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, November 28, 2013

On This Day

Giving Thanks

Gratitude, the simple and profound feeling of being thankful,
is the foundation of all generosity.
I am generous when I believe that right now,
right here, in this form and place,
I am being given what I need.
Generosity requires that we relinquish something,
and this is impossible if we are not glad for what we have.

~~Sallie Jiko Tisdale~~

Thankful cranberry salad came out of the old mold :)
So pretty that I may do this for Christmas also.
I put grapes in the center...

Herbs in the center of table

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Lot Of Words and A Lot Of Blessings

After baking a pumpkin pie, making a sour cream pound cake that I forgot to
put sour cream in and immediately just dumped it back in bowl and remixed.
Then chopped celery and onion for dressing, breakfast, cleaned kitchen
turned computer on this early morning
and on the screen
that I had written
16,9015 pages
1330 posts

That is a lot of words and writing in 5 years.
Especially since this one who is now the matriarch of her family
one on one
does not really say all that much.

A new path opened for me
when I began to write on line.
So many new friends
and my son made the comment recently
that I had quite an international following :)

The computer, camera, Callie, building a cottage in the woods
all became a reality after the age 73.
If someone had predicted this for me
years ago
I would have said "no way".
So many of us do not know what surprises the future holds.

I am so thankful for my life at this time,
family, children, grandchildren and all the
special people who write me,
 to think I have never met any of you in person
and you are a big part of my world at this time.
What would I do without you...

So pleased my granddaughter arrived safely in New York from Thailand.
Wish my daughter in Tampa and grandchildren in Washington, DC and New York
and my son in Thailand
could be with me tomorrow.
But thankful for all who will be sitting at the big table on this 2013 Thanksgiving day.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013


The frost never spoiled my
Rosemary and Sage.
Just gathered some and will put
Rosemary in a vase on the table.
At this time like this better then flowers.
The scent of them both in the kitchen
at this moment
is wonderful.
I cannot imagine
not having fresh herbs....
Also still have an abundance of Parsley, Chives and some Cilantro.

Fresh sage for dressing
is really strong
and only use a little
such a difference from the sage you find in a little can at the market.

Snow has almost melted....

Monday, November 25, 2013

It Is Snowing

Finished last minute shopping at 8:00 this morning.
Cranberry salad made 1/2 recipe last night
taste wonderful.  1/2 recipe just filled my mold and
a couple of tablespoons for me to sample.
Been a lot of years since I made this and forgot how
good it is - healthy too.

Tonight cornbread for dressing being made,
3 gallons of my sweet tea and lately have been
warming it and like it. 

Tomorrow will make sour cream pound cake
an old favorite and on Wednesday pumpkin pie
and set the big old table.

Been Snowing for about 30 minutes....

Went back to my post
this is 45 minutes later :)

I have so much to be Thankful for
and my list would be never ending....

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Returning From Thailand

One of my granddaughter's
returning from Thailand in hours
and safe travel wishes are being sent out
from my heart.

Almost a month in a new land
and special time with her uncle (my son)
and she and a friend will be sitting at grandma's big table
for Thanksgiving dinner

Over the last month so many beautiful pictures
have been  shared and many
more to come.  She looks so happy in
each image I receive :)

I smile at each one and oh it would be
a dream come true
if her grandma had a traveling companion
and could do this.

Welcome home

Wish rest of my children
and grandchildren
could be with me.
Not possible...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Accomplished And 50 Year Old Memory

A good day
was yesterday...
A day at home
 inside all day
temperature dropping
I like a day like this
and with Winter on the way
there will be many....
Callie would go outside and quickly be back at door to come inside.

My growing to do list I began to tackle
Phone numbers of help and special
needs  upgraded and sent to children
Emergency numbers in purse - redone
A lot of typing went on this morning...
Sorting recipes
always a thought of making recipe book
but never had time
too many recipes, old and new
so putting in plastic sheets in binders
where daughter's and granddaughter's
can browse on visits and copy
if they see something they like.
Also 3 new future posts for my journal
have been typed and saved.

