Books by the old Leather Chair

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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Walk Slow - Breathe - Smile

She thought she would drive down the gravel drive to get her mail out of box. The long drive has snow drifts almost two feet. So what do you think - she does not have 4 wheel drive. Just a small pickup. Well after pulling through deep snow for 10 feet - she was stuck!!!

So lucky to catch a neighbor on his cell phone and he came to help her.

With more driving knowledge then she possesses - he was able to get it closer to house. Now it is probably stuck there.

She looked out the door and there are -3- three wheelers going through her woods and then down her drive. This happens from time to time along with the horse riders and the deer hunters. It really upset this One Woman. This property is so special and they are trespassing. In the past calls have been made and it still happens. There is a section at the back of property that is not fenced. But she knows in her heart if she fences it - whoever this is will just go through the creek bed.

She loves the woods and is so thankful that she has been allowed to return "home".

The disadvantage is others love to come in on the back property line and enjoy them also. But do they realize they are trespassing.

So what does she do - keep making phone calls - signs have been torn down - put up fence. Or just forget it.

She wants others to treat her like she would treat them. She has lived long enough to realize that many in the world do not think like her. She would never go on another property in this way. It gives her a heart ache for this injustice. Then she is almost ashamed of herself - in view of all that is going on in the world.

If she captures an image - she could go to local sheriff. Oh she is probably already the mean lady who has come back to her woods and does not want trespassers.

She hopes she can drive out to pick up her paper and mail in the morning. Snow to deep for her to walk the drive.

Callie sure loves the snow!!!

THIS MORNING - I cannot get out of my drive. I am fine and I think snow will start melting tomorrow.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow At Woodhaven

She was up at 4:30 - bath, wash hair, strip bed, load of wash - waiting for day light.

The view did not disappoint her. From every window there was a beautiful white carpet of snow.
Jacket, scarf, bomber hat, gloves, boots, and she and Miss Callie were out the door to the garage. She began filling her bucket with bird seed, suet cakes, checked to make sure cell phone was in her pocket, and camera around her neck.

The snow drifts - in places were about 12 to 18 inches high. Callie loves the snow!!

She swept the screen porch, steps and where you enter garage. Also used her 40 plus year old snow shovel (that had not been used in years). She is weary - guess she had forgotten how walking through heavy snow and sweeping can tire this aging One Woman.
It enters her mind that her day has not even started!!

It has been a number of years since this area had a nice snow like what she is viewing.

Breakfast, downloaded her pictures, wrote a few lines and now onto other chores.

She moved to the woods to simplify and have less to do - it has not happened as of yet.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished ~Lao Tzu ~

Friday, January 29, 2010

I've Been Watching You

For weeks from my window I have viewed this small tree deep in my woods. It is still covered with leaves. I have wanted to venture closer but did not feel safe doing it alone. I know the woods are covered with years of accumulated limbs and trees that have fallen but did not know if there is a place that I might stumble and fall. Miss Callie starts out with me but soon is running in many directions.

There was someone helping me clean brush yesterday. I told him I was taking off into the woods to take a picture of this tree. I felt safe with someone on the property.

For years I walked all over these woods with my dog and never gave safety a thought.

Time changes everything.

I wonder - what is your name - little tree?

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man ~Author unknown~

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Snow and Chocolate Cake

Tuesday, she had a much needed hair cut. Did not realize she looked that bad until she looked - so good!!!

Her special girl who has helped her with her hair for 15 years - shared a piece of chocolate cherry cake. She brought it home and "oh" it melted in her mouth. A big glass of milk made it perfect. Immediately a call for the recipe. It is so easy.

Yesterday she drove to the big city to check on "the house" and water her son's plant.

All was well - like she has shared before - it really unsettles her when she walk through this beautiful city home. Cannot figure out why - unless it is because like all the homes she plans and builds - there is a part of her still there. It is like she can sense her spirit in that home. Can visualize the garden she planted and Miss Sadie sitting in her special place. Once the home has new occupants she senses it will be different.

On my trip back to the country she stopped and shopped for essentials.

Replenished the pantry and she is ready for the snow that is predicted for the next two days. The ingredients for this satisfying simple cake were purchased.

