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

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Before And After

Corn field finally cut.   Trees are just beginning to change
Some memories
as I browse images....

Friday, September 28, 2012

Everything Changes - Nothing Remains The Same

Early morning image of  green leaves
as I look out over the woods.
Tree I spotted as I headed to town for errands
the leaves have begun their beauty.

Everything changes
Nothing remains the same.
More aware of these words
as times goes on and I grow older.

Past thoughts that I would have
arrived in these later years,
 taken care of past issues,
giving myself what I need
and not expecting it from others
ready for a fairy tale existence
is not arriving and probably
will not :)

You do all you know to do
and there is a deep peace and
I read somewhere that peace
within yourself is
true happiness.

One Woman  is changing
family is changing
friends are changing
weather changes
The world is changing.

So you accept this,
put one foot in front of the other,
do not look back
and continue onward

Some words  from Perma Chodran's book are.......

~~People need to see that if you hurt another person, your hurt yourself, and if you
hurt yourself you are hurting another person
then begin to see that
we are not alone.
We are in this life together.
for me, that's where the true
morality comes from~~

Perma Chodron is an American Nun living in Nova Scotia ~~ words from ~~ No Right, No Wrong~~

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oh My

Stepped outside
this early morning
heard the geese
love the sound
pointed my camera
towards the sky
and look
 at my surprise

Enlarge to see what I captured
it is going to be a good day.

Life is full of so many
simple blessings.

God is Good....

Friday, September 21, 2012


I had no time to haul out all
the dead stuff so it hung, limp
or dry, wherever the wind swings it

over or down or across.  All summer
it stays that way, untrimmed, and
thickened.  The paths grew
damp and uncomfortable and mossy until
nobody could get through but a mouse or a

shadow.  Blackberries, ferns, leaves, litter
totally without direction management

The birds loved it.

~~Mary Oliver~~    Owls and Other Fantasies

I stay amazed as she
describes a lot of my life, woods and garden
and how I think.
All I have to do is pick up one of her books
and there it is....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fall - Is That You

This morning it was 40 on my deck.
Made me think of Fall with the wearing of a long sleeve sweater.
Trees are still green and a few blooms remain in garden and pots.
Turkeys make a visit every evening and Callie just looks at them
A little bird on a branch every evening at dusk.
All the different birds at feeders have almost disappeared except for the Finch.
Wonder where they are.  Guess not hungry.
The awful corn field in front - I am told will be cut tomorrow and beautiful winter wheat planted...

One on her way to Kansas for special assignment.
One in Washington, D.C.
Two in New York.
One preparing for hospital tests in another state
One had a terrible allergic reaction for something, mom thinks she did not need.
One - maybe - will be visiting soon :)
A few other things - I won't mention...
This afternoon  A/H unit serviced
Soon, Callie, rabbi shot and car serviced.
Talk to painter about having deck sealed.
Trying to eat more - even in the middle of the night.
Drinking Ensure - some say they do not like it - a plus, I like it.
Need more protein - do not want to lose any more weight.
Need to do something about my hair
I dreamed of beautiful white hair in later years  and it is not going to happen.
It is turning a color - with no name :)
My favorite aunt at 93 had black hair she refused to turn gray.  I did not like it
but she did and that is all that matters.

Wonder if some of this  list  is why my prayer time goes on and on at night and I have
difficulty sleeping.

Some say they have trouble remembering
I have difficulty forgetting..

Little Bear

I received an email from my grandson early this morning
He shared what a handsome dog
Bear has become.
I smile
as I remember the story.
Last Spring
little Bear on my country road
someone had dropped him off
and I spotted him.  He must have been
only weeks old.  Stopped the truck and
picked him up.   He sat in my lap all the
way to the cottage property.  Never took his eyes off of me.
Covered with ticks that I tried to remove.
He had captured my heart but knew I could not take on a puppy.
Gavin made a visit and fell in love with him.
The next day he had already been picked up by the animal shelter
when the call came that Gavin was going to pick him up.
So Bear was rescued and lived at the fraternity house with a lot of young men.
Time came for him to return to his parents home and Bear went to Tampa, Florida.
Special grandson is now in Washington, D.C. involved in an internship.
Future plans he wants Bear with him.
~~Lucky Dog~~

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Oh Yes..

Borrowed from my Jamie.

Oh yes, light rain for 2 days
everything looks nice and green again.
On the way to purchase some rye and fescue
seed.   Hopefully it will stop the washing in some areas.

Even my compost pile is growing :)

My Jamie
removed verification
I do not want to miss any of my comments.
My link with the outside world :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Small Meal - Butternut Squash Today

For many years
large meals prepared
and there was no problem.

But now...

When you cook small portions for one
that you want to be healthy and tasty
you run out of ideas.

This morning Butternut Squash is simmering.
I always buy any small squash I spot and add
to bowl in my kitchen.  They keep a long time
and are ready when I want to prepare this soup.
 Large ones are to difficult for me to peel.