Looking out window I view a pile of brush
that was gathered Thursday.   One burned
and this one in the future on a still day with damp ground.
See what happens constantly when you live surrounded by old woods ?
A lot of outside work done on that day and was even able to use the
lawn tractor for over an hour.   Felt so good to work outside on what may have
been the really nice day left before cold weather continues.

Looking at weather channel
it came on about Kennedy's assassination.
Memories surfaced
as I was in a new home on a beautiful farm.
In my late 20's
my son a toddler at home, his sisters in school
and my Jamie not yet born.
I remember hearing this
as radio was playing.
Tears then and  again today as I listened to a replay at 12:30 noon.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Wise Words

Do not fear failure
What happened in the past is past
Do not worry about it happening again
Before you meet with success
failure is natural and necessary.

If you never failed
you have never tried.

Master Sheng-Yen "Being Natural" 

Doing what I vowed not to do
turning on computer in the middle of the night
but the above words on "Trycycle"
 spoke to me...

Rain that is due
has not begun....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

New Recipe - I Smile and Prednisone

Don't you just love it
when you find a new recipe.
Especially one that you like the ingredients, is simple,
looks attractive and One Woman can prepare for herself
and also as an addition on her big table when a lot of family
will arrive for Thanksgiving Dinner....
A plus
 good for all 12 months of the year.
Will be
especially good next summer when I can use items from my little garden...

My Laurie
in Florida told me about this dish
and how pretty it looked when she prepared it.
I am already thinking
what else can I add ?

She sent me the website
and instead of listing
ingredients and seasonings
yellow squash, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes and onions
you can look up if you like.

Tomato, Potato.Zucchini, Summer Squash " Casserole"

My daughter substituted Egg Plant for the potatoes
I like this....
Also noticed so many recipes on this site that are new to me
that I like and will try in the future...

I might add
I have just started back on a few weeks of high prednisone
It affects me differently each time.
At the moment
immediate healing,
on a high
and wanted to eat all day yesterday
but luckily
do not gain weight.
At least never in the past :)

Hope this is a short process
that does not have any side affects
I have difficulty dealing with.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Free To Just Be Me

Phone rang at 7:00
just like he informed me he would call.
I am always informed and the phone rings as the clock strikes 7:00 AM.

My sharing goes nonstop to the special son
who always listens, never scolds me or interrupts.
I feel so free when I talk to him.

A moment ago I wrote him an email he will receive tonight, his morning and as his mama goes to bed.   So ashamed as I share some of what I still want (as my doctor told me - make a list and my list  so few) , my fears, questioning of these last years.
No one likes me to say "last years" but they are.  Well aware that very few years are left and time is going by at an accelerated speed.   I apologised  to my son and do not need to do this ever again.
I am happy, at peace but still question much.
Normal or not
I do not know
and at the moment
do not care....

Conversation finished, quick breakfast of fruit, yogurt, green tea, zucchini bread and out the door
for a quick trip to local small town.   This town is 8 miles away, love how I can navigate quickly
as I know all the shortcuts and go when traffic is low.  Hospital stop for blood work.  Began seeing a new doctor Monday and it was difficult to start over, but left her feeling so uplifted as she is an internist and familiar with the inflammatory problem I have.  It was so good to leave her office
feeling I have made a good decision.  This one finally taking new patients as I had tried earlier times
to have her as my primary but could not.

On for a quick grocery stop and I know I am positive there will be a  very small garden next year, even if in pots -  as two very small yellow squash  $1.50.  Along with bokchow, broccoli, carrots, celery and anything else I want to put in the pan it will make stirfy this evening with an addition of shrimp.   Also some holiday Peppermint ice cream and huge chocolate chip cookies (that I devoured 2 with milk on arriving home.)

Post office stop and stopped at a new Dairy Queen that opened this morning.  Bright red umbrellas
over shiny black tables surrounded the store as you made your entrance.  This in no way is my regular
kind of eating but did it anyway (probably to the horrors of some health ones in the family)
A chili dog, onion rings (delicious and probably because it was opening morning - maybe not :)

I sat in the sun as people passed by, some smiling and I wonder if the special attention I receive lately is because of my cane and I realize I usually have a smile on my face - anyway I like it as doors are opened and even  my grocery cart is returned  to store.  Guess it does not take much to make me happy this morning or really most times.  I have grown to expect so little from others but still expect more from my children then I should - ashamed of this as everyone has busy lives and are not near.

