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

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Blooming and almost smiling at me - this early morning.

In winter I get up at night
and dress by yellow candle light
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

Robert Lewis Stevenson

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Several have asked about the corn field in front and my little veggie garden and thought I would share in form of a posting.

I have a 12 x 12 kitchen garden plot that is enclosed with boards. It can be weeded by hand. Because of weather and it needs more woods dirt (will be added this fall) it has not done as well as I wanted it to. But it is enough for me and maybe my Jamie when she visits.

Yesterday I picked a few yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers and my first 2 ripe (small) tomatoes and Basil. Have 2 green peppers ready to be picked. Earlier in the year there were green onions and lettuce. Also planted a small row of green beans which did not do good. A row of sunflowers seeds planted outside the square were washed away by heavy rain along with some cantaloupe seeds. Have one lone sunflower that is growing. In a few months I will sow turnip green seeds in this square. I could eat turnip greens daily. I do not like what you buy at a store or if they are large. Can pick a small bowl full and it is enough for a meal or two for One Woman.

Also have a blueberry bush - which the birds beat me to the berries. In the city I had a small row of strawberries and some raspberries. I do not think I will plant them. Want this little kitchen garden to be a pleasure and not become a burden. Oh, I have potatoes growing in my compost pile!!

The corn in front is on my land and a neighbor plants. Rotates between soy beans and corn and sometimes wheat.

My small front porch is great in the early morning and evening. Later in the day and if the sun is shining - too hot to sit on that porch. From about 4:00 in the morning and through most of the day - Callie stays on the screen porch - when she is not roaming the woods in back of the house.

Callie's dog pen is perfect. She does not seem to mind it at all. I picked a perfect spot as it is nice and shady but in the winter the sun will filter through the trees.

I was in the garden at 6:00 this morning - weed and deadheading some plants. Will be in the house most of the day as I got to hot yesterday afternoon. Took trash to dumpster and on the way home I stopped at a several mile long yard sale. I spotted something as I drove down the road and after parking had to walk further then I wanted to. Love my new trellis but I was soaking wet when I arrived home. With the auto-immune disorder that I have I seem to just sweat on my face, neck and chest. I did not have a good night and I must not be out in the afternoon heat like I have been. I drink a lot of water and have added coconut water and some Gatorade.

Enough shared. I really know my grandchildren will love reading about Grandma's time in the country :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day Is Ending

The close of another hot day - brings enough produce for one - corn that is 10 to 12 feet high,
and a rescue from the screen porch.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One Year Ago - Almost

What do you do on a 100 degree afternoon? You feel like doing nothing. The ceiling fan oscilating on the screen porch was really quite pleasant. One look up and the corners revealed all kinds of critters.

So you retrieve the shop vacuum from the garage and go over the ceiling of the screen porch. All kinds of critters on that porch.

A thought keeps coming into her mind - what was going on a year ago. I know it was about the time I moved a few items to the country.

I like this post from one year ago and still feel the same deep sense "that I am where I belong."

It's Happening

I clicked on emails early this morning and it put a smile on my face to see some uplifting "cheering on."

Last night decided - I needed more help both physically and emotionally. Guess who came to the rescue ---- I wonder what would this mom do without him. My special son!! Last night he loaded his vehicle with a number of things I did not want on the moving truck and this morning will bring a cooler to transport groceries to put in my new refrigerator. I truly needed someone with me.

This independent One Woman who for years has always been able to coast on her own has tears in her eyes as she admits her weakness. Guess it is the time of my life and age. I must also add that this is a dream that is becoming a reality. There are all kinds of mixed emotions taking place. The moving people will arrive in two hours and then I am on my way for my first nights in the country.

Where in the world does the "stuff" come from? Especially when I have been continually downscaling for a number of years. This home looks great and I will not miss one single thing that is being taken out of it. Why am I so emotional? Is this normal? I guess normal for One Woman. A dream coming true and I have the thoughts of - how long will I be able to enjoy the life I am headed for. Painfully aware that I am in the gift years. The Bible says we are granted 70 years and anything after that is a gift. Enough of this melancholy sharing. On a happy note is the fact that my 7 year old granddaughter wants to go with me for the day and night. She will be truly welcome. My daughter and husband will be in that old home place area tomorrow and will pick her up. So my first night will be with my little one.

