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, February 28, 2011


Several warm days with rain on and off. I worked outside and smiled at the plants that are beginning to emerge. Each one with a story. A basket of seeds that have been saved are ready to be planted.

A walk in the woods revealed ferns emerging from their bed of leaves.

Torrential rains at the moment and the wheat field is the most wonderful shade of green. A day inside to catch up on household chores. Cleaning, baking, make some soup, yoga, desk work and reading. A day that would be viewed by many as not very exciting - but my life at this time and I am at peace and I like it. My plans to spend the rest of the week outside in the sun and dirt....

Spring In The Garden

After a night of rain
I go out, wearing my clogs

wrapped in an old overcoat
against the spring cold

water pours white
through the open dikes

peach blossoms glow red
beyond the willows

fields of new grass spread away
edged and checkered

poles from the wells
at the wood's edge

I go back in
to write at my small desk

evening arrives, I'm alone
happy among the green weeds

Wong Wei
Chinese Poet

750 AD

Friday, February 25, 2011

Open Your Heart

Hopefully, I will know something about my car this morning. I truly wish I was not so sensitive to unexpected or unpleasant situations.

I am thankful that the dealership brought me home and will pick me up when car is ready. A service like this usually available in big cities but in this smaller town it is truly welcome.

Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit. It's a very tender, non-aggressive, open-ended state of affairs...

Tricycle - Buddhist Review ----------- read this early morning

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Angel To The Rescue

A rainy morning
time for car to be serviced

Coolant light has been
coming on. Also some leakage
on garage floor.

On the way to the city
the gauge went to hot

One Woman' heart
began to race
as she pulled off
the winding country road

A young woman stopped
dressed to perfection -
high heels and so stylish

She lifted hood of car
pulled on a jacket and hood
over her head

I encouraged her not to do this
she was dressed too nice
but to no avail

All of this in the pouring rain

Water in vehicle
and she followed me to
car dealership

She said it was her good
deed for the day.

Tears filled my eyes
To me she is an angel...

Her name was Jessica
same as my oldest granddaughter

Have you met any
angels lately?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Last Week of February Thoughts

The first week of December - 3 books were sent to my son in Thailand. His Christmas present. Over the weeks they never arrived. This made me sad. Well they appeared in my mailbox on Saturday. I smile at the thought of all the miles they traveled across the ocean and then 10 weeks later to find them in my rural mailbox.

Spring is trying to arrive. One day the warmth of the sun on the deck is delightful for lunch and another day I am bundled up as I walk the path in the woods.

Reluctantly bought some turnip greens on my trip to town . I like homegrown but since I do not have them as of yet this will do for a healthy green. While cleaning on my little garden spot I found 6 small turnips. So this gift will be an addition to the simmering greens. They will be topped with hard boiled egg, and some crispy bacon. Add my half recipe of corn bread and a glass of tea and guess that will be my evening meal. Quiet and peaceful with a candle burning.

A memory picture of one of my young granddaughter's. Time is going by so quickly and it seems like yesterday she was born, and now she is selling Girl Scout cookies. The youngest granddaughter her birthday in March. An image of their little hand prints on a stepping stone that was a gift to grandma - 5 years ago. Oldest granddaughter will be 24 in a few days.

I wonder - how can this be.

I will be so happy when I can stay outside and work in my gardens. At least a 100 plants were brought from my other home and are beginning to emerge. Must remember that my plan is to make these gardens smaller then ever before. I can no longer pick up the 40 lb bags of mulch and potting soil. So many things I have done in the past and I just cannot do them. Being an early morning person and going nonstop until lunch and then after 1:00 or 2:00 I have to call it a day.

Always been someone available to help me few hours a week but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find at this time. So - I must remember to not buy every plant that I find appealing. I would buy plants instead of food....and to pace myself.

Many years ago when I moved to the old farm house - 12 fruit trees were planted - a small orchard. Yesterday a pear tree was planted at Woodhaven. A yellow climbing rose has a new home on an old trellis beside my small front porch.

Everything that slows us down and forces patience
everything that sets us back
into the slow circles of nature
is a help

Gardening is an instrument of grace

~May Sarton~

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Walk In The Woods

A walk in the woods
late yesterday

To see if there

were in signs of Spring

Cold wind blowing

many limbs on my

walking path

All nature stripped


a few ferns

clumps of

beautiful green moss

Now if I pulled back the

thick layer of leaves

there might be snug and

warm a few Spring plants


30 degrees last night

all plants need to stay

warm under their blanket

of leaves....


Almost dark
some of my visitors
came out of the woods
when I opened the front door
they stopped eating
in the wheat field
and just looked at me
so many of my visitors
are becoming accustomed
to me
the birds, squirrels, turkeys,
and the deer
wonder what else...

Monday, February 21, 2011


Early morning sun
delightful shadows
a reminder of Spring
I smile .....

"The mocking bird
opens his throat
among the thorns
for his own reasons....

Your clocks, he says plainly,
which are always ticking,
do not have to be listened to."

~Mary Oliver~

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all !
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


Friday, February 18, 2011

An Anniversary

16th wedding anniversary.

At this time
younger then
any of your daughters

Can hardly remember
this lifestyle

Going through old pictures
the thought came to mind

After children and involvement
in the world

What do you want to do
when you grow up

Or rather
grow old

Always a dream to
be surrounded
by nature

One Woman lives
at the edge of the woods

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Ever thankful that I was allowed to return home
A dream that became a reality
Seems like yesterday
Up and down road daily
from city to country
building, decisions, gardens begin
it came true

City home finally sold
I am home

Thank you...


I am planting
a pear tree.....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

She Makes Me All Better

Grandma is feeling a little under the weather
Was awake most of the night

Might be the frozen salmon prepared for dinner last night

Still continued morning errands
taxes prepared
purchase of a pear tree,
blueberry bush and
climbing yellow rose bush

Opened mail
one look at my
youngest granddaughter

Makes me all better...