Returning home down my wonderful winding country road come upon a road block as I viewed about 50 people, cameras
that were filming a country music video.  Memories surfaced of about 15 years ago when living in the old farm house that was done.   Very emotional about much going on surrounding and inside that much loved home and remember well the words of my 2 youngest
"mama, treat this as an adventure."  Now many years later I can and smile about it.

So home, cool but sun is shining, Callie runs to meet me, groceries unloaded and I think
How very thankful I am for my surroundings of these peaceful nature filled fields and woods.

Hopefully I will never have to leave
and do not know if I ever can leave.....
always had a occasional thought  that there might be one somewhere in my lifetime who would love these surroundings
like I do.    Then I have grown so comfortable being alone and with my own schedule
that I probably would not be good company for anyone.

Enough shared.....

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Day In November

It seems like yesterday
that the fields were lush and green.
The trees filled with green and then colored leaves.
I believe
as we age that time seems to go by so quickly.
Now I see bare fields and trees
but still beautiful sunsets.
I plan on my time left on this earth
 always to see the beauty of my surroundings in every season

The end of a cool day.
I wanted at lunch  to sit on the deck in the sun that
came out for such a short time and have my soup, sandwich and tea.
Stayed a few minutes
and had to come inside as it
seemed the dampness chilled me to the bone.

~~There are things you can't reach.
But you can reach out to them, all day long.
The wind, the bird flying away
the idea of God
and it can keep you as busy as anything else
and happier
I look morning to night
I never stop looking~~~

Mary Oliver

A day has ended
it went by so quickly
and I wonder
"what have I done?"

And does it really matter.....

Friday, November 15, 2013

Peaceful Little Lites

Errand day
post office
gas in truck
trash left off
 a visit to our local small store
looking for khaki's for my youngest granddaughter
and was not successful.

But I spotted them these all over the store
A 2 feet bare tree, frosted snow branches with little lights that stay on for 4 hours and then off for 20.
They turn back on automatically.
So - on long dark days and nights
and at this time already dark in this cottage.
These are so welcome in several areas of this cottage
and they were on sale....
Remind me of the battery candles that I use this time of year
and enjoy them so much.

Vying to buy nothing else to sit around,
giving away, minimal Christmas decorating
being done at this time
and here I made a purchase of several of these :)

I like them....

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Good Words

Going through stacks of papers, notes and books this early morning.

A cold and sunny bright day
a perfect day for organizing paper work and reflecting on much I have underlined
in this mountain of books and articles that are in this cottage.

Here is a sample....

"All beings receive the fruits of their actions.  Their lives arise and pass away according to
the deeds created by them.  We can deeply care for them, but in the end
we cannot act for them nor let go for them nor love for them"

On this day

I choose to stay when I want to retreat
Choose to forgive when I want to condemn
Choose to love when I want to attack
Choose to hope when I want to doubt
Choose to stand when I want to fall........

and one more

On this day
I offer my gratitude for the blessings of this earth I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the measure of health I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the family and friends I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the life I have been given...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Paraposdokians and Dabur Chyawanprash

On gappa blog yesterday
 read about - "Dabur Chyawanprash"
have never heard of this
and it sounds amazing.
 Amazon sells,
they sell everything and
thinking of  ordering.
Wonder what it would do for me at this time of life?

Received this  early morning
and sharing a few...

Paraprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence
or phrase is surprising or unexpected: frequently humorous,
Winston Churchill loved them.

Where there's a will, I want to be in it

The last thing I want to do is hurt you.  But it's still on my list.

Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak

If I agreed with you, we both would be wrong.

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

In filling out an application, where it says, "in case of emergency, Notify, I PUT DOCTOR

Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head
and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy

Going to church does not make you a Christian any more then standing in a garage makes you a car

I used to be indecisive.  Now I'm not sure.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Good Way

A good way to start the day

Try it.....

Weather cold at the moment
but have memories of
day beginning on a
 beautiful sunny Spring morning
and beginning the day doing this on my deck
with the sounds of nature in the air.

