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, May 31, 2012

Sharing and My Granddaughter's Words

It was a good night and I smile at all the comments from those who read my sharing.  Thank you for all of your encouraging words.

The perfect day is going to be enjoyed or savored.  Smiling  as I remember my young granddaughter using this word during our lunch the other day.  She told me that her parents told her she needed to not eat so fast and "savor her food."

My perfect day is at home,
listeing to the sounds of nature,
spotting different birds,
times with hoe and sprinkling can in hand,
lunch sitting in the old rocking chair,
with camera near by and Callie sitting at my feet.

Yesterday spent time making butternut squash soup.
The squash had been in the fruit bowl for a long time
and needed to be used.   Have never mastered an easy
way to cut and now cut in a number of pieces, simmer
in water and then separate the tough peel from the flesh.
With an addition of onion, carrots, celery, small potato,
garlic, topped with my basil and chopped crisp bacon.
It was a perfect lunch and evening meal and will be
finished off today - along with a coconut and pineapple pie I may be making...

I have started putting a bouquet of my herbs on the table and love the scent.

Sharing a note my oldest granddaughter sent to me.
Thank you, my Jess....

So in my words, here you are....

At this time, you have found your inner peace and it is in the woods, with your hands in the dirt, and nature springing up around you. You are comfortable with who you are and where life has taken you. You appreciate and love your home and garden - it brings you joy and relaxes you. Even though your body may throw obstacles in the way, you are strong and will persevere through the difficult times. You have found such happiness in the blogging world and sharpening your writing skills has kept your mind sharp and clear. It allows us, your family and blogging community, to see the inner workings of your life. I think you feel at peace and accomplished. Your family grows around you and you love and care for all of us so much. You are spiritual and faithful, kind and caring, compassionate and humble. I think you are in a great place in your life, at Wood Haven.

I can't wait to see you :)

All my love,

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


My little ones are delighted with each birthday,
not grandma..
The oldest has a birthday next week.
School is out and they were in the country yesterday.
They make me smile.
I needed to smile since I have been in a lot of pain
lately from arthritis, also had a bad fall 5 days
Standing on one foot to wipe it off after being in yard,
knocked rocking chair and small table off of front
porch and landed hurting my hip, arm and neck.
  A miracle I did not break something but am
just real sore.
Difficult to tell what is arthritis or pain from fall.

I know to pace myself, rest before I am tired,
not think of the past or the future
and just enjoy the moments as they unfold.
Today - I will practice what I know.
 I will take pleasure in the fact that there
was a light shower last night.
One Woman will be in her garden as every plant
seems to sparkle with the rain drops,
and much weeding to be done.
May make some butternut squash this morning.
Sounds like my kind of day.....

My special little one it seems like yesterday you started playing soccer
and now you are winning trophies.

Early  "Happy Birthday" wishes are going over the miles to your home.


Trying to do something on my blog
did not know what I was doing
and deleted all my favorite blogs.
Wonder if it is in a trash bag somewhere?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Blooms, Busy Bees and Corn Field

   Daylilies are blooming, bees are everywhere.   The thought never entered my mind that someday I would look out my bedroom window and see a corn field so very close.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chef plus Master Farmer and Stuffed Green Peppers

Just finished reading the new issue of  Country Gardens magazine.
An interesting  article on farm fresh food.

The Capitol Grill at the  The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville has one of the best chefs in the United States according to Gourmet magazine.

Have such fond memories of visiting this restaurant about 13 years ago with part of my family.  It was a treat that my son gave to each us.

What was so interesting to me is Tyler Brown who is the chef, grows many of the vegetables he prepares on some land about 5 miles from the hotel.

Glen Leven Farm which is part of a trust had some idle land and that is where he grows his vegetables.

It would be a treat to once again enjoy a meal at this upscale hotel in Nashville.    Also would like to find the exact location of Glen Leven.

Very hot here at the edge of the woods.    Another 90 plus degree day expected.   I cannot work outside past 10:30.