Thank you so much for the continued encouraging. To think I questioned having a journal and revealing myself so openly. Revealing the past, present and what is to come. This journey has been a learning experience and a joy that came with many new friendships. Will be back on line the end of week. Imagine no television, land line phone and computer - I think it will be great!!!


I stay within my garden small,
I do not wander past my wall,
but someimes, when the moon is late,
I wonder what is beyond my gate

Morning is a Little Child by Joan Walsh Anglund

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gift Delivered

I have always loved a riding mower. Through the years I found it relaxing to cut grass.

This probably seems strange to a lot of people. Especially those through the years that saw me in my upscale cloths and making decisions for a family business. That was not the real me!! Or rather it was just a part of my eclectic personality.

Memories of when my oldest granddaughter was a toddler and would visit at the old farmhouse, I would hold her in the lap as I cut grass. She loved it and many times would fall asleep in my arms.

I have someone cut the grass on the road, up my drive and around my cottage about every 3 weeks. My first plan was to not cut on the road and up the drive - leave it natural. I may return to this.

This is fine on the road and up the drive as I do not want it to look manicured. The small yard is a different story - I want the grass cut more often. With all the rain, it really needs cutting about every 5 to 7 days.

So - with the thoughts going over and over in my mind, and memories of yesterday, I purchased a small John Deere riding mower. I have 30 days to try it out. It could prove to be more then I want to add to my ongoing to do list. I also realize it has been a few years since I owned a riding mower. My other home with a small city yard, only needed a hired push mower and weed eater for about 30 minutes.

One thought surfaces - do I need to take this on. Then the thought of how much pleasure I use to experience from this. I also know that all of my children just look at me when I share this - I know their thoughts :)

So, on my close budget and money that probably could have taken me on several nice trips - I am choosing the riding mower. Will see if I still am thinking straight. I do know I will cut in the evenings when it is cool. In the morning the grass is too wet. Someone will still come with a big mower to cut on the road, up the drive and around the house every 3 to 4 weeks. I can keep around the house continually tidy.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Yesterday a down pouring rain - soaked Woodhaven - almost 2 weeks without a soaking rain.
Early this morning a sight to behold.
Every plant - grew inches. The corn must be 8 feet tall and the grass not far behind.

Breakfast and tea on the deck, a cooler morning. Because of the railing it is difficult to get a good view of the feeders. I moved my chair to the small terrace and viewed the show being put on - so I now know the birds are emptying the feeder - very rapidly.

Clothes on the line, (downside - my nicest white slacks have been tattooed by a bird) Callie in new dog pen, she is doing fine. I try to be so nonchalant and fool her. as she watches my every move and is well aware that I am preparing to leave. She is one smart little dog.

The door bell was ringing and the neighbor who scarred my tree was standing at the door.
He apologised and told me put something on the tree to help the wound.

All is well in the woods. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Am Trespassing

For many years I viewed these woods from the old farm house. Also viewed them from another home that I built on this property. Deep in my mind there was always a thought that I would like to build at the edge of the woods.

The dream came true. For one year - with help - trees have been cut down and trimmed, underbrush removed and still there is cleaning going on in the woods.

It is becoming more and more evident to me that I have invaded all that grows on this land. I am a trespasser. I arrived and started to rearrange and tidy it up. I really did not mean to do it to the extent that is taking place . My intent was to have a winding road back to my simpler home that was surrounded by nature. Not to experience the busyness that has always been a part of my personality. I came to the woods for a simpler lifestyle. A time to reflect, meditate, read, write, pray, and have a simple garden. This evening I keep having the thought - what happened to my original plan - I need to stop...

A neighbor came by with a loader to rearrange some piles of dirt that I found unsightly.

I looked out the window a few moments ago and saw the huge scar on the side of the tree. He scraped it with his machine. Many scrapes on the trees that I am responsible for. In the morning I will put something soothing or rather protective on this wound. Probably cry as I am doing it.

It is bedtime for One Woman, I just took this wonderful evening photo, and I am ashamed. I can go back probably 100 years in my mind and there has been no invasion in these woods that I chose to once again make my home.

I feel like going outside and screaming - please forgive me.
I felt this same sorrow many years ago. Alone, left the city and came upon this land. One section I had timbered to help with the cost of remodeling the old farm house. Later, I wept as I viewed the woods.

Again, I am so sorry. I need to stop this clearing and cleaning for all is fine the way it is.