Those cowboy boots will be worn
all summer
mom can hide them...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

February Snow Melting

Snow is melting
boots on
camera tucked inside jacket

A gift of green iris
under the snow

Sun is magnificent
and so welcome...

One of my daughter's
made a visit to the woods
an outing for lunch

Visitors always

News passed on
about father and daughter
Valentine dance

My youngest of 5 years
with total confidence
can dance the best...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wise Speech

Before you speak, think -
Is it necessary?
Is it true?
Is it kind?
Will it hurt anyone?
Will it improve on the silence...

~Sri Sathya Sair Baba~

Friday, February 11, 2011

Doing Nothing

It's too early for anything to be done in the garden. The sun pours down -- a promise of the warming to come. In a day or two, however, the temperature will drop below freezing again. I can be fairly sure of that. Now is a time of waiting.

I sit down on the makeshift bench against the back of the garage. The vegetable beds lie before me. I lean back.

What do we do when we wait? Plan? Fidget? Fret? Dream? Rest? Pace? Why is it so hard to do nothing? The simplest, easiest thing is to let things be. Why not just "be" in the sun this little moment? Perhaps when we do nothing we see how naked we feel without plans? Perhaps we feel useless without our goals? To be without agenda --is that not the most lovingly present and accepting anyone can be ?

A Mystic Garden ~~~~Gunilla Norris

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snow Birds And Cauliflower Soup

Another cold and snowy day.

An image taken from my bedroom window of birds at feeder.

So - what does she eat - when she really is not inspired to cook or eat.

Contents of crisper drawer in refrigerator revealed....
Cauliflower, celery, carrot, onion, small piece of broccoli, small potato and it was all simmered in chicken broth.

First - chopped carrot, onion, celery simmered in olive oil.
All added to pan and cooked until soft. Mashed slightly with whisk.

In small pan - butter - some flour and milk to make a sauce.
This with an addition of a little more milk and garlic all mixed together - made a healthy and tasty soup.

Sprinkled cheese on top and
bread, cheese, tea and some homemade cookies topped it off.

Being snowed in and trying to eat nutritiously and keep my spirits up.

This early morning it is 5 degrees but the sun is suppose to shine - a warming trend over the weekend...

The thought makes me smile..
Wherever you are on this planet -----
May you be happy, well, safe and at peace.......

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Always Remember The Reason Why

Jess and someone special in her life....

I am holding you as a baby

We are sitting on the swing at the old farmhouse. Probably 15 years ago. Grandma loved wearing sundresses and going barefoot...

Remember the reason
you write and post images

You find such joy in this late life venture
and people of all ages, walks of
life that are far and near
seem to enjoy reading about

One Woman who built a cottage at the
edge of the woods and returned to her
much loved land
in her last years

It is for your children and grandchildren
that you write

An opportunity for them to know
what is happening in
in your life

A chance for them to know you
a little better

The written word reveals so much
From the Heart

A gift received
letter from my
oldest granddaughter

my heart is smiling



That snowy picture of the angel is so beautiful - I always think of you when I see angels because I still remember as a little girl you showing me all your angel statues in the house and garden. Stay warm and well !

Love you,


Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Heavy coat, gloves, hat, and
phone and camera tucked in pocket

Just finished filling the bird feeders.

Something new
Weary, breathless
and cold - when returning
inside her cottage

May move feeders closer to cottage
in the Spring
Will be easier to fill
and capture images of the
many beautiful birds that are visiting

In perfect health
except for the immune disorder
No extra weight and was surprised
how tiring this was

Might be because up for several hours
No breakfast as of yet
Feed Callie and birds before herself

For some reason she forgets
traveling through the 3 score and 10 years
will continue to be at a different pace

She continues on
at the same pace
as in the past
Just habit

Spring around the corner
so many plans for gardens
Excited to see what will emerge

She must remember her son's words

Walk slow, breathe and smile

Monday, February 7, 2011

One Woman's Monday

Early morning dental appointment
drove in the rain and then
a quick stop for groceries

Snow was predicted
safely home through the rain
Callie lying in the middle
of the field - waiting

Within an hour a blizzard arrived
snowflakes the size of silver dollars

What a beautiful sight

Calls and emails from children
make her smile

Special healing prayers go out for her
little granddaughter's fever
to go away

An evening to read a special book
that arrived in the mail
more poems by Mary Oliver

She knows for sure
if the heat stays on,
pantry is full
all will be well

Because her heart
tells her

Spring is
around the corner

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday In February And Callie

Snow predicted
has not arrived

Callie, Woodhaven
has been our home
for 16 months

Took a while for
you to adjust

When errands
are a must in the
small town

upon my return
you are lying in the
open field - waiting

for your
mistress to return

Never fails to
pierce her heart
As the truck pulls
down the long drive
you run to meet her

A new bed for you
the first
you tore apart

I think
you like this one

Friday, February 4, 2011

February Sunset

She lives at the edge of the woods
Weather unpredictable
Cold at the moment
One thing she can count on
the sunsets are spectacular

These things cannot be hidden -
the sun, the moon,
and the truth


Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Use Of Sorrow

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness

It took me years to understand
that this too, was a gift...

~~Mary Oliver~~~

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Gray Time

A preview of Spring
made me smile

Living in the moment
almost forgot
it was a preview

Winter and cold wind
has returned

Eye problem that surfaces
from time to time

Severely dry and bloodshot
part of immune disorder

My special son shared - in Thai

Mom is told
"dew la dtua eng dusy !
Which translates
~Take care of yourself~

Whatever is happening
the lady in the woods
hopes it vanishes quickly