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 30, 2010


My daughter in Michigan sent me these Flameless Candles. They are excellent quality.

I really like them.

On these continued long dark and cold winter nights - they seem to make my reading room warmer.

Have placed one on my night stand. When having my meditation and prayer time - like the warm glow.

I always lite a candle when I have my evening meal.

This is something I can now use along with the real candles

We are no more than candles burning in the wind ~~Japanese proverb~~

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Old Turtle

I have never been one to collect things. Maybe plants and books - but somehow over the years I have accumulated a number of turtles. I never looked for them, it just seemed I would spot one somewhere and buy it.

Have told my children never to buy me a turtle. I do not want anymore. But if I happen to come across one - it might be added to this collection.

Why turtles? Guess that when I started out on my own - it was slow and easy. It had to be as I did not know what the future held, and still do not. My older children needed to finish their educations and my my little one was beginning her journey.

Do not remember where I read about this book "The Old Turtle" - by Douglas Wood Watercolors by Cheng-Khee Chee - A timeless bestseller - offering a message of love and tolerance and honoring the sacredness of life.

After reading this book I would almost like to keep it for myself. But it was a gift for my little one on Christmas Eve morning.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

2010 White Christmas

My young granddaughter's wish was fulfilled.

As they left grandma's home yesterday - they hugged her and said "grandma I hope we have a white Christmas."

Merry Christmas - to all far and near.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Missing You

For those over the miles and my son over the ocean - mom took an image as she prepares the table for Christmas Eve breakfast.

In my heart you will be among us.
I send you my love. May you be Happy, Healthy, Safe and at Peace....

As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.

We bless the year for all we learned
For all we loved and lost
And for the quiet way it brought us
Nearer to our invisible destination

John O'Donohue - in part from "At The End Of the Year"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cherry Nut Cake

Better take an image and post recipe while I have a moment and they are still here !

Marcia was so kind to share her mother's recipe

Cherry Nut Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees - grease 3 small loaf pans

2 sticks of butter - softened
1 - 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract

2 and 1/4 cups flour
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
dash of salt

Two 16 oz jars of maraschino cherries, well drained and halved
1 cup chopped walnuts

flour, baking soda and salt in bowl and set aside

Large bowl - beat butter, cream cheese, sugar - add eggs one at a time - add extracts

Fold in flour mixture

Gently stir in cherries and nuts

I made - 3 small loaves - my oven took 45 minutes - started testing with toothpick at 35

Cool in pans 10 minutes and then on rack Wrap in foil - I was told freezes well....

I will not be freezing - 1/2 loaf is gone - another for a special friend - one for Christmas Eve
breakfast. May have to make special trip to store for more cherries and cream cheese and make again. Daughters may want to take a loaf home.

Marcia, thank you again for sharing this recipe ...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Welcome Winter Solstice

Perhaps I am a bear, or some other hibernating animal underneath, for the instinct to be half asleep all Winter is so strong in me

~~Anne Morrow Lindbergh~~

One kind word can warm three Winter months

~~Japanese Proverb~~

Monday, December 20, 2010

December 20th News

Thankful my grandson is home with family in Florida. Flu like symptoms over the last week and grandma was concerned. A departure in blizzard conditions from Copenhagan, stop in Iceland, New York and then safely home.

My daughter said he wants to prepare a meal for them while he is home. Made me smile as I can remember my son loved to cook. Also a thought that none of my daughters ever made this offer:)

One granddaughter arrived in Florida safely from New York. Another granddaughter with special friend will soon be on the road from Washington D.C.

Those near will visit Woodhaven at noon on Christmas Eve. A country breakfast with ham (new offering of cherry nut bread) presents, pictures taken, and maybe my little one will play a song for grandma on her guitar.

Family busy with going and coming and Grandma after not leaving the woods for 9 days - practiced taking pictures of herself.

Be who you are, and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind

~~Dr. Seuss~~

Sunday, December 19, 2010


It is surely evident that this One Woman loves books.
They are next to my chair
In my bedroom
In the sitting room
As you come in the door...
I had a wish - to sit and read this winter.
It has not been fulfilled
Maybe still time!!!

