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

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Tonight I have my two little girls and we will party on pizza.

Wish I had some lobster and a glass of wine. A glowing fire and a book would make it complete.

Maybe I will treat myself one early evening.

I just finished reading my daughter's entry at

It dawned on me that "One Woman" needs some new sharper clothes. Everything I have is old old old. Classic and nice but "old". But then - most of the time I am in my comfortable jeans, sweaters, heavy jacket and old comfortable shoes or boots.

She looked so pretty in the fuchsia top. (remember she is my youngest)

One Woman may head for a few stores next week. Sounds good at the moment - but I will probably be reading some of the gardening catalogs that are starting to arrive in the mail.


May you be Happy
May you be Well
May you be Safe and at Peace

Early morning thoughts from One Woman. A lot has happened this year (surgery, building a home, moving and on and on). She has a smile on her face and peace in her heart. What more could she ask for?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Heart Full of Thankfulness

A quick drive to the local post office was her one errand this early morning.
Being home about 20 minutes, she saw a car coming down the long gravel drive and turning towards her cottage. She started to put on her shoes and go out and greet her visitor. Before she was finished - the car quickly turned around and went back to the road. She realizes now that her vehicle was parked behind her home and was not visable from the road. Someone not familar with One Woman - might think there was no one at home.

In about 20 minutes a neighbor called and shared that the same car stopped at his home. Evidently they thought there was no one home. After he answered the door and they went on their way - he watched - the car pulled into another drive. He was aware that this couple was at work. The two men got out of the car and he did not see them for about 5 minutes. Then they appeared carrying some bags.

911 was called and 3 police cars arrived within minutes.

One occupant from out of state, the other from another county, a car full of items that had been taken from homes.

The deputy came and talked to me a little earlier. Seems both men are wanted for this type of theft. They are now in the country jail.

He also shared that this was an isolated event in this area. I know that in my 35 years of owning property on this road that this has never happened before.

Oh, Callie was in the utility room with a gate on the door (since it was very cold outside) and I had the radio playing - So - Callie and "she" did not hear the car approaching or there would have been loud barking.

One Woman has a thankful heart and remembers .....
Psalms 91:11 "God will give his Angels charge over you"

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Woods Fairy

Her son gave her a puzzle. Hopefully it will help her sit still. This is one of her problems. She seems to be always busy doing something. She has wanted a simple puzzle, not with 1000 pieces. This one has 500 and hopefully she is bright enough to put it together.

She will have help at the end of the week as her little granddaughter's are a whiz at puzzles!!

Wonder if there are any Woods Fairies in her woods?

The special holiday has left her very tired. The planning, cooking, cottage full of family, excitement and now getting things back in order, seems to be taking her longer then in the past. Guess that is part of the aging.

Her special son arrived safely in a far away land. These trips make her happy for him but make her sad. Missing him - she must remember - "you give your children roots and wings". She has to remember that is his second home.

One Woman sharing the day after Christmas

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

If You Just Believe

All is well at Woodhaven and just checking in as it may be a few days before she post and hopefully has some new images to share.

She was up in the dark - hey that is nothing unusual - she is always up in the dark at this time of year. Just think that little by little our days will become lighter. It is like a new beginning.

She has a sour cream pound cake in the oven, ingredients for a family favorite of over 40 years - fudge cake. Which family would rather have then candy. She has been cleaning veggies for tray and making sure turkey breast will be thawed out. A simple noon meal on Christmas Eve and she will make a mushroom quiche and spinach with artichokes .

Callie is doing great and is sleeping in the utility room with a gate at the door and IS NOT CHEWING.

Yesterday some workers came and continued cleaning on the woods as you approach her cottage. Huge brush piles that will be burnt when it is very wet or snow is falling. Do not want to set the woods on fire. Things are beginning to look presentable.

Wanted to share my daughter's recent post If You Just Believe.

This song speaks to the heart.

My little one has hair almost to her waist and I ask Miss J - why did you not pull it in front in this picture - since grandma thinks her hair is so pretty - she answered that she puts it in a pony tail for daycare and this picture was taken at a daycare function. Guess, grandma is fussy and always is arranging everything.

Special Blessings sent to you from One Woman.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year - A Letter To Grandma

Hey Grandma!

I hope all is well in the countryside - is it frosty and cold there now? I would love to see some pictures of the place now that it's winter and my mom told me you moved most of your furniture into your new home. I can't wait until I have some time to come down and visit :) I am hoping for next Thanksgiving....

It is freeeeeeezing cold here and with the wind, it's rather nippy. I am lucky enough to be able to walk to work - the cold air definitely makes me wake up in the morning. I am finally settled into my new apartment, and I absolutely love it - my view is incredible, overlooking the whole city and Chrysler building. My roommate, although she is not around much and doesn't have a full time job, seems sweet enough and I have enjoyed the company. Otherwise, every night I am out with my vanderbilt friends considering we happen to all live in a one mile radius of one another - crazy, I kind of feel like I graduated to a larger campus ha. I also have a few friends from Longmeadow here which is always nice.

