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 22, 2013


I am at the local library
checking my email and comments.

Overwhelmed is this One Women
at all the comments from special ones
that I have only met online.

Thank you everyone for reaching out
and what would I do without you.

You make me truly feel special and loved.

My home computer may not be running for several weeks
as it seems what attacked my system is going to take a while
to repair.

I will return....

Love, Ernestine

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Temporarily Offline

Hi everyone! It's Ernestine's daughter, Jamie.

She wanted me to log into her blog and update everyone. Her computer has a virus and she hopes to be up and running by tomorrow. She'll be uploading her beautiful photographs and posts soon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Trying To Heal

A number of my special friends have inquired about me
since I write almost daily.
I think when we share our life often as we write
from our hearts
that those who have never met us
may know us very well.

I have Inflammatory Colitis
surfaces several times a year
treated with strong prednisone.
Which I do not like to take but seems to
be the only thing that helps me.
This began about 5 years ago.

I tried treating myself for weeks
hoping that what I was experiencing would go away naturally
and guess was not doing to good and
had to call 9ll on Saturday morning at 5:00.
I crashed...

Also have a kidney and bladder infection
along with autoimmune issues.

Depleted and put on Iv plus a strong anti-biotic
I will share about in the future and do not like
750 milligrams of this.

I truly do not like sharing this
and it angers me as this One Woman
does everything she things correct.

I do not like medication.
Going to doctors and hospitals
this unsettles me greatly.

So I am healing and trying to rest
and it is difficult for me to sit still.
Eating healthy
every several hours.

I am so thankful this is not cancer, diabetes
heart - but do not like this
and aware that it could escalate.

I will be back
I have gone through this before.
But never this severe.

Want quality life for time that remains for me.
If come to mind
please pray for me to have wisdom of how to handle this
and healing.

I feel having this going on and not being able to handle myself
makes me a weak  person
and I have always been strong
and have to handled much in my life.

You are all so special to me
Just family and everyone is so far away.

Yesterday had to ask a neighbor to pick up some
items from grocery and she brought me a meal from a local eating place.
I hated so to call and ask...

All of you know me well and many have sensed something going on.
Do not like sharing this
with you.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Time Moving Faster Then I Realized

Just wrote
and will post tonight
continues in the morning

This cottage was being built a little over 3 years ago.
So much thought I gave to it.
I sat with my pad and placed what I was going to keep.
Downscaled, smaller garden and yard
(did not plan on the success of all that has been
planted) gravel drive
and so much thought and planning so I would have less work
and less expense as times goes by.

This morning made the veggie and flower garden smaller.
A young helper helped and I was on the mower for about
45 minutes.

The heat was horrible or probably humidity and I did too much.

Soon after I stopped, the truck pulled in.  It was to do something
that there again I thought was going to be a few hour process.

Wood deck, screen porch and small front porch were power washed
and then again with bleach, also small terrace and walks. 
 Mold covered all this wood and had
to be removed before sealer goes on tomorrow or the next day.
Turning out to be more then a day project and much more costly.

I love my surroundings but the downside is the damp woods and
more rain then normal this year.  This will probably have to be done
again in the future.    Right at the moment there is so much going on
will see what the future brings.

In the meantime all the outdoor furniture from deck, screen porch and
front porch,  plants, rugs, pillows are
sitting on the lawn - which is almost past  mowing because of rain and
grass cutter cut his tire.
Another thought - to think I always cut my grass up to a few years ago.

It really does not matter but I have always done my work, loved doing it
and very neat and organized.   I can remember living at the old
farmhouse in my 40, 50's and part of 60's and every Spring would wash the siding
on a ladder with ammonia, wash my windows on a ladder, take old shutters
down every Spring and clean, even would spread sealer on
concrete drive, brick walk and spread truckloads of mulch.

Sharing a lot with my son lately
and his comments are probably right.

I have become increasingly aware that I can no longer do what I have in the past
and especially since I am suppose to be healing from eye surgery.
 Probably have had expectations of myself  beyond what I can accomplish.
Just seems this happened all of a sudden and then maybe it has not
It has been  progressing slowly and I have not recognized it.
Many have noticed and made remarks to me
but I did not hear or did not want to hear.

One of his comments....

"if you want to stay in this home by the woods
you may have to lower your standards."