You have to store up books, becoming acquainted with human experience; let them lie around your thoughts, becoming yours - ring upon ring, as a tree grows, let them rise up from the depths like coral islands.
It it gets crowded with all the books, and there's nowhere to put your bed, it's better to exchange it for a folding bed.

~Viktor Shklovsky~~~

Early Morning Mail

Grandma's day starts with a smile
This image a reminder of her
Many Blessings
A reminder of many a Christmas
Scene like this
Years Ago
The happiness of a child
Is contagious

Friday, December 17, 2010

Just Be

I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with the roughest courage.

When they are real, they are not glass threads or frost-work, but the solidest

thing we know ~~Ralph Waldo Emerson~~

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Little Country Church

Not far from my cottage is a small country church. It came to mind several months ago and thought - Miss Callie and I will drive out the country road to take a look.

There it was just like she remembered. This church must be somewhere near 200 years old.

Took a picture of the wreath on the door. It was on my header at one time.

The stain glass on my header at this time - is an image captured.

If the door had been unlocked would have loved to have gone inside.
Enter through the door and sit quietly by myself. Could not do this (it was locked) but have a vivid imagination. Imagine all the voices she would hear and emotions that would touch her heart.

Wish it was possible to be invisible. One Woman sitting alone during worship - totally unobserved. She would pray, listen to the special hymns and sing from her heart - like in the past...

Thoughts of visiting during the holidays.

So many thoughts from the past would arise.

Truth is - she is no longer that person. Not the person she was a year ago, 10 years ago, 20, 30 and on and on. We are continually changing ...... that is the way it is suppose to be.

Sometimes she wonders - that person years ago - was that me?

Then she remembers children, grandchildren

And that yesterday she was young and today old.

Whoever she is - kind of nice at this time of life....

Hundreds of Sunday's spent within walls like this.

Their Sunday clothes, every hair in place, mother quieting them.....

When she would spend summers with grandma - it was Sunday morning, evening and middle of the week. Hand held fans moving rapidly and dress so starched it "itched" when she sat on it.

Do not know if emotionally she could take this trip - back..

Memories surface at unexpected times....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


On cold days I like to bake.

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies - seemed a good choice and all ingredients on hand

As an experiment I put in a cup of chopped fresh cranberries in last half of the batter
Thought they would look festive. They taste pretty good:)

1 and 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup soft butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 beaten egg
2 and 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix first 5 ingredients and add dry ingredients
Fold in chocolate chips and nuts ------- and if you add cranberries (very tart and I sprinkled a little sugar on them.

350 degrees - drop on greased cookie sheet - 12- 14 minutes
watch and remove when bottom begins to brown

I use tsp for a medium cookie (made 4 dozen for me) - you can make a larger cookie

Cool on cookie sheet a few minutes and then place on wire rack to continue cooling.

Have used this recipe a number of time for 2 years and I may have posted this in the past

Tuesday, December 14, 2010



Callie outside
Will not come inside
Rolling in snow

Bundled up warm
Bird feeders filled
Spotted huge bird at dusk
Owl or hawk

Good morning to bake
Housework and
Desk work

Temperature says
Stay inside

Many years ago
She felt the cold
calling her and

Not at this time

Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe
that I do not want it. Now I understand
why the old poets of China went so far and high
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.

~Mary Oliver~

Monday, December 13, 2010


Snow all day on Sunday
Blustery winds all night
5 and ice covered temperature on usually sunny deck

Plane could not get into Nashville
Little Rock for a while
Safely home
Over the icy roads

Little girls stayed safe on
Two round trips to airport

Early morning picture
Could hardly hold camera

Feeders were full yesterday
Hesitant to venture out

Fun in New York for granddaughter
Christmas Crawl

Memories of this energy
In the past


One Woman is staying inside

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Mail received in the last hours

A Christmas card from son in Thailand

A picture of my grandson
over the ocean and soon will return home

From daughter in warm California
Safe travel wishes home
Go out this very day

These are the simple things that
Keep mom and grandma smiling

In her world

At the edge of the cold woods

Friday, December 10, 2010

She Can Breathe

This post was written about a year ago - So much accomplished this past year.

