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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Love Affair With a Table

The table was purchased during another lifestyle. When she spotted it in an antique shop 45 years ago it was love at first sight. A heavily carved over 200 year old English refractory table that could seat 10 to 12 members of the family easily. She had come a long way from the small home in a large industrial city. This table has been used for holiday dinners and special occasions for many years.

Opportunities came quickly for much the world had to offer. The family grew rapidly and the size of their home. Never in her growing up years would she even dreamed of a table like this. Success grew and it ended along with a marriage. She started over with a simpler lifestyle. The table was continued to find a place in her home. It looked perfect in the old farm house. Over the last years there is no room or desire for something this massive. She thought of having a carpenter cut it down smaller but that was just a fleeting thought. A shame to ruin something so beautiful. None of her children would probably ever have a space that would welcome something like this.

She has tried to place it somewhere and even offering it at a fraction of its worth with no luck. She is having thoughts of donating it to a library. It would be so useful for many to sit at with their books.

The table has to find another life other then being stored in her garage and careful protected.
She is in the process of building a small home in the country and her carpenter mentioned yesterday "you know you could sit it in the middle of the floor." She replied "no way."

An early morning thought from One Woman as she continues to simplify her life.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring is Arriving

A drive to the country this morning to view progress of future country home. Yeah!!! it is progressing at a good speed. Electrician, plumber, heat and air workers were all on working. Cabinet man arrived and my kitchen cabinets, pantry and bathroom cabinets were laid out.
The best contractor I know of is always on site.
I commented that since this property is North of where I presently live that the trees are slow showing their leaves. He pointed out the Red bud trees that were beginning to be evident.
The picture is one that is at the side of the house. Warmed my heart to see this tree in many places in the woods. Also the woods are full of May apples. They are coming up everywhere.
Websters Dictionary says it is a woodland herb with edible fruit. Also another site shares of its medicinal uses. Seemed the Indians used it a lot.
Well - Do not know if One Woman will be eating it or making jelly like another site shared you could do.
A small beagle lives on the adjoining property. He seems to have taken up residency in my home. Funny watching how he comes in on the gangplank. He follows me through the woods and I had to share my lunch with him.
Driving home down the country road the wheat fields are a beautiful shade of green. Almost blinding to look at without my sun glasses. The fields are covered with baby calves next to their mothers.
Enough said - I know there must be more then the beginning flowering trees and May apples.
I will see how many Dogwood trees I can spot in the next few weeks.
On a sad note - a dear friend who is one of the twins who are so special to me - lost her husband yesterday. She was not home for a short time and found him on returning. A heart attack.
This is the third special person I have lost since the beginning of the year.

An entry from One Woman on a beautiful sunny afternoon.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Good Week

A good week with one of my daughters spending the week with me. She and my son-in-law are now living in Tampa and her two children attend the local university not far from where I live. It is a special time. The bottom picture not the best of my Jamie ( the top one is good of her) but it is the only one including my special son.
Happy that my son and daughter and family are all home safely from their travels.
It has rained off and on all week and looks like it will be continuing through the weekend.
I am excited about Sunday as it will be the first time my son, youngest daughter and these two little ones will view Grandma's new creation.
I am contemplating driving up this morning. I do not like to drive in the rain and hopefully will miss it. I have not been to the country since the first of the week and want to see the progress. I know the plumber and electrician are working and maybe some windows being installed.
Hopefully sometime in the future all of my children and grandchildren can be with me.
Friends who check in with me - Have a great weekend.

Entry from One Woman this early Friday morning.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Zen in You

This spoke to me and I borrowed it from The Zen in You.

Looks Like Fun

Part of family is safely home. From the looks of this write-up and the hugs from my little ones I would say a good time was had by all. Baily and Jack - the dogs have even gone back to their own home. Go down to the second post with pictures not the one about the WINE.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wonderful Day and Potato Soup