That is what I planned to do
sit with my camera, watch nature, be lazy
and let the dishes sit in the sink.

As time has gone by
I wonder
what happened ?

Another June Birthday And A Memory

My first born
weighed in at 8 lbs
Her young mom was so proud of this beautiful dark haired baby.

Years ago when she would visit her mom
 we would sit
on the porch of the old farm house
always in the swing.
My Laurie and my grandson Gavin.
It seems like yesterday....

Time continues
and there are so many wonderful memories
of another time and place...

Happy Birthday
My Special Daughter.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Freedom Of Privilege


 " He was repulsed by the freedom of privilege"
and was looking for a real life
and he found it....
Found this article from the New York Times
 on my son's face book page
and for some reason
it spoke volumes to me.

The thought
47 is so young...


Mott Green, who emerged from a hermitlike existence in a bamboo hut in the jungle of Grenada to produce a coveted Caribbean delicacy — rich, dark chocolate bars that he exported around the world with the help of sailboats, bicycles and solar-powered refrigeration — died on June 1 in Grenada. He was 47.

Karen Kirchhoff
Mott Green’s Grenada Chocolate Company was the subject of a documentary released in 2012.
He was electrocuted while working on solar-powered machinery for cooling chocolate during overseas transport, said his mother, Dr. Judith Friedman.
Mr. Green was born David Friedman, and grew up on Staten Island. He became Mott over the course of many years of visiting and eventually living in Grenada, where residents had a distinctive way of pronouncing his nickname, Moth. He later took Green as his surname to reflect his environmental interests.
Mr. Green tended to flit about as a child, but with focus: he built go-karts using lawn mower engines; he ran the New York City Marathon when he was 16; he dropped out of the University of Pennsylvania just months before graduation — accepting a degree, he felt, would be capitulating to a corrupt social structure — and he spent much of his 20s squatting with a community of anarchists in abandoned homes in west Philadelphia, where he “rescued” food that restaurants had planned to throw away and distributed it to homeless people.
He was eventually drawn permanently to Grenada. When Mr. Green was a boy, his father, Dr. Sandor Friedman, the director of medical services at Coney Island Hospital, taught there each winter, often bringing his family along.
Mr. Green founded the Grenada Chocolate Company in 1999. Its slogan was “tree to bar,” but that did not capture the breadth of the endeavor. Working with small cocoa farmers in Grenada and as many as 50 factory employees during peak operations, all of whom earned the same salary — and probably more than he did — Mr. Green dried cocoa beans in the sun; built, maintained and powered the machinery to make chocolate; packaged the finished product; and cobbled together an international network of distributors, including volunteer cargo cyclists in the Netherlands.
In 2011, the company received recognition from the State Department for its “contribution to the sustainable growth of rural economies by establishing Grenadian products in international markets; pioneering agrotourism; outstanding environmental conservation efforts; and promotion of organic farming.”
In 2008, 2011 and 2013, the Academy of Chocolate in London awarded silver medals to Grenada’s dark chocolate bars. A documentary film about the company, “Nothing Like Chocolate,” directed by Kum-Kum Bhavnani, was released last year and has been shown at film festivals.
Human rights advocates have long criticized the treatment of small cocoa farmers, and, particularly in Africa, the exploitation of child workers by buyers and exporters who sell cocoa to big chocolate companies. Despite international protections put in place in 2001, a 2009 survey by Tulane University found that nearly a fourth of all children ages 5 and 17 in cocoa-growing regions of Ivory Coast had worked on a cocoa farm in the previous year.
Mr. Green set out to address such issues by dealing directly with small growers and by keeping the processing and packaging of chocolate within Grenada. In the process, he appears to have created the only chocolate-making company in a cocoa-producing country.
“My progression,” he told D magazine in Dallas for a 2012 blog post, “was activist, love Grenada, love cocoa, love machines and tinkering, making chocolate, and doing it all without hurting the land.”
David Lawrence Friedman was born on April 15, 1966, in Washington. His family moved to Staten Island shortly before he turned 2.
He was the valedictorian of his class at Curtis High School. He was accepted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but chose Pennsylvania instead. He dropped out in the spring of 1988, his senior year.
“He was repulsed by the prison of privilege,” Tim Dunn, a friend, said in an interview. “He was looking for real life. And he found it.”
Mr. Green spent several years after college as a kind of master tinkerer, forager and activist among homeless anarchists in Philadelphia. He helped route electricity into abandoned houses for squatters, and he converted a Volkswagen bus to run on electricity. He helped develop a free lunch program that is still in place. He later moved to the East Village in Manhattan and made solar-powered hot-water showers for a group of squatters there.
By the mid-1990s he had moved to Grenada, where he initially lived in a remote hut he had built himself. It, too, relied on solar energy, in part to power Mr. Green’s passion for music.
“You’d hear Ella Fitzgerald coming out of this bamboo house in the rain forest,” his mother recalled.
Mr. Green developed a taste for cocoa tea, a local favorite, and that helped draw him out of the jungle and into the concerns of cocoa farmers and workers. Joining with a friend from Eugene, Ore., Doug Brown, he studied chocolate production in San Francisco. Working in Eugene, the men restored old machines from Europe and built new ones themselves. By the late ’90s they had shipped everything to Grenada. Mr. Brown died of cancer several years ago.
The company struggled for many years even as it won recognition. Mr. Green lived at the factory the whole time, sleeping in a workroom.
It moved into profitability just a few months ago, thanks in part to its recent opening of a shop in Grenada that sells treats made from its chocolate. Grenada’s chocolate bars are also sold online and at stores in various countries. In the United States, they are sold at Whole Foods stores in Manhattan and other retailers scattered across several states.
Last year the company delivered tens of thousands of chocolate bars to Europe on a sail-powered Dutch ship, the Brigantine Tres Hombres, operated by a company called Fairtransport. A team of volunteer cyclists in Amsterdam helped handle distribution on the ground.
Mr. Green called it “the first carbon-neutral trans-Atlantic mass chocolate delivery.”
In addition to his mother, a clinical psychologist in New York, Mr. Green is survived by a brother, Peter. Sandor Friedman died in 2004.
Dr. Friedman said she and several other people involved with the company were meeting this month in Grenada to develop a plan for keeping it operating.
“A lot of people now talk about paying for the actual cost of food or fair food and stuff like that,” said Alexis Buss, a friend from Mr. Green’s days as a squatter. “He wasn’t doing it to be trendy. He’s always been that way. He was just doing it because it made sense.”