Some green peppers I spotted at the market several days ago brought back memories of stuffed peppers that I use to make many years ago.   So just finished a tasty lunch of the peppers prepared with ground beef, brown rice, onions and tomato sauce that had been simmered until done and then put in green peppers.   An addition of a little more tomato sauce with some of my herbs on top with cheddar cheese baked in the oven for 25 minutes - was the first thing in days that tasted good to me.     My last carton of corn and green beans came out of the freezer to finish this meal.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Quick Garden Tour

I was not going to write this morning
another busy day.
Another hot day and while watering garden
noticed such progress for this time of year.
Egyptian Onions I ordered last year are doing
as predicted and forming onions on top.
Soon have yellow squash on my two vines.
A green tomato spotted
and the potato that had sprouted in my bin
I planted and is growing.
Hollyhocks must be over 6 foot high and blooming.

I smile at this progress as
another day begins.....

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Another Day Begins

Memories of auction and special treasures
Farmers market and Zinnias
My little garden looks good
for end of May
corn is growing fast.

Another day begins at
the edge of the woods
a new beginning for
one of my little ones....

This morning so much to do
would like as many years ahead
as I have had in the past....

Monday, May 21, 2012

Yesterday and Today


Time you are flying by.    Going to fast for this One Woman.   Yesterday they were babies and
now one is a  Brownie and  the other one winning medals.                                                                                          

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Never Noticed

Sun going down
doing some yoga stretches
I looked through the door
and out a back window.
I have never noticed
how beautiful this
old tree is
with the end of the day
sun on it...

It made me wonder
what else I have not noticed?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Going, Going and Gone

A visit to one of my past homes in the nearby city.
When I left the old farmhouse this was one of the homes I built.
The couple next door I had known for years.
The wife passed away while I lived in the home next to them.

Mr. Leo became very special to me.   He was alone, his children
not nearby and I was in the same situation.
We would talk over the border of my flower garden and soon
we would visit back and forth.
I would sit and listen to him share.
I appreciated the fact that he trusted me and shared much of his past and some
hopes for the future.
When you live in  a town where many of the people
have known each other for years most of the time you
 do not share a lot openly.  
I wonder - why is it that small towns are filled with so much gossip.

I moved from this town, built a home closer to my children and sometimes felt like I had abandoned him.   His health continued to deteriorate and he passed away months ago.

So yesterday was the beginning of the sale of many items in that magnificent
old historical home.   Tomorrow will be an auction of a lifetime collection of
 some of the finest antiques, crystal and silver items.

At the sale today, I purchased a number of small items.   Like an aluminum ladder
as I had given mine away through one of my moves.  An old wheelbarrow (I like them for
my country gardens), an old small kitchen table for my screen porch, 4 piece place setting of old silverware to go with my stainless and some silver (do not like plastic when all of family is visiting),
  a wicker tray and basket, some cloth napkins to add to mine (do not like paper napkins), and a few more serving pieces. Some etched juice glasses because somewhere over time I do not have any as they have
been broken. A couple of old brass flower pots for screen porch, some old and nice clippers
for me to use in garden and a old heavy hammer, a  1/2 gallon canning jar they are a rare find
at this time (I have one and like to make a gallon of tea fruit tea at a time).
Also a very small clothes drying rack, a large umbrella (when it rains all the family likes to walk the paths).  Mother's Day there was a parade of umbrella's and my rain jackets walking this rural land.     I noticed an old cane - I like canes :)  and I think that is all....
All of this for not much over $50.     Not bad for the quality and old like me....

As I drove down the highway on the way home, the thought came to mind I want nothing and need nothing and why in the world is this truck filled with these items?

I know why - many of them I had given away during  many times of relocating.  Seems now I have settled into this cottage and all will be useful items.

There were so many mixed emotions as I viewed this home and contents, and as I viewed my past home next door.

