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, February 28, 2013

The Basket

A basket on the lower shelf of my nightstand is filled with
cards, special notes and pictures that have been going into this basket
for 4 years.
Since it is raining and cold
thought I would go through it and maybe discard some.

Boxes full in the storage room of years of Christmas cards and the cards for special days
mentioned above
from previous years that I could not part with.   Also a scrapbook I started years ago and
just stopped - that is filled with cards, notes, clippings,  handwritten items from my children when they were growing up  and their
birth announcements from hospital when they were born.   Now my grandchildren sometimes
take this old scrapbook and look through it.  So much more that is meaningful and will stop listing  them.

Oh my
3 hours later after going through the basket
tears from the dry eyes are streaming down my cheeks
and I think foolish woman,
sometimes you do not feel you are loved and appreciated and
you are so wrong.

Beautiful cards with the most thoughtful words for Birthday's, Mothers Day, Valentines, Easter, get well cards,
thank you notes, special clippings, photographs and on and on.
From children, grandchildren, special people and friends.

I begin to read and most of them go back into the basket,
they cannot be discarded.

How could I have forgotten so many of these beautiful words?

When we take the time to look at some remnants of our past years
sometimes it is overwhelming.

So this early morning as I review this post

Mary, Laurie, Beth, Jimmy, Jamie,  Jessica, Gavin, Sarah,
Caitlin, Amelia and my special niece Barbie, I thank you and special friends who
 contributed to this current basket....

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Morning

During the night decided to purchase larger mailbox.
So true that I am purchasing more from Amazon as it saves
time and cost resulting in more small boxes being delivered.
Present full time mail carrier is so kind but is also getting older
and in time I may have this substitute as the new one to deliver mail.

It is difficult for me to keep my mind settled.  Seems that my goal
for returning to a simpler life style has not happened.   I have continual thoughts
of what can I eliminate at this time.   Not making much progress and the to do
list just grows and grows.   Excited about Spring and want to try gardening in
more pots and adding some Kale, brussel sprouts and peas to my garden.

Also  at present time seems there is much
going on with my family.   I have made the statement for years about giving them
roots and wings and guess their wings are taking them everywhere.

One will arrive home this weekend from Africa and her mom thinks will be a life changing
experience.   Another arrives soon from Thailand, another leaves for Jamaica today.
Two grandchildren, one in Washington DC and another in New York still seeking career
opportunities.   One will be visiting next month from Florida and still another one
I am told is in Poland.  My youngest granddaughter will have a birthday next month
and it seems like yesterday she was born.  Over and over the thought arises, time is
going by so fast, will you just sit down and do nothing.....

All of this going on and the matriarch is concerned over finding someone to
install a new mailbox she will soon purchase.   Also has thoughts of trying to write
less on her journal or stop altogether.  As time goes on do not want to sound boring,
share more about aging and health and it seems that this may happen.   But then the
thought arises that this is how her children and grandchildren keep up with her.
Also very aware that many outside of family that read her sharing are younger
and there might be something worthy passed on.

Enough shared by one who was not going to write on  this early cold and rainy  morning....

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Errands early this morning.
Temperature is rapidly falling
Was out of Strawberries, they have arrived at market
from Florida
and they are unusually good.
Adding to breakfast a dish with sliced strawberries,
1/2 banana and some blueberries.

Returning home and
pulled  up to mailbox and once again the substitute mail carrier
had filled my mailbox with a box that I could not remove.
Third time this has happened and it surely frustrates me. 
Call to post office and soon he returned to take out of box.
When I told him not to put something that could hardly fit in
mailbox in the future, his reply was "you could get a bigger box."
I am pleased I did not say what I wanted to say to this young man.
Did share that in over 30 years of living in this area this was always
the size box that I had and he could bring large items to cottage
like it has been done in past by regular mail carrier.

Not pleased with myself
as happenings like this upset me
but I know they are really not that important.
Seem to be very sensitive lately....
Keep having thoughts
do I purchase a larger mailbox and find someone
to install?

Sun shining yesterday and took up the hoe and removed some winter weeds.
Dill is just beginning to surface among the herbs and buttercups have started to bloom...