A beautiful Spring day for my drive to the country.
Shingles are being put on roof. Along my driveway the 6 huge piles of topsoil have been moved by the house. More gravel put on drive where it had washed. I am so pleased with the progress and quality of work. More so then the other 3 homes I have built over the last 12 years. Economy might be the answer and the workers are glad to get the work. Although it was sunny it was breezy and it was somewhat cool for me. Sat in the sun eating my lunch. Headed down the road home and took these two images to show what I see as I leave my driveway. One is of the fields filled with 25 or more baby calves. (enlarge for better viewing) The other is just beautiful green wheat fields. I stopped at a local store and bought 50 lbs of grass seed and 3 flowering trees. A Japanese Cherry, Pink Dogwood and Red Bud. I know I have a lot of trees but I want to plant something. Returned home and grass had been cut at city cottage.
3 of my children on a trip home over the next few days. My daughter and soninlaw will be flying in from Tampa, another with family returning from Florida and my special son will be arriving from Thailand first of the week. Safe traveling thoughts go out from this mama.
Now - what do I eat? Near the end of the day and I surely do not feel like cooking. Felt like this yesterday so I made potato soup. Tried to duplicate some that I tasted in a restaurant a while back that was so good. Turned out pretty good. Potatoes quartered and cook - then add carrots, celery, onions that are finely chopped, cooked and added to potatoes when done - also add garlic. Grated cheese and milk to thickness you like and I add chopped bacon on top. Guess this is what I will have again tonight. Just read my recipe - lol - can tell I am tired. Along with cookies and milk and some ice cream.
A good day for One Woman

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Leaves Where Are You

I just returned from the country. Beautiful warm and sunny day. Took this image behind
Woodhaven. In the city it is beginning to look like Spring. In the country there is not a leaf on the trees. Of course it is about 45 minutes North of my city cottage. In the past I remember seeing a few Dogwoods and Red Bud trees on this country property.
At the moment do not know where they are. I want to protect them when any clipping is done.
Just received a call that my Aunt Lucille passed away today. She was 95. She lived longer then anyone on my father's side of the family.
Friday I will return to the country to see the shingles being put on and maybe windows and doors will be delivered and then on Saturday will attend a funeral.
I could not post the picture of the woods and was going to not post this entry. Could not sleep and am up reading. This needs to be posted because of my Aunt. So many memories of times in the past with her.

A day or it is night - in the life of One Woman

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Daddy's Girl

I should have gone. On second thought our weather is beautiful today here in Tennessee.

A thought this sunny afternoon from One Woman

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happiness Is

Happiness is a 4 year old arriving in Florida.
Jumping for joy after an 8 hour drive.
Wish I had that energy!!!
Enjoy yourself my baby girl!! Love Grandma

A moment this evening from One Woman

Spring is Happening

Spring is happening at my son's city cottage. Some trees and plants are coming out in all their glory for his soon return. I walked across the street and took these images.
Part of family is headed for Florida so - Jack and Bailey - the dogs - are in the back yard and welcomed me.
I am excited about the following week. It is suppose to be around 70 every day. City I will not be near.
Just glanced at my new header. The buttercups and the Robin look kind of ragged. Guess it is because of the Spring one day and the next day it is Winter with snow.
Some sharing from One Woman on this Sunday afternoon

The Courage to Be Myself

Something to strive for. Have the courage to embrace my strengths - Get excited about life - Enjoy giving and receiving love - Face and transform my fears - Ask for help and support when I need it - Spring free of the Superwoman Trap - Trust myself - make my own decisions and choices - Befriend myself - Complete unfinished business - Realize I have emotional and practical rights - Talk as nicely to myself as I do my plants - Communicate lovingly and understand my goals - Honor my own needs - Give myself credit for my accomplishments - Love the little girl within me - Grant myself permission to play - Quit being a Responsibility Sponge - Feel all of my feelings and act on them appropriately - Nurture others because I want to, not because I have to - Set limits and boundaries and stick to them - Respect my vulnerabilities - Heal old and current wounds - Fill my own cup first, then nourish others from the overflow - Plan for the future but live in the present - Value my intuition and wisdom - Know that I am lovable - Develop healthy and supportive relationships - Make forgiveness a priority. Accept myself as I am now.
Sue Patton Thoele

Enjoyed reading this and copied some as it spoke to my heart.

Awake is Good

Now One Woman try and remember this post!!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Morning

Here it is the middle of March and I have not picked up many of the books on the table beside my chair. As I look back over the weeks it is evident why. Health was not as good as it should be. There was surgery and much time spent planning my smaller country home along with the trips and building progress. The lack of reading is unusual for me as I love to read and usually have several books that I am constantly picking up to read. Last night I finished reading " Seven Storey Mountain" by Thomas Merton. It is an Autobiography of Faith. Usually I read at a fast pace but this is one book you cannot read that way. Seemed like I would read a while and the information was so touching that I would put the book down and sit and reflect on what I had read and mull it over and over in my mind. The last chapters of this book touched me deeply.

