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

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Beginning

I am back in the city this morning and will return on Monday morning to the country with my little granddaughter.

I probably will keep repeating myself "I am pleased with all that has transpired and look forward to the continuing creation of my nature home." My gardens and the earth on my hands will truly makes this my home.

I like the sparseness of this home. A card table is my kitchen table. I have just enough in the pantry to be comfortable. This home will fill up soon enough when this city home sells. How in the world did it take all day and a large truck to move what is in this home. Upstairs is totally furnished and the garage is full and I am not showing a lot of area's. Enough pictures posted to give an idea of this home. Pictures in the future will be nature shots. Hopefully there are some critters and birds out there. I am beginning to hear them. I was looking forward to opening my bedroom window early in the morning - and they sent the wrong size screen!!!!

I know a cat must have wandered here last night. There were feathers on my walk and straw hanging out of my birdhouse - made me sad.

Since many have traveled this journey with me, I am going to post a few pictures. One Woman moved limited items one week ago today. I want to add that I do not miss having a television and may not have one in this home. Like just having my cell phone but looking forward to having computer installed.

I never have problems with my teeth - but I think I have cracked a crown. I am on an antibiotic since I have had a toothache for two nights.

Thanks again for all of your encouraging words and thoughts you sent forward to me.

This is a simple home but larger then I intended. A lot of my beginning plans changed as the reality of this progressed. One Woman has children and grandchildren and for its future it was made a little larger. I chose Hardy Board over Western Cedar for the upkeep. Pine floors (which finished beautifully) Bead board cabinets. Middle of the line products and for the first time of building a number of homes, I was off on the cost. Guess it was because I added more square footage and a garage. Cost 30% more then I planned. I have not vacationed in years and this home will be like a vacation in my last years!!! One Woman likes to stay busy and I see years of clipping, clearing, planting, photographing and sitting on the porch and deck viewing the trees and the birds.

Memories being made by One Woman

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Miraculous First Evening Sunset In The Country

I drove back to the city late yesterday. Some of my children visited me on Sunday and my daughter Beth expressed it perfectly "mama you do not want to go back to the city - do you"? My answer "no I do not". So I am in the city for the day and night. I need to go over this sparsely furnished home, tend this city garden and watch my 7 year old granddaughter for the day. I will head back to the country this late afternoon.

I keep trying to come up with words to describe my first nights in the country. I am having difficulty finding them. How do you express such Thankfulness that the Lord has allowed me to have this blessing. What are the words for a peace so deep that all I can say is "I am so very thankfull".

As I looked out my windows, sat on the porch, walked surrounding area and viewed the countryside, the awesome sunsets, witnessed the deer, wild turkey, raccoon on my driveway, aware of the many types of birds going from tree to tree and the owl I spotted - all I can say is I have the deepest sense of peace that I think I have ever experienced in my 3 score and 10 years. The total quiet except for nature sounds is such a contrast with the sounds I have heard for over two years in this city cottage.

I Am Home!!!!. I wandered for a few years and now have returned. Maybe I needed to leave to really appreciate my last years surrounded by nature. So many things I do not know. A number of things to complete on this journey until I can stop making weekly trips from city to country. At least they will be limited.

How can I express such deep heartfelt feelings. I cannot.

S0 - dear online friends - just know that I am HAPPY and at PEACE. The Peace is so deep that I am at a loss for words to describe how I feel.

There is still a lot of detail work going on. My driveway needs to be graveled and on and on.

But my country cottage is 98% finished.

I also will share that I truly like the emptiness of both cottages. My mind is busy thinking of what else I can get rid of.

The Saturday move took the whole day. My son kept commenting "take everything you can" his thoughts this home looked roomier with less in it. I have to say now that I have returned that I totally agree with him. I did not think it would take as long as it did. The final move will not take as long. Every trip I make to the city I will return with some items for the country. Maybe this will be good for me the way it is unfolding.

I continue to plan my garden in the country and do not want as much to take care of as I have in the past.

But I also know that is not my personality.

I have thoroughly enjoyed no landline phone, computer and television. They have not been missed.

Will post some pictures soon. I am surprised I can even write this entry as my mind is still not functioning normal. I question - what is normal?. Maybe this is normal and I have not been normal for 2 years. lol I need to rest. Probably more then ever in my lifetime. I am physically tired.

Thanks to everyone that remembered me and has been cheering me on.

Now city home tell that buyer to come soon.

Blessings to all of you who have taken an interest in this One Woman's project.

Memories being made by One Woman

Thursday, June 18, 2009

All Is Well

All is well - just busy. The finishing touches on my country home are continuing. Screen to go on screen porch and deck being finished. Screen door onto deck and full glass door to front porch - then touch up. Appliances were delivered today and Saturday morning bright and early 1/3 of what is in the city home will be moved to the country.

Every day my truck is filled to the brim with items I am moving. Wednesday a helper arrived and took a lot of items out of my garden and emptied my garage.

My landscaping looked so beautiful on Tuesday and then a storm came through and my yard is filled with about 3 pick up loads of branches and the top of a "probably 100 foot Poplar tree".
So thankful it fell in the yard and not on my cottage.
Oh I might mention that I still have major "mud". I have a feeling that when the rain stops it will have truly stopped.