Rapidly disappearing  is the Orange Jello salad that was made 2 days ago.
Made many times in past years when the home was filled with family
So easy and tasty.
2 small boxes of orange jello
mixed with 2 1/2 cups boiling water
let partially jell in frig. in medium container
Mix in partially jelled jello
1 small can of drained  mandarin oranges
1 small can of crushed pineapple undrained
and 1 small carton of cool whip
or mix whipping cream - which I did
back in fridg
and in a short time a delicious treat...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Daily From Africa

Keeping up with my Jamie who is in Africa at this time.

The image of this beautiful Hibiscus
she forwarded
made me think of Spring.
I love the color....

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Special Sounds Relax The Mind

No problem with sleeping at night
throughout the years.
I attribute this to getting up very early
like 4:30 to 5:00,  staying busy most of day,
Lavender and Frankincense oil sometimes
used at night
and most important meditation and prayer
at bedtime.

Lately there are times of sleeplessness
and sometimes difficult controlling the
busy mind. 

I believe this is happening because of  thoughts
of busy children and grandchildren, health, at times
mind travels back to a different time
and may just be age.

I purchased a little sound machine from Amazon
and I really like it.
The sounds of the ocean, rain, meadow are my favorites.
It seems to relax my mind and thoughts totally disappear.
These sounds are very relaxing.

A plus as it is very small, like the size of a saucer and
can run by batteries or plugged into outlet.
Also has a timer on it that stops automatically,
and was very economical.

Wish I had discovered it years ago....

Saturday, February 23, 2013

New Discovery

I am having a small sign made for a large tree stump as you
approach my cottage.
Mailed an image of this stump (Angel at base of stump with one wing was my mother's)
to Etsy where wonderful unusual items are made by
Jeff and Taryn in Oregon.

A response was soon received
where I was asked if this stump was covered with
Turkey Tail Mushrooms?

I have never heard of this mushroom
and went online to learn about them.
Seems you can make tea from them and they are beneficial to the immune system.
Using at present time in the help of curing breast cancer.
Amazon has a number of products made from this fungi
I found this interesting
since my woods are filled with this mushroom.

I learned something new this afternoon
but at the present time would not be comfortable brewing tea
 to drink or drying them to add to food.
Then the thought comes to mind
that since I have an immune disorder
information I read this afternoon
tells me
 that this would be beneficial
for me....

Friday, February 22, 2013

Smiles For The Day

Just returned from market
strawberries, blueberries, bananas, mango, cauliflower, broccoli, frozen shrimp and a jar of roasted peppers.   Also orange jello, mandarin oranges, pineapple and whip cream to make again something
that was made many times in my home.

Reactivated Facebook
so I can follow my daughter on some happenings in Africa.

Found this posted from another daughter
I smiled
as I read this quote
- so true...
Bird feeders need to be filled
sun is shining
still cool
but Spring is around the corner.

Another good day
Life is good
God is good.....

Thursday, February 21, 2013


During the night thoughts kept surfacing
that yesterday on trip to big city
it was not me.
Or rather a disappearing part at this time of life.
Also kept having guilt feelings of purchasing
the new wallet when the one I carry is like an old friend.
Really old,  looks it and I may return that wallet.
The old one feels comforting in my hand.

The real me
wanders in the woods, digs in the dirt and mind
is continually filled with thoughts of nature, simplification,
family, healing and just plain thankfulness of life at this time.

It was kind of a fun adventure for a few hours,
like pretending dress up and going to a party.
Compliments are few and far between as we age
and some take me by surprise and never taken
seriously but do make me smile as I think others
sometimes see us differently then we really are
at the core of our being.

Sometime on this life journey I read that we
are 3 people - one the way other's view us,
one the way we think of our self and the real
person that we truly are.   Guess we are a part
of all three.

The wonderful soup
upset my stomach during the night
as it was too spicy.

One Woman
finds her cooking more appealing but every now and then
is given a gift of something really satisfying cooked by another one
and now from the very few eating out times
sometimes is given a new idea for her cooking.