As for my job, I am slowly getting used to the 8:30 to 5:30 schedule and cubicle - I work with some talented, cool people which is nice. Last night they hosted a holiday happy hour which was fun (watching my boss get veryyyy drunk was quite amusing). But the most interesting part of my job is the multinational clients - the other day I spoke with people from Uruguay, Venezuela, Bulgaria, Spain, and Ecuador.So it's exciting! I've also gotten to put my French skills to good use :)

I do miss London a bit, mostly the people and job - I talk to the guys I worked with almost every day but I like NYC better as a city. Finally settling into 'real life' I guess...haha time is going by so fast!

Write me back and tell me all about the beautiful, serene country! I miss you and I wish I could see you over the holidays! What are your plans for Christmas? Is everyone coming to your house?

Love you!
Jessica xo--

Friday, December 18, 2009


At least she knows it was not down!!

She is at loss for words. Or rather words to include on her journal.

She fell asleep for 30 minutes and then a phone call for about 10 minutes.

Callie is on the screen porch on her new bed!!!!!!!!!!

I just forgot how to smile, breathe and walk slowly.

But I know it will return.

One Woman's end to a perfect day!!!


A surprise early evening. My neighbor called and asked if she would be home. She replied "yes".

Callie is barking as the car drives down the long gravel drive.

Grandparents and two little boys step out of the car. They are singing a Christmas carol as they come through the door. Another song and a beautifully wrapped gift is handed to her. They warmed her heart.

Earlier in the day she received an email from someone that she admires so very much. Her writing and her images are beyond description. In the past there was a post she commented on, it touched her heart deeply. One Woman is receiving something special in the mail.

This morning she read something that started her day in a special way.

She must remember.......

bow deeply to the day
and embrace what
it is telling you -
this is all there is

Have a good day. One Woman has some quick errands before the rain starts in. She must remember to breathe, smile and walk slowly.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mr. Snowman

Look what arrived in the mail.

He is from my daughter in Michigan.

Mr. Snowman has a new home at Woodhaven.
I love him and he makes me smile.
Mary, thank you.

Other events of the day: I washed my favorite "old" limegreen cashmere turtleneck.

Since it is suppose to reach 50 degrees today - It was placed on a towel on a table on the deck.

Looked outside and guess what? Miss Callie was sitting on it!! No damage done.

A short time ago, Callie was barking and acting like a bear was in the yard. I looked outside and could see on the road in front - which is over a 1000 feet away - a van and the workers from the county jail. They let them pick up any trash on the road - a good idea.

To make a long story short, I feel well protected.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Call Back

Life is a steep climb, and it does the heart good to have somebody "call back" and cheerily beckon us on up the high hill. We are all climbers together, and we must help one another. This mountain climbing is serious business, but glorious. It takes strength and steady step to find the summits. The outlook widens with the altitude. If anyone among us has found anything worth while, we ought to "call back."

If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back....
"Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And if, perchance, Faith's light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.

Copied from - Streams In The Desert by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

I underlined 12/15/87

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

White Bean Chili

A cloudy, windy - cold day.

Even Miss Callie stands at the door waiting for an invitation to come inside. Like she has shared she is has never let her dogs come inside. Her dogs have always stayed outside, roamed the woods, and would sit in the driveway waiting to alert her of any visitor.

Guess she is growing weak in her old age. She spread a sheet by the door, opens the door and Miss Callie comes inside the house. Every time she looks at her she wags her tail.

Lunchtime was approaching and she has to eat, does not feel like cooking and nothing sounds appealing. Too cold and wintry for peanut butter. Needs something warm in her stomach.

The Thanksgiving leftover turkey yielded 4 bags in the freezer. She has a recipe for white bean chili and it uses chicken breast and she may have most of the ingredients and decides to prepare this simple chili with the turkey.

She did half the recipe and as usual changes it some. It turned out to be tasty at lunch and the balance this evening.

1 can of white beans - thoroughly rinsed
l 1/2 cans of chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
chopped onion - a little less then 1/2 cup
2 1/2 cups cooked and chopped turkey breast
1 small can chopped chiles
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon oregano
black pepper to taste
cilantro - chopped - she did not have this on hand

Beans and chicken broth in pot and begin to warm
Saute butter, onion, garlic, and chiles for 5 minutes
Add this along with the cooked chopped turkey and spices to beans and broth
cook for about 20 minutes, then simmer and stir occasionally until you are ready to eat

She found this tasty and it would be extra good with cornbread. She did not feel like making cornbread and just had crackers with it.

Not the most exciting meal in the world - but nourishing and simple for one.

