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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Day Tradition

As long as I can remember, this one,
my mother, grandmother, great grandmother and aunts
cooked black eyed peas, turnip greens and cornbread
for New Years Day.

Tomorrow it will be no different but a smaller portion
is being cooked in this cottate
at this very moment.

Black eyed peas
and a little different with an
addition of
 chopped green, yellow, red pepper
onions and chopped ham.

Turnip Greens, rice and cornbread....

This meal is said to bring us good luck for the coming year.

this mom and grandmother
will continue what she was taught over her 3 score, 10 plus years.

I wonder how many of my children
and grandchildren
will continue this tradition.

Probably not
as diligent as this one.
But maybe some will continue
this family tradition...

I am well aware that if my children
do not share this with their children
then this tradition will be lost.

But then I notice
times are changing

I am having some tonight

Thursday, December 26, 2013

On This Day

on this day
these words say it best....
Especially as time goes by.

I thank all that made a visit,
phone call, sent cards, emails,
sent a gift and even thank
those that remembered me in prayer
or special thoughts
that I may not even be aware of.

A new day begins
and I see words I copied upon my desk
and must remember.

~~There is only one way to happiness and that is
to cease worrying about things
which are beyond the power of your will~~


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fudge Cake

This post was written 2 years ago.
Just made again
 took cake out to cool
and will ice in about 15 minutes.
It is so good
and want to share again.....

This was my mother's (soon to be gone 14 years at age 82) favorite
and my sister's (soon to be gone 4 years at age 70) favorite.
This was brought to family home when my special daughter
had a tractor accident.
Tomorrow it will be shared with a special friend and
my neighbor whose husband passed away yesterday at age 7l.

A lot of memories connected with this cake...

I may have to make another one to have on hand for "me"
during the Winter month's

When my children were growing up I made this cake almost monthly.  Would
take to church dinners and shared with many.  It was always made at Christmas
as they would rather have it then candy.
The recipe was shared with me about 45 years ago.  The card is so stained and
this post will give me the recipe to copy and put in my file.

Just finished cleaning kitchen and what a mess.  I do not remember this cake
taking almost 2 1/2 hours from start to finish.    It did not come out quite to the
consistency that I like but it has been 5 years since I made it and never in this oven.
But it still taste wonderful and very rich and calorie laden.

The card states it makes 24 servings and I cut 30 generous sections and just put in
freezer to add to deserts for Mother's Day gathering.

Fudge Cake

Beat 4 eggs, add 2 cups of sugar, 1 and/1/3 cup vegetable oil, 4 squares melted baking chocolate,
1 tsp vanilla, 2 cups flour with 1 tsp baking powder
 and 1 1/2 tsp salt , 1 cup of chopped walnuts.

Line a large pan (I use large Pyrex dish) that has been lightly greased with two pieces of paper towel and two pieces of wax paper.
Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Turn heat off and leave in oven for 5 minutes.
Cool slightly before removing from pan.

Icing                Melt 1 stick of butter
                        3 squares of chocolate
                        12 large marshmallows

