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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Sarah - Exposure Is What You Need

I am proud of my two granddaughter's who live in New York.
One has an excellent career and I believe has found her path at this time of her life.
One is still searching for her niche.

Sarah studied music just about all of her life.   Music school in New York.  Her passion for years to
play in a symphony,  and now she has turned on a dime towards other interests.

She loves to cook.  Not food like grandma eats.  I eat healthy but my Sarah is vegan and does not  just cook but creates.   She uses special foods and spices that her grandma
has never heard of.
I marvel at her creations.
  The pictures she shares look
like they need to be in the finest gourmet magazine or shared in the finest vegetarian restaurants in
New York.

How do you go forward with interest like this?   At present she has dropped out of music school]
and is working in a bakery.   Now not what she would eat - but - a lot of experience in the big
cooking world.   I am proud of her - but I want doors to open for her.

So, how do you do this?
I listen, encourage and send out positive thoughts for her.

She is interested, like her Uncle Jimmy in the practice of yoga and everything healthy and good for
the mind and soul.

Now look at this latest creation.

Does grandma need to go to New York  now that she is at an age of boldness - take samples to
these fine eating places and contact Oprah, and everyone she can think of interested in the best
of vegan creations?

So now another grandchild needs to find her place in this great big world.

Grandma feels in heart the right door will open.   When it does I want her to tell everyone
"my grandmother told me this would happen when it was suppose to"

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Few Signs Of Spring

The pansies were given to me by a special friend last Fall.   They lasted all winter.

When the little girls visit or anyone - Callie is waiting for attention.

In town this morning and saw a small tree in full bloom.  Next trip in a few days I will take an image.
A quick walk through Lowe's and nothing much out but I could not resist buying something
Bought a small burning bush with the thought it will add a little color here in the woods.   Also
bought a small blue spruce to add among the trees.

An unusually warm day today with it reaching into the high 70's.   Rain suppose to arrive tonight
but many times what they say is going to happen never happens.

Have some lettuce seeds to plant in the next few days.

As I walk the paths in the woods I keep looking for signs of Spring coming through the carpet of leaves.
Not much emerging as of yet