At this time it is on a mat
in front of glass door
with beautiful Fall colors viewed.

Be careful
if this is new to you....

Credit goes to a special online friend
who writes "gappa"

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I Must

Take the time to retreat from your day - to - day routine, and make a genuine effort
to reconnect with yourself and your natural surroundings.
Something I read this early morning.

I thought this was what I was doing
and seems not so.
Here it is November, leaves cover the ground, wind blowing and a chill in the air.

A year that when I look back
I think went faster then any in my lifetime.
A year where so much has happened to me and in this family
and I almost feel like I lost myself somewhere along the line.

Physically feeling good at the moment, a smile on my face,
feeling at peace  and yet
I have much to do
regarding body, mind and spirit.
For some reason in my lifetime I thought this would stop
eventually and I would say to myself "you have arrived."
It is quite evident to me in these last years
I have not arrived
and wonder does anyone ever arrive?

There are continual lessons to learn.

Remember, wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit
~~ Edward Abbey~~

In order to understand this world, one has to turn away from it on occasion
~~Albert Cumus~~

Seeking a quiet day and then some more quiet days
to quiet the mind
and to stop trying to understand so much.

My heart tells me to do the best I can, stop the questioning,  just accept
 and nothing stays the same anyway and is always changing

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Hold the words close and whisper them to yourself
when times are dark, when you are feeling down,
doubting yourself.
Embrace the thought
"I am perfectly enough!"

On this day
to all who visit the woods
a good thought

from Cate at

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cranberry Salad

My Laurie
in Tampa
called and talked and remembered
 my old cranberry salad recipe.
Found it handwritten
 in my over 40 year old recipe book.
I think it came from my Aunt Lucille who passed
away 4 years ago in her 90's.

I am going to make it for Thanksgiving....

1 bag of fresh cranberries - chopped in processor
2 oranges - chopped chunky - 1 peeled and 1 unpeeled
1 small cherry jello
1 small orange jello
1 1/2 or 2 cups of sugar
2 cups of boiling water
1/2 cup chopped nuts
optional - small can of drained pineapple

dissolve jello in boiling water
add sugar
mix well
add rest of ingredients

pour in well greased mold - it always looked so festive
at Thanksgiving, Christmas or really - anytime
You could put in a glass Pyrex dish....

Keeps a long time in frig and slices beautifully

~~ I just went upstairs and retrieved my old mold ~~
seems I remember this mold not quite big enough for all of the mixture
and I would put the remainder in a glass bowl :)
I may just half it this time for my old mold.
I will use one jello, one orange, not so many cranberries
just less of everything - I think - not sure yet...
and may fill the center with grapes :)

Early this morning
pumpkin bread cooling
and placed my old mold
where daughter's could see it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

White Fields

Early Morning
dawn surfaces
looking out the window
heavy frost
white fields
last blooms
resemble ice sculptures

I smile at a dozen comments from one who's words
always are special to me - Ellen Hamilton.

Conscious of my warm heart as I continue to read my son's email with names of unfamiliar cities
and words
in his far off land, sharing of some of my granddaughter Sarah's visits to
Chiang Mai, Thai Island, Kon Lanta and the Linh Hotel.
A thought arises as I continue to smile
could I just book a flight and take off
even with cane in hand ?

I read something from Tricycle that explains much

Giving Rise To Forgiveness

~~Our suffering was not caused by our parents or grandparents.
It was merely passed down.  We are social animals.
We grow through modeling.
We teach what we have learned.
We act as we have been acted upon.
A person who is not loving
has not experienced love.
It is not his fault.

Realizing this gives rise to forgiveness,
and in Chin we vow that suffering will stop with us.
We Will Not Pass It Down~~ Guo Jun

I read this and realize that so much was missed in my early years from some.
But I vow not to pass it on and to practice love even to the unloving.
Never a day has gone by that when in contact I have not told my children, grandchildren,
 in the past their father or special ones then and now
" I love you"
So at times when these words did not come to me over the many years
or even now
I realize even more that some were not taught.

Enough sharing from the woods
as my day begins
A good day....