One Woman does not need to rearrange the woods, she needs to rearrange her thoughts.
Last night these were thoughts that kept me from having a good nights rest!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Busy Wednesday

Her helpers arrived with boards and wire. After looking at wire dog pens that looked like prison enclosures - she decided on using fencing boards with wire inside. From a distance it looks like a section of fence. The next time Callie is left alone for a short time, will see how she tolerates her new part time home.

Through the years, her helpers have always spotted snakes. Through the years on this land all that crossed her path were chicken snakes and small green snakes. She was warned that a copperhead was spotted. She wonders.......

A new day lily bloomed, and a welcome letter from across the ocean.

Just received a phone call that my granddaughter, Sarah - will graduate from Northwestern in Illinois this Saturday with the honor Summa Cum Laude. Congratulations from grandma.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Morning Thoughts From The Woods

Another almost 100 degree day. Watered some plants at dawn

I fill my humming bird feeder with fresh water - and wonder - why is it still full at the end of the day and first thing in the morning the feeder is empty? Are the birds feeding in the middle of the night or at dusk or dawn before I see them?

Banana bread in the oven. I have not baked in a while. Not in the mood for baking or cooking. Think I will make salmon croquet's after breakfast and refrigerate. So easy to cook them for a late lunch or evening meal. They are healthy, tasty and easy. In the freezer are fresh green beans and corn, and that should complete my meal.

Callie has been fed and I did about 30 minutes of yoga. Maybe this will be the morning that I hear a truck pulling in the long drive. The man who is going to build a pen for Callie may arrive. I will be more comfortable running errands with her secure.

Beth and I visited a country eating place yesterday. A nice drive further into the country. Their food is good but I really like my food better. Just did not feel like cooking.... When I go out to lunch once a week it is not for the food but to "just get me out of the woods and around people".

Their buttermilk pie was unusually good - must call and get the recipe.

I can remember years ago that everyone I knew would eat field corn. Have not tried it in years. With the field in front - I am going to watch the corn and when it is just a blister will try some. I do not think it will be missed!!!

Wherever you are on this planet - have a wonderful day and I wish you - Happiness,
Health, Safety and Peace. Hope it bounces back to me.

I will stay inside most of today. Desk work, going through some paper work and books and may do a little ironing. I love ironing my pillow cases and I know not many people do this anymore. Surely none of my girls.

Enough rambling - it is time for breakfast, tea, and the day inside to begin.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Corn You Are Agrowing

My daughter took this image - before she left for the big city........

The Beginning

She has to keep reminding her self "This home in the woods was not finished a year ago at this time and there was no garden".

She is so well aware that she does not have years - like in the past - to once again create this garden. The years are dwindling down.

Working in the garden and with the land at dawn is such a pleasure.

A visit in a few hours from a special daughter, Beth.

How do you know when your heart is smiling. She just knows!!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Corn Field

When corn was planted in the front field - I wondered - would it block my view - would I like it?

It does not bother me. The corn is now almost 5 ft tall and because of the rain it is so lush and green. Will see when it is ready to be cut - how dry corn stalks look.

My little 12 x 12 kitchen garden is doing well. I had green onions and lettuce and now tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and a small row of green beans. This plot will be sowed in turnip greens later in the year. May make another plot like this one and experiment with a few other things. With my first Spring and working on flower beds this is just fine.

It is so hot and humid in this area and was out at 6:00 this morning to work on my woods path through the woods. After 45 minutes I was ready to come in and have my tea and breakfast.

A good way to start the day - just wish the mosquitos were not as bad as they are.

Loving birthday wishes sent to my first born - Laurie in Tampa, Florida. Seems like yesterday I carried you home from the hospital. My brown haired, brown eyed, 8 lb baby girl....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thank You

Thanks for the advice about my header problem.

My talented daughter told me that most people do not change their header's - like mom does - so often. She is probably right.

Sooooo - I will post something and leave it for a longer time.

Will educate myself on sizing and other photo issue - when I am not in the garden all the time.

Have a great day. It is hot - humid and pop showers almost daily in my area.

I love feeling good - must be the coconut water :)

Image Problem

I am trying to figure out why my photo's when transferred for a new heading on blog

come out HUGE and only a partial of the picture.

Any - answers - out there?