Thanks to everyone who took my short trip to the big city
with me and read my simple thoughts.

You are always welcome to travel along....

safe and healthy travel wishes
going and returning
go out
for my youngest
who leaves for Africa
in a few hours.....

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

They Are Here To Stay

The boots feel wonderful
with a little help from an insert that was purchased years ago when I fractured my ankle
planting many plants about 10 years ago.

This morning made a trip to the big city.
My favorite bread purchased along with their soup for the day and a must have is their
chocolate eclair,
in fact I bought two.   A cold windy day and knew all would be fine in my vehicle.

On to the mall to exchange a wallet from my daughter.  The one I carry is over 30 years old
and I love it but it is beginning to look really shabby.   Contemplated much about this

As I walked through the big beautiful mall I received two compliments.   One of them from 2 ladies
who stopped and looked at me and commented "you look so stylish, love those boots and your
coat and scarf around your neck."   One continued talking and said I would like to have
some boots like this but I am 63 - maybe to old.   My reply was "I am 75 plus" and a reply
"you sure do not look like it."   This brought a smile to my face as I headed for car.

Long drive home and knew my lunch at home would be better then any I could taste
from a restaurant.   So many nice places in the big city but at noon every place would be
crowded and in reality I am a 1/2 day person.   Now if it was a month from now I would
make a stop at the wonderful Farmer's Market.

So a good day and have had 3 good nights as I wind down on medication.
With all my heart I hope
that this continues.
It feels so good to feel good and I am tired of sharing about health.....

Just wanted to share about these boots as one daughter called and asked
"are you going to keep them?"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Major Decision

40 years ago
living on a farm
children were young and one a baby
I wore boots, riding boots and cowboy boots.

In the past years
I see the stylish ones with boots on
and have yearned for a pair.

The young woman who stayed at my son's home in the city
when I lived across the street from him 4 years ago
arrived at the airport from the Netherlands's  wearing these boots.  That is all she
brought to the states.   Rode her bike to Vanderbilt University
daily, wore them with jeans and dresses.
I thought she looked so great and wanted some of these boots
4 years ago...

The right opportunity surfaced over the weekend.
My youngest arrived with boots on.
Contacted the big city store where they were sold
and listen to this
they were on sale and also offering an additional 20% President's Day sale.

Ordered with no additional postage  and told I had 2 weeks to return
if I was not pleased.  They are a pricey item and with the big discount
they are affordable - a gift to myself....

One who is now leaning towards simplicity will be super stylish
in this small town.

Have a narrow foot,  am difficult to please and usually wear Merrel's
because they last for years and feel good.

Wearing them here in the cottage to see if they grow more comfortable
and will decide tomorrow about keeping them.
This is a big decision
for this mom
otherwise known as grandma....

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Garden Inside

More years old then I can remember
and so root bound they are.
Begonia blooms every year at this time
and along with the Rabbits Ear Fern will in a few weeks
"hopefully" be on the screen porch.
As the months go by they will become so
healthy looking being close to nature.
Next winter there will be more potted herbs in this cottage and more herbs will
be frozen in ice cube container, removed and put in freezer bags in freezer.
Missed so many as I cooked this winter.   At the market there are pricey tiny bags
of herbs that I would never buy - they sure do not look fresh.  
Guess I have been spoiled with mine growing abundantly and so close for most
of the year.

Have enjoyed my Basil and Pineapple Sage. 
Surprising that Parsley, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage and Cilantro survived in the pots outside.
Chives and Dill have been missed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

In A Cocoon

A young woman who writes from over the ocean shares.

Japanese has a word "staying in a cocoon" which means neither refraining
from outside world nor being in laziness.

So I am joining her
staying in a cocoon
not going out much,
books, being in self, yoga,
meditation and prayer.

Without stimulation from outside world
Changes happen from inside
Observe it calmly and patiently
When time comes, will go out
with new wings.

