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~