So my online friends I just wanted you to know what was happening in One Woman's world.

I plan on spending 3 or 4 nights a week starting Saturday.

I am excited to hear the night sounds and see what there is to see in the black of night and the early dawn. One of my little granddaughters might join me.

I am in the process of taking a number of items from my kitchen. I know (smiling) that there will be times at both homes that I need something and it is at the other home. City home - please sell soon - so One Woman can get on with her life.

Thank you for checking on me.

You are all special to me.

Might mention with all this I had a major problem with my car. It was just returned from the shop. Oh well!!!

One Woman getting ready to make some more memories!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mindfulness - Where Are You?

I started on my journey of errands. I am not all that car suave and when a light on the dash came on - it unsettled me. Bought a few groceries and returned home. Seems I am low on oil. The miles that are posted shows I still have a few miles. My son explained to me that when a car gets older that this sometimes happens - and also when going through paperwork in car I discovered My License Had Expired In March.

The county I moved from always sent a notice and I never received one in this county.

So in the morning first thing I will have car serviced and go and update my license.

The explanation for this - I have been driving my truck daily. Both of these vehicles look like new and are low mileage and I am not in the market for upgrading any time soon.

It truly upsets me when something pertaining to a car, appliances, computer and anything I am not knowledgeable about - has a problem. Guess this is normal.

One Woman's Sunday


One Woman is very weary. I know in the future that my grandchildren will comment that grandma used that word a lot during this transition in her life. Ahhhh - returning to the country life is taking time and my energy.

Yesterday was spent in the country. All is going well but not as fast as I have wanted it to.
My contractor/carpenter had two teeth extracted and that took a few days for him to feel like working at a normal pace. Then the rain returned along with the MUD. Also a problem with my finished floors. I will share about this later. At the present time, in light of all that is happening in my life, this does not take priority.
Although it bothered me and caused one sleepless night. Yesterday I continued to plan my gardens and plant. Planted a dozen green Monkey Grass (no time to look up correct name and spelling -lol) and Coral Bell plants (they are one of my long time favorites) along the walk going to screen porch. Placed a red Japanese Maple, Crepe Myrtle, Hawthorne bush and several other bushes and plants on the ground to visualize and will plant tomorrow. I have moved about 3 dozen pieces of plants from this city garden and all seem to be doing well. Next Spring will tell the complete story.

Anyway, I am in the city cottage today. Need to restock my dwindling pantry and make lists and more lists of what to begin to take to the country cottage.

I was not going to write anything and clicked on twitter - which I know nothing about.
My daughter shared that it was a good way to keep up with her and family on their adventure at the Renaisance in St. Augustine, Florida. They are on a special 5 day trip.

Adventures of flying for my 4 and 7 year old. They are so excited and I smile at the stories they will share with this grandma. I do not think I have ever seen two children so excited.

My morning smile when my daughter shared that Caity made the comment "why can't we just live in a hotel, it is so comfy". Smart girl!!!!

Also, Jamie said that since hubby and Amelia both snored all night that she could foresee Tylenol PM and ear plugs in her future. I could comment "there are many things that you cannot even begin to foresee in the future - with these two lively and beautiful little girls".
This put a smile on my face and brought back memories of travels with my little ones in another lifetime.

Some new memories for One Woman

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Dream

My father's birthday is today, June 13th, he would have been 98 years old. In his later years he had a dream. The dream was to have a small country grocery store. The dream became a reality after he retired and he and my mother moved back to their family roots in Tennessee from Michigan.

He took such joy in being the butcher in this small store. Was really good at this. When my children were growing up and I wanted a special cut of meat - he never disappointed me.
Seems the few times I purchase meat at this time I find the quality disappointing. I do not eat often but occasionally a steak craving arises.
My father's childhood was very difficult as his father passed away when he was twelve. There were five sisters in that household and a lot of the stories I remember hearing still bring a smile to my face.
My father died of a massive heart attack when my youngest was a little over one year old.
I can remember him coming in the door and she would run to him and he would put the hat he always wore - on her little head.

Memories arise this day and thoughts of how very much he would have enjoyed my children and grandchildren.

One Woman - Memories

Thursday, June 11, 2009


ADVICE, LIKE YOUTH, PROBABLY JUST WASTED ON THE YOUNG' by Mary Schmich, published in the Chicago Tribune on June 1, 1997:"Wear sunscreen.If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.Do one thing every day that scares you.Sing.Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.Floss.Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.Stretch.Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-old I know still don't.Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room.Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.Respect your elders.Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.But trust me on the sunscreen."

This is to good to not pass on - read it on "Talking to Myself (for the most part) a blog I just discovered.

