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 28, 2014

Chinese Poetry

Always one who loved books and enjoys reading.

But never in my lifetime
until recently
did I read Chinese poetry.
If anyone had mentioned it to me
I would have replied
"not interested."
Never in anyway have I related to Chinese culture.

What has happened over the last 6 years
I find such peace reading and can relate
to much these poems share.

They share of  those who want
a simpler lifestyle.
This one started on this journey years ago

A journey I began and still on that journey
and most likely will never arrive.
Seems I started with a lot baggage, emotional
 and things
from other lifestyles.

These poems share of those who go into
the isolated beautiful mountains and live so simply.

Over a number of weeks, in the evening I pick up
a new book I recently ordered
"The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse"  translation by Red Pine.

Page after page is underlined and when I read of their simple lifestyles
it seems in my heart I relate and it is like a blanket of peace has dropped over me.

I thank my son for introducing me to this type of poetry.  Years ago and now
he sometimes sends his mama a special poem and I would look up to see where
it came from. Sometime I would find it among his collection of Chinese poetry books.
  I began to go through his books here in this cottage 5 years ago
"he has quite a library"   and discovered many Chinese Poetry books.
Reading them always has been enjoyable to me.

Also, this would never have happened if my son had not moved part of the year
to Thailand, writes me weekly such incredible emails that encourage me
as I continue to learn at this late stage of life
Also his belongings are in this cottage in his room.

Over the last years I have ordered some of the books for my own library  but included in the
stacks of favorite books by my reading chair are many of his books.

In these last years
there have been so many
One of them acquiring a computer in my 70's,
writing a journal and that I am drawn too
Chinese Poetry....

"Advancing or retiring grasping or letting go
people all have their own ways
Heaven and Earth let me be lazy
profit and fame put others to work
gulls sleep on piers with their backs to the sun
swallows build nests above house beams
misled by passion distracted by things
they remain unaware of the Master of Emptiness"

and I wish for this :)

"Now that I am old nothing disturbs me
I'm asleep on my cot before the sun sets
dreaming and wondering who I am
until the new moon lights the peach blossoms

After meditation I chant a Cold Mountain Poem
after dinner I brew grain-rain tea
and when some feeling lingers I can't express
I take a basket across the ridge and gather vine flowers"

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Flax seed waffles
with maple syrup
green tea
A candle burning
a good way to begin another beautiful day....

Friday, September 26, 2014

She Said

Yes, the cashier said  "you did good"
Morning errands and a stop a Lowe's
in my pocket a coupon that if I spent $50
I would get $10 off :)
So there were a few things I needed
and purchased a few items I was thinking of.

5 bags of River Gravel to put around the burning pit
and maybe it will eliminate the grass that constantly
grows between concrete stepping stones.
Less expensive then pouring concrete
like originally planned.
Notice that my high school helper
sure did make a perfect circle...
When my little girls visit
now that Fall has arrived
we will cook marshmallows..

It seems whenever I plant tulips that the squirrels eat them
and they do not last long.
Planning on planting some in pots this year.
So purchased yellow and red tulips and some purple crocus.

Bought some stick on hooks for closet and kitchen,
a garden spray that is the good kind and hopefully will eliminate
some of the pest on my much loved turnip greens.
Then I spotted something I had not seen before for my garage opener
that is now squeaking.  I had read "do not use silicone" and this was not silicone.

I was adding in my head my purchases and spotted a Wood Wash by Liquid Gold.
Their polish is used on the old old furniture and might try this.

The thought arises that I have probably spent $49.98 and coupon not good.

Surprise, it rang us $50.49 and the young woman smiled and said " you did good"
and I smiled also.

So now lunchtime
made tuna salad yesterday and will finish today.
Bought some fresh red and green lettuce and oh how I wish they would not saturate
it with water.   Even after spinning and drying it deteriates fast and I do not eat a lot
of lettuce.  Bought a small tomato and I do not like to buy tomato's as I never have
as they were always growing and I was sharing.   I surely miss my small garden and
vow next year no matter how I feel a small garden will be planted.....

Enough shared of my early morning visit to the local city
yesterday morning.

I am so sorry if what I shared yesterday upset anyone.
I do not discuss a lot of issues
but found this interesting and felt so sorry for this young man.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mornings With Tolstoy

Something that I am reading
my daughter sent to me
it speaks to me
and maybe you

After reading who this is coming from
I have nothing ever to complain about....

I read day 1, day 2 and day 3
pull them up
if you like....