So here goes - Chocolate Cherry Cake
Devils Food cake mix
1 can of Cherry pie filling
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract

Mix by hand (now how easy is that) - 13 x 9 well greased pan - she used a tube pan (she likes the way the cake looks sitting on her old cake stand) 350 degrees - 30 minutes for 13/9 pan and 45 minutes for tube pan - or until toothpick comes out clean.

Icing - 1 cup of sugar
5 tbs of butter
1/3 cup milk
Bring this to a boil - stirring constantly
Add 6 oz chocolate chips

Pour on warm cake
She would not call this especially healthy or non-fattening!!!

You can see by the picture - the cake came out of the oven 2 hours ago and she has already had a large slice with a big glass of milk and shared some with a worker who is piling brush in my woods.

Now this is her kind of cake - she hopes she does not upset her stomach!!

My children would say - "mom please do not tempt me" my little granddaughters would wait for second helpings.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Saturday Night In The City

I read an entry from my daughter's post -- wondered -- is this what grandma is missing now that she lives in the country?

It made me smile. Everyone was snowed in and guess that is why the humorous words describing everything.

Little girl, grandma is weary of seeing you strum on this little pink guitar. You are continually making up songs that you want to share with me. On one of your visits I think we will visit the local music store to upgrade that instrument.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Country Has City Sound

Last night she was outside about an hour before dark. A siren was heard and she had the thought someone sure has a loud security system.

Inside the phone was ringing, it was her youngest daughter telling her there were tornado warnings near her country home.

So that sound was a weather alert. She was not aware that there was any such system near her country home. She will make a phone call to check on this.

Within 30 minutes - every direction she looked - the sky was beautiful and unusual. She went inside quickly for her camera.

These images were taken from the back deck, front porch and in the side yard. Amazing how the sky looked so different in such a short time.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yoga Musings -From Across the Ocean

She turns on the computer to check her emails. This letter makes her smile, warms her heart, and brings tears to her eyes.

She is so happy that her son is allowed to follow a part of his dream.

In her mind she is near him in this land - far away.

She misses him and is so pleased he keeps in touch and shares such wonderful letters with her., Sunday, I taught my second Iyengar yoga class here - first one yesterday a very full ( 14 men and women from everywhere ) and very international level one class - today's class advanced and all women - 6 Thai ladies, one British, and one from went quite well and there were even 4 teachers amongst them......the class started at 11:00 am and halfway thru the class it got really dark and stormed the rest of the class - and most of the afternoon - outside the windows of the studio the owners wife has lots of potted bamboo plants on a balcony which combined with the torrential rain and wind was quite exotic and added a distinct touch to the atmosphere as we segued to more restorative poses - since it was raining so hard after class I had dinner downstairs at Zen - which is a chain of Japanese restaurants here - the studio is in a 4 story office bldng 20 minutes walk and skytrain ride away from my apartment - also in the building are a vinyassa yoga studio, a ballet studio, kids karate, a Western Sizzler and a bunch of hair and nail salons....the ballet studio is next door so for many saturdays a year going back over 6 years I often hear classical piano music filtering thru the wall as there is a ballet class at the same time as the yoga class saturday mornings - so I always know I am in Thailand when relaxing at the end of class in the darkened studio in savasana when I hear the music - its quite nice......

have a great Sunday, Jimmy

Friday, January 22, 2010


Be nice to others because ......

Time will make the difference!

One day you may not be the big dog.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Her daughter forwarded this image to her.

Deer looking in the window.

One Woman would surely smile if she was able to capture this image at her home in the woods. Or would she???

It looks like the 3 day rain has stopped. The sun was out for a little over an hour.

She walked the long gravel drive. It made her realize that she has not been walking regularly since moving to the country. She has always walked daily. So her walking began today!!!

It is so good - to be feeling well again.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Old Friends

The Begonia has been in her possession for over 20 years. It is on the screen porch when weather warms and inside in the winter. It has traveled in her car from home to home.

Many have commented on how large and pretty it is and she has always offered to share a cutting.

Over the years she has thought of re potting - but never has. It is so beautiful, big and packed in the pot - she does not want to risk hurting it. She may start some new plants from it soon.

The Orchid has been sitting by a window for about 12 years. She held it in her lap moving it to this home. Now it sits on a stand in the loft area. She wondered would it like this new area. At the moment it is full of buds but she cannot tell the outcome.