She had forgotten that the final move into this cottage was one year ago.

Spring arrived and gardens were planted.

An exciting and very busy year.

She will have to say that it has been her happiest year in these last years.

So, One Woman - slow down, rest this winter and enjoy your dream.

Dream of what will emerge in the garden next Spring.

Woodhaven - December 2009

She was up at 5:00 in the early morning and picked up her helper at 7:00. Traffic was really bad at that particular time. They arrived at 8:00 in the city and immediately started packing dishes and all that could go in boxes, bags and in her car - as fast as they could.

Movers arrived at 9:00. Oh my- what a long day. She had the thought that this move would only take a few hours. Well she was wrong. She is not usually wrong!!! There were a number of really big pieces of furniture. They had been moved from home to home over the years and hopefully they will stay put until her children decide what to do with them.

Everything on truck and the moving men and she were headed down the road. When she finally came to the country road, she looked at her helper and said "I can finally breathe".

When the truck was being unloaded - she asked the driver "what do you think of my country home" - and his reply was "here you can breathe".

All went well and the movers did not leave the country until 5:00 pm.

So, One Woman is happy, peaceful and very very tired. Her bed felt like Heaven last night.

She was up at 4:00 this morning just to check on Callie. Her helper has an item on screen porch she is picking up today and she wanted to make sure Miss Callie was not "chewing on it".

All was fine and so she began to look in boxes, bags, garage and started hanging a few pictures.

She is not very disciplined with herself.

I will close as I am weary - but - at last this home is me. Sleeping on a mattress, eating at a card table, nothing on the walls or mirrors in the bathroom is not me. - 5 months was enough of that.

So, now I truly feel I am home . All the old, scarred furnishings that were bought years ago for another lifetime, the items that were my mother's and grandmother are lovingly in their new home in the country.

I can dwell in this home as if it were a heart.
When I feel that pulse I know that all that comes to me will also go. Living in this stream I understand You are my life blood. Let me feel You course through me, through this door, throughout my life.

Words in part from "Being Home" by Gunilla Norris

A book that was received today as a gift from a special friend

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could,
Tomorrow is a new day;
Begin it well and serenely and
With too high a spirit to be
Encumbered with your nonsense

~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Thought

The very cold weather continues
After lunch yesterday
The sun was so warm on the deck
Did not sit on the deck
But in front of the large window
The sun was wonderful
My thought to read
But - just closed my eyes
Enjoyed the warmth of the sun

What fire could ever equal the sunshine of a winter's day.
The warmth comes directly from the sun, and is not radiated from the earth; as in the summer, and when we feel his beams on our backs as we are treading some snowy dell, we are grateful
as for a special kindness, and bless the sun which has followed us into the by-place.

From ..... Walking...... by Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Clocks - how many do you have in your life?

In this cottage - let us see --- One on the stove, microwave, computer, on the walls, and sitting on various tables.

The last move - my son would drive me to the country with special items. On several trips I would hold the clocks that have such personal meaning to me (my mother's and grandmother's) in my lap and beside me.

So---my grandmother's clock, two of my mother's, grandmother floor clock that chimes, clock on library table, and a tiny travel clock that was purchased in Jamaica 45 years ago, is on my nightstand.

Oh, an old school clock that I still have not found a place to hang and another special wall clock that chimes - if it is working - it is waiting for me to find a clock repair man.

Difficult to find someone that works on clocks. For years I was very fortunate as my stepfather loved working on clocks and kept mine in good running order.

That is a lot of clocks. I like them all and hardly hear them ticking away. I find them comforting. A reminder of times long ago. Sometimes in the night the thought arises that I do not hear the clocks . Just so accustomed to them, they are already at home in the woods, and I am hardly aware of them

I have them spaced so they all do not chime at once. Some chime on the hour, some every 15 minutes. Some just tick and do not chime. They are all different.

When one of my daughter's make a visit, she tells me she cannot sleep with all the clocks chiming. I just tell her to use earplugs "I hardly hear them."

I can remember many years ago, when my oldest granddaughter stayed with me for a short time while her parents went on a trip. She was about 18 months old, slept in my bedroom and would say to me
"grandma your clocks go tick tock all night."

