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, July 31, 2014

The Voice

I was so excited when this book arrived in the mail
 "The Voice"
by Kaveri Patel.

I can remember when I first starting reading her blog
about 5 years ago.   Her poems always touched my heart in a special way
and even though I have never met her in person
I feel as though I know her and by that I mean
know a big part of her heart and a lot she has experienced
in her young life might have been this one at another time.
Remember many times making the comment to her
"you need to write a book."

She lives in California, a practicing physician and here
this one
could be her mother and lives at the edge of the woods
in Northern Tennessee
at this time of her life.
Often have the thought
that life is so special to bring people like this into our lives.

This is Kaveri's third book
and I smile as I type away at the moment
with thoughts of how proud I am of her....

Her first book "An Invitation" 2011
second, "Under the Waves" 2012

and now "The Voice" 2014

You can find out more about her and her work at:

In her first book "The Invitation"
among her acknowledgments
she mentioned my name :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

His Words Are a Gift

When I started writing about 6 years ago
I wanted to share about some who were so
important to me in my growing up years,
those that passed on before them
and stories shared by
 my mother and grandmother.
These entries were mainly for my grandchildren
and some pictures and stories I shared
were new to my children

An important contact was a second cousin.
The grandson of my mother's sister.
He shared so much valuable information
with me and sent copies of genealogy research
that he had done.  I am ever grateful for this.
I have passed on to my children
where most of this information came from.

Such encouragement were his words when
I was trying to decided whether to leave my city home,
follow my heart and move
back to my country property.

"The cabin can be your final creation as a builder in the physical sense,
while at the same time serve as the nurturing point for your new love of writing.
Let the closing of one door serve as the opening to another.
I think you will find having a retreat in which to escape and create,
putting thought into words, will prove equally as pleasing as that received
from the love and devotion you spent in building homes.
Buildings can impress, but words can inspire.
So build your cabin and continue your journey, until the last leaf has fallen."

Yes, 2 months (1/2009) after this was written to me, clearing woods and construction
on my cottage began.  I upgraded from a cabin to a cottage :)

This is his comment on the poem
that I shared yesterday
"The Moment"

"Enjoyed the poem.  So true.  The only thing we own are our memories and even they
often betray us.   I sometimes sit in my great-grandmother's rocking chair, the one she
rocked my mother in as an infant, and I am deafened by the silence of those who have
already passed.  I look at the various items which were a part of their lives and which
their hands touched.  I still think of them as theirs,  I merely their caretaker, till others
come along to fill the position in years to come."

My reply   " You have such a way with words, we are alike in many ways
                     and you are young and I am old."

His reply
made me smile    "You too have a way with words and are much like a poet with your thoughts.
                               Yet, I am not as young, nor you as old as our years would suggest.
                                For in many ways I am much older then many who are my age,
                                while you are much younger then many who are yours"

Thank you
special cousin
your words are a gift to me
I do believe
you are much wiser then you think you are......

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Activity Constant

Recently the young man who cuts the grass
moved my bird feeder.
Wanted it closer to my bedroom window.
Because of some rain the ground was soft enough to dig it up
when it had been in that location for 4 years.
Such a pleasure when sitting at my desk
to view the constant activity.
I might add on this Sunday afternoon at 2:00 it was over
100 degrees on my deck
Hopefully rain expected tonight and cooler tomorrow

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Moment

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the center of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can't breathe.

