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, August 30, 2012

Moving Day - Wish Was Granted

A busy few days ahead with putting all in order.
Moving day request help is being sent out
and I smile at this view from the new apartment rooftop.
Sharing with everyone as you have taken this journey with me.
Trying not to disclose anything I should not or invade any ones privacy.
So here goes.....

It was only 6 days ago
but seems like it has been weeks.
August 24th
A plea was sent out from one Grandmother for help finding her granddaughter lodging in the big city of New York.
A letter was sent to a special place her granddaughter wrote about
and a special person replied and said she knew of no openings.
A number of places were visited.
Each has a story and would be too lengthy and probably should not be shared....

Then an email arrived from this special person that someone that worked with her was
vacating her room in a 3 bedroom apartment within a week.
Connections were made
and it was successful.

Now a new chapter begins
and onward we go.

Encouragement and prayers went out for this girl and continue.
There have been a number of frightening things that happened along the way.
Emotions very active
along with sleepless nights.

It was like being on a speeding train, kind of scary but all the time  knowing in your heart that you would arrive.
Those in family you shared with probably thought you had lost your sanity
and it was difficult not to listen to them or
respond to what your mind was saying.

The strength revealed through this situation is the same that her great great great grandmother, great great grandmother,
great grandmother and this grandmother have known in past years.
There is strength and strong will running through her veins and all the women who are in my immediate family and those who will come after me.

When you have a dream
and it is so strong and almost fierce
you look forward
never back
and keep going.

Thank you to all who remembered this situation in a special way.
To think we have never met
except through my sharing that is sent out to my family
and winds up all over the world.

At the moment
I feel as though I have jet lag..

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Almost September

Watching you daily
a seed that grew
 beside the deck
almost 9 foot high
and protected from wind.
Finally blooming
and you are not a disappointment.

Year and a half ago
you were a 8 inch plant
and placed by the screen porch
In a short time you had almost covered the screens.

Moved in the Spring to your new home
at the edge of the woods.
the thought surfaced
You like it....

~~Rather than taking obstacles as problems or as unfortunate distractions,
a more useful attitude is to patiently and contentedly learn
the skills and insights that can transform them
into stepping stones along our path~~

Gil Fronsdal

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Company Bran Muffins

The muffins were made early this morning
a never fail and healthy recipe.

1/2 the recipe I make

They have been mixed up in my kitchen for over 25 years
So good and healthy
Some were made regular size
Some were mini muffins

Which she ate 5

Next time will make all large size - thought I would eat fewer when small - not the case

This post was posted over a year ago so instead of rewriting because I baked this morning
will just reenter recipe.....  
The reason for old comments :)

1 cup flour
1 cup oat bran
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1 @1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 large tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375

Combine flour, sugar, oat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl - stir in carrots, apples, raisins and nuts

Make a well in the center - add oil, milk, beaten eggs and vanilla

Stir until just moistened

Use 1/4 cup measure to scoop muffin batter into greased tins or paper liner for large muffin

1/2 that batter for mini muffin

Bake 18 - 20 minutes or until nicely browned

Makes about 18 regular muffins - or 36 mini muffins

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Day Begins

Wild snapdragons
add a little color the last week of August.
Country road scene and
finally mastered cornbread for one using 1/4 of recipe, dropped by tablespoon full in iron skillet.

One returned from Colorado, one a special chef assignment in Hampton's and is still looking
for an apartment.
Some  calls  make you smile, others you thought would contact you
they never did.

56 years ago today you were a bride.
Today you are a matriarch who lives in the woods and thankful for a new day.

Nothing remains the same, everything changes and ultimately does anything really matter?

A beautiful day is beginning

Some plants have started blooming again.

Friday, August 24, 2012

New York I Need Your Kindness

There is a grandmother
who in the past was quite knowledgeable
about the small world she was a part of.

New York, I know nothing about you,
but I have a granddaughter who wants "you"
to be her world.

Her lease runs out in a week and she has
been desperately looking for a small efficiency
apartment or even a room that is available
with another renter
owner of some grand place that may
need an occupant.

The whole process of using a broker to
find you a dwelling place or locating one on your own
in your grand city is totally new to me.

I wonder
out of all the people who read my sharing
is there by chance someone who has contacts
in New York.

Probably not - I am thinking
but you do not know
if you do not ask
and I have always been one
who believes in miracles....
It seems most of my online friends are from
all over the world but not New York.

My Sarah, who is so talented and smart.
Intelligent beyond what I have words to describe
wants New York to be her launching ground.
I know she has a wonderful future
and this is her beginning.

