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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

New Viewing

I rearranged some of the screen porch furniture.
Put the old kitchen table in front of screen
where I have a good view of the garden
and birdfeeders.   Could sit here and have
my tea or some meals, with the overhead fan whirling
and see if there is anything special I want
to take an image of....

Not gone from an area of the terrace but about an hour
and when returning - look what I spotted.
So, more aware then ever that something may be resting
among my plants.

Our life is shaped by our minds;  we become what we think.
Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart
follow the oxen that draw it.                                           

Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.
Joy follows a pure  thought like a shadow that never leaves.
~~~Eknath Easwaran~~~

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pimento Cheese

With the heat
I do not feel like cooking or eating.

Memories of my father making pimento cheese
 I have  the ingredients and made a small portion,
Especially since not made in a long time.
Colby cheese, pimento, Hellmans Mayo and a dash of hot sauce
went into my super small blender.
I think in the past made this with cheddar cheese but to strong for my taste at this time.
Pleased with the taste, so with some wheat crackers,
carrot and celery sticks along with some tomato soup
with my fresh Basil
lunch is on
May eat the same thing this evening
Callie usually stays outside a lot or on screen porch
but she wants to be inside.
We both like the sound of the big fan whirling...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Will Be Thankful

I will not complain
but be thankful.
My garden has looked beautiful
until today.
With no rain
and many plant diseases that I am not familar with
attacking my plants
including the beatles
the flower and vegetable garden is in sad shape.

I will be thankful that through the end of June
all has been enjoyable to look at
and my small harvest has pleased me.

Apron with many pockets is put on and
clippers, phone, gloves and water bottle in place.
Out the door at 5:30
watering, clipping and sprayed one more section
of gravel drive with grass control substance
that I do not like to use but only way to not have
a grass drive.

Few items from garden
and if no rain soon it is finished

Heat index of over l05 expected for a few days.
I am inside for the rest of day
and time for breakfast.....

I am thankful that yesterday early was errand day.
Market to restock a few items, picked up new glasses
the first in 10 years and a doctors appointment to
remove something on my leg.  Test hopefully will confirm
my thoughts that this is sun damage from years of
not using protection.
Now I am in the garden with long sleeve shirt and slacks on
Guess I am a slow learner but better late then never.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Arriving In The Mail And Corn Bread Recipe

Sitting at the computer by the window,
I saw him approaching my cottage.
The same mail carrier  I have had
for over 30 years.  I have left this property
twice but he was always here when I returned.
He always says "welcome home."

So nice that he puts bulky mail on my screen porch
if I am not home or do not hear him honk the horn in his car.

Sometimes when bake I share something with him.
A small package arrived today and is so welcome on one of these
long very warm afternoons.

"Among White Clouds" Buddhist Hermit Masters of China Mountains.
Fascinated when I read about them.
Relate to them all though I have not gone far into the mountains.
just located in a quiet area seeking more simplicity and nature in my life.
Discovered them through reading some of my son's
Chinese poetry books.   He told me about this DVD and I ordered.

Also a type of book I rarely read.
Will be entertaining "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" will take me on a journey out of the woods.
~~~Times Literary ~~~ a book about remembering too late or not to late - how to be alive....
A book about an elegant retirement home at a bargain price in a far away land that is enticing to several retirees and
turns out to be not what they expected .

This turned out to be what I did not expect.  Most of the characters were kind of sad and unhappy and
did not care for a lot of the language.  I wondered are people really like this or have I been somewhat
protected even though I have lived a full life among normal and a lot of crazy people!!!

Going to donate this book along with other's to local library as I can really not think of anyone
I would want to pass it on to.

On another warm afternoon will look at the video..

Recipe as requested by some....

Corn Bread recipe I have used for over 50 years.  A young neighbor brought this to me after
the birth of my son - along with a big bowl of fresh green beans and new potatoes.

1 cup of  plain corn meal
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg - beaten
l cup of buttermilk    (If I do not have since I rarely use buttermilk I use 1 cup of milk with 1 tbp of  apple cider vinegar as a substitute - let it sit for about 5 minutes until it thickens)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp bacon grease

I usually cook 2 slices of bacon in iron skillet  while oven is heating to 425 degrees
Use some of this grease in corn bread batter
and leave the rest in the skillet so it is greased very good.  I buy lean bacon so there is just enough
Be sure and put skillet in oven to get real hot before you pour batter into it.
Also be sure to use pot holders when removing skillet to pour batter into it.

Pour batter into hot greased skillet and bake about 10 minutes - will be slightly golden brown on
top - remove from oven and let it sit a few minutes before flipping out or just cut from skillet.

