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, April 30, 2012

Rose Breasted Grosbeak

I have been noticing the male and female Grosbeak at the feeders for over a week.
Last year was the first time I had ever seen these birds.
Posted a picture with 6 in a tree in front of cottage.
Pleased I was able to catch an image of the male.
So colorful he is with his rose colored vest...

Reading about this bird it stated they were common birds of the forest.
Oh, I like that description
and had the thought
that maybe that is a good description of me.

As I sit in my old rocking chair with camera in hand
I can hear the really big woodpeckers tapping away
in the woods, also the soulful cooing of the doves.
Their sound seem to cover me with a blanket of peace.

Before going in for the evening I noticed this beautiful
woodpecker had just landed in a nearby tree..
While this cottage was being built a large section of this
tree came down.  Was lucky it did not fall on home.

I would like a camera where I could get better
closeups.   But then do not need two cameras....

~~~~Spiritual practitioners thrive in unpredictable conditions, testing and refining the
inner qualitative of heart and mind.  Every situation become an opportunity to abandon
judgement and simply give attention to what is~~~

Shaila Catherine "A Medatative Guide To States of Deep Joy, Calm and Clarity"

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saturday Dark Woods And Soup

Written yesterday....

Winter, Spring and Fall
I love walking and riding in the woods.
It seems like over night
they have turned into  thick and
very dark woods.
Finished cutting  grass and
began my venture into the woods.
Did not go far
looks like a rain forest
everything is so lush and green.
Branches hanging low from
the moisture and paths are damp
in places.
Love the way the sun filters through the leaves
of the tall old trees.

From now through the summer
 visits are not frequent
as the woods are so thick and overgrown.
  Thought comes to mind
of the poison ivy I get most years.

After reading my Sarah's recipe for
her vegetarian Cauliflower soup I
made a few additions to my old favorite
that I just made.

Basics are Cauliflower, carrot, celery, onion,
garlic and one small diced potato.
To make it go further :)
On hand I had a red pepper and diced
some of it in this mixture. 
From Sarah - cashews soaked in water
to soften, and an addition of cumin.

Mixture covered with water
and simmered until done.
I use my handy 4 cup Work Bowl
from Cuisinart to puree only a part
as I like chunks of the vegetables in the soup.
This time I did not add cream, milk
or broth as it seemed fine without it.
  Might add cream when I warm
for dinner this evening.
I like the addition of the cashews
gives the soup a little crunch.

Of course she would not eat grandma's
as it was topped it with shredded cheese,
crisp bacon and an addition of my
Cilantro on top.

With my crusty bread warmed in
olive oil and fruit tea - it was a winner
for this matriarch.

Kitchen a mess, but sure was good.
Now I have my meal for tonight
and tomorrow.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Collage Of Part Of My Life

Click on this to enlarge.

Trying to figure out how to make a collage of my selected images for a family letter?

Now my talented daughter and soninlaw - could do it in a minute.

Mom is trying.

A computer and camera student for the rest of her life is One Woman.
The love of these began just 5 years ago.  In younger years
never would have dreamed of such a thing.

It does keep me still and uses my brain instead of body.

This body does a lot of physical work here at Woodhaven.
Gardening is a passion along with cleaning the woods.

Guess it is good for me. in this third act.

I read somewhere about the 3 acts of life.
First act would be until age 30,
age 30 to 60 second act
and then from 60 to 90 the third act,
guess beyond that would be final curtain.

Two in my family
my grandmother
and a favorite aunt
lived to the early 90's.

Contemplating all of this
and half way through the third act,
I had better be doing what I like
and if there is something else
I want to do or experience - better do it
as time has gone and is continuing  at a rapid pace.

I smile as I think that most who read my rambling
are in their second act.
Then a few like me
in this third act......

Friday, April 27, 2012

Taste And Aroma Memories

Driving down the highway yesterday
my mind took a journey to the past.

I wanted a blank mind but it seemed
it had a mind of its own and I just let
it wander as they were memories
that made me smile.

I rarely drink coffee but I love the smell.
a memory came to mind of growing up years
and first thing on awakening the smell of
coffee.  No one made coffee like my mama.
Loved the smell but she made it too strong
for me - but sure smelled good.

Occasionally I like a hot dog and now it is veggie.
But the memory of a 15 year old with her
first job at the dime store.  There was nothing