I read the following passage from a poem and it brought back memories of long ago.
Memories of my youngest and I who were in church every time the doors opened.
everything has changed, the local people, the local church and One Woman.
It is a good change....
and one thing has not changed -  the cross I have worn for years seldom comes off  my neck

~~~I had such a longing for virtue, for company.
       I wanted Christ to be as close as the cross I wear.
       I wanted to read and serve, to touch the alter linen.
       Instead I went back to the woods, where not a single tree
       turned its face away~~~

In part from  ~~Mary Oliver~~    from a poem in her book  "Thirst"

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday in February

This post was written almost a year ago.
Same thoughts on my mind.....

Orange cookies baked and cooling
Callie running in the woods
Yoga, breakfast
Desk work, yard work
Gravel arriving for drive
Wondering if winter
jackets can be put away


Working on mindfulness

This is her day

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the sun
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

~Mary Oliver~

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Contentment - Is That The Word

4:30 am to 9:00 am: Wake up, pray, let Callie out, check computer, yoga, morning chores, garden,  usually several phone calls, breakfast, once a week I bake something sweet.

9:30 am to noon: Inside and outside chores - walk in woods. Every week to 10 days - grocery

Noon: check computer, lunch, look at mail.

1:00 to 4:00 pm: meditate, outside work, read, relax, prepare dinner.

4:00 pm: dinner, check computer, read and write

7:00 pm: relax, prepare for bed, read, pray and hopefully to sleep.

Many times I turn the phone off when I am eating.

I read what I have written and it sounds so simple. Wonder sometimes how One Woman can stay so busy and never stop. Happiest at home with my puttering inside and outside.

My biggest fault has always been - pacing myself with outdoor work. Spring is around the corner and so much I want to do and I do not have the physical strength as in the past. I sometimes go to bed exhausted and times through the years have physically hurt myself. I am so aware of my problem. With building 4 homes over the last 10 years I was continually reminded to pace myself. Age is helping take care of this problem.

Inside sometimes soft music plays and a film is watched occasionally.

I know people where there is a television going constantly in their homes. I like it quiet. They seem to be on the go constantly and cannot be content at home. I feel sorry for them.

Whenever weather permits I am outside - even eat all meals surrounded by nature sounds.

I think I  am different from all the women I know or have known. I do find comfort in the fact that since I started writing I have come in contact with those who seem very similar to me.

A few distant relatives  may read what I write but never contact me. I have always felt like they were reading my diary. But does not matter.....

The last time I was in a serious relationship was in my  60's. When I ended this - it seemed like peace surrounded me.  Now the thought that when someone looks at me I will look the other way.

Have never met anyone, including the father of my children who fulfilled my emotional needs.

With time I realize that most of these needs were unfilled from childhood. I no longer try and understand much that troubled me in the past. I am still trying to understand myself and life is constantly changing.

Spending time in nature, visits and calls from children, grandchildren and a handful of friends - my writing, books, camera, and Miss Callie - seems to be my life in these last years.

At times I have the thought - I am different.  In the past pushed to surround myself with people and activities, now wonder why.    It takes living life to learn.    The peace I searched for all my life I have found in these 3 score and 10 years.

A simple life with Miss Callie....

Maybe another word for it is "contentment."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Birthday Girl and Friends

Continued cold and breezy
image taken early this morning on the way to
small town for some errands

Received this image
from my birthday girl.
I look at their smiling faces
and wonder
do they even realize what
a special time of life this is?

All in all
life is good....,

Friday, February 24, 2012

Yesterday and Today

My oldest granddaughter Jessica has a birthday next week.
She was a beautiful baby, child and now young woman who is working in New York.

I can remember when she was very young and how she would talk to me.
So young and so wise - her mom always said she had an "old soul."
I often wondered what that meant
and now I know
because as a child I had an old soul and an old spirit
and now have an old soul and a young spirit...

Figure that one out !!!

I am posting this early as I am trying out a new posting system.
My old one no longer exists and I have been having difficulty
learning some new ways to post my writing and images.

Have redone 3 times and will see if this goes through
or if I should give up.

My Jamie tells me this is good for me
to stretch my mind.