Early yesterday it was cold and here in my area and to think that the first of the week it was Spring like "hey like 80 degrees". I headed for the country but half way it started to rain so I turned around and came back home. It was a long dreary day.

Today will be the same except this afternoon I will be driving to my youngest daughter's to celebrate my youngest granddaughter's birthday. How can this little one now be 4 years old. This will be a welcome break for this expected dreary weather day. Tomorrow the weather continues the same and then Monday begins a week of warmer and more Spring like weather so I will pack my lunch and head to the country on Monday. Hope the road going in is not too muddy!!! Needless to say my mind is filled with gardening thoughts for this new country home.
Wonder if enough progress will be made in the next 4 weeks where I can have a place for a small veggie garden? Would like to do this but it might not be a reality with all the other things that will need to be done.

Some early morning thoughts from One Woman on a cold and rainy morning in the city

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Early Morning - Happy Birthday Thoughts

Happy Birthday from Grandma to my Youngest Granddaughter. You have brought so much joy, love and so many smiles to this grandma.

One Woman - you sure are lucky!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fried Chicken

What a thought that came to mind this morning - and of all times when I was eating my oats at breakfast time.
Does anyone fry chickens anymore? I wonder is this just an old Southern dish of the past.
I can remember when I was growing up and my parents would make trips to Tennessee from Detroit, a lunch was always packed for us to enjoy in the car. Fried chicken was always in that basket. Sunday dinners at my grandmothers this was always being prepared. When my maternal grandmother came to Detroit and took me home with her on the train - most people had a lunch basket packed. Most of them were eating fried chicken.
When I became a young mother it was a special dish. Usually prepared for Sunday dinner. I can remember at one time we had a boat and I would always pack a lunch. Why does going out on a boat make you hungry? Why does food taste so good out in the middle of the water? In the lunch basket would be - fried chicken, deviled eggs, potato salad and sometimes small pimento cheese and ham sandwiches and always something sweet I had baked. Always plenty of cold drinks and sometime lemonade or ice tea and dad always had a few cold beers tucked in the cooler.
Seems none of the family eats this way anymore. Usually grilled chicken or salmon and it has been ages since I baked a ham. We now think of this as being unhealthy.
Oh well - all I know is early this morning I was thinking of buying a chicken and frying it.
While on this subject - I might just add - I keep thinking of cooking beans in my crock pot as it would be so good to have this for dinner when I arrived home. I would make cornbread and now I have to have ham to go in those beans. There again, I have not cooked ham in ages.
I wonder if thoughts of returning to the country helped bring back the memories of eating fried chicken and adding ham to beans cooking in the crock pot?
Anyone reading this must realize that my appetite has returned. Gall bladder were you the reason I have not had much of an appetite for a few years. I have gained 3 lbs and do not mind another 5 but after that - do not want any more weight.

Some thoughts that entered the mind of this One Woman this early morning

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Progress at Woodhaven and New Occupants

I just returned from the country and all is going well. Everything is moving at a pace that I am pleased with. They are trying to get the beginning of the roof on in case of the rain that may come in tonight. I was glad to see the beginning of framing of my side porch. I can now visualize a little more clearly what is going to soon be a reality.
My beginning thoughts were a cabin, then a little larger, then it turned into a small home.
There was no way that I could justify a weekend retreat. That is not in my budget. Also my hearts desire has been to return to the land that I love.
Sitting in my old adirondack chair in the woods - what a thrill to see 4 bluebirds checking out the two houses that I put up on trees last Friday. The first birds I have seen and it thrilled me.
I mentioned to the contractor that I have seen no birds and his reply was that in the morning when he arrives he hears them everywhere. Guess when all the activity begins they do not stay near.
Who else but One Woman can sit in the woods that look like a war zone observing all this activity and is so thrilled. I cannot remember when I experienced such a depth of peace as I sat there eating the lunch I packed. Needless to say I just did not want to return to the city.