like their hot dogs cooking on the grill as you
came in the front door.  The scent inviting and
they were plump and
juicy,  the bun warmed to perfection and
you had an assortment of toppings.  Never have
found a hot dog  equal in all my years.  Think they
were 15cents.

I wanted to close my eyes and smell the charcoal at the
buffet in Jamaica.  But remembered I was driving.
  One night a week the embers would be glowing
 with everything you can think of being grilled.
Every kind of fresh fish, meat, pork,  shrimp, lobster, steak, hamburgers,
and even veggies.   This sure was wonderful
and I do not eat much. Charcoal ed to perfection and the scent as our
family walked down the ocean path to the
dining room I will always remember.

Also on these visits remember my breakfast.
Always ordered fresh fish that was cooked perfectly
and served with fresh limes.  The only time I remember
adding fresh fish to my breakfast was on these trips
in the past.

Remember the special smells in the Spring of certain flowers,
newly cut grass, freshly turned soil,  the trees blooming.
The same for fall in my area of aroma coming
from the newly fired tobacco in the local barns.

I love the smell of Lavender and Pine - both very
relaxing to me.  In fact a pleasure is enjoying the
scent of the few herbs I have planted.

I can remember the smell of my four babies.  So fresh and
clean as I held them.  Nothing like it.

Also there is nothing like the scent from fresh laundry
taken from the line that has been blowing in the
wind on a sunny day.  Those sheets on your bed is
a little bit of Heaven that night as you close your eyes.

As I drove down the road yesterday and was trying to
have a blank mind - it did not happen as I was
thinking of much of the above and a whole lot more
I have shared enough to give you an idea.
This may give you some thoughts on this subject....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Unexpected Pleasure And Viewing At Dusk

A morning at the dentist
and instead of heading home
she headed for the big city.

First there is a pickup of her
favorite Tuscany bread at the wonderful
cafe and bakery called "Provence"
A to die for chocolate eclair and another
idea for her soup.  They were serving'
vegetable with lentils.

Drove by her previous city home and
"where have all the flowers gone."
Lawn where there were once flower beds.
she brought a small piece of each one for
this country garden -  could have brought them all.

A visit to her favorite church Thrift Store at the edge
of the ultimate neighborhood (where she lived in another
life in the stone English Tudor).
More cloth napkins - which is a simple love she has.
 Beautiful blue and green.
 They look like Tuscany and remind
her of Italy - one of the dream places she would like to visit.
Also some cork backed place mats from Germany
These at a remarkably low price.
She justified the purchase because of give away price and
and the love of setting  a beautiful table
if just for one....

Home and Miss Callie is waiting in the corn field for her mistress.

A shower beginning
this new beauty
her head hung low
I propped her up on my knee
to get an image.

The Rhododendron is in full bloom
One year old Clematis just continues to bloom
and full of buds.
An image is needed to prove
there is one small tomato on this vine.
Just for fun
there is grass growing in the middle of the big old table....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Day and My Sarah

Today is another busy day.
Too many of them lately.
Life continues at a rapid pace.

My granddaughter Sarah's
dream is coming true
Now working in a great restaurant
in N.Y.
It is a beginning...

Since she is vegan
so many of her recipes
grandma does not have the ingredients

Now this soup sounds wonderful and
I have all on hand.  

Might prepare it a little simpler with
corn in freezer from garden but
cauliflower in the crisper, cashews
sitting on the counter and
cilantro in the garden

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Simple Pleasure

The soil is damp
from overnight rain
wind is blowing
to cool to work in garden
the sun is shining
in the windows
 a perfect morning to
make the old wood gleam.

She polishes away
loves the shine
and the fresh smell
fills her cottage.

It is almost as if the
old furniture is
smiling at her....

Monday, April 23, 2012

Special Words

~~~~And I think of my partners on this page,
those who write and those who read,
these fearless women who follow their hearts,
who track the growing things, the things with
wings, the rocks and watery worlds
of nature, these creative women who look
and listen, who are not afraid
of coming forth~~~

In part from Ellen Hamilton  who has a current entry

I like thinking I might be "a fearless woman"

Ellen, thank you for these special words

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Corn Two Years Ago

Took me a while
to locate this picture
taken 2 years ago.
Makes me smile
and remember how
high this corn may grow
and how much my little girls
have grown...