Like she shared she cut this in half. Her daughter prepares something similar, using cooked chicken breast and doubles for family.


The year's end is coming
I feel great contentment
Completion means rest
Rest means renewal
Renewal means new beginnings.

365 Tao Daily Mediations by Deng Mins Dao

Smile, Breathe and go slowly

Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Solstice

Winter, spring, summer, fall and seasons of the heart go and come. She is slowly learning to live in the moment. One Woman's oldest daughter made the remark that her mom had come "full circle". What does that mean?

She is aware that she followed her heart. The mind was busy saying other things - she did not listen.
Very weary, but at peace. She is looking forward to staying inside this winter, sitting by the fire and reading some of this stack of books that is growing. Spring will be soon enough to wash and dust a lot of items that were moved.

A rainy cold day yesterday and her son surprised her, drove to the country, and took her to lunch. It was such a treat.

She is very aware that after Christmas he will be far over the ocean for several months. He is so much further ahead on this journey of mindfulness, then his mom.

Preparing to head back to the big city his vehicle was loaded with more downscaling items and some poinsettia's for his sister. A ship that was purchased when he was about 3 years old and was in his room for years. A over 100 year old school clock, it was the first clock she purchased close to 50 years ago, an old wood plant stand to add to some other treasures being shared with him. It pleases his mom since he has repeatedly told her - he wanted nothing. These will look good in his small home and will be reminders of long ago.

2009 has been another year of change and very busy year. The thought and then the reality of a smaller home being built on her country property. City life was not for her and she is at peace that she made this decision. Unexpected surgery in February, completion of country home and a gradual move took place. The final arrival of her belongings took place last Friday. Hopefully her energy level will soon be back to normal.

Christmas eve will be another family time. She will do very little decorating this season.

Hopefully nature will take care of this and maybe Miss Callie will sport a big red bow.

She is so aware of her many blessings and has a very thankful heart. All of her family is well and her granddaughter who graduated in May has landed a position in New York. With the economy like it is - that is a miracle.

Nothing is taken for granted and the last piece of the puzzle will fall in place when the time is right.

Winter Solstice in two weeks and she looks forward to it gradually being lighter each the day

To all who have read her journey and reminiscing this past year, blessings sent to each of you.

May you be happy
May you be well
May you be safe and at peace

One Woman needs to remember to breathe, when she is online.....

Thursday, December 3, 2009


She places this sign on the city home tomorrow. In the early morning the moving company is bringing the rest of her belongings to the country. Excited that finally the country cottage will be a complete home. Just think she can sleep in her own bed tomorrow night.

She picked up this sign early morning. Errands were finished and drove back to the country, her mind was going over part of her past and it seemed like she was watching a film.

During her marriage there were 5 homes and also pieces of property sold. She was instrumental in these. One sale resulted from this 23 year old young mother putting a sign in the window
that said "for sale". She wanted so to return to Tennessee. Her husband said with a smile if you can sell this home we will go. Now this home was in a rural Michigan area and not much traffic. Guess what? In two weeks an elderly couple stopped to view the home and paid cash for it. They had just sold their home as part of property where additional interstate was needed.

The results of that sale made it possible to return to her birthplace in Tennessee.

There came a time that she struck out on her own. During those years she built 6 homes and sold part of property she had acquired. Her homes have been in local papers and one in Southern Living. She seems to have a natural talent - or whatever you call it - for using her same old furnishings over and over and planting her gardens. A number of times the remark was made to her that she should have her real estate license.

When her youngest was about 8 she would travel to the state college to qualify for a license.
The winding dark country road and her little one sitting in the back doing homework - bothered her. So she did not continue and she has never had a regret.
So when she looks at this sign it really does not bother her. "much" It is a sign of the times, it has nothing to do with her and she needs to move on with her life. This is a first - so she has a good track record. If she does say so herself!!! She made this decision and knew the consequences.
Downside is this home represents her retirement or whatever you want to call it. But she does not need much or want anything.

Yes, she does want something. To garden, sit and read the stack of books by her chair, walk in the woods with Miss Callie and look forward to the calls and visits from her children and grandchildren. Also to continue trying to take some good images and age gracefully!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


A long day and not posting much. Have been in the city all day - removing pictures from the city house walls, emptying dishes out of cabinets and looking at some of the stuff that you accumulate over 50 years - that you really do not want anymore.

Just finished reading some other sites.

Looked at mine and guess what?

There is some ad on "how to lose belly fat".


Have asked my computer wise daughter to please remove it.

New post in a few days. I am trying to decide whether to bring the balance of my furniture
to the country this Friday. I want this home to be complete. I have slept on a mattress on a frame long enough. Miss my high poster bed.

Would like my home complete for Christmas. My daughter tells me "maybe" wait until after Christmas - I am thinking!!!

Moving company tells me to let them know early Thursday??