I even thought a while ago of flying to N.Y.
to help her.

Grandma has handled her life solo for 35 years
and before that handled business affairs when
she was part of a couple and I believe
is much more aggressive then this talented

I ask the Universe to be kind to her
to give her the gift of a special dwelling
and let her heart continue to smile...

The heart of One Woman

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Little Frog

Just finished watching a movie on the loft area of this cottage.
Went into bathroom
lifted the toilet seat
and there was a frog
sitting on the rim of the toilet.

Picked it up with a tissue and took
to porch and made an image of it.

In this image it looks brown because of the sun.
It was a little green frog.

Now if it had been downstairs
I would have thought it came in one of the doors.
But how did it get upstairs?

A mystery to me....

Maybe I need to put up a little sign
in that guest area
telling  guests
to watch for frogs :)

Mystery solved - I think I brought it upstairs on my clothes
or laundry and it was looking for water.
I am up and down the stairs several times a day and it
is where I take laundry that needs to be ironed.
My ironing board stays up all the time in the storage room....

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Beautiful weather continues
Turnip greens are surfacing the ground
The woods are full of special creations
Youngest daughter came for a visit
Wonderful day....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Simple Fare

Evening meal of
fresh spinach
with chopped radishes and
An addition of some pasta, artichokes, cheese,
and topped with mixture of olive oil and garlic.
Fruit tea and a slice of my Toll House cookie pie.
Quick and healthy
for one....

Monday, August 20, 2012

Wise Words

This wonderful weather
like, 60 degree mornings
and balmy sunny days
pushed me to the limit on Saturday.

You would think by this advanced age
 I would have
learned how to pace myself?
Not so and it resulted in an overtired body
and several sleepless nights.

Always the right Words arrive
from over the Ocean....

"regarding lawn and woods maintenance - in my opinion
it is eternally fun to always try to strike a balance
between lots of growth, trees,
and nature nearby and doing some cleaning.
 to pace yourself  -
just because it is cooler - no reason
to do everything in one day or one week.

So true, I know it
but thank you always for reminding your mom...

~~Skillful Speech~~

Silence offers us and those around us,
the spaciousness we need to speak more skillfully.
When we speak with greater skill, our true self,
our compassionate, loving self, emerges with gentle ease.

So before you speak, stop breathe and consider
if what you are about to say
will improve upon the silence.

~~Allan Lokoa - Soulful Speech ~~

Friday, August 17, 2012

Made Me Smile

I came across these images
of my two little ones
on a site of my soninlaw.

They are winners
and maybe they can help
do some painting...

Another bad storm last night.
Heavy rain, thunder and lightning.
Another big tree has hit the ground
at the edge of the woods.
A beautiful week ahead
is predicted
good for my cleanup...

Everyone have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


For the first time in about 6 weeks I was able to start the lawn tractor and cut grass
surrounding this cottage.
Past weeks of being too hot, ground too wet, and  not feeling my normal energy filled self left the tractor sitting idle.
Also, I found I could not engage the blade, even using both hands.  I must share that this
truly upset me with thoughts were my tractor days over.
The tires need air and when monthly help arrives that will be taken care of.
I am trying to do less and my plan is to only cut down the long gravel drive and
on the main road about once a month.   If I cut around cottage every two weeks and then
maintenance man does it once a month with the other cutting it is helpful with my budget.

Driving the tractor is a special love and enjoyment.  Family and  others questioned
this purchase when relocating back to my home place.
But this is something I have done for 50 years,
relaxing,  just viewing nature and this time I  did not venture into the woods.  With
the strong wind in the past weeks there may be limbs on some of the paths that would
stop me from going forward.

Long sleeve shirt and slacks on and still the mosquito's were buzzing around my head.
With ground still damp it was an ideal time to move some plants - which I did.

Through the years there was always the thought that maybe a child or grandchild would love
my lifestyle so much that they could not wait to arrive and help me.   It has become very evident
that this is my love and decision for my life.   So I try not to think of the future, life is
always changing and my dream probably will not come true for family to continue to
care for all that is continuing to be planted.  But then a believer in miracles, so will see
how this One Woman's life plays out.

The visits and gardening with my grandmother was for one little girl a joy since she
lived in the big city with not a blade of grass in sight. She would run and hide and never
wanted to leave when her parents came for her.    That was another time and place and that
scene is not being replayed.  For my grandchildren it is a time of go, go, go, busyness is continual,  sports, travel
and all the new inventions that I know nothing about. 