Thoughts arise - who will love these clocks like One Woman? Maybe a grandchild will enjoy their sound.

To think
she is having thoughts
of not
wearing a watch
on her wrist
so she
does not plan
lets her spirit
guide her time ....

Monday, December 6, 2010

Undisciplined - Obsession - Addict

This morning as I type away it is snowing big beautiful flakes and 18 degrees on my deck.

Also, this was another morning of not being able to access what I now deem important in my life - my computer.

I almost had a panic attack.

Computer was back running yesterday after 96 hours of being gone from my world.

Now - I am trying to figure this out.

I have led a super busy life.

Moved back to the country, built a small cottage at the edge of the woods to fulfill my dream of simplicity, gardening, photography, reading, to practice mindfulness, and at times be able to just sit and be.

In my cottage - now 1 year. All has fallen neatly in place. My city home sold last June and I am so very thankful for this miracle in view of what is going on in the world.

I have begun daily to look forward to comments (on what I share) regarding what is going on in my world and on my mind.

There are blogs I read daily and leave a comment. Some I read and do not comment.

I would start naming those who correspond regularly and have become so special - but fear I might leave someone out.

I read the news and the weather.

My children email me on and off during the day instead of using the telephone. I did 98% of my downscaled Christmas shopping online. Any question is immediately answered online.

Such joy is found in downloading an image that was just taken. If it is good, I smile and it is like I have been given a gift.

Confession - for 96 hours I looked at my computer and willed it to come back on :) I wept, walked the floors and was really "sad"

It was ever present on my mind that I moved far away from "help" - from family. But this is where I want to be unless something happens that I cannot live in this world by the woods.

Thoughts - those who have become special to me online - do not know it - do not know how to contact me - I do not know how to contact them - if I enter their mind - some might wonder why I am not writing, they may think I am sick, died or whatever.

Thoughts - what would I do if I did not have a computer in my life at this time - this is a ridiculous statement. I only entered the computer world about 6 years ago. I seemed to be fine without a computer. Answer - I was busy with worldly projects that do not exist at this time.

So - maybe I am not a good computer person. It is evident I have become to attached to this machine that sits on my desk, in front of a window that has a beautiful view of the woods.

Am I - undisciplined, obsessed with this machine and an addict? It seems sometimes I hear it calling for me :)

Some rambling and sharing from One Woman who lives at the edge of the woods and is still trying in her last years to figure out life ........

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Computer shut down


Maybe it is in sleep mode

Holiday visit in 3 weeks

Look at it then....

Could you bring to the big city

Not up to it

I use to live not far away

My Beth

Took pity upon mother

Came to check it out

Plug was off

Current was off recently

All she knows is

It was missed

So very much

She almost began to grieve

Did not realize to the extent

It brings her smiles, encouragement

Friends, writing and camera time

Her friend is back working

One Woman needs her

Family, meditation, gardening, books, and camera time

Welcome back my computer.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Morning Smile

A lot going on in the Woods

One Woman's mind needs to slow down

Grandma needed this reminder

What is really important

A five year old

Full of excitement about life

Live with intention
Walk to the edge
Listen hard
Practice wellness
Play with abandon
Choose with no regret
Appreciate your friends
Continue to learn
Do what you love
Live as if this is all there is

~Mary Anne Radmacher~

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Old Rocking Chair

I just brought this rocking chair out of my storage area. It was also in a storage room in the city home.

So much has been given away but I just could never part with this rocking chair.

It was purchased at a time our family lived on a farm, I named it Maplebrook. This is the home where my older children were raised. It seemed this young couple over night went from rags to riches. The economy was booming. A large rambling ranch type home was built and swimming pool put in when my youngest was born.
Horses and cattle roamed the fields. There was an article in the Tennessean about this home. It originally was part of a land grant. A very old home was torn down so this home could go in its place.

My son was about 3 years old when this rocking chair was purchased. In a few years my youngest a baby - they were both rocked continually in this chair.
The varnish on the arms of the rocking chair has been worn from its continual use.

I loved a rocking chair and it was the first thing I requested when at the age of 21 years old I knew a baby was on the way. At that time we lived in a 700 sf home in Detroit, Michigan.