I keep telling her I know longer want to stretch my mind...

Monday, February 20, 2012

A New Week To Smile

Happenings from the woods....

Spring went away and it has been cold and rainy.  Strange that those turnip greens have never died, sure must be hardy and will have to hoe them out and start anew.  Bought some lettuce seeds and will plant soon.
Many young deer are venturing so close to cottage and do not even scatter when I go outside.  Do not want them in my gardens.
My daughter Beth came to visit and brought my special Tuscany bread from Nashville.
She shared that on Saturday my youngest spent the day with her.   What she shared still brings a smile
to my face.   Seems they went to many special shops, stopped for a hamburger  and then when they returned "the little one sitting on the sofa leaned back and replied "this is the life Aunt Beth" her age 6 statement.
Jamie and little girls will visit today.   No school as it is President's day.

Just finished reading a note from across the water
in part
"in the last few day's there were students from England, Sweden, Austria, India, Iran, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Belgium, Canada, South Carolina, USA - and of course Thailand and probably a few countries I have forgotten."
Also described some of the vegetarian dishes that are being enjoyed.

On this cold dark morning, mom has the thought - Now that is the life - wonder can I have another one
and enjoy the one described to me?

Every time I look at Sandra's image and sharing on her recent weekend post - I smile.
So, I am sharing it for this week.

"When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky"

~~Siddhartha Gautama Buddha~~

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pizza From Italy

I rarely eat pizza
as they are usually
covered with too much tomato sauce
and I cannot tolerate the acid.

We have a restaurant in town
that makes homemade pizza
and it taste good to me.
I like the vegetarian
and my little granddaughter's
like the cheese.  Sometimes when
they visit we will share one.

Knowing surgery, weather
or just not feeling up to cooking
might keep me in for days
I purchased a few frozen items
a month ago. 
The frozen dinners - I could not stand.
Threw them away....

Now this pizza  purchased from
our local Aldi's
was made in Italy
and it was very good.
On top I put a few of
my chopped red and
yellow peppers.
It already had a generous covering
of fresh spinach and goat cheese.
Surprisingly just a thin covering
of tomato sauce.
A specialty item on the day I shopped.
It was a winner...

If it had not tasted good
it sure looked like a picture when
removed from the box.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Makes Me Smile

it was the end of a day that
was cool and damp here by the woods.
Yet I could feel Spring in the air.

Could not resist picking up hoe
and chopping out a few winter weeds
even though ground is nothing but mud.
Mind is saying
why are you doing this
and I answer
because I want to.

Early evening
washer is going
and just finished a bowl of soup.
Do not feel like reading and it is
too early to go to bed

So -- I started looking at my Jamie's
writing and some pictures she
posted several years ago.

This made me smile
an old picture I took of Jamie and her brother.
That sure was wild wall paper - cannot imagine
having that type of taste.
But then I was about 36 so glad
my style changed...

Then a picture  of my youngest granddaughter
in an over sized t-shirt when she spent the
night with me.

that make me smile.

All in all
Life is Good....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Think on this

Pause a moment before acting or reacting
many times
would make a big difference..

The Ajahn said

"Feel a space between one thought and another
we think past and future
we feel present moment"

shared by one who was present
for a Dharma talk
far over the ocean....

On a lighter note
I saw the really big Woodpecker
yesterday evening.
on a big tree close to bird feeders.
He appeared a year ago also.
Wonder what visiting in
February means :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

They Have All Been Different

Valentines Day
A day that you will feel specially loved
Oh yes,
mine have all been different.
In the past there was candy, flowers,
a special piece of jewelery,
delicious meals at top of the line
restaurants, dances at the country club
and even a couple of trips.

Simple times at home
with handmade cards from
young children
Many still in my old scrapbooks

Returning from errands yesterday
on a cold day.   Did not want to leave
Callie in utility room and knew it would
be a short trip,  so I left her
outside with access to her pillow
on the screen porch.

Turning into the long gravel road
cold and misty rain
and there she was
sitting in the middle of the field
on the cold damp earth
waiting for me.

She spots me and takes off running
and practically leaping in the air.

Now when an animal or human
waits for you
lying on the cold damp ground
in the misty rain
that is love....

At the moment
I am doing housework
neglected for almost 3 weeks
because of surgery.

At this moment in this small cottage
doing household chores.
I feel loved

This Valentine's
No need of flowers, cards, candy,