The aroma is filling the air and it is so easy.

Cubed peeled squash
same of a medium potato,
chopped onion, stalk of celery diced
addition of garlic and chopped carrot.
Simmered in chicken broth until done.
Cooled and small portions put in my mini processor.
I will simmer and thin with some 1/2 and 1/2 or milk.
Into my bowl with fresh herbs and chopped crisp bacon on top.

Looking through recipes and came up with another idea of something not
prepared in a long time.

Chicken Ala King  -  must remember to purchase some pimento, chicken strips
and fresh mushrooms.  Peas are always in the freezer.
This can be served over rice and I like it over toast.

I can remember many years ago
someone I dated invited me to his home and
his mother prepared this dish.
It was so tasty.

This was never served in the home I grew up in
and it gave me an idea for years that followed.

On another day will prepare this old favorite.

Any simple meal ideas
for small portions

Saturday, September 15, 2012

When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
   but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."

~~Mary Oliver~~  Thirst

Friday, September 14, 2012

Oh My....Old Recipe For Italian Meat Balls.

Going through old recipes trying to come up with something that would be tasty for my evening meal.
There it was...dated 1968,  paper turning yellow and must recopy so I do not lose this gem.

Anna's Meatballs.

Anna was one of those special people who always hugged me when we came in contact with one another.
I truly loved her and she always made me feel so special.
I have such fond memories of her.
She was a war bride from Italy and wish I could share some of her story but better not.
Now living with a daughter and husband is with his younger wife:(

I can remember the evening we were invited for dinner - my husband and children - before my two youngest arrived.

Oh the tantalizing aroma  as I entered her home.   The same aroma that is filling this cottage over
the last several hours.   This is a rare occurrence with my Sjogrens.  With this immune disorder there is much I miss and also much is not tasty.

2 lbs of ground beef
1/2 lb of ground pork
fresh garlic
salt and pepper to taste
4 beaten eggs
fresh grated Parmesan cheese
6 or 7 slices of bread that have been soaked in milk and then squeezed dry.

mix the above and form meatballs about the size of a golf ball

in a pan that you have cooked several slices of bacon and crumbled
chopped onion
add  olive oil

place these meatballs
gently in simmering oil, cook and turn often so evenly brown

add 3 cans of tomato sauce
1 can of tomato's

I put an addition of my fresh Basil and Parsley in this sauce.
Water was added from time to time to keep the sauce from being to thick.

Simmer for at least an hour - mine simmered for about 1 1/2 hours.

This is what she wrote out and gave me years ago.

I went online to see if there was anything missing?

I made 1/2 this recipe and it made 8 meatballs.   Could only eat one with the spaghetti and my
special bread.

Have lunch and dinner for tomorrow and also a carton to freeze for a later date.

Next time all of children and grandchildren are visiting
I believe I will make this along with a big salad....

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Old Rocking Chair - Vintage Fabric

One who can hardly thread a needle is reading a
new blog and I am captivated by Mia's creations
and talent.
I have read almost every past entry of Mia's.
Wishing I could paint every dark piece of
furniture in this cottage "white."

So talented she is
and I wish so I had her talent.
She is giving me some ideas
of some future projects.

Her home and setting in Norway
looks like a painting...
I marvel at that One Woman who
is in a country setting in the woods of USA
can with the click of a mouse enter
her world...

This a rocking chair that I rocked my son in
when he was a baby and toddler.  Guess I rocked
him and my other children until they were too big to
sit in my lap.   It was covered with a heavy plaid fabric.

Years later it was covered in a vintage piece of floral
cotton.  I can remember the person covering this
made the comment she did not think it would hold up.
Well it is 40 years old and looks like new.

About 10 years ago
in another home
I had the painter paint a maple table and chair
antique white and made to look old.
It is in my bedroom and I have enjoyed this
different look
and I am now thinking of
painting them snow white...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Loaded Quiche

Over the last several months I have tried quiche from our local tea room and Farmer's Market.
Seemed to me
they needed more in them.

With no recipe to follow
made this up
and put a lot in it.
Will make lunch and evening meal
easy for today and tomorrow.

1 1/2 cups frozen spinach - thawed and drained well
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms.
1/2 chopped red onion
1 cup of chopped Swiss cheese

Folded this into
4 beaten eggs
1 cup of half and half

Poured into a 9 inch deep pie shell

Sprinkled some Ceddar cheese on top

Baked 350 for 45 minutes

My Jamie just called
and I shared this with her.
Her remark "that sure seems rich."

So will see how it gets along with my stomach :)

Took an image before I cut into it..

Monday, September 10, 2012

Nantucket And Fall Bloom

Oldest daughter's family on vacation and a special Fall bloom at my cottage home..... 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rain, Herbs And Carrot Bread

A soft rain most of the night and not so hot today.  So nice to be catching up on inside chores.