So the rocking chair went from this farm home to the really big city house. Then a part of our world came to an end. A recession, most (I now view as unimportant) lost, divorce, and when I started out on my own it went with me to the old farm house I remodeled.
It had several other homes and then in my last city home there seemed to be no place where it fit, my heart would not let it go. It sat in that storage room and the one in this home until this afternoon.

At the moment the small loft area is filled with sun. I love standing and looking out this window. The thought came to mind "what a wonderful place to sit, read and maybe just look out into the woods and "just be"

So ...... I will get someone to help me move the chair into this area - no I will do it myself. It is now sitting in front of the big window.

More memories from One Woman

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Finally back to normal

Slow motion for Friday and Saturday

Oh, better download the pictures

Remembering - Thanksgiving 2010

Her thought

Must have been too busy to take family pictures

Only two on the camera

She made up a song and grandma

Hopes she can live up to those words

Feeling loved is wonderful

Miss Callie agrees ....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

White Bean Chili

Just in case you might be trying to think of something else to do with the left over turkey.

Maybe your turkey was not as good as usual - like mine. But in this chili - it was good!

I have made this white bean chili for several years. I always 1/2 the recipe and it is enough for One Woman to have about 3 times.

Took all the meat off the turkey breast, chopped, and simmered the breast bone for stock. This makes it tastier then using chicken broth - my thoughts

1 onion - saute in some olive oil

Chopped garlic

1 tbs cumin

add to --

2 cans of well rinsed white beans (or dry that you have cooked) that have been simmering in
4 cups of my turkey stock - or use chicken broth
1 small can of chilies
1 cup of corn kernels
2 cups of chopped turkey - or chicken ---- I used more

You can add a handful of chopped Cilantro ----I did not have

Simmer about 10 minutes --- and enjoy ---- I did :)

Garnish with monterey jack cheese

Friday, November 26, 2010

Entering Rest

Dear Companion of my day,

You are the Holy Mystery I surrender to
when I close my eyes. I give You myself,
the flaws, the mistakes, the petty
self-congratulations. I give You my dear ones
my fondest hopes for them, my worries,
and my dark thoughts regarding them.
Take my well-constructed separation from me,
Hold me in your truth.

This day is already past. I surrender it.
When I think about tomorrow, I surrender it too.
Keep me this night. With You
and in You I can trust not knowing anything.
I can trust incompleteness as a way.
Dark with the darkness, silent with the silence,
help me dare to be that empty one -- futureless,
desireless -- who breathes Your name even in sleep.

Being Home ..... Gunilla Norris

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blue Moon

Early this morning - like 4:30
It was so light outside
I opened the door and went outside

The moon was spectacular
Tried to get a good image
Very soon it was out of my view

Wondered if anyone else was wandering
around in their yard
looking at the sky!

Did a little research - with the thought "is this a Harvest Moon?"

All articles stated that it was known as a Blue Moon.

Was going to see if I could enhance the image - but thought I would leave it

If you enlarge you can see a little more detail.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Perfect Day

4:30 at the moment and 68 degrees.
Beautiful day
A lot accomplished in the small yard
She worked alone all day
Some raking and some mulching leaves with new riding mower
Lunch on the sunny deck with Miss Callie
The day went quickly

They will not last much longer - the turnip greens
Simple meal of greens, turnips, hard boiled egg, corn bread
and a tomato that was picked green and ripened in the window.
Ice tea and a slice of pumpkin sheet cake.
There have been times that someone would tell her - that
she was hard to please.

Last night was a toss and turn night. Old things put to rest
seemed to resurrect.
She is trying to remember that everything that surfaces usually
goes away.
No longer does she try to analyze.
Penetrating peace arrives when you stop trying to understand another person

On my birthday card last month - my son put some quotes on the inside of the card.

"The most important thing you can do is be mindful"
"Take it easy - ultimately nothing matters"
"Renunciation is not giving up the things of this world, but accepting
that they go away"
"Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again"
"What are you clinging to - shine a light there and practice letting go"

This evening "May we be peaceful, happy, content, fulfilled and at ease"

Friday, November 19, 2010

Winter Wheat

Long ago when creating another home on this property, I remember the comment from a carpenter "your lawn is going to be beautiful" - my comment "that is not lawn - that is winter wheat.