Her plants have come and gone but these two special plants have never left One Woman

Now she is waiting to be over this antibiotic and cough. The sun just came out - good!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Garden Catalogs, Vacuuming Callie and Fever is Gone

What better way to spend rainy days and days you are trying to rid yourself of some germ you have come in contact with - then to look at garden catalogs that are arriving daily and going through some of your old favorite books

She has been battling a cough since the first of the year. Thought it would finally go away and it did not. Wednesday evening she started running a fever and the cough and congestion was not comfortable. She waited until the last minute on Friday to call doctor. She does not like to take medication and thinks all of her "good living" will protect her from getting sick. Seems she is wrong.

Antibiotic for 5 days. Finally this afternoon she feels like she is rejoining the universe and is not on the way out. If no better tomorrow, a chest ex ray is suggested.

Now Miss Callie has turned into the almost perfect dog. Hey, she quit chewing everything in sight. One Woman has shared in the past that all of her dogs have been outside dogs. Shelter given them when the weather was bad. Acquiring Callie in the Fall and bonding with her - she has been kept inside during bad weather and at night - in the utility room.

Please no comment on One Woman not liking dog hair in the house. Her daughter tells her that their dogs usually shed twice a year. Baily and Jack have it made and guess if they wanted to sit at the table with them - she would let them. They just live with the hair. I brush Callie and when she goes from the utility room to the screen porch - she is leaving a path of hair. Or it seems like it to me. These old dark colored rugs and my wood floors contribute to it being seen so easily.

I had an idea. Wonder if she would let me run the vacuum over her?? Well, I sat on my little stool, petting Callie and turned on the vacuum. No attachments - just the pipe. She looked at me with those brown eyes and just stood there. Now that is my kind of dog.

So maybe a solution has been found for the dog hair. Now if her little nails would not scratch the hardwood floors we would have it made. Maybe I could make slippers for her. LOL
Of course they cut their nails - but - I do not have manicures - so I may have to have this done soon!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Not Her Kind Of Day

She was outside filling the bird feeders at day break. A shrilling noise filled the air. She could see nothing and walked around to front of house. There was the police car and ambulance coming down the road in the distance. It pulled into the driveway of the home in the distance.

This home she built after leaving the old farm house. It was sold in what she thought was an unusual way. I guess for her it was unusual. The lady is a retired professor from Rhode Island.

When asked if she had family in the area - the answer was no. Then how in the world did you find this home that is located in a simple farming community and why would you want to live here.

Her answer, she found it on the Internet. Reason for this area because of low taxes. Now the tax part made sense. A story on that later when she shares the comparison between taxes in the big city and in this area.

Quickly she went in the house and made a phone call. A friend had spent the night with her neighbor and it was suspected she was having a heart attack.

Later in the morning it was determined that this attack was pneumonia. Thankful for that.

So, her morning continues and on to the car place to have the oil changed and tires rotated on her pickup.

She sit in the assigned area and very soon is very uncomfortable. She has her book to read and her energy drink and their are 4 other people staring at the television that is quite loud.

Ok, she thinks this is the time to really practice my mindfulness. She must confess that she could not do it. She could not tune out the noise. She is an absolute failure. She tries repeating "May I be Happy, Well, Safe and Peaceful - over and over. Then the Lord's Prayer over and over. Then her deep breathing, but she could not drowned out the television. She is ashamed of herself as she passes judgement on these people that are just staring at something that does not make sense. If they glanced her way they probably thought there was something wrong with her - with her eyes closed and going through my mindfulness technique.

This scenario tells her that she has grown so use to being alone and quiet - that she wonders is she normal. If she is not - she likes her life and may go to town even less often. But she does need food and her vehicle serviced!!!

She goes to the front desk and inquires if she could sit someplace else? Wonders never cease and she smiles to herself as a chair is brought and is put in front of a huge window and the sun is streaming in the window. Oh, this is wonderful - even if the view is the cemetery across the street and they are preparing a grave. The sun feels healing and she just sits with a blank mind.

She did not sleep well last night and that is unusual. Earlier in the day she glanced at the weekly neighborhood paper and once again there are names of people with familiar faces. Pretty soon there will not be many people alive that she is acquainted with. So something is disturbing her and she cannot put her finger on it. Guess it is just life in the 70's. At the moment she is trying to keep the smile on her face and remember she is promised only today.

