezers to see if I can pull the card out. Finally card out and installed in new phone. Here I am with my landline phone on, my new cell phone on and trying to get the back off the old cell phone. I began to get very weary and not too happy. I told her I was cancelling this whole idea of new phone and upgrading computer.
Bottom line is that when it was all finished and working well - all through this process she kept encouraging me and telling me I was doing fine. When it was completed she shared that most people just gave up and took it to the phone store. I do not want to leave out that this lady was so kind and thoughtful through this whole process. I kept mentioning that this process was taking so long. She would say I am here with you and will see you through this. When I asked if she was local she replied "I'm in Canada". So her kindness this early morning makes me smile.
So up since 3:00 AM and finally late breakfast and breathing normal.
Thoughts surface that I am on a road to simplification. How can this be a simpler lifestyle.
I cannot have my computer unless I have a phone line. I would rather just have my cell phone. I do not want a television. Must have a basic cable plan to activate this in the city. I have an old television that I sometimes watch the weather and in the winter there may be a special that is worth looking at on those long winter nights.
So I have a television I do not want. A land phone I do not want. Now computer to be upgraded and I wish I could do this. So this stresses me this early morning.
I think I will cancel land phone, cell phone, tv and computer and build a small cabin and move to the woods.
That is where my heart resides

I'd rather be a forest than a street. Yes I would. If I could, I surely would.
I'd rather feel the earth beneath my feet. Yes I would. If I could, I surely would.

Paul Simon "El Condor Pasa"

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thought's At The End Of The Day

To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven; a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant; and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up, A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to tear, and a time to sew; A time to keep silent, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3

Saturday, August 16, 2008


One by one they will arrive at my door. At noon today it was my grandson Gavin with his dad, my soninlaw. He will be joining his sister at Vanderbilt later in the week. They arrived from Massachusetts last night. A break is being taken from setting up all that has to be done when you are entering college for the first time. There he stood at the door. All 6ft and a little under 3 inches of him. He hugged his 5ft2 grandma and the tears filled my eyes. I thought you are still suppose to be my laughing little boy.
Same boyish grin, clear blue eyes, blond hair with a tint of auburn, squeaky clean complexion and on and on. I looked at him and once again thought "time you are surely racing - or am I standing still".
What an adjustment for my grandson who is an avid skier and loves the winters in the North. Here he is in the hot South. But ski time will come on winter breaks when he visits his boyhood home and friends in Massachusetts.
In a couple of days my middle granddaughter Sarah will arrive home from Aspen, Colorado. She excels at playing the French horn. Her goal to play in a symphony.
If I am any judge of talent - it is going to happen.
She has been spending part of the summer at music camp. She will be home for a few days and then on to Northwestern in Illinois. Hopefully I can have lunch with her one day before she leaves. Next to arrive is my oldest granddaughter Jessica. She will be getting ready for her 4th year at college. What a summer she experienced. A few weeks in Brussels to visit a school friend. Then worked for summer at home in Massachusets. She has decided to follow a law career like her father.
So when I think of these 3 older grandchildren, thoughts surface in my mind of what an exciting future is ahead for each of them. Then these 2 little ones that I spend time with each week come to mind and I again cannot help but smile. These grandchildren will give me a lot to think about in the months to come.
So time you continue to rush by as I spend my days tending the dirt in my city garden, reading, journaling and with my eyes and heart I will behold their lives unfolding.

Friday, August 15, 2008

It's In The Oven

A favorite recipe that I have been making for over 30 years. There is a new mom down the street and I may take her a loaf later in the day.

Zuchinni Bread

3 cups of flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tespoon salt
1/2 teaspon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I usually add more)
3 eggs
2 cups sugar (I add a little more)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zuchinni (I just chop mine)
1 (8 oz can crushed pineapple, well drained (I think this is what makes it so GOOD)

Combine first 5 ingredients and set aside
Beat eggs lightly in a large mixing bowl, add sugar, oil and vanilla, beat until creamy. Stir in zuchinni and pineapple. Add dry ingredients, stirring only until moistened.
Spoon batter into 2 large loaf pans or 3 smaller ones (this is what I use since it is a nice size to share with someone) Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until done. Cool 10 minutes in pan, turn out and continue to cool completely on wire rack..