I have finally come to the conclusion that I am attempting to start gardens in not
the best place.   It is very damp and shady here by the woods and finally learning what will grow
in this new location.   Roses just will not grow without every problem.   Do have one Red Knockout left and maybe it will survive.   So many insects and my new turnip green patch which was
beautiful last week looks terrible.   I like to do everything natural as possible and
finally put dust on them before the rain.

Carrot bread was made this morning.  This is such a simple recipe and almost forgot
about it until I started going through my recipes.  You do not have to use your mixer
just mix by hand.  One large loaf was made or you could make 2 smaller.

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts

Combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl and beat by hand

Stir in flour, soda, cinnamon

Stir in shredded carrots and walnuts

350 degrees - 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean

Cool before turning out of well greased pan (I always put parchment paper on bottom of pan)

When cool
this is good - a glaze of 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar and 1 tsp lemon juice plus 1 tsp lemon peel.
Stir until moist and spread on bread

I took an image and already 2 slices had been enjoyed.

Since I struggle to keep weight on - I doubled the glaze :)

The jar of fresh herbs on my table is so very fragrant.  Love the scent.

Sage, Basil, Thyme, Mint, Rosemary and Thai Basil...

Friday, September 7, 2012


Home from errands
a local yard sale find
a giant bug for my garden :)
tomato soup
topped with dill, cilantro and basil
along with grilled cheese sandwich...

To family and online friends
have a wonderful weekend.
Starting tomorrow
cooler in my area
and this is a welcome change
from the heat....

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

They Are Not Just Things

As time goes by there are some things we just can't seem to part with.  They really are not things but have become a part of us.

I walk through this smaller home and every room has items that reflect
part of my past and who I have become.  To me they tell a story about some
of my life and special people who are no longer with me.
Items that would not have the same meaning to others but immediately bring back
into my mind a person or a memory.

I frequently share with my children or grandchildren a story about a specific item.
Boxes of pictures fill a closet.   At one time in the old farmhouse the walls and furniture
held these items.   No longer a fact and there have been times that my children or grandchildren
would ask questions about the people in the pictures.   These people are a part of their heritage, not familiar to them but they are to me.

A recent visit from youngest granddaughters and they love to go into my bedroom. One even mentioned on Monday "grandma this came from " and I smiled thinking "she remembered." They always tell me how they like this room and how pretty it is.  They know grandma has a beautiful old bedspread on the bed, with special pillows, one pillow was purchased with a special friend who has passed away.  This pillow has embroidered on it "Happily Ever After"  she put the fringe on this pillow about 14 years ago, a day never goes by that I do not remember her. She died of a brain aneurysm and her beautiful dark hair turned white after surgery.   The thought also
arises "was that me 12 years ago?"

There is a almost 50 year old small thin throw at the end of my bed, it  was made in Scotland. All my grandchildren have touched this throw remarking  how soft it is.    They walk around the room and I tell them stories about special items.  Everything is so old.   A small dish on a table was my grandmother's.   I even taped a reminder of this on the bottom so my daughter's would not forget
how special it is.

When I leave this earth I wonder if they will remember what was shared.   Hopefully they
realize they are not just things but a part of our heritage.  Also very aware they have their journeys to take
and special things to collect.

Must end this story as there is too much to share and I could go on and on.

A new day is beginning....

Monday, September 3, 2012


Misty rainy day
Simple food on the table
and ice cream sundaes for desert.

Girls running through the wet grass
as Callie follows.  She loves company.

Cups of river glass, turkey feathers
and beautiful leaves collected like treasures
to take back to their home in the city.

Vehicle being loaded for departure.

Little one practices images in yoga books.
In the future
maybe she will be her uncle's assistant
for a retreat in this cottage
when grandma is a part of the woods...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Heart Smiles

End of day
looked out window
and there was
a beautiful creature
at the end of the drive
looking at me.

Quietly went onto
screen porch
and took an image
through the screen.

3 years in this cottage
and I still get excited
and smile when I see
these creatures.

you are not far away....

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September - To Do List

More blooms

One Woman's list
for the time of life she planned on having less to do.

Flu shot for me
Rabies shot for Callie
A/H unit serviced
Car washed
Lawn tractor serviced and blade sharpened
Clean garage
Defrost freezer in garage
Wash windows
Electrician to reverse fan blades and new batteries for smoke detectors
Clear wood paths of limbs
Deck and porches pressure washed and sealed
2 trees down at edge of woods
see if someone wants to cut for firewood
Plant an apple tree
Buy some mums for terrace
Order large rock for area that is washing
Bush hog in front of woods
Add more topsoil to raised vegetable bed
Create a plan for small cottage on stilts for damp area of property
Keep dreaming of small shed with attached carport for truck

Attempt to stay off of computer more
Work at having better posture while on computer
Try to relax more, pace myself and not expect so much of One Woman at this stage of her life....