But bottom was a good time and whenever I use any of these items, including the walking stick  that
his daughter's gave me as a gift - they will bring back memories of Mr. Leo....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Special Words

All medication is now out of my system and many symptoms of Sjogrens and arthritis have returned.
Seems when I am on this strong medication I am almost on a high and feel so good physically and emotionally.    So pleased that while preparing and enjoying family last week that I felt great.
Continuing to do research on my condition and if there is something available to give me quality
of life without being harmful to my body.

Words received from across the ocean
this early morning
 are always uplifting.

Being in nature is best for well being of the mind and body
even if they do not cooperate.

BKS lyengar - quotes
~~~Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.
      The highest point of yesterday should be the lowest point of today~~~

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happiness Is....

 over the last hours.
An insect resting
on a new bloom.
Miss Callie resting
on the green grass.
Yellow birds resting
on an old branch that
holds the humming bird feeder.
The smile on the face of
My youngest daughter
with my two granddaughter's,
a 40 minute phone call from
over the ocean a little after dawn....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Graduation Time

Graduation time
last Friday afternoon.

A whole new world
is preparing to
 open up for you.

Heartfelt  blessings and wishes
for the best the Universe
has to offer you
My special grandson...

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Perfect Day

A day that the soft rain
never stopped.

A day filled with smiles,
hugs and much love
A day that the mother's heart
is filled with so much
happiness and pride in her children
and grandchildren
 that she can hardly stand it.

How could I out of all the women
in the universe be chosen for
this honor.

There were those that were not at
the big table but in spirit
they were there.  There was a
new young man that joined us
and he was perfect.

Only problem is it seems that
life is going by at an escalated pace.
I am growing old too fast
and do not like that my posture
seems to be failing.

But how can I stay ever youthful
if my children and grandchildren
are going to have their
lives unfold.....

Food was perfect - but
I wished for walks in the woods
and through my growing garden.
But the lush green of the woods
and beauty of all that has been
planted was very evident through
all of the windows and coming down
the long gravel drive.

First Daylilly bloomed....

I could go on and on about each
who were in my cottage this
Mother's day -
will stop as it would fill pages.

My life is good
and no words to express my

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Gift To Me

For years I have thrown
Poppy seeds in the garden
and they do not come up.

This year I have 6 plants
that I have been guarding.

Early this morning I spotted
the first bloom.

Beautiful is the thought.
I smile
as I consider it a gift to me.....

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

This Is Your Time

My daughter
Sent this to me

I now return it to her, her sisters,
my son and grandchildren.

Also to all of  my special online
friends who read
 what I share
about my life at Woodhaven.

Monday, May 7, 2012

White Bean, Risotta, Sausage and Eggplant Soup

Oh my
what a wonderful soup.
This was on the menu on my last trip to the big city at my special Provence.
The moment I saw eggplant
I wondered what it would taste like and could not wait to try.
Not disappointed.
So an Eggplant and sausage was purchased along with the Risotto
the rest of the ingredients I keep on hand.
Anyone that reads my recipes know I do not go into quantities.
Just chop away for your delight.

I even made a call to the chef to compliment him on this soup and
ask if the small pieces of red was red pepper.

The basics I have on hand to chop.

Carrots, celery, onion, red pepper and a small potato
2 cans of white beans drained or you could cook dried beans.
Peeled and chopped eggplant.

All but well cooked beans and risotta  are  simmered in olive oil with a little garlic.
Then in a larger pan add the beans and ingredients that have been simmering in
olive oil, 2 cans of beans and  vegetable broth or your own if you have on hand.

Cook sausage in a separate pan, chop and add to soup mixture.
Could not find what was recommended and just bought a spicy sausage.

Add risotto at this time and simmer about 20 to 25 minutes
I am going to add some fresh chopped Thyme.

When I ladle in my bowl will top with with a  little Cilantro or Parsley or both from my herb garden..

Crusty bread will be great with this soup.

The eggplant is in a bowl on my kitchen counter  along with a butternut squash.   Both ready for me to make soup.  Want to try this new one very soon and it may be today....