entertainment or special gifts.

The gift of peace in my heartt
and Miss Callie
is enough....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Part Of A Mother's And A Grandmother's Journey


You say goodbye,
smile proudly
as they stand there, so tall
with backpack, camera,
and you hand over a sandwich,
or a fresh peach,
and a lucky penny,
wishing, Godspeed.
You can't go with them,
hold their hand as they cross
whatever street they must
to school, train, or plane ---
or ocean, or midnight sky.
You can only watch,
feeling your heart beat fast,
still warmed from that last hug,
as they walk away,
looking smaller to you
as they grow
to full size on their own.
You swallow tears
arms already feeling empty,
and try to smile.
You think they might look back
for reassurance
or to wave excitement as  their
newest adventure begins.
At last you turn,
go back inside
to whatever house you call home,
make yourself a cup of coffee or tea
and plan your own journey
to destinations unforeseen......

~~Lenore Horowitz~~

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Very Very Cold at Woodhaven and Lobster Tail

A very cold day
blustery wind and a dusting of snow
Callie will only stay out minutes
then at the door wagging her tail
to return to the warmth inside.

Hopefully these low digit numbers
 will kill the winter weeds that
have over taken my garden.

Yesterday, doctor appt went well
office filled and a long wait.
Then 4 errands and was exhausted
when returning home.
All well and return in 10 days

So I either did too much, stupid remark
or it is body healing, immune problem,
or the youthful spirit has an  old body.

Made a nourishing lunch treat.
A lobster tail in freezer was prepared
with my green beans and potatoes.
Chocolate cake for desert.
Now healing body
take that...

Have seen so few deer this winter
or any kind of wild life.  Guess
there is still much for them to eat in the woods.

But a few days ago at dusk there were 8 in
the front field.
When I open the door to take an image
they scattered....

Friday, February 10, 2012

Spring In The Garden

After a night of rain
I go out, wearing 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 rise from the well
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

~~Chinese Poet----Wang Wei  750 AD~~

This was enclosed in a letter sent to me by my son, from Thailand
dated 12/2002

I remember how I loved receiving it
and saved it.

Seems it was only yesterday.....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Just Me

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

~Dr. Seuss~

Sometime on my journey,
I heard a lady in her later years

"I have been some one's daughter,
wife, mother, grandmother, and
at the present time
it is so wonderful
just to be me"

That's me.....

For all who have asked
at the moment "I am feeling fine."
Will see what the surgeon says'
tomorrow :)

The book that is pictured is one I gave to my little granddaughter's several years ago.
But it reminded this grandma of her desire.
As I look back over the years
it seemed I was always playing a roll
never could "just be me."
It has finally happened
and it is great....

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Watching And Waiting - Pileated Woodpecker

 This was posted almost 2 years ago.   I have never seen this special woodpecker near the house since that time.  I am always watching and hear them in the woods.

Wonder why they have not made another visit or have they and I was not aware - wonder.
Maybe that first time visit was to welcome me....

She was talking to her daughter who now lives in Florida. Usually looking out the window as she talks and watching her bird feeders and wondering if anything new will come out of the woods.

"Ohhhhhh - I can't believe it - I knew you were out there." "Mama what is going on?" my daughter asked.

She went on to share that a Pileated Woodpecker was on the old tree not far from her kitchen window. They had been spotted in the woods, but not seen close to her woods home.
Her daughter tells her to hang up the phone and reach for her camera. Shared it was there and then it was gone. She smiles because it will visit again.

This is a picture from a National Geographic site.
Some facts: Pileated Woodpecker - usually 16 to 19 inches long and weigh 8 to 12 lbs.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I cannot make it in this life without prayer and meditating.

Praying for family, those that come to mind and myself.

Meditating to calm and still myself has opened up a deeper understanding of myself.

What a gift to know someone that is praying for you continually.

It was a  comfort to know that I was continually in my mother's prayers.  There were times in her last
years that she would tell me that she was on her little frail  knee's for me.  Times she would come to me in the old farm house, curl up on the little love seat in my bedroom and spend the night with me.   Oh yes, I knew I was loved and being
prayed for.   I surely needed it as there were many years of emotional struggle.  A young life with young parents and  going through
a divorce, finishing raising my children alone and all the challenges of One Woman alone who still
has times of thoughts that enter her mind.  She is better now at letting the thoughts just flow in and out.