Continual healing thoughts directed toward one of my daughter's,
she stays so busy and has the flu.
Same thoughts for this one writing.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Yesterday morning was very chilly.
Not planning on outside work
but the phone was ringing and it was my helper.
He needed a few hours work and did not mind the cold.
So always a to do list and told him to come to the woods.
My raspberry, blueberry and thorn less blackberry bushes were planted.
Moved a lilac bush, small evergreen and cleaned on my small garden plot and it was enlarged a little.
Remaining turnip green plants were taken up and have about a 15 turnips.

This small space which supplies all I need is now ready for planting.
Lettuce, peas, radishes, collards, turnip greens,  onions and any early plants I decide on will soon be planted.
Looks like in the 50's all next week and will see what is predicted the following week.
When weather warms more will add a couple of plants of tomato, squash, cucumber, peppers and a few other things.

I have been adding to a compost pile for 2 years and the new clippings on top
were set aside to see if there was any compost to put on my garden.
There were 8 full wheel barrow full scattered on some of the flower garden
and vegetable plot.   How rich it looked.  Wonder who else is this pleased
over their compost pile :)

Two large planters were moved and a dozen stepping stones were removed by my drive.
A lot done in 3 hours and a plus is this young man always takes off my bagged trash and filled
the bird feeders for me.

Returning in another week to bring mulch, gravel and will spread.

Everything he helps me was done by me in the past and I always washed my car and truck
 but it is almost too much for me at this time.

Today, my youngest daughter made a visit.  Was so good to see her and we drove to the local
town for lunch.   I usually do not go to town on Saturday and the traffic was terrible.  Also
had to carry my cane as medication may be making me a little dizzy.  Carrying it does not bother me
and find it comforting.  Also remember a comment made to me not long ago about an
attractive lady with a cane that made me smile.

So good to be home, my left overs in fridge for evening meal  and I am not leaving.  The sun is shining, Miss Callie on the deck sleeping, picked up New York Times in drive left by neighbor and just received an email
that my granddaughter will be able to make it back to New York this afternoon.  From the little news I watch I was sure that her flight had been cancelled.   Now will have her and my other granddaughter
on my mind continually with this storm in N.Y.

Also ever on my mind is my youngest daughter's trip to Africa and my son's soon trip to the woods from Thailand.  

I have said many times that one of the best things we can give our children is  roots and wings.  They do return (wish it was more often)
and then fly on to their lives....

Friday, February 8, 2013

My Girl and Another Day
exciting news shared by my youngest.
Africa - that is far from home....

Also in continual prayer for another
daughter and family headed back home
from California.
Some headed to N.Y. and Washington DC,
 terrible storm arriving in that area

Yesterday was a busy day with a
very early dental appointment and
then stopping in 2 stores.
Home, lunch and since the sun was
shining returned to local town for part
of hubcap that had come off vehicle.
Kept thinking whether to replace because
of cost  but
each time I looked at my car I did not
like the way the tire looked and think this
car will last me a few more years.

One more car is in my futureI shared with one daughter,
her remark was "that's sad."  I did not view it as
sad.  A lot of cars in my past and kind of nice to
think just one more car.

Part put on hubcap, washed car, quick trip to Lowe's and found that
blueberry, raspberry and blackberry bushes had arrived.
So these along with another suet container and some
wild flower seeds on a sale table were purchased
 and I left with a smile.

Quick stop in market for english muffins, oranges, apples,
mango and a avocado.
Then had the thought to stop at local restaurant for a carry out of their
ravioli.  Occasionally I find this tasty and had not picked up anything
like this in months.
Headed home
sauteed some Kale and it was good with the ravioli.

So a busy day came to an end.

The young woman who works at the dental office I have
been going to for almost 20 years may come by my cottage today.
She is thinking of building on her family farm.
Wants to see the small cottage I designed and built 3 years ago.
She commented  "I want one big room with no walls."
I replied you need to visit me....

So, Becky
I am looking forward to your visit :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Just A Few

Talking to someone special yesterday
as her husband is in the hospital and
I mentioned that there were so many books
in this home.
She commented "I never noticed that many"
so I am copying this post for her.
She does not read
and maybe she does not notice books.
Need to stop
with the images
as there are several more
plus a lot of cookbooks.