I was reminded of Tolstoy
after reading these words and was going to order
the book
"A Calendar of Wisdom"
from Amazon

and then remembered:)  it is on my bookshelf

My book dated
almost 10 years ago
and time to read these meaningful daily thoughts once again....

Like most of my books
it is underlined on many pages.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Finally and Company

Yes finally able to pick a small serving of my turnip greens,
served with sliced hard boiled egg and crisp bacon crumbled on top.
Corn bread coming out of oven.
So Good...

I would not buy at the market
as they are the size of your hand or bigger.
Like to pick when they are not much  bigger
then a silver dollar and I can pick enough for one.
  Did buy some very small
turnips as mine will not be ready for weeks.

Over the weekend
my daughter, soninlaw and grandson
made a visit and so good to see them.
Standing in a small area in the woods
that I am clearing and calling it
my son's park...
Was just not up to driving to the big city
and attending my soninlaws parents 60th anniversary.
Pictures sent to me of my youngest daughter, young granddaughter's and grandson's
attendance there.

I have so many blessings
and did something yesterday that kept me awake all night.
Unloading groceries in an area I usually do not use
and looked up and there was stood an unfamiliar young man and Callie had not even barked.
He needed work
and I told him to return this morning.
He did, I worked with him
and am ashamed of myself for being judgemental.
My middle daughter knew I was using this person
and could not reach me by phone as I did not realize it was off.
So she sent the sheriff
who quickly scolded me for using someone I did not know to help me.
The world is not like it used to be
and usually am very careful.
Glad he pulled up as the young man was leaving
and who knows the impact it may have had on him.
I surely paid for my mistake with a sleepless night.

We did accomplish a lot this morning
and so good to have some of my usual energy restored
and it might be in part to the cooler weather.
 I worked with him and was very tired when he left.

May I in the future
use the wisdom
I know I possess....

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

So True

Throughout life, the mind evolves by interacting and learning.
Your thinking actually decides your age better than your biological age
and it wouldn't be wrong to say that
aging really, is a state of mind.....

something I read from a special person - Suranga
on her site Gappa -

And another one

We are what we think
All that we are arises with our thoughts.....

Thursday, September 18, 2014


doors and windows opened
delightful cool air,
the scent is in air
 of tobacco burning
in the barns.

In the oven

a cheesecake baking
and zucchini bread
is cooling
Now clean up time
and late breakfast

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cheese Cake

A recipe in my file for close to 40 years
and have not made in years.
and making this afternoon....

Reminded of this recipe last week
that is in my old recipe book of over 40 years old.
A friend shared a piece of this the other day, something she baked
and this was it :)  
Tasty and so simple

1 stick of margarine melted
2 eggs
1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix

Mix and pour into buttered 9 x 13 pan

Mix  2 eggs
8 oz of softened cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 box confectionery sugar

Spread on top of first mixture
bake 325 degrees
for 45 minutes until golden brown

Tomorrow making Zucchini bread.
Something sweet on hand
for my daughter's visit
to go with tea, coffee or my favorite

Of course there is always something sweet baked
just for this one :)

Another beautiful day
50 degrees at the moment at dawn
and going to about 72.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's Alright

Cool weather arrived quickly
and seems I cannot stay warm.
Putting sweater's
and warmer garden clothes
on shelf.

Weather forecast
Sunny and maybe a shower.
Some washed and put outside to dry
and here comes the shower
and it is alright with me
as they are garden clothes.
I look at them and realize
some of these tops are close to 10 years old
and does not matter if some have holes :)
 they are still my favorite.

One I am sharing my Sunday New York Times with
arrived this morning and brought these pumpkins.
Will pass on to my little girls when they visit sometime soon.
These images taken at her farm
last year.
A busy one
and supplies me with her handmade soap.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Oh yes
today was a delightful day.
Dawn not quite 50 degrees
and  temptation resisted all day to turn on heat.
At this time
it is 70 in the cottage.

Has been a long time since I could spend the day outside.
It was such a joy.
Careful was I and so thankful.

Weeded, trimmed, dead headed and walked a little ways in the woods.
With some recent showers
everything is still a beautiful green.

Yesterday, woods were bush hogged.  Doing this every Spring and Fall.
Surroundings look like a park except for soon to be cut dried corn field in front.
I will miss it until something is once again planted.
Wish it would be Winter wheat as the fields would have the appearance of a lawn.
If it is Soybeans then I will look at corn stubble's all Winter
which the deer and squirrels will like.