Monday, June 10, 2013


I was told it would happen
and it is happening

How wonderful that I picked
up a book
the difference is amazing.

Noticed it throughout yesterday
but kept thinking
maybe the print is bigger.
Or maybe I am imagining this.

If my eyes continue to improve
I may not even need glasses to read...

Oh my
this is wonderful.

Now other things that are happening to
this 75 plus body
that I do not like
come on
amaze me.....

Might mention that as doctor was preparing for this second eye surgery.
I told him that it seemed I had circles under my eye and was this because
of the surgery.
His reply "no you probably did not notice it before."
I smile and have the thought
what else have I not been aware of ?

But I do think what has been done has something to do with the dark circles.
Makes sense to me - with the work being done in a sensitive area.

Time will tell.....

Sunday, June 9, 2013

As Evening Approaches

At the end of the day
while washing dishes
and looking out kitchen window
there is always so much activity
at the bird feeders
I watch and sometimes try to quietly
open the door to screen porch
and then screen door
to stand in the opening
to hopefully get a good shot
most of the time
they hear me and fly away
and then sometimes I am lucky

thank you Mr. Bluebird

Stuffed Pepper For One

I rarely eat meat and for some reason I have been craving a stuffed green pepper.

When my home was filled with family
this was made with the difference of many
green peppers and this was made with one.

Small amount of ground beef cooked on top of stove
then an addition of onions, celery, chopped green pepper and
a little yellow and red pepper that was in the freezer
simmered with an addition of small amount of tomato sauce
or a chopped fresh tomato.

I have discovered the small containers of brown and wild rice
which you microwave (so nice because a full recipe or even half is to much for me at this time)
 This was added to the meat mixture.
Pepper stuffed with mixture and topped with cheese.
Remaining meat, vegetable and rice spooned around the pepper
in the smallest casserole in my possession.
Then this is baked at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

So good
and satisfied my yearning for a stuffed pepper.

The additional meat in the freezer and soon will make a small meatloaf...

It is still a challenge to cook from scratch for one when you have been accustomed
over the years of cooking large amounts.