I love the color of the new wheat - a beautiful shade of green. Here we are headed into winter, and I will have a beautiful green field in front of my home.

A neighboring farmer plants my front field. The field was planted only a few weeks ago and I kept having thoughts - he is going to leave it bare and plant early soybeans in the Spring. Thoughts of a muddy field for Miss Callie to enjoy !

I was wrong and I will enjoy looking out my window at this green field. Even when it snows you can see the green emerging out of the snow. When the March winds blow it will have another beauty!

Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention
Be astonished
Tell about it

~Mary Oliver~

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Luggage Memories

In the storage room this early morning.

They caught my eye


Oh if they could talk

Many years since they have been in the sky..

A larger one was given away

These I could not part with

With my simpler lifestyle

I could travel with a backpack

That is - if I ever leave the woods...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Poem

The Universe Knows My Name

Where I am at this point
there is not perfection
there is grace
and opportunity to grow out from my old self
pain and disappointment
chip away the rough
unforgiving parts of my
character, those traits that
have held me back for so long

A fresh calm breeze
brushes cobwebs from my spirit
the door to tomorrow is thrown
wide open, and the warm sun
shines, and my pathway is
more clear then ever before

I do not preach there will be
no pain or sorrow
rather a new found ability
to accept certain parts of
life with grace surely not my own

The universe knows
my name
in the middle of this life, I can
say, I am happy

Sandra M. Hagan 11/13/2010

When I read this poem, it pierced my heart. I guess if I had the talent to write such a wonder - the only change would be "in the last part of my journey" not the middle of my life.

I am so pleased I found Sandra at The Wild Magnolia and her heartfelt poems.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday's Memory

Miss Callie it has been a little over a year since you made your home here at our cottage in the woods. I will always remember the chain that had to be cut off of your neck.

The size of the oak leaves on my path - are new to me.

Green velvet on our walk.

~~Looking very deeply at life
as it is
right now
the person dedicated to awakening
dwells in stability and freedom

The wise person calls someone
who knows how to dwell in Mindfulness
"One who knows the better way to live alone"
~~The Buddha~~

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Busy Saturday

A neighbor arrived early this morning with his bush hog. A little over 2 hours work sure did accomplish a lot.

My thoughts have been to wait until Spring and cut around the perimeter of this property. My thoughts began to change with the prediction of rain in the next few hours. Once this land is wet with rain and future snow, this chore would have to wait until next summer.

A lot can be done with this type of machine in a few hours. So I led, followed and pointed out what I wanted done. A loader on the front of this machine and I discovered some wonderful dirt! Some was brought to my garden area and two low spots in the yard (I spread and should not have - I will ache all night).

Took some pictures of some unusual tree trunks. One if it were closer to cottage I would place a flower in the opening. I viewed my wonderful pond. The one I had enlarged and wanted to keep with my property. But .. the buyer of land adjoining me wanted it. But, Callie and I can still walk to it, sit by it and "just be".

This is the only time of the year I will go close to the pond. In years past I always was fearful of coming upon one of the dangerous snakes - a helper years ago told me he always saw Copperhead's in that area. I really doubt it - or at least in 35 years I have never seen one.

At dawn I filled my crock pot with a mixture of beans, handful of chopped onion, carrots, celery and ham. At the moment the scent reminds me of how tasty they will be this evening with some cornbread. Also still have over half of the pumpkin sheet cake with cream cheese icing that was made yesterday.

Plan on sharing with my city friend - if I am not to weary to drive in to town and if I do not eat it all!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Special Gift

Look what someone special did for me.

Re sized my header - so the whole wreath was included.

It has bothered me and just could not figure out how to re size.

Thank you dear friend.

Thank you also for sharing that you have been following my journey - since way back when I started and moved to the city and built a smaller home and then returned to my country roots. Had never commented. Makes me wonder of those that read my rambling and never comment. Special friends that we do not even know about.

A good way to start this early morning - with a gift and a smile.