I might add that the morning has been great until I just read my daughters post. Click on BlondeMomBlog on blogs I like to read.
Yes, Caity your on your way and grandma has tears in her eyes too.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


There are so many things I would like to write about on this early Thursday morning. But I do not have time. I wanted to write about yesterday. Amelia spent the day with me. I am going to keep her every Wednesday. I want some one on one time with my youngest granddaughter. I enjoyed her so much. Took her to have her first hair cut. Had about 2 inches cut off the bottom and trimmed her bangs. I have always cut her bangs and they had begun to look - not too good. Almost like grandma had cut them with pinking shears. I wanted to write about as her dad put her in her carseat yesterday and we pulled off, she exclaimed "I love my daddy grandma".
I wanted to write about my oldest grandchildren getting ready for college over the next week. I will be seeing them and it seems like yesterday they were the age of my youngest. I want to post some pictures of them. But at the moment do not have time. I wanted to write about weekend plans changing because my oldest daughter in Massachusetts is having a back problem and will not be flying in to stay with me.
I wanted to write about my middle daughter Beth. She is the only child that could make me laugh to the point of tears. She has a career in the medical profession. She is having some challenges at this time. Life is full of them. I look often at a small stone plaque that has engraved on it "Miracles happen only to those who believe in them" French Proverb. This lady believes in miracles, so many have happened in my life and I am expecting more.
I wanted to write about my garden. Success and failures this first Spring. Also about the seeds I am collecting and flowers I am separating and moving but I do not have time.
I wanted to write about my planned trip to Farmers Market this Saturday. I want some special fall plants that should be arriving soon.
I want to start posting some special recipes.
I want to post some special stories about my grandparents. Who knows a grandchildren might find some of this interesting. I want to post about how much pleasure I am taking from my Online Journal and about some of the special people I have met.
I wanted to post about my son and his soon return from Thailand. I will be so pleased when I see him going and coming from his cottage across the way. I miss his visits and sometimes eating with me in the evening.
I wanted to post about my busy day. But do not have time.
So much I have to say and do not have time.
Time to tidy home, yoga, breakfast and run errands.
But I do have time to feel in my heart a deep Thankfulness for my family and my life.

Every tree and plant in the meadow
seemed to be dancing
those which average eyes would see
as fixed and still

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Happy Birthday

You were born on a Sunday afternoon at 3:00. Three weeks early. 6 lbs 1 oz and 18 inches long. My fourth and last baby. In a few years it was just you and me. Sisters started college and brother was in high school. A lifestyle change from the big city to the 100 year old farm home and farm. Your sisters and brother were exposed to private schools and enjoyed a lot that the city had to offer. You went to a small country school and excelled in everything. We enjoyed a simpler lifestyle and all that the country could offer. You went to college over the state line Your first job after graduation, one of the editors for the faculty paper at our nearby university. I could go on and on but do not want to embarrass you. Bottom line I am so proud of you and my mama's heart says "be still" and my eyes say "no more tears". You married your high school sweetheart. He won my heart at age 16. Your two precious little girls make me smile and feel so deeply loved.
Love Mama
You had braces on your teeth in this picture and they finally came off for your high school graduation picture.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Time why are you moving so fast
5:00 in the garden.
Watered and weeding
Oh, 4 tomatoes, 2 cucumbers and one green pepper
Check computer and make comments
8:00 breakfast time
Walk Sadie
Cleaned up and errands to tend to
Home and tea on the stove
Sandwich and fruit on plate
Wait, I need to check computer
Phone rings
Friend stopping by
Gift of book and chicken soup
Banana bread, fruit and tea on table
Conversation on many topics
She has made many many plane trips this year and headed for Sicily next week and is a little older then me. She is truly amazing. Our lifestyles are different.
She travels and writes
At present, I dig in the dirt
Home alone
Check computer
Phone rings
Water plants on porch
Write thank you note
Dinner time
Pick up a book
I am weary
I want to relax
Day you have gone by so quickly
My life is going by so quickly
Am I slower or just busy
This morning I must water again
Rain where are you
I am tired of watering
Lunch with my last born
This special daughter - her birthday on Sunday
Time you have gone by so quickly
Tonight babysit with my 2 little granddaughters
Prepare dinner for them.
Story time and bedtime
Mindfulness - I truly am trying
Life is going by so quickly