No, they whisper, You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time,
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round....

~~~Margaret Atwood~~~

This poem speaks
to this "One Woman's Heart"
in a thousand ways.

There is so much I do not know at this time of life,
mostly about health issues and relationships.
I will continue doing all I know to do
about these issues.
One thing I do know is
I have landed in these late years
exactly where I am suppose to be...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Don't Laugh

Someone told me about these gloves.
Looked up on Amazon and ordered a pair.
Small size arrived and
snug but could be a little tighter.

On the nights that my hands ache with arthritis
I will put them on.
If they do not help
they can be used for gardening or warmth in the winter.

Also use Arnica Gel which is excellent
but in recent conversation with my local pharmacist
I asked if there was anything else he would recommend?
He said that a lot of customers shared they liked
"Amish Origins" so ordered that also...

Arthritis pain has arrived, staying
and pleased to find anything over the counter
that helps to relieve pain.

Will add like in the past, my youngest granddaughter
tells me "grandma it could be worse."
I agree...

Computer problem of continually going offline and card in dormant
hopefully will be solved soon with a new Sim card being sent to me.

My computer and I are close friends
and not pleasant to have problems...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Luxury From Nature

Is there anything with a more beautiful scent then
clean sheets hanging in the sunshine all day
and have been blowing in the breeze?
I consider it a gift to me
from nature along with these Phlox
that seem more beautiful this year then in the past.
Some words that caught my attention this early morning
and were transferred to my journal.

"Empty handed I entered this world.
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going
two simple things happening
that got entangled"

"Pursue happiness from inside out
the only way that makes sense"

Kaz Kozan Ichkkyo "Coming, Going"

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Grilled Eggplant Caprese Salad

Every since I cut this recipe out of  "Cooking Light" magazine
have been looking weekly for a small Eggplant.
They are always so big and need the size for just me.

In Nashville the other morning picking up my little girls
and always stop at the Mennonite produce stand.
There it was, just my size, along with fresh tomatoes, peaches,
yellow squash and green beans - I made my purchase.

On hand, olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, fresh mozzarella cheese
and loads of fresh Basil - which I will cut in ribbons.

So this sounds so good and reminds me of an eggplant sandwich enjoyed when my
son was visiting.

I will broil peeled and sliced eggplant in oven (for 10 minutes)  since I returned the grill I thought of  purchasing.
Then will put eggplant, tomatoes, cheese in dish and cover with the olive oil, small amount of
balsamic vinegar, sea salt and cover with my fresh Basil.

Along with the rotisserie chicken purchased yesterday
this sounds like a winner to me for my Sunday meal.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Help For Each Other

Grandma, needed help with weeding a bank
and they wanted to make some spending money.

After shopping for some school uniforms
we started...

They were given gloves,
 grandma's shirts and we began

Many  limbs put on the big
pile that already had been started.
Mulch was unloaded from the truck to the dolly
and bags were placed in different areas of the garden.

Next came the bank that I am not comfortable cleaning
anymore and they filled two wheel barrows full

Thank you
to my youngest granddaughter's.

The youngest kept picking up my cane
and I remarked "I do not like using this"
the older one made the comment
"grandma it could be a lot worse"
and I replied
"I know but still do not like it."

A productive day has ended....

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Kind of Weather

Can you believe
it is going to be 58 in the morning.
I am typing this late Tuesday
and it is now Thursday and another 58 degree morning.

enjoyed the day so much.
Old wheelbarrow filled 3 times
and need to empty into compost pile
A comment made to me in the past
"how do you know what to cut back?"
I have never given that a thought
just prune everything that is overgrown
and it always returns in abundance.

The vine on the post holding the humming bird feeder
is a Cypress Vine.   Some I have heard call it a humming bird vine.

Mine is just now full of buds and volunteers by the hundreds are everywhere
continual pulling them up.

Soon it will look like this
Another volunteer
that returns continually
and the leaves are tipped in red.
A special elderly lady years ago
"Miss Robbye" shared with me
and called it a Summer Poinsettia
These 2 small late blooming plants come up in abundance
this time of year.   Nice as much that brought so much color to my garden
has finished blooming.

Early this Thursday morning
 hear the washing machine going,
filled with sheets and plan on being careful and hanging on line outdoors :)

With a few cooler evenings it is nice to use my oven to bake potatoes.