Inside and putting a beautiful head of cauliflower on to simmer.  Adding some carrots, garlic and basil from my herb pots.
When it is almost done, cheese will be sprinkled on top along with chopped crisp bacon.   Not a usual dinner but plenty for one and the scent of garlic and basil is filling this room as I type
and for some reason it sounds tasty.
I do miss good rolls and cheese.   There are none at the local markets along with other special items I enjoy and when I go to the big city
soon a visit to my favorite bakery, Farmers Market, specialty stores that have items
I find enjoyable they will be purchased and brought back to the country.

There was a time in the past that sour dough bread was made and  shared some as
the  recipe made 3 loaves.   At this time of life I find I eat very little bread but do enjoy
making 1/2 recipe of my corn bread.    After being outside in the heat do not feel like
turning on the oven or even cooking the silver dollar size in my old iron skillet and
cooking on top of stove.

I have rambled enough this early morning.
have a wonderful day.....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Another delightful
cool morning.

you need to
come out of storage.

No cricket sounds
as of yet

Delightful scent in the air
as I drive down country roads
from early harvest
of some tabacco

Thoughts of homemade
soup keep arising....

Monday, August 13, 2012

1000 Entries

With this post
One Woman has written 1000 entries.
In the beginning what will I write.
Happy words, words of woe, gardening images,
cooking and sometimes just thoughts.
Happy times, sad time, words of her life experiences
and images and words of those in her past.
Words about children and grandchildren
and when they read her words they always
knew what was happening in her life and something
about those who came before them.
Poems were shared that spoke to her heart.
Guess this is her life.
and wondering is there anything left to share?

Even if no one wants to read the rambling
of one who suddenly is relating to aging,
she will continue writing and sharing images
because it has become a part of her
that seems to have taken on a life of its own....

It was like this:
you were happy, then you were sad,
then happy again, then sad.

It went on.
You were innocent or you were guilty.
Actions were taken, or not.

At times you spoke, at other times you were silent.
Mostly, it seems you were silent -- what could you say?

Now it is almost over.

Your life bends down and kisses your life.

It does this not in forgiveness---
between you, there is nothing to forgive--
but with the simple nod of a baker at the moment
he sees the bread is finished with transformation.
Eating too, is a thing now only for others.

It doesn't matter what they will make of you
or your days:  they will be wrong,
they will miss the wrong woman,
all the stories they tell will be tales of their own invention.

Your story was this: you were happy, then you were sad,
you slept and awakened.

~~After~~ Jane Hirshfield Poems

in part from "It Was Like This: You Were Happy....

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Like Fall

Waking up to a Fall like morning,
60 degrees,
screen doors open
and it was delightful
Something new in the garden
White Moon flower..
Most of my plants have a story.
This was shared from the city house.
Beautiful bush I was not familiar with was in the garden of a home near me when
I lived in the city.  A piece of plant was given to me.  A sad story as I viewed the
deteriorating home and garden.  I could see the love and years of attention that once
existed.  The elderly lady had passed away in a nursing home and the estate was being
settled.  I also have several of her old concrete flower pots and I never look at them
without recalling where they once lived.
The small section of this bush that has surfaced was not here last year - so this is a
welcome surprise.

I picked 7 pears and one had to be thrown away.  Will try to make a small portion of the
old pear preserve recipe that is in my file.  How amazing that this small tree was planted
last year and no pears were expected this soon.
Also just finished planting a small strip of turnip greens.  Found the seeds in the freezer.
They are my favorite and this seemed like a perfect morning to sow them.
Not planning on writing this morning and the morning is getting away from me.  Need to make my French toast and also banana bread from really ripe bananas.
Wanted to share that it is a beautiful morning and have thoughts of wondering
what Fall will be like.....

Saturday, August 11, 2012


A cooler and pleasant day.
Some color in the garden
still lingers after the heat and rains.
Tried sitting on the terrace and
then front porch
the mosquito's almost
carried me off...
I do believe the
Beatles have done all
the damage they can
and have left the woods.
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and cheer
and give strength to the body and soul.

~~John Muir~~

Friday, August 10, 2012

So Much Forgotten

posted this picture.
It brought back a lot of memories.

She is eating a choclate cake I baked.
I believe she is one year old.

A picture can bring about
a flood of memories.

A totally different lifestyle then
one I lead at the present time.
Never would I have imagined the
lifestyle I lead at the present time.

Life is truly a journey.
Sometimes we think we know
our future
but we do not...

40 years makes a lot of difference.
I realize more and more how fortunate
I have been to have lived
a number of different lifestyles.