Add                 3 tbsp. milk
                        1 tsp vanilla

1 box of confectionery sugar - blend well - spread a thin layer over cake and sides.  Then add
two cups miniature marshmallows to the remainder of icing and spread.
You may want to add a little more milk to have a good spreading consistency

~~~~~when I turn this cake out I put my grandmother's old cutting board over the pan and
flip.   Not as easy for me as in the past.   Peel the paper off then I let the board  sit on my old chop block and cool until
I put icing on and cut in squares~~~~

The old chop block I have taken from home to home for years.  The young couple that I bought the old farm house from could not move it because of size and weight and I bought it from them.      Solid wood and so very heavy
I imagine it was used by a butcher for years.
I wish this kitchen was set up where I could have it by my sink and use it more instead of  using my small cutting board.

At the moment I cannot visualize my daughter's making this cake.  They do not have time and
wonder about the patience.
Now my granddaughter Sarah stays in the kitchen for hours preparing vegan dishes and I know
she is not going to make grandma's fudge cake .

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Special Words

Some special words
just received and will pass them on
to my children, grandchildren
and special friends.

A special wish to you
and this one typing away
On this Winter Solstice morning.

~~May the blessing of wonder be upon you
May your soul awake to the glow of the new born sun

May you find your life is a fresh page waiting to be written upon
May you begin again
Be born again
A new self
A new journey

May you turn the wheel again towards hope ~~

~~some words from "The Blessing Of The Child Of Wonder"
Joanna Howell Colbert

Saturday, December 14, 2013


I was so sad this morning
wanting so
to drive into the big city for my youngest granddaughter's piano recital.
Raining, balance issue severe, her sister has Strep throat
and could not chance it.
With days out of school during the holidays
hopefully I can drive to her home and listen to her play Christmas songs
on the piano my Jamie played at the old farm house.
Memories surface of last summer
when I attended her recital
A gift to me
 Marked down,
I quickly purchased
 and the scent is wonderful
For lunch today
tomato soup with Basil
which is so good along with batch of pimento cheese made.
Spotted the Basil plant and also purchased yesterday.

I planned on freezing many of my herbs
and seems it never happened.
In many ways
felt  like this year went by so quickly
and 2013 will soon come to an end.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Coconut Soup - New to me and life passions change

My Beth shared that when my granddaughter Sarah was visiting during Thanksgiving
she made Coconut Soup.
I had never heard of it
and have  requested her recipe.
I am well aware they their home is stocked with many seasonings that I  do not have
and  not familiar with.

But I do keep tofu, fish oil, sesame oil and ginger on hand.
This is really good for one with Southern roots and my parents
and grand parents would not even know what I am talking about
as I share in this post.

At the market 2 days ago picked up 2 cans of Amy's Coconut Soup.
It made 2 servings and I put an addition of 6 shrimp in each serving.

I really liked it and started looking up recipes.
Will need some Lemon Grass and will use mushrooms from my local store
not the type in this soup and may add some rice noodles.

As I did research on line
you can add chicken, rice noodles, chicken broth
and Thai chili's I do not have - but they may be to hot for me.

I found a basic recipe I can work with and add what I like.

1 can of coconut milk
cilantro (from my herbs)
shallots (I will use green onions)
fresh lime juice
fish oil
an addition of a little water or chicken broth.

So this is an idea of what is in this soup.  Amy's soup had an addition of sliced sweet potatoes
and green beans.

I usually change recipes to suit me - a lifetime of doing this...

Will share that
Sarah is now working
at a Thai restaurant in New York.
A big change from a lifetime passion of wanting to playing her French Horn in a symphony
then going on to a passion of vegan food and writing about it and now Thai.
She is young, so intelligent and this is all good.
Grandma can visualize her with her own restaurant some day.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Morning Thoughts

Bitter cold
like 10 degrees on the deck
but clear and sun beginning to shine.

Do you ever have special words keep playing in my mind?
Through the night these
words kept going through my mind
"teach your children well."

Many special scriptures on these words.

Yes, teach them well and even if they stray
for a season
they will return.

Not the exact words
but words I believe
and tried to practice and I smile
as my children do well and now grandchildren
even if occasionally someone forgets
I know this has been taught to them
and hopefully they are passing on
for when you see this practiced
it is a joy to your heart.

In my growing up years I never received many gifts
and my children received so many in their growing up years.
I always stressed to say thank you or send a note.

Yesterday was a busy day with many errands
One to correct my clipping on hair for 8 weeks.
Was so pleased with the outcome and on a trip to the grocery
had someone stop me and compliment my hair.
This made me smile as I soon received another.

A trip to the hospital for the dreaded MRI - brain scan.
An excellent new doctor and this is to make sure nothing else is
going on but inflammatory problem causing balance issues.  
Needless to say I will be pleased when I hear the results.

A new day
sun is shining,
so much to be thankful for
on this journey of life
and may I never forget
to be thankful for much....

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Forwarding To Family