I now cut this recipe in half in my super small iron skillet and just enough for one for several days.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I have finally mastered the art of cooking corn bread
for one
that is really good.

Cooking for one and downscaling all my favorite recipes has been a challenge.   Especially
considering in your younger years you cooked daily for 7.

Today's lunch
mixed beans that had been soaked all night and put in the crock pot at 4:30 this morning.
An addition of a chopped carrot, stalk of celery and 1/2 onion was added to the pot.
Also some garlic (I put garlic in everything).

1/2 of the great Southern cornbread recipe that I have used for 50 years.  It was good....
This was baked in a small iron skillet that was my grandmother's.
I always think of her when I use this skillet.   She had 6 children by the age
of 32 and was left a widow in her 30's.   Memories of her are still so vivid in my mind and she grows more amazing to me
as I age.  
Sometimes I think I have had my share of challenges but none to compare to
this special grandmother.
She would come and rescue me from apartment living and super young parents.   There was not a blade of grass in sight for most of my growing up years and guess that is why nature now means so much to me throughout my lifetime.  I would dream of the setting that has been gifted me in
my last years.

We would travel back to Tennessee (my birth place)  on the train and I never wanted to leave her and return to Detroit where my parents had fled for working opportunities after the depression.

My lunch also included fresh squash that I picked early this morning.

Of course with a lot of vegetarian children and grandchildren and one vegan they may  frown at my sprinkling of fresh crisp bacon on top of my meal - I still think this is a healthy
meal - seldom eat meat but dishes like this I do like to season with some crisp chopped bacon.....

Monday, June 25, 2012

Warm Summer Morning

Grass has stopped growing
soon many plants will stop blooming
in this almost 100 degree southern weather.
I do know it is cooler here by the woods
then in the middle of the city.

So pleased that is now a memory and
not reality....

Shorter day's are arriving and so welcome
Do not like it when it the sun is still shining at 8:00 pm.
Especially since I have been up since 4:30.

Sometimes I am asked "why do you get up so early?"
I love the morning that is my most productive time,
especially at this time of year when you like to
be in the garden.  Most enjoyable and coolest is
between 5:30 and 8.  Family knows that is where to find
me watering plants and clippers in hand.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Early Morning

Banana Pudding is cooling
Squash picked from garden and if rain does not arrive soon - it is finished
Cherry's from the local market have been exceptional.

Banana Pudding Recipe - is so easy

1 cup of sugar or 3/4 - if using crushed pineapple you might want the 3/4 cup
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup of flour
2 cups of milk
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla           Stir all together and add to double boiler.  Stirring constantly until thick.

Cool a few minutes and add l tbsp of butter and small can of drained crushed pineapple

Spray a medium Pyrex dish, bottom and sides are lined with Vanilla Wafers
1/3 of pudding over bottom and
add sliced bananas, more pudding, then more bananas and pudding mixture on top.

Meringue - beat 3 egg whites until stiff peaks surface and slowly add 1/4 cup sugar and
 1/2 tsp vanilla ----preheat-350 degree oven until slightly brown on top - takes about 5 to 10 minutes.

Many times in the past I would also layer the Vanilla Wafers with the bananas and pudding mix
throughout the dish
makes a more sizable dish
but just wanted them as a crust this time

Not expecting company and this is just my desert for a few days.  In fact with the high temperatures
my appetite is not very hearty.  Last night just ate a bowl of the pudding with sliced almonds on top
and a glass of milk for evening meal.

UPDATE - noticed yesterday the birds had left their nest by the garage.  Must be too hot - good.
I stood on the deck with hose on high and washed the nest down.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

This Nest Is Full

I keep wanting to take this nest down and clean this area by the gutter
over my garage but I still see birds flying around it.
A few moments ago
I went outside and heard all of this bird activity
looked and what did I see?
So many birds in this nest.
I counted 5 - that were looking at me.
They must not want to leave
the nest that is beginning to fall apart and
they sure look like they could make it on their own.
I know two families have been raised in this nest.
I may have to evict them so they do not stay permanently.

Guess they do not want to leave home
like the mistress of this cottage....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pear Tree

Last year I planted a small Pear Tree.
Checked this morning and I spotted 6 pears.

This land I have returned to is sure producing.

In the past when living at the old farm house I planted  a small orchard which included apple, plum, peach, cherry and pear.  Two trees of each were planted.   I loved seeing the blossoms on the trees in the Spring.   Had to be careful as I drove the lawn tractor to cut grass and drove through this small orchard as there seemed to be hundreds of bees in the Spring.    At that time in my life I would make jellies and preserves.