This is my kind of weather....

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


A call from my son in Thailand this early morning.
His sharing always so interesting and encouraging.

An email from my granddaughter, Sarah
the aspiring chef who is working in Nantucket
again this summer.

I admire her determination as she continues
to follow a dream.
Maybe she will be abroad this winter to experience some
cuisine in other cultures.

Another granddaughter and her special one
 return from their honeymoon
in Italy this week.

Another image just received of my grandson

I think of all of these special ones and smile as
they are experiencing travels that I use to dream about.
Now, this matriarch just wants to stay in her
cottage by the woods and garden.

These are my  3 older grandchildren I share about
at the moment.

My 2 youngest
oh my  I wonder what they will experience in their lifetime.

All in all
life has been so good.
A lot of ups and downs
but I would not be where I am at this moment
if these had not been a part of
my life journey....

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Oh yes
delightful that the
predicted rain arrived late yesterday.
Now not the storms they kept talking about
but wonderful rain.
Could use more on my dry gardens
but anything from Heaven is appreciated.

The humming birds loved it
and as I sat on my small front porch
they were having a time.
Could not use camera fast enough
and at one time saw 6 buzzing around the feeder.

Was able to take an image of 3.

A quick errand to town this morning to purchase some more bags of mulch and some potting soil
that is added to woods dirt when filling pots.

Home and since ground is easy to work with  have dug up several favorite daylillies, split and
moved.  Needed to be done while color is remembered.

So much needs to be done and after lunch and will try to pace myself, stay off the bank where so
many plants need to be dead headed and cut back.  

Seeing some butterflies that I have missed.  They may just like the weather that is being
enjoyed by this one. 

 A unusally cool morning predicted for tomorrow.
and very welcome
if it arrives...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Summer Harvest Beginning

Oh my
this corn looks wonderful
3 dozen to prepare
and have already put 1/2 the watermelon in fridge.
Wish I had twice this
and another freezer/ fridge
in the garage.
I think
do not need this,
do not eat this much
but love Summer time abundance.
My knife needs to be sharpened :)

Favorite picture of my youngest daughter
from last weekend visit.
Wearing mom's

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Busy Morning

Laundry at dawn,  used little racks on deck as line is on a slope and did not feel like being careful
as I approached the line with laundry basket in hand.

 Filled bird feeders, deadheaded some plants and moved a few daylillies (before I forget the color) and then watered.  A sweet wonderful aroma fills the air, almost like someone has sprayed perfume, I believe it is my purple phlox that is in the garden and several other areas.

Living in the country it so welcome when a neighbor brings some fresh green beans, squash and
2 tomato's from her garden.  Then another call that the corn had come in and I will pick up 3 dozen later and cut some off for the freezer plus she has 1/2 watermelon for me.
A good meal in store, the kind I could eat every day.
Green beans, squash, corn, tomato and cucumber salad, tea and corn bread.

I look at this small quantity and have memories of my gardens in the past, the large amount that I picked,  how  freezer was filled and many jars sat in my cupboard.   Oh, how I loved doing this and would look with pleasure and pride
at all the many colorful jars.    Can remember how good the salsa was that I made from my garden
produce and my son would eat a whole jar at a time with his meal.   At the time I had
multiplying onions that came up every year and have not been able to find them for
many years.   All you need is a few and soon you have a bushel full, some to plant for the next year
and many to share.  Have several old recipes shared by some that were unusual.  One would
at the end of the season pick many vegetables and preserve them like you would pickles.
This mixture was delicious and another shared her squash pickle recipe with me.  Remember
these kind ladies in their late years and for many years they have been gone.
Their names come to mind - Miss Susie, Miss Alma, Anna Leigh, Maude, Miss Cora and
Miss Robbye are some of the names.  They were all so good to me and no one like that at this time.
Of course, I am now their age :)

A lot of memories
and it is almost like
watching a movie....

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Continues

Every day for quite a few days has been beautiful,
delightful and perfect weather.
Not to warm of days and cool at night
and this one sometimes puts on long sleeves.

Wrote this post several days ago and now it has
turned super hot again and to continue.   Just watered
as the rain expected never arrived.   The soil in my garden
and the woods seems to dry out quickly.
Think heat has set in and garden losing the beauty of the last few months.

Enjoyed my Jamie and little girls on Sunday.
Amazed at the change in them from month to month