I edit to smaller and it does not change!
The above picture is what I am trying to post on my header.
Several hollyhocks were moved from the city and this is the only one that survived.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

From Across The Water

Hi mama -
I just arrived at my apartment - it is about one a.m. tuesday your time....
no problems on the way over with my back or anything else - just got an email that I will teach 3 yoga classes next week - which is good.
I am also going to start language classes in a week or 2 - but only go once or twice per week -
ok off to roam about in the sweltering thai heat and stock up on stuff
love, Jimmy

Hi mama !

That book sent you sounds really interesting. So sorry about your infection - take care of yourself and I know you already know to take the proper medicine to get rid of it ! I am taking lots of vitamins and drinking lots of coconut water to lessen the stress on the body resulting from long flights and moving and such. Your new high speed connection is being greatly appreciated I am sure ! I am getting settled in nicely here - next week will start looking for an apartment to move into July 1 - a small studio near the skytrain most likely. My back is 99% better and even attended a really good class yesterday, less then 24 hrs after arriving - have a bit of chores and roaming about to do, but will space it all over the coming days and weeks - this month will get a physical and a new eyeglass prescription, next month teeth cleaning . Today am going to my teacher's wife's yoga class and then into downtown for some chinese food and then a mocha coffee at my fave lil coffee house near the university. In August may attend a 10 day meditation retreat on an island nearby - and will certainly do the occasional 3 day weekend meditation retreat - ok off to class - have a great day !

Love, Jimmy

An unexpected and touching gift received today - "The Meditative Gardener" Cultivating Mindfulness of Body, Feelings, and Mind by Cheryl Wilfong
Needless to say this touched me deeply. Mama

6/4/2010 - The more I read about coconut water, which I started drinking alot of here about a year ago, the more impressed I am with it - so healthy it can take the place of plasma.....ect....They have it at Whole Foods, but I have not tried it stateside. I start teaching Monday - did not take long to be asked. I will attend a 12 hour teacher training course one weekend per month, observe one class per week, attend 3 or 4 classes per week, substitute teach when called upon, and practice in my apartment some too. I have already been scheduled to teach 9 classes in the next 2 weeks - 6 of them for the owner of the studio. Just went and looked at the big mall that got burned down - most unfortunate - it was very huge and modern - I attended a wonderful jazz festival there in March - the newspaper today said they were going to rebuild it immediately - so that is good - also one of my fave old arthouse movie theatres got torched too for some unknown reason. Things are calm and peaceful now. There was a nice article, which I saved, in yesterdays paper about traveling by train around southeast asia - one can go from Bangkok to Malaysia and then Singapore for example and can book your own little cabin which someone comes to and makes up a little bed at night for you - I shall definately head north or south by train sometime soon - probably to Penang, Malaysia - I have to leave every 90 days and get my passport stamped so a train trip is a fun cheap way to get to a border and beyond. OK all for now - have a great weekend !
Love, Jimmy

Special Son,
Your email - welcome - this early morning.
It rained during the night and everything looks so fresh and clean. Days are so hot - in the 90's

I have a dentist appointment for crown this morning. Have rescheduled several times and need to take care of this.

You mentioned coconut water - I put that on my grocery list.
I read an article about it. You have never mentioned it before. The article shared how good it is for the immune system and less sugar then gatorade. Hope they have it locally or will get it at Whole Foods.

One Woman, sharing some special words

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Now is the time to free the heart,
Let all intentions and worries stop,
Free the joy inside the self,
Awaken to the wonder of your life

Open your eye and see the friends
Whose hearts recognize your face as kin,
Those whose kindness watchful and near,
Encourages you to live everything here.

See the gifts the years have given,
Things your efforts could never earn,
The health to enjoy who you want to be
And the mind to mirror mystery.

"Bless the Space Between Us"
John O'Donohue

How do you put into words the deep thankfulness that overflows from your heart.
I cannot in my words convey this to you.

So much has happened over the last month that I wish I could share with my words. But the words just will not come. At the moment a letter received from my son that he arrived safely this early morning in Bangkok.

Other month issues that I may share more about - as time goes by. May was an unreal month of being busy, problems, health issues, blessings and many things I am not sharing. But here is a little.

Family visits, stove problem, heat and air system problem, rain, rain and more rain, continual trips to the big city, tick bite, family business of 45 years closed, my son's home sold in two weeks, big time computer problems - SOLVED -.

Most important - my city home sold two weeks ago.

At the moment all I know is "I have a thankful heart".