~~Once in a while it's okay to let go of the world
for a little bit, and right now is the best time
for that.   Breathe in, laugh out.  Today is a good
day to do nothing, think nothing, be everything~~

Among my papers - something I jotted down
Sounds great to me
Hope I can do it
at least for part of the day :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Good Salad And Good Herbs

The last several months
seems nothing has tasted very good to me.
Do not have a hearty appetite and with
Sjogrens very dry mouth does not help.

Yesterday made a pasta salad for lunch that was tasty
with an addition of white albacore tuna,
hard boiled egg, celery and
from my little garden  - lettuce and topped it with
cilantro, dill, parsley and green onion.
Forgot about the chives and soon basil
can be used.

At dawn new plants were put in
the small garden space...
2 tomato, 2 zucchini, 2 yellow squash,
1 green pepper and 1 cucumber plant.
1/2 dozen of cherry tomato plants
have surfaced from last year.
Also the Egyptian onions are
quite showy but not all that keen
on their taste.  Of course last year
was the first year and they are
suppose to be larger this year.
Sage is blooming along with chives.

Other years have planted seeds
but there are too many in the package
and I did it differently this time.

Next year this small garden may go in
in back by the deck.  Will sow
the small area in front of cottage
with grass seed.   This will save
me a little energy and will not have
to be trimmed around and kept
so tidy looking.

Hopefully rain that is predicted
will arrive - the soil is very dry....

Friday, April 20, 2012

Memories And More To Come

This is an entry from about one year ago.
Time goes by so quickly.
This special grandson
and family will gather at Woodhaven
in May.
Gavin will be graduating from Vanderbilt University.
He has little Bear with him at this time.
Looking forward to this special gathering.
I love this picture of him standing at the edge of grandma's woods.....

Memories that make me smile...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Early Morning Fog

Day begins
fog arises from pond
across the way
Corn is beginning to show
thought comes to mind
how it was 6 foot high
2 years ago
and I did not mind
living in the middle of
a corn field....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Visitors And Accepting Sjogrens

The garden changes daily.
A new kind of lettuce
seems to be surviving in
the hard, dry soil.

Last of health talk from One Woman
None of test revealed anything different
from 9 years ago.
Sjogrens progressing in some new ways
Unless some new medication comes along
cortisone's from time to time and I
do not like them but they sure make
you feel good for a while.....
Need to accept, count my blessings,
dig in the garden, walk with camera,
pray, meditate and smile.
I was promised 70 years and each
year after a gift.  So am fortunate
for these gift years...

Thanks to all that traveled along with me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


A chilly day
even turned the heat on
for about an hour.
A slow walk through the
garden to view a few new

Sunday, April 15, 2012

One Woman Shares - Much

A bumper crop of acorns last Fall
has resulted in a bumper crop of
small trees in my gardens.
I pull them up and surprise there
is the acorn on the end.

As I look at what has grown over
the last two years - I wonder
is this a blessing or a curse.

All of my gardens have done well
but now I believe the future
of many of these plants as they multiply
 will be placed
in the woods, shared or given
back to the soil.

This success may soon be more
then One Matriarch can care for.
I really had some doubts that  at the
edge of the woods it would
be this successful.
My goal was a smaller version of what was
created in the past - has not happened.

Iris are blooming also my beautiful
red  peony, hosta's are massive.
Red and yellow Knockout roses
are beautiful at the moment.  Hope
the beetles do not visit again this year.

Someone sent little Bear a red scarf...
My grandson shares that when he
took him to the veterinarian for more
shots - they bragged on him.
Oh, he is so smart and well mannered.....