and guess grandma will always refer to them as her little girls
They like to ride in the back of the old pick up and donned my sun hats.
Continual laughter and they are just plain "happy."  Their visits too short and
far between but very aware of their city life with soccer, gymnastics, cheer leading, music
lessons, swimming and friends - their pleasure at this time.
More exciting then hanging out with grandma in the woods...

Jamie, took several bags of herbs back home and is going to share with some friends.
I need to begin freezing herbs by chopping and putting in ice cube trays, cover
with water, freeze and then transfer to bags for the freezer, so easy to season food during the
year with this method.

 Summer is going by so quickly and can hardly believe 1/2 the year is past.  This is very evident
in my garden with day lilies in their last days and many other favorites now gone until
another year.  Phlox are blooming
Can remember 4 o'clocks at a favorite Aunt's and friends home.   Last year some seeds were
shared with me and now have the beginning of this old fashion plant in yellow, white and purple.
They are in front of the only
hollyhock that came up this Spring with
giant leaves and flower about the size of a silver dollar.
It should be reversed.
When I lived in the city home
my daughter who lived in Massachusetts shared some seeds.
Oh my
the flowers were double and gigantic
and not so at this time....

Noticing very few butterflies this year,
a lot is different in nature and will probably continue.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Basil Freezing and Pesto

I love Basil
and the aroma fills this room
as I wash and cut off of stems
in preparation for freezing.
Many mornings planned on doing this
but it never happened.
Will place in ice trays
cover with water
freeze and then pop in plastic freezing bags.

Next I will do Dill, Parsley, Chives, Rosemary and Thyme,
it is so easy to add while cooking.
Sage always last through the Winter months.

This one thinks
she has a frown on her face
as she notices the high priced tiny bags of herbs
at the grocery...

Just made a small container of Pesto.
Oh my
so good.
No Parmesan cheese on hand
used some Bleu cheese,
pine nuts and olive oil.

has she not been doing this
more often ?

Cast Iron Skillet Steak

Rarely eat meat
but have been craving a steak for a long long time.

Read with interest on google how good a steak
taste cooked in an iron skillet instead of on grill.
When in local grocery I spotted a less then 8 oz
Fillet Mignon at a special price and put in my cart.

Now eating my main meal between 1:30 and 2:00
healthy breakfast and snack in the evening.

Took out my very old medium iron skillet, a little oil
and soon it was red hot (turned the fan on so smoke detector would not activate.)
My beautiful small steak had been sitting out of frig for about 10 minutes
so it is not cold.  Used sea salt generously and placed in skillet.

Cooked about 6 minutes on one side and then with tongs turned it over and
continued cooking.  Taking out of pan and put in an oven platter and rubbed
some butter on it and let it sit a little to cool down.  There is enough to 2 more
meals for this one.   Storms moving into my area this afternoon and do not
have to be concerned over "what do I eat."

Oh my
it was so tasty along with potatoes (did not use oven to bake) made mashed,
arugula, with chopped home grown tomato, cucumber and olive oil.
Small can of Le Sueur peas and finished off with a slice of angel food cake
from Trader Joe's (a miniature cake described as the best in the world.)
Steak looks rare in image but it is medium

Sharing  that the grill purchased at Lowe's over the weekend
is being picked up at no charge as they have a truck in this area and I am returning.  Cord will not reach the outlet on porch, instructions say do not use an extension cord
and deck is at 98 yesterday afternoon.   Do not need another
something in this small home, the expense, something to clean and may seldom use.
It is so pretty and if it was a different time in my life - I might keep.

 I share a lot about food and it is a
challenge to cook for one when you always cooked for a big family but
it is growing easier..

Monday, July 7, 2014

Request - Zucchini Bread and Life

Zucchini Bread
This one
who considers herself
well organized finally found her
 original recipe of Zucchini Bread.
Over 40 years old and have shared online
but cannot find post :(

I will retype and post if this cannot be read.
Instead of using 2 large loaf pans I use 3 small loaf pans
and share.   This is so good and wonder how many hundreds of loaves I have made.
A lot of zucchini is chopped, frozen and used during Winter months.

Pulling boxes of recipes and folders off the high shelf
she is once again reminded of a number of unfinished projects.
She needs to organize recipes and finish putting pictures in boxes
to send her children and more.

My mind reminds me continually  of all I have to do, of unfinished projects
and thinks up new projects to help keep her busy.

I wonder
is this what life is suppose to be like
when you are near the finish line....

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Busy Day

6:00 AM
the first Zucchini bread this year in the oven.   Recipe shared so many times in the past and is extra good