One difference
no challenge to bake sweets for one :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Morning View

Early visitor and Callie did not see you
 Wheat has turned golden and soon will be cut
A different kind of Lavender
Hollyhocks have started to bloom
The view from my small terrace is ever changing and always pleasing
Rabbit Ear Fern you are older then I remember
This morning another surprise
I do believe in the next week to 10 days the day Daylillies will be blooming.
Someone reminded me of "The Good Earth"  by Pearl S. Buck
I read it years ago and noticed a copy for a penny on Amazon.
So I ordered to read again and add to my collection of books.
My son's reply  "one penny or twenty dollars
one could do worse then buy lots of books."

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Eye Experience

I have heard of people having cataract surgery
but no one close that I know
 and really did not know what to expect.

Eye sight is fine by most standards.
Being an avid reader it was beginning to not
be as pleasurable.
No problem with computer
but noticed when driving that I had to be a lot closer
to read small signs.

Doctor told me if my lifestyle did not include
the love of reading that I could wait a while for this eye surgery.
If I wanted reading to be more pleasurable to have it done.

5 weeks ago my right eye was done

You check into hospital about an hour before surgery,
 put on hospital gown, items placed on you in case of heart problem and IV started.
About 3 series of eye drops are put in your eye.
The nurse commented how good I was
that I did not even blink my eyes.

Medication given to relax you but you are able to follow directions
if needed.
So you are half way aware
of what is going on.
I was aware of a lot of different color lights flashing and could hear a lot of water
if this makes sense.  Laser is a new experience.
I remember wanting to scratch my nose and guess I started to move
my hand and the doctor sharply said - "do not move."
Also remember when it was finished having a lot of tape pulled off of my face
and I had the thought "hope they are not taking any skin."  :)
Procedure only takes about 30 minutes or less,
wheeled back to room, blood pressure checked and you prepare
to have someone drive you home.  You still feel slightly medicated.

Restrictions include no heavy lifting and do not do anything
strenuous for a week.  Do not rub my eye, keep water out it,  gently pat with cloth to clean
and I wear an eye shield at night for one week to keep me from
unconsciously rubbing my eye.

Have 4 different eye drops that are used 3 and 4 times daily for a month.
So helpful with the chart that was given to me and can be marked off.
In big letters I wrote which eye
so I would not make a mistake and put them in the wrong eye  :)

Left eye was done this past Monday.

I was nervous preparing for the first eye to be done not knowing what to expect.
The second eye knew what to expect and was fine.

I have experienced no pain, eye feels a little heavy at times for a couple of days.
Also I wear sunglasses when not in house because bright light bothers my eyes.

The day after this procedure you still feel slightly medicated but within
24 hours you feel about normal.
 Do not like this feeling and is the
same as other times I have been put partially to sleep.
Thankful that after 24 hours back to normal.

Yesterday after 3 days, grocery shopped, gas in car, made a stop to renewed car tag,
 trash drop off and stopped at jewelry store to leave off my chain that holds my cross.
The chain is long and when bending over it caught on a plant.  This is something I have worn
for 40 years and miss it.
A good morning and was pleased to arrive back at home to Miss Callie.

My youngest daughter Jamie was with me for the first eye being done
and my middle daughter Beth for the recent procedure.

Beth is a registered nurse and was very impressed with this small hospital
that is close to where I live she lives and works in the big city near Jamie.

Thank you both for taking the time to be with me and bringing me home.

Glad this is over
and although it only takes a few hours with the going, having it done and returning home
you do have a couple of months with eye drops and returning for check ups for both eyes.

If you did not know anything about this procedure
Now you do....

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday
to one of my young granddaughter's.

Some of grandma's favorite pictures....

you are going
by too fast....