I am very weary as I do a lot of work outside. Probably a lot that is not necessary. Picking up limbs, cutting branches, raking leaves and keeping my paths clear in the woods. But --- I love being outside and the weather has been almost like Spring - know it is not going to last.

Housework can be done on those cold and rainy days.

Life Is Good.

May all be Happy, Well, Safe and at Peace.....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

Many recipes - old favorites, new favorites and some not tried as of yet - for more years then I want to post - this pile in a box is becoming unsettling. Sometimes I cannot find what I want and some of the recipes are becoming so stained I can hardly read them.

A loose leaf has been purchased with clear sheets that you can insert a sheet of paper. It may take two notebooks to hold these recipes.

So - my thought - years ago was to make a recipe book and give to each of my daughter's. It never happened and I just do not have the time! So this binder will have to do.

Whenever I see a small butternut squash it is usually purchased and put in my fruit bowl. One has been in the bowl for a number of weeks. Decided this morning to make soup. This is so good and healthy and good bread makes it even better.

I looked and looked for my old favorite recipe and finally found it. It is something to guide me as I never go totally by recipes.

This is what I made ----- keep in mind this is soup for today and tomorrow for "one"
If you make a larger portion then you need to use larger portions of everything.

Butternut squash - mine was medium in size - I cannot slice one that is real big I would rather buy 2 smaller if I wanted to make a larger portion of soup
I cut in sections - peel like you would a potato and remove seeds
Cook like you would if you were cooking potatoes. When fork can pierce the squash they are done.

Simmer a grated carrot and a stalk of celery

Saute 3/4 or 1 cup of onion, minced garlic (I had on hand) in a few tablespoons of butter

When all of this is done - I cool slightly and use my blender - to puree - would like an immersion blender :)

All of this in larger pan and an addition of my fresh sage, (frost did not get) sea salt and pepper.

Now I use half and half milk - one daughter uses chicken broth (I do not like it this way as I like a cream base)

I save the stock the vegetables have been simmering in and if I want the soup not so thick can add this or more cream or milk.

Taste good to me on this almost like Spring day.

Note - I may have posted this in the past and not put under my recipes. Trying to be more orderly since this is for my children and grandchildren :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Angel Unaware

Moving to my wooded property about 18 months ago - desperately I needed help. I did not want to do it - but a few trees needed to be cut down to make a place for my cottage. Tree tops and brush piled everywhere gave the surrounding building area the look of a war zone. Also wanted the area a little more clear around my home.

I have always walked with clippers in hand, loppers and shovel in truck. I can no longer do much of what I have in the past. Even though I am a strong and reasonably healthy 110 lb lady - I find the cutting sizable branches is no longer a possibility for me.

This special lady and friend were recommended to me. Even though they stay busy most of the year working in an area orchard, I was fortunate they had some extra time.
They are the best. I view Francisco as being Superman. He is very strong, fast and knows exactly what should be cleared and what should be left to grow.
Sheila works right beside him and such a pleasure with her smile that warms my heart.

I work with them and it is such a pleasure. A pleasure working side by side with them and a blessing to get to know them. I smile that now I can understand most of what they say to me :)

This mother of 3 and who raised another 4 - to me has wings. Difficult to find the words for the admiration of her life and all that she has been through. Throughout her life she has worked from before daybreak to dark. The two children that I know well are in executive positions in the near by town.

She makes Sunday dinner - every Sunday - for family, extended family and friends. Several months ago I started getting a plate from her about once a month on Sunday. Excellent cook and introduced me to genuine Mexican cuisine.

I pull in the drive that is filled with cars. Walk in a small home that is filled with smiling people. I leave with a plate piled high, a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart.

This past Sunday - enchiladas with her homemade sauce - from the garden and frozen or preserved - corn, green beans and other vegetables. Burritos with her homemade guacamole, meat that has been cooked and shredded to perfection, re fried beans and salsa and other sides. I have to learn to make her rice and other dishes.

Would like to learn enough to be able to treat my children to a homemade Mexican dinner. Impossible for me to make this for one!!

Her daughter went to school with my youngest daughter - makes some of the best deserts. I have added the new recipes to my baking - pumpkin cake, apple dumplings and chocolate chip pie. These are just a few.

This family have become friends.