with the addition of crushed pineapple.   Half a loaf was consumed along with my yogurt, fruit and green tea - this morning.

On to Lowe's to look at an electric grill.  Years ago there was one on my screen porch.
Wanted gas grill but gas line and small grill close to $500.  This small grill with a bright red top
on sale and $150.   Easily loaded and the young man said "I think you can get it out of your truck."
Arriving home I put the wheel barrow at an angle and was going to pull grill out.    Not a good idea for this one with
balance issue and do not need to climb onto pickup bed.   Family arriving tomorrow and they can unload
to deck or screen porch.   I am not eating as much protein as I need and one of my daughter's has
been suggesting I make this purchase - so much easier then charcoal (which I love).    I now can cook 1/2 chicken, salmon, hamburgers or small steak on this grill.

Unloading this small grill was something I felt uncomfortable doing and in the past it would not have phased me.  Guess the list is growing....
As I was leaving the store
a man came through the door at Lowe's and spoke to me like he knew me.  Had a long white beard and said have not seen you in a while, remember me, Kent White.
His mother in a nursing home and father in his last days.   I listened to him share and did not have the heart
to say "I do not know you."  As I went through the door to my truck he added "nice to see you again "
need to ask my son if this was someone that use to work for our family business :)

A few images of garden from a different angle to share with family and 2 tomato plants in pots
are doing good...
Stopped at Trader Joe's on trip to the big city several days ago and the arugula purchased for my salads
has been the best and so much better then what I buy in my small local town.
Topped with my chicken salad, avocado, tomato, black grapes, walnuts with a dash of
olive oil - super tasty and I like my food better then anything I could purchase in a restaurant.
They were super nice at this store and when I shared I had quite a distance to
drive home they put frozen bottles of water in the grocery bags.  Another purchase
that I can hardly wait to try is Lobster Ravioli...

My day by the woods is ending
have taken down the bird feeders so squirrels do not chew on them and eat the seed :)
They have grown so tame and pay no attention to me when I try and chase them away.

Callie and I inside.

This morning it was 59 degrees and like this several mornings, so delightful
and I must say
"it has been a busy and a very good day."

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Life On The Country Road

A few images from the garden
and I might add that this one never wanted much pink
but seems to have it in abundance...
Nothing new
everything growing.
Day lilies in full bloom and in all their glory
Crepe Myrtles beginning to bloom.
Soon Hydrangea and Cosmos will bloom.

Driving down the winding country road to town
everything is a luscious green because of all the rain.
Corn looks like it is close to 10 feet tall
This image taken 3 or 4 years ago and corn much higher at this time...
Soybeans and
tobacco look so healthy and green, wheat fields look like stubble in the fields where they have been cut and late soybeans have been planted and are beginning to emerge.

Life at the cottage continues at a slower pace but really not much slower but seems
like it is to me as I do not accomplish quite as much.   Miss using the lawn tractor and even
have thoughts of buying another one that is automatic
but when this thought arises  I put in "maybe not a good idea."
Young man comes every 2 weeks and cuts lawn surrounding this cottage
and I really want to do it myself :)

A/C acted up earlier in the week.  Stopped and it was 90 in this cottage but soon was back on.
Nothing the quality of past years and problems with this unit since it was purchased.

Trying to  be on computer less , really nothing new and it is so easy  as time goes by
to just talk about the past and think I have done my share and now trying to not do this.

Humming birds finally looking not so skinny, beetles have returned and do not like it,
miss my vegetable garden but a good idea that I gave it up and will make weekly trips
to Farmers Market for fresh vegetables.

Early this morning a trip to dentist and since I was half way to the big city continued onward.
Needed to replenish a few clothes and my favorite store is  Banana Republic and because
of the 4th of July arriving an excellent sale of all 40% off.
Jamie and family arriving on Sunday, the just married granddaughter is honeymooning in
 Italy - oh my.  Was on my to do list - but never made it :)

Have to share that I now receive the New York Times Sunday paper.   I love it and read over several days.   Must be the best paper in the world.

Quote from Rumni

Run from what is comfortable
Forget safety
Live where you fear to live
I have tried prudent living long enough
From now on I'll be mad....

I smile
because  not this one :)
at present time or ever
and wondered why I found it jotted down among my notes....

Thank you to all who inquired about me.

Much has happened
over a number of weeks
 that sent my emotions on high

A learning experience
and at this late stage of my life
guess I am still learning
and always thought I was a fast learner :)