My heart is smiling real big -  for one granddaughter
in New York.  She is going to work for
one of the top vegetarian restaurants in N.Y.
The beginning of her dream coming true.

My last meal was savored last night
as preparation begins for more tests
in the morning.  I am very tired of
needles being put in my arms.

May all who follow my rambling
besides children and grandchildren
know how special you are to me.
Several days ago when I tried to
get online my service would not
cooperate.   After many phone calls
learned that this area was having a
problem.  Thank goodness not my
computer.  I shared with the young
technical assistant that this was my
connection with family and the world
outside these woods....

May we all
Happy, Well, Safe, Peaceful and
feel Loved in our hearts....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Show Begins

The best seat in the house
at 3 o'clock.
Rocking chair on the terrace
camera in hand and
looking out over the small garden
the best show begins.
8 or more different birds that I can
identify  are flying in
and out of garden.  Love the
yellow finches - they remind me of canaries.
They all seemingly take turns at the
feeders, stroll among the flowers
and fly to near by trees.
Hummingbirds have returned and
I notice they looked kind of thin.
Bluebirds in both houses are flying
in and out....

I rode the lawn tractor deeper into
the woods on my paths and became
stuck in the mud - thankfully my helper
heard me calling his name as I made
my way back to cottage.  First time
I did not have cell phone in my pocket
and all I could keep thinking "I hope
I do not come across a poisonous snake"

So another day begins and hopefully
the rain that is predicted will arrive
as the earth is very dry and all that
has been planted needs moisture.

"A hundred flowers blossom in the spring
The moon shines in autumn
There is a fresh breeze in the summer
and there is snow in the winter.
If your mind isn't occupied with trivial matters
Every time is a good time"

~~The Priest Wumen~~

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Frosty Morning

What a difference a week makes.
Some sweaters packed away
have been retrieved this early morning.

Fields are covered with frost
look at what was planted last year
on a trellis by front porch.
What a beauty.

What Love Says

~~Attachment is the very opposite of love.
Love says,
"I want you to be happy."
Attachment says,
"I want you to make me happy."

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Early Easter Morning

What did I view early this morning?
Coral Bells never fail me with their beauty
just a little early this year.
Field prepared, corn planted and
any day should start emerging.

Memories, of little ones with new outfits, lacy socks,
shiny shoes, new little sport coat and tie.
Easter baskets, hidden eggs, church, and
wonderful prepared meal.

A beautiful morning with all of my family
in other locations
but one - who will soon visit and have
lunch with her mama.

Life goes on, changes and nothing remains
the same.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Yesterday A Visit To The Big City

Appointment with rheumatologist yesterday.
Meeting a new doctor it is always important to me
that you feel a bond with one another.
I was not disappointed.
The young woman with the flawless creamy skin
 and beautiful long black curly hair opened the
door to the examining room and greeted me
with a big smile.  Immediately I liked her and it
seems all my new doctors are the age of my children.
Outcome - examination and a number of blood samples.

So, hopefully next week I will have an answer if
Sjogren's is visiting me in some new ways.

I was told to stop prednisone and only had one more pill and to
rest  (I really do not know what this is)
and a reminder that stress plays a big part in our health matters.

I did not take the rural transportation.
The day would have been much longer then 8 to 3.

On the way home I drove through one of my favorite old neighborhoods.
German Town.   Before building in the big city and returning to the country
I use to walk the streets in this neighborhood and wonder if I would like this
lifestyle.  Then maybe yes but with the massive building surrounding it
going on - the answer is now "no".

 Stopped at the small hot dog place and
ordered veggie on whole wheat bun, covered with his special cole slaw and a special
drink I have found no where else.  The youthful owner is from Chicago area.
So nice to walk in and my name called out by this young owner.
I remember when he opened and I was one of his first customers.
He still remembers me even though my visits are not often anymore.

I might add why I think he remembers me.  I ask the young woman with
the baseball cap on  as she took my order
if the owner was her father?   Oh my they could not
stop laughing as he was her fiance.   He said I made her day....