Some sharing this 80 degree weather afternoon from One Woman on her Continued Journey

Monday, March 9, 2009

No Complaining - Please

The most beautiful weekend in my part of the country. Saturday drove to the country just to see the continued progress. My helper for clearing the woods around the house did not show.
Sunday and now Monday at home. It is 10:00 and I have done a days work. Washed some windows, load of wash, went over floors in house and then outside. Some weeding, spread some fertilizer and special feed of Azaleas and Rhododendron's, spread a lot of my seeds that were saved and did some picking up of branches and leaves. I am finished. Oh, I also made a small meatloaf. I have not done that in years. Need some comfort food. So it is in the frig and ready to cook later in the day with mashed or scalloped potatoes and green beans.
I called Bill my
contractor to see if they would start spreading the dozen piles of dirt beside my new drive and in field. I cannot believe it is beautiful out and the next several days continued in the 70's - it rained in that area last night. Must have just been only on 100 acres surrounding my new home. I guess the first disappointment with this project. I want the mud to go away.
Forgive me for complaining or whining. In my mind I have been planning a small vegetable garden and creating a small nursery for some plants and small trees. Here I do not even have a house. I am way ahead of everything. But then I have always been.
But, One Woman is One Woman creating all of this and she is older and suppose to be wiser.
So my son's voice keep echoing in my ear " go slowly - what's the hurry".
Also - on my mind continually is the fact that my youngest granddaughter has been sick since last Thursday. Her mom takes her to the doctor for the second time at noon today. My baby girl may have the flu. I started to cry when talking to my daughter about this early this morning and she replied "I'm her mother and I know what to do". I just replied "I guess I'm the grandma and I am so worried about her and love her so very much".Enough said for my morning.

Everything that slows us down and forces patience. Everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.
May Sarton

Just received a call from my daughter. Our little one has two infected ears. Ouch, guess that would give you a fever and make you not feel well. She is on an antibiotic.
Tabor and Ugich - you both are so on target with your advice. Yes, I know to stay in the moment but sometimes we wander out of it.
Tabor, now if it was summer there would be no shirts and flexing of muscles. Too cool as of yet.
Realized I was not dead last week when at hairdressers for trim the most gorgeous male I have seen in ages walked in. I truly have not seen anyone in a long time that turned my head.
He had beautiful snow white hair. I think he was selling insurance. Anyway Samantha who is like a daughter and my every 4 month hair trim person said all the ladies were talking about him. When I left I told her to find out if he was for rent. I could use a chauffeur occasionally. At least I realized I was not dead. lol

Saturday, March 7, 2009


No name for my new woods cottage has seemed right to me. Several have gone through my mind and several names have been suggested - but I would have the thoughts that they just did not sound right.
While having my meditating and prayer time before falling asleep - Wood Haven - kept coming into my mind. So I got out of bed and am writing this entry. This name is a special gift and sign to me.
I looked up the word haven and it means a refuge, shelter and a place of safety. That is what Wood Haven will be.
My refuge and my shelter where I will be safe and close to nature.

An entry this Saturday Evening from One Woman

My son just emailed from Thailand - his thoughts - Wood Haven should be one word
like "Woodhaven" any suggestions from those who comment?

Woodhaven it is - Thank you Tabor and Jimmy.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hello Blogging!

Your about to have a birthday. Picture taken one year ago as thoughts surfaced to have an online "journal". Difficult to believe that I found enough to post about for one year. A lot of thoughts going through my mind about continuing. I would like to have my years entries bound and put away. Maybe some grandchild would like to read about the real grandma. One topic I have not written about is my father's background. A small town was named after his ancestors. I need to include this documentation in my first year entries. My youngest granddaughter will have her 4th birthday when grandma is celebrating the end of her first year on line in about a week.
Thoughts this early morning from One Woman on the continued journey through life.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Beginning

Can you picture this beginning with the large screen porch on the right side and deck across the back.
Continue visualizing home surrounded by aging picket fence. Picket fence covered with roses and other flowering vines and the small yard a cottage garden?
Can you visualize all of this with acres of woods behind the home. One Woman dreams of improving her camera skills taking images of birds and wildlife that she hopes will visit her.
The empty area in front in front of this home - part of the crop fields. Usually soybeans, corn and sometimes wheat planted in this field.
One Woman can visualize all of this - but then she has a vivid imagination.
Also at the moment she is flying high.