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wednesday Muse

At lunch time prepare a meal for yourself. Cook the meal and wash the dishes in mindfulness. In the morning after you have cleaned and straightened up your house, after you have worked in the garden or watched clouds or gathered flowers, prepare a pot of tea to sit and drink in mindfulness. Allow yourself a good length of time to do this. Drink your tea slowly and reverently as if it were the axis on which the earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing towards the future. Live the actual moment. FOR ONLY THIS ACTUAL MOMENT IS LIFE.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Robot

I love this vacuum. I have two of them and I guess the twins are about 48 years old. I can remember when I moved to my farm home that I always had one upstairs and one downstairs. Not much was said about my trusty helpers until my youngest daughter went off to college. When she would return and I would want her to help me - there were always comments - why don't you get rid of these old vacuums and buy another one. They are not picking up. I have had the cords replaced twice and both times were told they are working great!

I can remember when Debbi (the young lady from the Netherlands) was visiting in the Spring. She came to my home one day and the vacuum was sitting on the floor. She commented, what is that. I told her my ancient vacuum. She almost laughed out loud and commented "it looks like a robot." I thought to myself maybe that means it looks new and modern!!!

This morning while Caitlin was with me I brought the vacuum out. She looked at it with her hands on her hips and a smile on her face and said "grandma what is that"? So my vacuums must look unusual.

From time to time I look at new models. I notice they look like they are not made out metal like my helpers and when I view the price tag I think to myself, why replace my two trusty helpers.

Sometimes I wonder when my days are ended which one of my children will be hoping for these two treasures. But then maybe it will be a granddaughter. I doubt it!!!

Another morning on my Journey Through This Life.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday Smiles

My baby. My youngest daughter and her two little girls. Mama went school shopping with Caitlin and Amelia are with grandma.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saturday Morning Explanation

I have had several emails regarding my post on Friday.

Something angered me and then among my mail something that was a blessing and was a reminder of what I already know.

So the mail did not upset me. Again it was a blessing. In my writing so quickly I probably at times am not clear.

Thank you dear blog friends that comment on my ramblings. You are from all over the world and you are a blessing to me.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Thinking

One of my favorite blogs is Alexandra's "Wellfleet Chezsven" hopefully I can visit her Bed and Breakfast one day. I smiled as I read about recent guests from Switzerland removing their shoes before entering a room. This is a habit my children and myself and now grandchildren have always practiced. With a past of being in the construction business and living in the country, shoes were never clean. All through the year and even now when my children visit and also their friends shoes come off at the front door. I can remember many parents commenting to me "how do you get them to take their shoes off". It is just something we have always done. When you see a lot of shoes at the door, maybe that helps!!!!

A quick trip today to my old homeplace. Since it was Friday the traffic was really bad. I left before 8:00 this morning and was fine but the return trip was not to pleasant. All was well. Some quick visits, errands and lunch. I could not wait to return home to my city cottage. This is a new emotion for this not lived in too long - home.

Yesterday something unexpected happened that truly unsettled me. I was so ashamed of myself because a trait that I rarely have and have not demonstrated for years came forth from me. I seek the ability to quickly forgive myself. I thought I had grown past such an outburst of anger.

Among my emails was a letter that contained some excellent advice. Even though I am aware of this I needed to be reminded. It was worded so eloquently.

"There will always be bumps along the road of life and if you can finesse those by giving them perspective (i.e, compared to health issues or the problems of the underprivileged), you will find the problems are either surmountable over time or may not be problems at all, when viewed in a more reflective lens. Although it sounds hackneyed, how a person reacts to the challenges they face is a true measure of character and a short fuse is rarely worth the selfinflicted emotional (and physical) toll, not to mention the relationship damage that is caused, albeit unintentionally to those who love you.

Thoughts this evening on my continued Journey Through This Life