Better at being kind to herself.

You never really know how special those prayers are until you lose your mother.

My grandmother's prayed for me and when I moved to this country area and attended a small
country church there were many older ladies that showered me with their love and prayers. I can
call their names one by one.   Miss Robbye, Miss Susie and Alma, Miss Cora,  and on and on.

All of these are gone now and the memories are all so special.   A different time of life in this area
as I returned and I am a new person to those busy with their lives surrounding me.

I do know that the Lord has always brought someone special along in my life that I knew was praying for me continually.

Now my long prayer time in the evening before falling asleep and in the morning before my feet hit the floor.

My children, grandchildren are first, others come to mind  and as I pray the words from the bible that strengthened me, encouraged me and sustained me through the years, tumble from my lips.

As I have grown spiritually there are now special words from other worlds.   Besides continually reciting
the Lords Prayer, 23 Psalms, and so many words from the Psalms I now use metta. 

Reading continually and seeking wisdom, I do not think in a limited way like in years past.  I hunger for more of much that is new to me and strengthens me.   I do not think there is anyone in my community that could relate to where I am spiritually.  With my writing and sharing I have discovered other individuals like me.
We are oceans and miles apart  and in other ways very close.

I do not know about those who might read this entry
but I can live no other way.

Monday, February 6, 2012

First Week Of February Dandelion

A partially sunny afternoon
walking in the yard
picking up some small sticks
pulling up with dirty hands
some winter weeds out of the damp earth

Felt so good just to have dirt on and in my hands

Look what I came across
a dandelion

My Webster's Dictionary
calls it
a yellow flowered herb

Never thought of it as an herb
have never cooked the greens
but have heard some people do....

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I was not going to post anything until next week.
So many have kept in touch
and want to know how this is progressing.

My doctor said all I am experiencing is normal
and I am doing fine.
Pain has subsided a lot just not my energetic self.
Told to clean this area every day with peroxide
and put clean bandage on it.
Was curious what it looked like.
About 2 1/2 inches by the navel area.
So not a big area for giving me so much discomfort.
Think it is the mesh adjusting to tissue also
it is an incision with stitches

One thing that is giving me a very bad problem is
 acid reflux. Was given a prescription to take for 2 weeks.
I wonder if all IV medications that pump into your body could cause this.
It surely cannot be good for you.

 A lot doctors do not tell you.
My kind doctor listens and smiles at me.
He is from India, he must be 70, very well known
and will share no more
to prevent myself from sounding foolish
in my healing state.

Water, water and more water is one thing I am pushing.  

Return next Friday and I am sure I will be released
at that time and told I can drive.  At the moment driving
is not on my to do list.

I will not get on the scales because I can miss a couple of meals and lose weight.
So I will be pushing food and more food  to get back to what is normal for me.

Trying so hard to practice all I write and believe is healing to the body, mind and soul.

I will try
to just be....

It is to rain all day and a good day to just be,
work at my desk
make butternut squash soup
and look at the dust

Friday, February 3, 2012

Thank You and Pecan Pie

So many special get well thoughts from my online friends.   Wish you were near - my little cottage would
be full.
What would I do without you
you are the wings beneath my feet
and you bring tears of thankfulness
to my eyes.

Thank you for listening and all your special advice.

Today there is a early morning appointment with my surgeon.  A list of questions to ask.  The number one - is this pain normal?   I do not have much to compare it with - the emergency gall bladder 3 years ago and I did not even know I had one.   Then appendix surgery 30 years ago,  a torn cartilage in my knee from gardening and then my 4 children.   That is not much but at the moment I am thinking this is the most painful but then maybe as time goes by we forget.

I am taking the wonderful rural transportation car to doctor's office and a friend will meet me there and bring me home.   She wanted to come and get me but I am so aware she has continual help for a bedridden husband and thought one way for her would be enough.

My first born daughter - My Laurie lives  in Florida, she sent a picture of the pecan pie she made.   My recipe of over 30 years.  Always comes out beautiful.   Will be nice to serve her in laws who are visiting.

Will check back in tomorrow and let you know what kind of report I was given.

Blessings sent to all of you.

May you each be Happy
May you each be Well
May you each be Safe
May you each be at Peace

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Something I Took For Granted