One of the blessings of moving to the country.

I wish I had the words to describe how special this lady has become to me. Then
a week ago she replied to me "thank you for being so kind to me." How can I not view her as one of the angels that just happen our way along our journey of life.

There is a scripture in the bible that describes a woman like "Sheila" it says her children shall rise up and call her blessed.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Think On This

This early very cold morning I checked to see when is the official beginning of Winter. December 21 is the date. This morning is a little bit of a reminder of what it will be like. In the past on early mornings when Miss Callie was let outdoors she would not come back inside. She would sit on the terrace or deck and watch for something to chase in the woods. This morning a small dog was immediately back at the door wanting to return to the warmth inside.

A thought surfaces this morning that no matter how rocky the road has been or is - my list of blessings is endless. My life at this moment is so different then I visualized it years ago.

In a time long ago I visualized a continued life with my mate, in the big house, travel and most the world had to offer. Now I have the gift of a small cottage at the edge of my woods where I garden, read, meditate, write, stay in contact with children and grandchildren, and drive the country roads with my camera. Not as I imagined years ago but it is a life of continued spiritual growth and deep peace.

A thought to keep in mind ..... not to make me sad - but to accept as a reality.....

I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.

I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health.

I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.

All that is dear to me and everyone I love is of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.

My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

Buddah's Five Rememberances - Thich Nhat Hanh's version

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Change of Season

A light rain is falling in the woods. A welcome time to stay in doors.

A vegetable dinner is simmering and cornbread is in the oven.

Bringing Miss Callie inside I picked these last small roses.

Books are my best companions. They enrich my life, giving me a deeper and broader understanding of the world I live in. I think I will read for as long as my eyes can see. Reading, meditating, walking in the forest, talking with some people sometimes, living a simple and quiet life, that's the way I will live the rest of my life.

Snow In The Summer ..... Sayadaw U Jotika

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


But he said to me....

"my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9

Friday, October 29, 2010

You Are Beautiful

From 4:30 in the morning until 8:30, One Woman went nonstop. Computer, 2 loads of wash, went over all the floors with soft broom, vacuum and swifter, cleaned leaves off terrace, and then breakfast.

She knew if a trip away from home did not happen soon she would be outside working in the leaves and picking up branches.

A call was placed and a friend who does not drive said she would enjoy a ride into the country.

A special place about 20 minutes from the woods is an old school house. The school house has been turned into part museum and part consignment shops. The cafeteria has been turned into a restaurant. Friday is catfish day. The deserts are excellent - butter milk pie and coconut cream pie with mile high meringue.

So it turned out to be a delightful afternoon. My friend laughed when a quick trip up an unfamiliar driveway came about. An unusual and beautiful flower that was not familiar was spotted. One Woman is never bashful about inquiring about a plant :)

The image on this post is a tree that was in front of the old school house. Comments on the fall colors keep being made - but when you return to your home place and see all this beauty that catches your eye and your breath - it is difficult not to keep talking about it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Last night as the sun was going down a friend called and said " something in the sky looks like a cross can you capture it with your camera"? Forgot about it until a minute ago when I was taking a picture of my simple apple cake. When I downloaded my pictures - there it was.

The cross in the sky and an awesome sunset ended the day yesterday.

A busy day filled with errands, thought I lost my credit card and found it on the floor board of my truck. Thankful heart !!

Calling for frost tonight - so 6 green tomatoes picked and put in the window. 7 green peppers to be chopped and go in freezer. A bowl full of the best turnip greens I have ever tasted were picked. This may be because I grew them. Half a dozen of small turnips were an addition to the greens for my simple evening meal plus a few small almost November roses.

A last minute thought - I have not baked in a week and I there has to be something homemade in the cottage. A simple apple cake that called for applesauce and I used some of the apples I had on hand - topped with cream cheese frosting - Pretty good....
Young school boy that helps me at times came after school. We put up the hose, shut vents under the house and raked leaves. I went to pay him and he would not take the money - said it was the last 2 hours of his community service for the boy scouts. I told him I did not feel right about not paying him. He looked me in the eye and said "there is no charge". So next week will have him return and finish on the leaves and this time I will pay him.