For years  living another lifestyle  I would still try and locate pears in the Fall.
I have an old fashion pear preserve recipe which my mother gave me.   This recipe is so
simple and makes wonderful pear preserves.

I do not care for  jelly or preserves from the grocery but do sometimes break down and buy
a jar of grape or fig which I make a special cake from.  Sometimes will purchase Guava which I was
introduced to in Jamaica.

Hopefully this Fall I can locate some fresh pears and maybe next year will have my own
to make this special pear preserves.

A small bag of pears makes about 6 small jars of preserves  and this is all I need to have on hand.

~~~The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook~~~  William James

Monday, June 18, 2012

Looking Out The Window

I spotted this beautiful blue bird from my bedroom window.
Could not locate camera fast enough.
Hoping it returns so more pictures can be made.
This is a Blue Indigo Bunting which is
such a beautiful vibrant blue.
It is the size of the many yellow Finch which visit the garden behind my cottage.

Images taken through the window.

As I sit at my desk
I have a view of 3 feeders.
Never know what might visit.
Many times a surprise.

Wonder what the next surprise will be in my life ?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tobacco Fields and Memories

Driving down my country road
the other morning
I could not resist stopping
and taking an image of tobacco
that has been planted.

Remember seeing it being planted
about 2 weeks ago.  You could hardly
see the plants.
With 2 nice showers in the past
few days it has grown rapidly.

This is a huge business in my county
and in the Fall after plants are pulled up
they are put on sticks and hung in barns.
As I type away there are
memories of  early Fall mornings when I am
on the road
 seeing the smoke coming out of
the barns, a mist filling the air
and that special smell
the reminds me it is Fall.

From across the ocean
Always special words of wisdom to his mom....

"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"

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Can You Imagine

Corn must be 9 feet high
and tasseling.  Sun is shining and sky is a brilliant blue.  Is the first two weeks of June
always this beautiful?

Turnip greens that I usually plant in the Fall
had some seeds in freezer and planted

Sprouted potato I cut in sections and put in garden and they are growing
Seeds from a butternut squash were buried in garden - they are growing.

I smile.....

Now time for lunch
some of my children and grandchildren buy organic.
Growing some of my vegetables
so nice to know where they come from.

Having the opportunity to sit and enjoy a delicious meal is something precious
~~~Thich Nhat Hahn~~~

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Beyond Expectation

 An early morning
filling bird feeders
and huge  plants are seen  everywhere.
Plants that were cuttings
two years ago.
and seeds just months ago.
You have grown massive
and soon a part of you will go
to the woods to grow as you please.

My small garden has grown  past my expectation,
more then One Woman can consume
and may soon be able to care for.

You were planned with much thought and
a desire for a dream I could care for in
these last years.

I smile
this was my dream but more then
I hoped for has become a reality.

This reminds me that when we wish
for something
remember it might come true
beyond your expectation...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Painting and Another Happy Birthday

My oldest daughter has started taking painting lessons.
I love seeing the images of the beginning paintings.
She has sent some of the Florida trees but I think this picture
shows talent for a beginner,
but then I am her mom.

Also, it looks like Little Bear is growing and enjoying Florida life.   He is with my grandson and will see what happens when a job opportunity opens.    He may like this better then living in
the country and roaming the woods with Miss Callie :)   He was an immediate love for my grandson
and that is all that matters.

I wrote a post about finding Little Bear on my country road.   He was hungry and covered with ticks.
My grandson came to visit and I shared that I could not keep him and was taking him to the Animal
Shelter - which I did.   My grandson went and rescued him and he lived at the fraternity house with
all the boys until everyone graduated.

One more Happy Birthday wish going out over the miles to this special daughter.   My first born and weighed in at 8 lbs.
Your mama misses you and sends her love.....

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Visitor

Washing dishes and looking
out the window
I saw a bird
it looked almost white
or pale beige.

Camera in hand I am out the door
to see if it returns and I can get an image.

Was lucky
it returned and
when image was downloaded I could
tell it was a young bird
with ruffled feathers.

Wonder what to call you and glad
you made a visit to the feeder
by my cottage.

Thought keeps coming to mind
as I look at this image
 - you look like an owl...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Yesterday A Perfect Day

Yesterday was
a perfect, delightful and Heavenly day
my kind of day
a day at home
old clothes on
camera around neck
clipper and gloves in my pocket
sun is shining, grass is green,
woods look like a rain forest
all is
just absolutely beautiful.