I shake my head as a giant condominium complex  covering a large
area is being built by out of state investors.
 Looks like a hundred units.  Street was filled with equipment
in this small quaint neighborhood of a lot of small unique homes and
some large very old homes.
The thought comes to mind - how could they do this ?

There was a time a few years ago I knew what was going on in
the building world of this surrounding area.
Not anymore and I wonder with the economy as it is - how will this many
units rent.   But then it is very near the downtown business area
and maybe young and older professionals want these condos.

As I walked down the brick sidewalk to my car I noticed the
home I was parked in front of and the unusual tree beside the
home - very old with gray bark.
I wonder what type of tree it is?
Just did some research - Is it a Beech tree?

Enough rambling.....

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Water The Flowers Not The Weeds

As I turned on the computer this morning
before I turn it back off.....
I read something I needed to read.
I confess - that at times it is difficult
concentrating on the positive.

If your out watering your flower garden by hand, you usually concentrate the flow of water
to benefit your beautiful flowers.   If there is an area of weeds, you don't waste water on them.
As best you can, you avoid watering the weeds.
It's the same with your consciousness.  You can learn to selectively water positive seeds and
flowers in you by attending to these.

There are enough weeds.
You do not have to encourage them.

~~~Thomas Bien~~~   Trycycle Wisdom Collection

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Happy Birthday To My Son

Happy Birthday
to my son
far over the ocean.

No lofty words do I have
to share what you represent
to your mama
or how proud she is of you.

Just "love you, proud of you and miss you"
always know in your heart
that the encouraging words that
you send to me are like a
healing balm to my soul and spirit.

From your lifestyle and what
you share about
another land and philosophy
 I continue to
learn and grow.
I thank you for this...

I always remember words you
wrote on a sheet of paper one
Mother's Day when you were
very young
"I love you the Whole Universe Full"
That is a lot of love.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Good Day And Special Visitors

Four generations of readers.
My mother, this grandmother,
my children and now the youngest
of my grandchildren.

They are spending the day
and it seems the time of bringing
satchels of toys has ended.

How wonderful that they bring
an armful of books and sit near
my stack of much loved books
and read - it is so quiet
and hardly know they are here.
Wish I could keep them.

Met my Jamie part way to pick them up.
Purchased a Basil and Lavender plant
to add to my herb garden.   Sun is shining
and I am thinking we need some rain.

Yesterday I started back on low dose
of prednesone.  I had a few pills on hand.
and it must be a miracle drug for today
I feel almost normal.

Difficult to understand why for 2 weeks
I was in another "land" and 2 pills
can take me back to normal
Will see what this new doctor has
to say.
I put my family through a lot the
last couple of weeks.
My crying, pain, and all the thoughts
that surfaced.
Hopefully I have returned for good
to my normal self.

Thanks to all of you who walk along
beside me and listen as I share
life of a woman who has led about
4 lifestyles and finally landed in
her dream of a cottage at the edge
of the woods....

Monday, April 2, 2012

Early Garden Walk And Sjogren's

Everything in the garden is a month ahead.
Pleased with my herbs.
Cilantro, Chives, Dill, Rosemary, Sage,
Basil are all doing well.
First rose bloomed and
purple phlox I transferred from
the woods looks as though it has always been in that spot.
Peonies and Iris full of big healthy buds.
So much bright color.
An image on an old log looks like a heart sculpture.
Field in front of cottage has been plowed and soon
corn will be emerging.

I have been battling the worst of  Sjogren's for a week.   Thankful I was diagnosed at the age of 70.   Many have never
heard of it and many think it is just dry eyes and nose.   This is only a small part of this syndrome.
For one week have felt like I have the flu, severe aching and fatigue.
I usually take a low dosage of prednesone for a short period about 3 times a year.   It may change...
Have an appointment Thursday with specialist and oh how I do not want to drive to the big city.
Was hoping this would just go away with the healthy lifestyle that I live at this time.
Maybe it still will as I believe in miracles.

Julia at Reasonably Well has this condition. I have added her to my blog list. If anyone is interested in reading about Sjogren's she has a lot of information about this medical condition.

Reading much of this was help to me as I realized that all I am experiencing is normal.