Pruned pear tree that was planted last year.  Last year it surprised me with a dozen pears.
Did not think it had any this year but I saw 2.
Waiting for a sack full to make the over 100 year old pear preserve recipe I have that
my mother gave me years ago.
Pear preserves are my favorite
Who but this one
would delight so
in a pear - the second one half rotten and thrown away :)

Look forward to my oldest daughter being with me for a short stay
this weekend (wish it were longer) but she will return next month
for what they call a special day.
My special grandson and son in law
will pick her up.
Will be so pleased to see them....

At the moment
Life is so Good....

Friday, September 12, 2014

September News - Some Of It

Wish I was there - Koi Samui, Thailand - can't you kidnap me and take your mama :)
My recently married granddaughter
has traded her days
from a busy New York cubicle
for the classroom.
In training for teaching at a private school in New York.
This has so many wonderful  lifetime rewards
from being a part of children's education, watching them develop
and just a little less stressful then a busy New York world career...
So happy for her
 and a thought does anyone do cursive writing anymore?

My youngest granddaughter has just started a creative writing practice
and will be so exciting to see her progress and subjects she decides to write about.
This is  the one at such a young age has always had a way with words:)
Her latest when my daughter called " this little one said "can I stay home from school today
and be your slave" - oh my is that what you call it when helping mom :)

For years I have wanted Cosmos
and never could get them to grow.
Some shared with me in the Spring
and look at this
and other Fall blooms.

I never wanted many
pink flowers in my garden,
guess it is better then nothing at this time of the year...

News this last week
another young granddaughter
fractured her ankle during a soccer game.
Wearing a boot that you pump up
and since she is young and healthy
quick healing thoughts from grandma.....

on this morning
it is 60 degrees
my kind of weather
and windows are open :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Favorite Sunday Spot

Surrounded by papers (local and New York Times) scissors handy to clip articles and I spend a lot of the day
reading of new books, movies, special words and on this day an article on a simple cottage in the Adirondacks, N.Y. was interesting and reminded me of the simplicity in my life at this time.
Really always my favorite spot for reading, computer and watching morning weather prediction.

Lunch, corn beef, Swiss cheese sandwich on rye bread and pairing of Bokchoy with
onion, red peppers simmered with a dash of olive oil.

Corn beef and Swiss purchased recently as memories surfaced of many trips taking my mother
to the doctor.  She always called it her day.     We always stopped at a wonderful Jewish Deli in Nashville where they served
this sandwich, Matzo ball chicken soup (which I have never been able to duplicate) and many other wonderful dishes and had a case filled with homemade bread
and deserts.  We always took quite a selection home.
This deli is long gone and I still miss it.   Small family owned and operated.

A good day is ending.....

Saturday, September 6, 2014


We are not the same person
this year as last;
nor are those we love.
It is a happy chance
if we
changing, continue to love
a changed person.

~William Somerset Maugham~

What makes old age hard
to bear is not the failing
of ones facilities, mental
and physical, but the burden
of one's memories

~~William Somerset Maugham~

Friday, September 5, 2014

Good, Healthy and Simple To Make

Made these Breakfast Cookies
last weekend
and they are so good.
Will be great  an addition at breakfast, with coffee,
tea, a glass of milk or just as a healthy snack.
 This one always takes a snack in the car when going to town
and I do not like the protein bars at the grocery store
they are usually so hard and these are soft.

Homemade Breakfast Cookies

2 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/4 cup honey  or   maple syrup
2 mashed bananas
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of raisins or dried cranberries ( I used a mixture of both)
1/4 cup of chocolate chips ( I did not use and may next time)

Mix all ingredients together ( I just mixed in large bowl with spoon)   Drop onto cookie sheet and flatten tops slightly
(cookies do not rise or spread when they bake)

Bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 16 minutes or until slightly browned.
Cool completely and store in airtight container or freeze in a freezer bag.

I made 14 and may make a little smaller next time

Also may add a few chopped apricots or flax seeds

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

These Words I Just Read

A good way to end the day

are these words my daughter

just posted

about my youngest granddaughter..

I smile

This Day

White beans with carrots, celery, onions, chopped chicken, chicken broth,  chili's and a dash of Turmeric

The local market is starting to carry a lot of different items.  Bought yesterday
and so good
Asiago Facaccia bread
Time for lunch....

Monday, September 1, 2014

Now And Then

Now and then
everything changes
Labor Day activities
for my 2 youngest grandchildren
A good day
Middle daughter, my Beth made a visit.
and now for this one...
image courtesy of Cate @