Monday, June 3, 2013

Special One - Ellen Hamilton

Self Portrait

Black ReeboksI study my feet, shod in these worn slabs of leather, fabric and rubber. For some weeks I’ve pondered the state of my shoes, and my life. Running ragged from one property to the other, I am putting in plants at the new place, setting steppingstones in the ground, mowing down weeds, and, inside my building, dabbing on paint, screwing wood to the floor, setting tile on bathroom walls. I am a madwoman dancing, hair on fire, feet in flames.
Only today, when I sit long enough to smile at these shoes, tattered and gaping, lathered with sand, do I see myself anew. Today I will breathe. I will take time to appreciate what I have done. I will shut off the internal engine that seems always to say, “You’ve not done enough, and, besides that, are taking too long.” Today I am a woman, mad about life, in love with dreams, stepping up, bowing down, dancing to the beat of my very own heart.
Ellen Hamilton on May 8th, 2013 | File Under Ellen Hamilton | 4 Comments -

4 Responses to “Self Portrait”

  1. Ernestine Says:
    I love these shoes.
    My old shoes worn on this property surrounding my cottage
    are my favorite.
    We have much in common
    or rather
    you remind me of my younger self
    a few years ago :)
  2. Donna Says:
    Love it! Those shoes have served you well and look like they have lots of stories to tell. It’s fun hearing about the work you’re doing and now we have a visual! Thanks for sharing!
  3. Kathleen Says:
    Ellen, I know how you feel. We are now in process of building our new home. I’m wearing that same kind of worn, torn shoes as I traipse around on our new property cutting down and burning junk trees, hauling stone and wood, scavenging in salvage shops, wondering if it will ever end and at the same time not wanting it to end. Ain’t life grand!
  4. Sharon Says:
    I enjoy hearing about the work you’re doing, too. It sounds like it is a labor of love, the best kind of work to

  • Artists

  • Site Pages


    Sunday, June 2, 2013

    Take Care Of You

    Was not going to post this morning - frequent morning thought.

    But as I prepared to shut down computer
    several things caught my attention.

    An image of  one of my granddaughter's  who is working for the summer in Nantucket
    and I say "I miss you." and grandma loves oysters...
    Next noticed this
    and last

    The doctor of the future will give no medicine,
    but will interest his patient in the care of the
    human form, in diet and in the
    prevention of disease.....
                                                   Thomas Edison

    Saturday, June 1, 2013

    58 Is So Young

    I remember well the early evening of years ago .
    We were on our way out to dinner
    several miles from our farm at that time.

    Heard the siren of the ambulance
    as we pulled over to the side of the road.

    I told my husband
    to turn around and follow it.

    He shook his head
    as I said "if it turns on their road I know it is my father."

    He muttered some words thinking I was wrong.
    The car was turned around and
    the ambulance continued as we followed behind
    as it turned on their street.

    As the car pulled into
    the drive
    I opened the car door with the car still moving.

    My father had died of a massive heart attack.
    It was his third and the longer life has gone on
    I  realize how 58 years is so young.

    My father's father died of an accident when he was 12 years old.
    He was the second oldest and had 5 sisters.  Helped his mother at this young age
     by working as a caddy in the local park and later in a restaurant.

    He was a hard worker and the relationship I needed and desired as I grew up was
    not there until his last years.  I remember well my much loved grandmother telling
    him to be kinder to me.

    I was out of school and working at age 17
    in the corporate office of one of our major car manufacturers in Michigan.
    My associates were much different then those of my father at that time.
    By the world's standard they were achievers with high incomes.
    He was very proud of me and at the same time there may have been some envy.
    I did not understand and it caused me a lot of sadness.

    I realize now that doors he desired never opened for him and at a young age
    they did  for me.

    With marriage a young couple was the American dream come true.
    With hard work and thriving  economy at that time afforded us business opportunities
    that those in my family and my mates did not experience. 

    I look back and realize that being able to live a number of different lifestyles
    has made me who I am.  I have sat on the creek bank eating a hot dog with my workers
    and have had dinner in the Governor's mansion.   Love to garden in my old worn clothes
    and at one time wore designer clothes.   None of this makes any differance to me and feel
    comfortable with all.   At this time love my old clothes with my hoe in hand
     and have no desire for anything else.   I might add - just my health...

    Achievements many times cause jealousy in families.  I seemed to
    experience a lot of this towards me at a young age and even through my
    adult years and some I even recognize now.

    In my younger years so much I did not understand
    and still do not.
    As time goes by I try very hard to
     accept others as they are and try  not try to figure out why.  

    He loved and enjoyed my children so very much. 
      During his last weeks Jamie had just learned to walk and
    the memory is always there of how he would place the hat he wore on her little head
    as she walked to him.

    He was born on June 13th and if he was living today
    he would be 100 years old and my mother would be 95.

    On their wedding day
    ages 17 and 23....