So she is home, ate a bowl of soup and peanut butter 1/2 sandwich and 3 cookies and a glass of milk. The sun is shining and it is warmer, still cold but warmer. She goes out on the deck with a blanket and pillow and stretches out in her chair. Oh, the sun feels wonderful. Soon, Miss Callie has jumped into her lap.

So, her day continues and for some reason there is a cloud over her spirit. She is confident it will lift - in fact just with this sharing it is fading away.

Writing is wonderful therapy!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Muse for 2010

This was an entry of mine in January of 2009. It continues to bring a smile to my face. I also realize "this journey is good".

The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror, and each will smile at the other's welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was yourself. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all of your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letter's from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Dereck Walcott

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Sarah

One of her granddaughters called last night to share that she was having her first dinner party. TONIGHT ....... A vegetarian and very disciplined and grandma could not persuade her to try any of the special dishes she had prepared during the holidays. She did eat vegetables and fruit. When asked if she would just take a taste - a smile and a shake of the head.

She attends school in the cold Northeast. She will be preparing a vegetarian dinner for eight along with a strawberry desert.

The phone call warmed grandma's heart and she can hardly wait to hear about the evening.

She is a music major and has been playing the French Horn for years. She practices daily for hours... it is her constant companion. Her dream is to be part of a symphony. If that opening appears I feel in my heart it will happen.

Good luck on your dinner - grandma is thinking you, and knows it will be a success!!!

Seems like yesterday...... that you were the age of the two little ones.

Sunday Morning

This early morning the view of the moon from her kitchen window is beautiful and peaceful.

She wonders if she can capture "something" on the camera that she is beginning to wish had more features.

She stands on her 5 degree and snowy deck.

There is nothing like the high she experiences when she downloads her pictures.

Pretty good!!!!!!!

Of course - two of her "idols" are Tabor who lives on the water and is surrounded by nature.

Cate who lives in a wonderful area in Canada.

Both of these special ladies are so talented with photography abilities and their words.

They both bring her so much pleasure as she follow their journals. They give her something to strive for - even though she is aware that she will just wander these scarred and ancient woods with Miss Callie and every now and then will get a good shot and maybe make sense with her sharing. She also realizes she is further down the road of life then these two ladies and hey she has just begun.

Hey time for breakfast. She has been up since 5:00 and the day is flying.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

She Wonders

Her car has not pulled out of the gravel drive for 5 days. She is perfectly content and lately wonders about herself? Wish I had more of a gift of words to write and share the depth of what she senses deep in her Spirit.

She truly thought that by the time these last chapters of life had arrived that she would not still have such a passion for growing spiritually. She now is aware that it will never end in this lifetime!

She is truly thankful for friends she has met world wide through her journal. So many are on the same path. There is encouragement among them. Throughout her journey on this earth - this has rarely happened. She always felt different and has the thought that many people also viewed her as being different. She smiles to herself - because it no longer is important.

There is a car pulling down the drive and she recognizes it as the mail carrier.

Three books just arrived:

Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabot - Zinn
Happiness by Thich Nhat Hanh
10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace by Dr. Wayne Dyer

She will add them to the stack by her leather chair. She does not read like a normal person - but then what is normal.

There are 3 or 4 books that each have a bookmark sticking out of them. She is very aware she will start scanning these books - after lunch.

Solitude is the sense of being often alone, is essential to any depth of meditation or of character; and solitude in the presence of natural beauty and grandeur is the cradle of thought and inspirations which are not only good for the individual, but which society could well do without.

John S. Mill

Friday, January 8, 2010

First Snow at Woodhaven

One Woman experiences her first winter and first snow at Woodhaven.
I am enjoying January and the opportunity to slow down. I meditate early and through the day my mind dreams, sorts and reflects on my plans for a simple garden. I must remember that I have a lot of shade and areas of dampness.
I continue to plan in my mind where I will plant some evergreens and flowering bushes. I place them as I daily drive down the gravel road to pick up my mail.
This time will soon be a memory and the busy time will begin.
I need to relax and enjoy this time of resting the body. With all my planning it is not easy to relax the mind. This is where mindfulness and meditation is necessary for this One Woman.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Missed It - I Think

I wonder sometimes about the news. Pleased I do not have a television. I can picture my little girls and a lot of people - glued to them - watching the predicted snow advance???