It started with Yoga before dawn
then made a pie before breakfast
Toll House Chocolate Chip Pie
(recipe on Google)
also salmon croquet's to go with
squash from garden
for part of lunch and evening meal
along with green beans in freezer from last summer,
mashed potatoes and corn bread.

The paths in the woods are a delight
to travel on my lawn tractor.
Woods so thick 3 years ago there
was no way to enjoy their beauty.

Everything perfect
except for the uninvited beetles
feasting on my plants.
But this too - will soon pass.

New daylilie blooming and the cottage garden
that was started about 2 years ago is looking pretty good.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Mind Versus Body and Beetles

I read somewhere
"you do not always have to do what the mind says
or believe it."

At the present time this  speaks volumes to me.
The body and mind are saying different things
to One Woman in the third stage of her life

So I have decided that sometimes I will let
some thoughts surface and other times
I will turn the thoughts off
or rather
turn the dial and think on something else.
This is not easy at times.

Think I will listen to the body and stop trying
to figure this out....

On the country road today I noticed the county
had clipped 4 feet on either side of road.
This usually takes place about twice a year.
I did not like it - because all the
beautiful wild flowers have been mowed down.

The fields are beginning to look so clean with the big hay rolls.
Everything is still very green in my area and more rain due next week.

This is what I saw as I began to unload groceries from my car.
Beetles are continuing to have a feast...

This very day I wish you

Thursday, June 7, 2012

True or False

Many times I wonder is their another lifestyle out there for me in these last years.
There have been  many over my last 70 plus years.
From young career woman, wife, mother, helping run an active business,  divorced, healing at the old farm house,  some interesting professions, then on to creating homes and gardens and my wonderful  grandchildren that have come into my life along the way.

Now settled into my country cottage
Thinking this was the end.
But I still wonder.

Surrounding me are those I have very little in common with.
A phone call, a wave as I pick up my mail and they drive past me on this country road and that is about it.   Many times in the past being involved in local interests that left me feeling empty and the thought that  it was a waste of my time.
In this small town there have been many I had interaction with over the years, some so dear and special to me.  It  seems they have all passed away or now those that are left we do not have similar interest.
My interests and lifestyle is totally different  and seems there is little connection with those living near me.

I do take great joy and comfort in the fact that there is a closeness with my children and grand children.  

My computer of 5 years has brought me so much pleasure and kindred souls who I share with and we respond to one another.
 That is something I am thankful for.  At times I wonder would we feel this
closeness if we actually spent time with each other.   I am of the mindset that when we write it comes from the heart and other factors enter into spending time in person.

With this being my life at the present -  I still wonder is there more  out there for me?
Can I recreate myself once more - at this late stage of life?
I will answer my own question - can do - if the desire and energy is there.
 I also realize the mind is  still very active but the body at times cannot keep up with the mind.

I smile as I remember my soninlaw making the comment over the years that
"I do not expose myself."  I think that meant - did not circulate outside of my daily activities

Seems when the  day begins with all it involves at this time, then it ends quickly
and much I plan and think about does not happen.

When making a trip to town I cannot wait to return home and
when home the thought often surfaces that I need to get out more.

Bottom line I am at Peace when I walk around with Miss Callie with hoe in hand
or sit in my old rocker with camera in hand waiting for a new bird to appear
or spot a new flower blooming.

Peace is something I did not have for most of my life and it it wonderful to now have it.

Maybe I have it all or had it all and do not realize it?

Does any of this make sense
to some of those who read my rambling?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Excitement In My Life

The first of 5 small yellow squash
were picked along with a
 small bowl of  turnip greens..
With a  small piece of salmon
my evening meal is complete
Also one tomato is almost ripe.

The beginning from this small garden
Just enough for one.

Sad - as I was on the screen porch
I noticed a hummingbird on the screen
as I went closer I noticed his beak
had gone through the screen and he was
trapped.  Pushed the beak out but
was too late to save the little bird.

Also the dreaded Japanese beetles have  arrived,
was hoping they would miss a year.
They have devoured my roses and
eating other flowers.

My oldest granddaughter sent me an
image of her and the special one.
They had attended a wedding on the
water.  Sounded beautiful.
In her note to me she said it was her first grown-up wedding to attend
They sure make a handsome couple
and so happy they look.

Youngest daughter and little girls will spend the day and  night with me on Tuesday.
I am so excited and will let the birthday girl pick the place she would like to have dinner.

Daylillies are blooming
They just do not last very long.

Just saw this latest image on my daughters' blog.
I noticed how beautiful her teeth looked :)
Memories surfaced of the years of orthodontist work.
Finally braces off in time for her graduation picture....