One Woman - remember

Friday, June 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Special Little One

You spent the day with grandma last week. A day of smiles and laughter. You have laughter that puts a smile on grandma's face. I want you to fill the rooms of my new country home with your laughter. I want the walls filled with that joy.This evening I try and remember some of the things you said to me. I should have documented throughout the day. But did not."Did you know your coach's wife is my doctor" "yes grandma". I told her she was the best doctor in the world. "how do you know grandma". Guess it is wisdom I told her. "What is wisdom" I said something like "when you live a long time like grandma you have a special wisdom". "Do you have to live a long time to have wisdom" - "well it takes a lot of life experience to have wisdom". "What is experience grandma"?Well you can gather from this conversation that it went on and on. So many words I used she would ask what they meant. Hopefully I can watch this little one develop the enthusiasm for life that is so evident. Every time my two little one's visit they go to my desk and come to me with my glasses on with a smile and say "do I look like a grandma" then they start laughing. Girls leave grandma's glasses alone.

Today was spent with grandma. On an errand you pointed out the bowling alley and shared that daddy took you there yesterday to bowl. You beat him and you told me that even old people could play this game. I asked "am I old Caity" - "yes, she replied - but you are young old". Now how is that remark for making grandma smile.

Happy Birthday on your 7th - my special little one.

Memory from One Woman and she is still learning how to scan old pictures and make the quality a little better.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

All Is Well

Dear online friends, just a note to give you update information.
A trip to the country this morning after a dentist appointment to view finished railing around loft area, stairs, some kitchen appliances and light fixtures.
It rained all night - mud has returned - but grass is coming up and landscape items and flowers moved from city are all doing well.
In the next week the inside will be cleaned, floors stained, frig, stove, washer and dryer will be delivered.
I have a helper coming next week to move a few garden items. A large concrete pot, concrete garden bench, garage items, large trellis and some other landscape items.
Week after next the men from the local fire hall ( move people on the side ) will rent a uhaul and remove about 1/3 out of this home.
Everything will still look fine in the city for viewers and I will have enough in the country to be comfortable for the days and nights I stay.
Also each time I go to the country I will begin to take some of my kitchen items, linens and some clothes. Maybe this is a good way to move as it will not be all at once.
My driveway needs a number of truckloads of gravel, contractor will continue to finish deck and screen porch and I will continue to invent a small garden area.
S0 all is well but I am very tired.
If I come to mind - tell the Good Lord to send this buyer quickly. The final move will come at the right time - of this I am sure.
Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement on One Woman sharing her late in life adventure.
Interesting that no matter how many times I have built and really do some indepth planning - there is always something I would do differently.
One Woman

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Beat Goes On

One Woman's - Monday. Up at 4:30 AM. Left home at 7:00. Arrrived woods site at 8:00.
My helper was waiting for me to arrive. The concrete people on Saturday formed my small curved walkway to screen porch, steps from deck area to garden area and a small slab in front of front porch before you go up wooden steps.
This was done on Saturday and I was told they would arrive at dawn on Monday to remove the forms so helper and myself could fill in around the concrete work and I was going to pick up a truck load of mulch and we would plant 2 Rhododendrons and 2 Oak Leaf Hydrangea's that were beginning to wilt. Also brought some ground cover to see if they would like this new home.
Also wanted to begin moving plants from my woods nursery - closer to house.

HOW - can soil that was so muddy last week be so hard today that you can hardly put a shovel in it. Is this Tennessee country soil or is it like this everywhere. Rain, rain and more rain and now hot hot sun. Hopefully some of the grass seed will come up.

WELL - the concrete men did not show. They are coming this evening. SO - what should we do? Continued clearing some more of the woods surrounding back of house and had two fires going.

Also unloaded truck of items I brought for the garage. Every time I go - I am taking something.

Plumber arrived and put in commodes, sinks with faucets and my microwave. Also put up an antique lamp that I have had for 40 years. It will be over my kitchen table. The builder/carpenter was busy installing the railing around the small loft area. This material was promised every day last week - I lost my temper (I am really ashamed of myself as I thought I no longer could display such strong anger - guess I am still a work in progress) when I called on Friday as it was holding up progress. It finally arrived on Saturday. After this woodwork and banisters are installed the upstairs can be carpeted. If funds were available I would put the pine flooring upstairs. BUT
since this area with guest bedroom will not be used often I am putting a flat oatmeal colored carpet.
If I were a few years younger and my knee with arthritis - after surgery to repair torn cartilage (from two much digging in the dirt) - did not bother me occasionally - I would have my computer on this upstairs loft in front of a window. BUT - I would be up and down the stairs a dozen times a day and that I cannot tolerate. That is what my son tells his mom.

NEXT the downstairs pine flooring will be stained and my appliances can be installed.

THEN - One Woman can move 1/3 from city home to the country.

THEN - I can finally experience what it is like to be ALONE in my country home without workers. ALSO - to remember how black the nights and how loud the night sounds.

WONDER - if I will like it?

Enough shared. Wonder if anyone in the future will enjoy reading this rambling?

I will return in the morning with my 6 year old granddaughter to haul mulch. Maybe she will enjoy playing with the large boxes grandma saved for her to play in.

Quick note - Someone pulled down my long gravel drive and moved a barrier so they could turn around.
Hey - do not do that. Or at least put the barrier back in place so I would not know you made a visit or better yet - leave me a note. It might say "Enjoyed your new work in progress".

One Woman's Journey continues