I keep remembering that I was told this was a simple procedure and the area to be repaired
was small.

Yesterday in the late afternoon
called doctor's office
to see if this much pain, discomfort and swelling was normal.
Was told everything I am going through
was normal and was quickly reminded it has only been a little over 48 hours since this simple surgery.
Bound with a velcro item that is almost like a girdle that is 12 inches wide.
So all of my small frame organs - bladder, colon, stomach are all really compressed with the swelling.
I asked - and
why did I not ask before
just took it for granted
that this would be simpler or same as the gall bladder surgery 3 years ago.
With that surgery very small instruments were used
very little swelling and not much pain afterwards..
This is an incision in middle of stomach and a larger area to go in
and put mesh and then sew up.
So I am really swollen.
With this velcro apparatus it is difficult to bend, sit straight and have to bend on side to scoot in bed
and pray for pain to leave.
So, I am not bleeding and no fever - so I was told
 I am fine
and this is just going to just take a little longer then a week  for me to be my normal self :)
I was told I ask a lot of questions and seem quite knowledgeable about my health matters.
Made me smile
I thought - most elders in my family lived into their 90's
and kept their mind.
Remember in the hospital asking the anesthesiologist - as he began to inject medication into the IV attached to me - "how long will this take to reach my body and take affect"  he smiled and showed me.
He was right on target and I immediately felt drowsy.
My Jamie sitting through all of this and listening to her mom - never made a comment but probably thought - she sure asks a lot of questions and I wish she would be quiet :)
I might share I was awake through most of this surgery and talking and asking questions - they probably wanted me to shut up.
Liked the way this was done.  Just making me drowsy, calm and then deadening the abdomen area.   At the hospital in the big city they were going to use general anesthesia.

So I am healing and always healed fast in the past but ever aware I am in a rapidly aging container
Very thankful this has been done, behind me and not something I am dreading to do in the future.

Just do not feel like cooking, eating and not my usual high energy.  Do not feel like reading or doing much of anything.I also am well aware that this is probably good for me  - just to be..
Just me and Miss Callie
hanging out in the country - and finding Lady Bugs in every room :)
Well stocked pantry and freezer but at the moment nothing sounds appealing.
Tonight had a terrible frozen dinner - I will never buy them again
they taste like cardboard
would rather have peanut butter on crackers, hard boiled egg or anything better then this.

A friend is bringing me a plate today and hopefully appetite will return.

Special friends
thanks for listening to my complaining
and since the majority of you are younger then me
I know you need this information :)

Can hardly wait for Spring and being in my garden....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

All Is Well And Handy Item

I was not going to post until a friend takes me to see the surgeon on Friday.
Guess I am not very disciplined when it comes to my friend the computer.
As I sit at my computer by the window waiting for the mail carrier to bring mail to
my cottage - the desire to share returned :)

First, to my many online friends
Thank You
from the bottom of my heart
for your comments
special emails and cards.
You are appreciated, needed and more special then you will every know...

Surgery went well
An hour later then expected.
The most caring and compassionate
doctor and staff for a first time experience in my local hospital.
Surely hope I do not return.
Very very sore and I was not given prescription for
pain medication when I left for home.  Was given a pain shot
and told to take Tylenol for pain.   Also was not given an
antibiotic prescription - was told they gave that to me through
IV while in hospital.
Yesterday was so sad, sore and the thoughts will I ever be "me" again
In the last several hours I have started moving around more
and I know I am on the
road to recovery.
Thankful this is behind me, looking forward to Spring gardening
and surely hope all is well when I see doctor on Friday.
I thank my Jamie for being with me.

I love this small home
that I began planning in my mind
about 4 years ago.
Very few inside walls, very open and part has vaulted ceiling.
With the openness and the two story ceiling
it looks larger then the actual square footage.
Do wish my bathroom was a bit
larger and would like a little more storage space.
I did not arrive in time for this framing project and my
closet is larger then my bathroom and
should have been the other way around.
But fine since just the one closet for One Woman
 for all seasons
of my old but not fine wearing apparel.
Had an idea of something I had seen
advertised in the past.  Basically they are
advertised for travel but I ordered one from
Amazon and hung on inside of small
linen closet.   This sure beats fishing through
a basket for an item.
I like it.
Hope it does not fall off the door :)