Posted after One Woman returned from the country - one hour ago. A long day!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Woodmont Cottage

Why is it so difficult for me to stay away from a building project. I want so to be on the site watching all the work that is being done. Like I want to see every nail that is driven.
I can remember packing my lunch for other building projects. Taking my folding chair and just enjoying what was going on. Also found out that some days when I did not go something was not done the way I wanted it. One time wrong window. They put a nice window that was suppose to go in my bathroom in the utility room. Caught this as it was being framed. No matter how I mark things it seems there is an electric plug not put where I want it. Also the vents for heat and air are sometimes where I do not want them.
After high school at 17 years of age I worked in the engineering department at Ford Motor Company. The only girl that worked with about 15 men. When my husband and I went into the ready-mix concrete business in our twenties, once again worked with men in construction. As my life continued and being solo I built and remodeled a number of homes. So now that I look back through the years I guess that is why I am comfortable with this atmosphere.
How do I describe myself. I am very feminine, petite and business like. Working with men I have never found anyone that treated me disrespectfully. But usually I stayed in the background but guess they knew I was sometimes in charge and signed their checks. Of course in other social arena's I came across a different kind of attention.
So I talked to my builder three times yesterday and miss not being on site. But it is cold and muddy and I do not need to be there. As I hung up he said "everything is alright and I will call you if I have a question". Another flaw I have among my many - I am accustom to being in charge. Have been since I took care of myself from the age of about 14 and on. It is also difficult for me to trust. Wish I was not that way but again it has to do with my past. We have a warming trend on the way tomorrow so I will be on the road the remainder of the week.
Fatigue was a big problem when I built this home. Up and down the road every day. Like some kind of addiction - I could not stay away. Was so weary when I drove home and did not feel like cooking or eating. I cannot I cannot do that this time. My children will abandon me.

Some early morning thoughts from One Woman

Monday, March 2, 2009

Assessment and Preparation

I question that when a builder tells you to make out a punch list of items not up to par that it is done immediately after home is finished. I have found out that many small things you do not notice for months. Even though you walk through with an "eagle eye" you miss things.
Then I have noticed over the years that after the punch list and you notice things months later or something is not as it should be - you very seldom get them to return. Sometimes after many exasperating phone calls and you trying to be courteous they do return. Most of the time you just give up and find someone to do this work.
So now my preparation with a relatively new home to be put on the market. It has to be perfect. Noticed a few months ago a few small cracks in ceiling in great room. No big deal just part of a home settling but messy to remedy. With home building off I was able to contact the original painter of this home and he came almost immediately. So a small job but lots of dust. When weather permits the outside will be groomed a little, really does not look bad. Also windows need washing and garage straightened - and that is about it.
Back to the cracks in the ceiling.
Mud the cracks, sand the cracks, mud the cracks, sand the cracks and now paint. Also on one wall where I placed something and changed my mind I have a small area to be painted. I usually do something like this myself. Went to the paint store since there was none of this color left for me but I had listed the wrong shade and when I tried to touch it up - it looked worse.
I have been going through closets and drawers and filling several boxes for Good Will. Also straightened everything in closets, linen closet and pantry. Now whenever anything is viewed it looks nice. Also downscaled dramatically 2 years ago and things are in pretty good order. When I first started selling my homes it bothered me to have people come in and look at my homes, it almost felt like an invasion of privacy. Like my bedroom is a special retreat for me. Still bothers me but not as much. I have often had a remark passed on to me that a viewer would share that they could tell my home was a very special place to me. I think because all that I have is old. Much handed down through the years. Homes filled with memories, books, pictures and special items.
I have always been sensitive. Almost to a fault but I think after I went through a divorce years ago and sat in a courtroom alone feeling like I had been stripped naked and stones were being thrown at me, much does not bother me anymore. It did help at that time for the judge to stand up for me. I still smile and have a warm feeling when I recall what he said at that time. Justice does pervail. Things like this use to make me almost sick physically and emotionally.
I have found out and guess still finding out that time takes care of most things.

Something I found written down in one of my journals. Aging - I will become braver, less interested in opinions of those I do not cherish. I have come to realize I have little to lose, why rush, very little reason to fear or not attempt brave and important things.
Guess that is why I continue to dream and create at this time of life.

Some early morning thoughts from One Woman