It is easier for me to forward these images
to children and grandchildren
using my journal
then EMail.

Ice has finally melted
but still very cold and a light rain falling.

Today looking out
the window...

Beautiful But Treacherous and Recipe

Early morning and ice sparkles cover everything.
Looks beautiful
and I will not be venturing out today.
I did not wait for pie to cool
before cutting a slice.
It is so good.
3 slices ate yesterday :)
Recipe - French Coconut Pie

1 1/2 cups coconut
1/2 cup milk poured over it to soak 10 minutes
then drain and add enough milk to make 1/2 cup

2 beaten large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 stick of softened butter

whip all together and add 1/2 tsp vinegar

pour in pie shell
and bake 350 degrees
45- 60 minutes

This is so easy
and so good
if you like coconut....

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Homebound So Nice and I Came Across The Way It Was

Another good day to stay inside.
Birds flocking to the feeders and must bundle up
and make another trip to refill.
White bean chili is simmering.
French coconut pie in the oven...

Very little holiday decorating except with Poinsettia's, my old berry tree
and my special very old Angel.

Recipe project, address book that scans over 50 years are on the big table
and will send a very few cards this year.

Going through items in storage room I came across this family picture.
It is a beautiful picture and
when compared to my journey over the last almost 40 years this was a short
Now I can smile at this image and the way it was.
 I view my children at a different age, one woman whose lifestyle has changed dramatically
for the best and someone who at this time is almost a total stranger.

On this cold
Saturday morning
with music playing, chili simmering, pie in the oven and many projects to keep me occupied
I have to say
"life is good."

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Memory At Midnight

Up at midnight
checking weather
on computer
and came across
my youngest daughter's
sharing in the past.

It makes me smile
and brings back so many memories.

Now when I pull down my long gravel drive
or look out the front windows of this cottage,
 in the distance
I see the old farm house.

Sharing in case some who visit me
might not have read....

My Jamie,
thank you....

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Changing Quickly

Yesterday it was in the 70's
I sat on the deck, looked up at the sun
and enjoyed my lunch
Callie was barking and I
glanced down to the terrace and there was a young snake sunning.

Early this morning headed to town as it is predicted
temperature will drop all day.
70 degrees as I head to market for Kefir,
a few more items I might need in the next few days,
batteries and cat litter for icy steps....

Wood steps may be ice covered in the morning
 makes me uncomfortable and I usually go through
the garage to refill bird feeders.

Rain all day and at the moment 38 degrees.
Christmas cactus purchased last year
looks cheerful as it is beginning to bloom.

Looking forward to quiet time for a few days
and hopefully all will be well.....

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It Took A Number Of Days

It took
3 days preparing for Thanksgiving
and 3 days to put things back in order.
Refrigerator contents now back to normal,
freezer has a 1/2 dozen containers of turkey
to be used for White Bean Chili on a cold day
and maybe make some turkey salad for a sandwich
another time.
Made another Pumpkin pie yesterday and wonder
why I only make it at this time of year.
It is so healthy and tasty
and this one is for me alone.

Seemed I prepared and awaited some of my children,
grandchildren and guest on a nonstop agenda
almost like I was on speed and also had several sleepless nights.
Remember the calls from children saying
"slow down".
I seemed more excited this time for those that arrived
then in the past
it may be that I know there are not many more years of this happening for me.
I might add, Callie was so excited also
and when everyone left it seemed she wanted to sleep forever...

Everything was perfect, (except for those that were missing)  all happy and it was great seeing
dozens of pictures from over the ocean and sharing so much with her grandma.

Even a cooking class was taken in that far away land.

They arrived in summer clothes and quickly were wearing
Winter clothes

I wondered about luggage
and was informed - like my son shared
none was taken.  Just a backpack with minimal items.
Asked about laundry and told they rinsed things in the sink.
Now all of this impressed me
as these young people are use to a whole lot...
Luggage purchased in that land over the ocean
 to bring back a number of gifts.
Was almost envious of the scarves my little granddaughter's received.
Then I was presented with a beautiful blue and while china box
to add next to one similar my son sent me for my birthday.

So life by the woods at this time is
continuing at a slower pace
by one who knows she is loved,
 has a continual smile on her face,
a heart full of peace.

To think I have not written in 5 days :)

Nothing has surfaced to write about
and know  thoughts will return.

At the moment just enjoying
quiet time, reflecting on much
and then it seems
there are minutes
when the mind is just plain empty.

Many have written
"where are you
is all well ?"

~~The ache for home lives in all of us,
the safe place where we can go
as we are
and not be questioned~~

Mayo Angelou

Why is it
when your grown children return  home
they become your young children again
you look at them like they were many years ago
and you do not view them as being all grown up
and the age they are?"

Guess it is like me
I do not relate to my number
because in my heart it is many many years less.
Maybe I have a mental problem :)

May my children and grandchildren always want to return
to the safe place
where this one
lives with Miss Callie.