Maybe this is not a lot of books
but I think it is and I am not getting
rid of any of them
and a plus
is they are like special friends
filled with memories
and I love them all.....

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings

You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings
by Bette Midler.

Love this song
downloaded it to the player on Amazon.

I was introduced to this system
that I knew nothing about
by Kaveri
when she sent me a song
"Earth Mother."
It always makes me smile
when it is playing...

A doctor who lives in California
and  writes
 the most meaningful poems
that never cease to speak to me
A special book of her poems
are among books by my old chair.

So nice to download a favorite song.
Seems when you buy a DVD there are
many songs that are not a favorite.

When I hear the words  of this song
I think of the special people
who comment on my sharing.
Friends from all over the world
that I have never met in person.

Listened to this song
over and over yesterday.
The thought came to mind
along with my
children, grandchildren
and special friends....

You Are My Hero's

"You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings"

I might add
if I had wings....

Some words...

"It might have gone unnoticed
but Ive got it all right here in my heart.
I want you to know the truth
I would be nothing without you

You are a face without a name
Did you know you are my hero
Everything I wish I could be"

~~Enough shared~~

I might add
I was going to start adding names but I would
probably forget someone.

I sometimes write a post and do not publish.
This is one I wrote
last Fall....

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

So True....

We cannot enjoy life
if we spend our time and energy
worrying about what happened yesterday
and what will happen tomorrow.

If we are afraid all the time
we miss out on the wonderful fact
that we are alive and
can be happy right now....

Thich Nhat Hanh  "Free From Fear"

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Treat and The Busy Ones

Thank you for the Goats Milk Oatmeal soap, a piece of chocolate cake, the visit from your pretty
daughter and an image that you
said reminded you of my surroundings :)
Two oldest grandchildren
in California - skiing
Even though hundreds  of miles away from their home my grandson who will soon have
little Bear with him in Washington, DC -  seems to find dogs :)

Youngest granddaughter who lives 1 hour from me
enjoying snow.   I only had a dusting...
Someone else in family
soon going to Africa.

Another granddaughter has a special trial of cooking in one of the top restaurants in N.Y and in the world.

Can hardly wait for a special visit  from over the ocean....

And another has just become a grandmother and the baby girl's name is Autumn.

A lot going on
with special ones.
This one is contented here by the woods,
 dreaming of Spring
and what she will add to her garden.
So far it is a couple of blueberrie and raspberries bushes,
more herbs in pots and a
climbing yellow rose bush....

Sunday, February 3, 2013

So Good

"The Memory Keeper's Daughter"
by Kim Edwards.

This book has been sitting by my chair for longer then I can remember.
Once I began to read can hardly put it down
and it was finished last night.

Very unusual that I have not been able to settle myself and sit still
 to read.
Thanksgiving, Christmas and being on strong medication that is now
reduced to a minimum (and I do not want this but will go slowly)
probably the reason. 

As I sort through hundreds of old pictures there are words in this book that are a reminder of me.
They brought tears to my eyes.....

~~~"what does it mean that the photos do not fit at all with the woman she remembers being?"
then another passage
"wanting to take the young woman she had been by the arm and shake her gently
~~~Keep going she wanted to tell her,  Don't give up.  Your life will be fine in the end"~~~.

For me
this is so true
But life is so different then I imagined it would be
at that time.
All is well
but just so very different....

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Beauty of Her Scars

I always relate to what
Ellen shares.   I thank her
 as these
special words spoke deeply to me
this early morning

The Beauty of Her Scars

Crepe myrtle
Limbs long since broken
Blended into earth
Wounds healed, edges softened

Knobby, cracked peeled
I stand looking at the beauty of her scars
Hoping the gods will grant me such
Glorious patina, inside, outside
As dreams, long since broken
Bring healed wounds, softened edges
A gentle blending with the earth.


Not long ago
I mentioned that
there was not much for my camera to capture
during these short cold days.
How wrong
because as I sit typing away
and look out my window
there is the beauty of my Crepe Myrtle
and River Birch.
Their scars and outside appearance
remind me
of my own....

Yes, there is beauty in their scars and all the old trees
surrounding my cottage...