A slight dusting is what I see from my window. Will see what the day brings. The only reason I wanted snow was for the chance to take some nice pictures.

My daughter will have her hands full as the day progresses. She took off work and now has two very active little girls for the next 4 days - and they will be disappointed "about the snow".
All schools were closed!!!

One Woman did her yoga and meditating, breakfast of oates, 2 cups green tea and 2 slices of zucchini bread. A lot of desk work to be tended to, ironing I could do ( I still iron - especially my pillow cases ) or I may just curl up by the fire and read or do nothing and dream of Spring.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snow - We Will See

The sixth pickup load of wood just pulled out of the drive. I am helping them and they are helping me clear around my cottage in the woods.

The vegetable soup is simmering, big bowl of oyster crackers on table and I am making zucchini bread tonight or early in the morning.
The bird feeders are full and a new suet cake is in place on the tree.

Guess I am ready for this predicted snow. I forgot what it looked like!! For some reason I am kind of excited. My first snowed in experience at Woodhaven.

Maybe I can capture a few pictures.

Wish my little girls were closer - it would sure help their mom and would make me smile.

Something that I love and is missing from this smaller home - a wood burning fireplace or stove.

Did not think in my passage through the 70's that I needed to be hauling in wood.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tea and Oyster Crackers

I am a tea drinker. I love tea. Most mornings I usually have 2 or 3 cups of green tea with my breakfast. Later in the day I will have another variety. I always keep fruit tea in the refrigerator. For me I usually have a 1/2 gallon made and I add orange and pineapple juice to it.
When family is visiting I will make a gallon.

My son introduced me a wonderful tea during Christmas. Part of his gift to me was tea from Teteas in Canada You can go on there web site to read about them.
He gave me White Tea - Zen Forest (don't you love that name) and Calming Lavender. I plan on placing an order soon.

With this cold weather I am making a lot of soup and chili. It brought back memories of something I used to make through the years. They are so good and you can almost just eat them alone.

One box of oyster crackers (usually 4 cups)
1 cup of vegetable oil or melted butter (I use butter since I am trying to gain a few lbs.)
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
Place crackers in a large plastic bag. Slowly pour oil along side of bag. Close and shake well to disperse. I mix the dressing with 1/4 cup lemon pepper - 1 tsp dill and 1/4 tsp garlic powder.
Shake this into bag to disperse seasonings
Spread on a cookie sheet - 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown at 250 degrees - stir about half way through

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Brrrr Cold Morning and Bogs

The last time my special daughter from Michigan made a visit to Tennessee - she sported the neatest boots. She told me they were Bogs.

When I received October birthday money from my daughter in Florida - I ordered a pair.

This morning with a dusting of snow, 17 degree weather and colder since there was a blustery wind - I wore them for the first time to fill the bird feeders.
I love them.

Callie seems to like the utility room. If I let her sit by the door - she wanders in the house and I do not like that. We are still adjusting. I do know it is too cold for her to be outside.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Little Girls - End to a Perfect Day

- She headed to the big city at lunch - oh it was cold. The little girls unloaded their things into mom and dad's vehicle. Then they were going to lunch and a big surprise. My daughter received as a gift - matinee tickets for them to see the famous Harlem Globetrotters.

One Woman, was on the road back to the country. Miss Callie was sitting in the field waiting for her. Touches my heart to see her sitting there waiting for me. When she recognises my vehicle she meets me and follows me to the house.

She has been with me since October and that is really not that long. She has become so bonded to me - and I know she loves me!!

Hot chocolate and One Woman is headed for bed. I will sleep better tonight. Last night we were like 3 peas in a pod. I did not want to go upstairs and did not want the little girls up there as they are not familiar with a stairway. I know in time that will change and they will welcome that roomy space.

2010 Early Morning

It is early and very cold. My little girls are sitting by the fireplace. Ready to be returned home.
"Grandma will you fix your famous French Toast"? A special request that I begin to prepare in a few minutes.
They are playing with their DS. They both need one instead of sharing - mama hear this!!!!
Every time they visit I can see such a change in them.
One Woman has so many plans for this coming Spring.
Enough rambling.

Since we use the word - this scripture came to mind this morning of a beginning New Year.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning John 1: 1-2