Happy Birthday To My Sunday's Child

to my youngest
who was born
on a Sunday at 3:01 pm
 3  weeks early.
The 4th baby for her 34 year old mom.

My Jamie.....
Love, Mama

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Plans Changed

Early morning dentist stop and
anxiety over a tooth was relieved.
Plans to continue to big city
to enjoy a birthday lunch with my youngest.
The rain came in a flood
it never stopped and was difficult to see the road
so I headed back to the country.
First a stop to treat myself to a carmel latte.
A neighbor who shares the N.Y. Times with me
was in the shoppe and was nice to sit and talk for
almost an hour - something I rarely do.
On down the country road to the cottage and
noticed the lush tobacco fields
Too late for a good corn crop because of heat and lack of rain but looks as if the
farmer's will have an excellent tobacco crop and soybean crop.

Down the drive and notice a few plants that have emerged with a few rains.

The summer poinsettia, was not planted but evidently was among some plants
I moved.  Shared with me years ago by a elderly neighbor.
The Crepe Myrtles are blooming in every yard and are spectacular in every color.
Seeds from an unusual Sun Flower were shared with me and most washed away.
There are four plants that survived and this is the first to bloom.
                                                          The few
 Hyacinth Bean seeds that grew are thriving.   Picking seed pods as soon as I can because the birds are eating them.   This plant always showy for late summer and early Fall.   
A number of plants blooming that have survived the heat and rain.
Fortunate to have some color in my garden.    It looks like  Fall Purple Aster will be beautiful sometime in the next month.....

Sharing a part of my day in the country

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Chef Glows

One thing I am sure of
my granddaughter is where
she is suppose to be.
Looked at this image
that just arrived
and the thought came to mind
 she looks so happy.

So much  has to fall in place
for this dear girl
but in my Heart I know it will.

Check out her recipe for a Watermelon Smoothie
today 8/7/12
on my daughter's blog

There has been so much going on in my
little world
for the last 5 days.
Thankful to be in better spirits,
thankful for special emails from two other grandchildren.
One sent me special scented soap from Maine
and one took the time to write his grandmother
from the desk of his new job in Washington, D.C.

Thankful for caring calls and emails,
thankful that I was able to overcome some
issues.  Issues that seemed to be trivial to
some, ignored by others and then there
were those that understood they were
important to me.

A time has come about for me to reevaluate
much at this particular time in my life.
So I choose to look at these issues
with the mindset
that it was good....

Errands this early morning
weather has turned absolutely beautiful.
All is lush and green and when driving
down my long gravel road I gave a sigh
of relief to be home and the peace and
beauty of the woods seem to saturate
my soul....

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Lunch today
with some special ladies.
They are so good to me.

One in back 90 years young.
One from Florida 86
and her sisters
 the twins 82 and One Woman.
Wonder if I will make it this far
on the pathway of life?

When lunch was finished
some  were headed for shopping center
and asked if I wanted to go.

No way, I was finished for the day.
May be because I got up at 4:30
and the Sjogrens.

One was headed back home to take care
of her bedridden husband of 89.

One Woman has a problem
that is growing
guess what
she does not like to leave the
woods.   But I was so pleased
I ventured out
even in the 100 degree temperature....


~~August brings a single drenching rain, a few brief showers, and then the pattern of weather reverts to dryness and intense heat.  Nearly every bird song is stilled.  As if to counter-balance the absence of bird songs, the chant of insects rises more shrilly then ever.   At night, the air throbs with the fiddling of katydids and crickets~~

I am dusting my bookcase, it has been a while and I spot "Those Of The Forest" The Natural History Classic by Wallace Byron Grange.   Sitting down I open the book and I read the above paragraph.
My first thought was of dryness, intense heat and the rain that was a pattern through my Spring and Summer here at Woodhaven.

The words reminded me of what will come about this month, so far the intense heat is something that I do not like.     When I read about crickets it made me
think of Fall.    Seems whenever I would hear a cricket in my cottage I knew Fall was on the way.

I also had thoughts of "wonder what our Winter will be like?" 
What I do like about Winter are the times I can sit, read and be still.     Home made soups simmering on the stove along with something tasty baking in the oven.

Spring and Summer months are very busy for One Woman.  Very enjoyable, but as the years go by the heat is something I do not tolerate well.

My thoughts need to be on this day and not wander ahead with Fall and Winter predictions.

Last night
evening meal
one small eggplant peeled,  sliced,
brushed with olive oil and garlic,
 layered with one tomato from ending garden,
fresh basil and mozzarella cheese, and baked
too perfection....

So easy and tasty....
Another day begins to unfold....