Oh something else they have that is wonderfully displayed along with other wonders,
that I will not attempt to make
 one of their specialities
Chocolate Eclairs  to die for....

My trips to the big city are so few and far between and would be worth going
more often just to sit in this little cafe and enjoy the excellent food and enjoy
the people watching.

Always a  mixture of college students, executives, moms, teenagers,
tourist and some older "like me."
A lot are sitting at the small tables with their lap tops.
Not me ---
my time on computer is at dawn in the country.
 Never would it take place in a wonderful cafe with the great scents
coming out of the kitchen.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Simple And Garden Fresh

Little scissors in hand
she fills her small bowl.

An assortment of lettuce
along with Basil, Cilantro, Parsley
and one green onion.
Base for salad
topped with tuna
 stuffed hard boiled egg with garden dill
and some asparagus
Tea with cluster of her fresh Mint
and Tomato Basil soup.
A few Rosemary Crisp crackers
made it complete.

Now if I do say so myself.
This was pretty good....

A new addition to my herb garden
Thai Basil - Siam Queen.
Wonder if it has a different flavor
then my regular Basil.

When I noticed this at the nursery
I had to have it.
It made me think of
my son in that land far over the ocean....

Saturday, May 5, 2012

All Night

All night
the soft rain fell.
At dawn
everything looks so
fresh, clean and green.

Snake is curled up by cottage.
Maybe a visitor can identify.

Corn is growing
Oak leaf Hydrangea starting to bloom
Old Rabbits Ear Fern on screen porch
loves the misty rain that filters through
the screen.
Another day begins
may have a visit from little Bear.

Another word for Woodhaven
is Peace......

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Late In Life Gift and The Snake

She cares for her husband 24 hours a day.
Has round the clock help, nurses and special therapy people that come and go.
My phone rings early every morning
and I share my day.
This special one knows more of my coming and going then my children.

A rare visit was made yesterday morning.
Not a long visit but time to view my flowers and the
beginning of my small vegetable garden.

I shared some of my special bread with her that she had been wanting to try.
Also the way I made my fruit tea as she had never been able to quite get it right.
Along with some cherry tomato plants that have come up in abundance in the garden.

She reminds me of my special grandmother who was always bragging on me.

She is such a gift as I lead a simple lifestyle of nature and solitude in these 3 score and 10 years.

A snake was spotted at the edge of cottage in some flowers - immediately she
told me it needed to be killed.
I told her I could not kill it as this was his and all the other wild life's home - I feel
as though I have invaded their territory.

Hopefully when someone visits they can tell me what kind of snake it is.
If maybe harmful to me or family - they can take it to another location....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

After The Rain

Asiatic Lily has opened and Oak leaf Hydrangea's are filled with buds and promises to be
outstanding when they bloom.

Potted plants on terrace are doing well and I water daily except when there is rain.  Good
rain last night and now predicted almost 90 degrees for the next week.
All plants are blooming about
a month early.  I would like some plants to be  blooming when most of children
and grandchildren visit  Woodhaven on Mother's Day.   Day Lilly's usually bloom in June and
they are beginning to have buds.    At the rate that all plants are blooming there
may not be anything to bloom from June on.                                                          

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Evening Garden Walk

Look at this new beauty
a 5 minute shower
left rain drops on the Iris

Local nursery has the most beautiful flowers.
But then to me they are all beautiful.
Could not resist this Wave Petunia
Hung it on my old barn wood sign
For years I have wanted poppies
in my garden.   The seeds never came up.
I have 4 plants that have emerged from my seeds.
Guarding them and hopefully Callie stays on the stepping stones
and does not run through garden and destroy them.

And last my Coral Bells just keep blooming and blooming.  I have taken pieces of this
plant to 5 different  homes and shared it many times.     Never disappoints me.

All night lightning filled the sky and the soft rain fell.   Needed the rain and all in garden
will now grow at a rapid pace.

A night of restfulness and dreaming.   When will I learn to pace myself?   Have gone at a
fierce pace in the garden over the last several days.

My garden grows slowly and I must learn from the nature that surrounds me....

 I must wear gloves.   Like the feel of the dirt in
my hands - now I wonder can I get my nails clean.  
Don't care if I do......