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

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Last Day of October

Another month ends
At the edge of the woods
it is windy, rainy and cold.

Cleaning in the kitchen in progress
Organizing spice drawer
and cleaning cabinets.
want to make sure all is on hand for holiday cooking
Early morning made another apple upside down cake
with an addition of walnuts and when cranberries are available will add them also.

So much beauty as I glance out of every window.  Truly believe this year
has topped them all
Roses blow in the wind
and with hard freeze tonight
the blooms will be gone until next Spring.

Another birthday dinner on Sunday
for my Beth and pleased her daughter
my granddaughter Sarah is home from Nantucket.
Beth requested her favorite
a chocolate sheet cake
and it will be baked tomorrow.
As I dust this morning and it is not my favorite past time
I pick up this picture of my Beth on the left and my Laurie on the right
and memories surface.
With Halloween being celebrated tonight
reminded my Jamie to make sure my 2 youngest granddaughter's are dressed warm.

Yesterday a busy
day with the end of cleaning outside.
Much clipped, pulled up, compost area filled
and a truck load of rubbish
this one took away.

Time for lunch
and so pleased I made chili yesterday.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Special Words

The prayer flags I ordered just arrived.
Flags in the past were longer
and had totally worn out
from blowing in the wind.

I like the way they look in the woods
and wish these were longer.
I like seeing them blow in the wind
and the words
Peace, Happiness, Courage, Love, Tranquility and Wisdom
seem to bring this one a sense of peace.

Viewing the blanket of  leaves that surround this cottage
in no way
do you think of raking.
I seem to take pleasure
in seeing them this year.
Remind me of a blanket covering the earth
and all the flowers I have planted.

A blowing wind
will take care of a lot of them....

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Carving and Words

Three of my granddaughter's carving pumpkins
and this scene seems like yesterday
Some words I underlined
in the New York Times yesterday
made me smile

"Old Masters"
After 80 some people don't retire, They reign...

One at 84 replied " I'm in complete denial which I think is useful."

another "I think I'm freer now, I think I am better.  It's crazy
As it goes downhill, I'm getting up."

another, experiments have shown that mental attitudes might revere some of the
ravages of old age.

Some positive statements
that this one likes
and thinks the same way
as she just keeps going onward....

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Day In My Life....

A beautiful view
out of every window
this early morning.
and now time for
Callie, watches me
and time for breakfast.
On to Butternut Squash soup, pierced squash with an ice pick and baked
for an hour :)  Then something I was told about and wonder why I did
not think of it.   For years have made pineapple upside down cakes
today used sliced apples with a sprinkling of cinnamon and next
time which will probably be next week will add more apples
then the 2 suggested.
Burned all the brush stacked 3 foot high in burning pit
and a lot was done outside.
But did not tackle the big brush pile - need someone here with me...
Winter wheat planted and soon front field will look like a green lawn
A beautiful day has ended and this one is weary....

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Soups, Kahlua and My Day

I did not grow up enjoying Pumpkin or Butternut Squash soup.
Introduced to me in my later years.

In fact the first time I tasted Pumpkin soup was in Jamaica
many years ago.   I remember asking the waiter what kind of soup it was
as it was so tasty.  When returning home I started making it.

Butternut squash soup
started making this a few years ago.

They are both so tasty, healthy and easy.
Only problem with the Butternut squash is
it is difficult for me to cut.
Cut in half and bake in oven before scooping out the flesh.

I usually add chopped carrots, onions, celery, thyme to both
and as long as my parsley holds out
I sprinkle some on top.

Pumpkin soup taste just as good to me and easy with canned pumpkin puree
unless a pumpkin is on hand.

This time of the year
I can eat soup every day for my main meal
and at this time of life all recipes are reduced
except sweets :)

potato soup with chopped broccoli and bacon on top.
 and recently reminded of
something I had not made in quite a while.  Pea salad and had all of the ingredients on hand.
Small can of LeSuer peas, some chopped celery, onion, pickle, cheese, green pepper,
2 hard boiled eggs and enough Hellman's mayo to be pleasing and since I was
going to make pimento cheese and had a jar of pimento on hand I just sprinkled some of that on top.
The same friend that reminded me of the pea salad reminded me also of a cake
I had tried in the past, had the recipe but never made.
Oh my - Kahlua chocolate cake, now that I have purchased some Kahlua
I am to to make soon but in the meantime using this special drink on vanilla ice cream
and can use in coffee.  With a dry mouth from Scjogrens Syndrome I cannot
drink an occasional glass of wine but this treat does not bother me.
There is a lot happening lately that is keeping me unsettltled and seems it helps
when I write, walk, cook and iron.
Getting ready to walk and then starch and iron a 1/2 dozen
Now Saturday morning and a lovely weekend for the forcast
and plan on being quiet and enjoying my nature surroundings.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Heavy Frost and Remembering a Special Friend

Heavy frost yesterday and I finished bringing plants
inside off of the screen porch.
They are safely on the upstairs loft.
I told myself last Spring that this Fall
I would have someone carry them up the many steps for me
as they are heavy - no one available and I was
3 plants that are very old, like old friends
 and have been transported from a number of homes,
a bogonia, rabbits foot fern and a red shamrock.
2 succulants that were at the base of an orchid I bought
and decided to transplant into their own pots.
They were not even planted just sitting in the pot
do not know how they continued to survive. 
But this sale orchid was just purchased about a month ago,
I guess showing they do not need much moisture
and now pleased I took everything out of pot and rearranged.

Christmas cactus will bloom at just the right time
This container is one of my favorite colors,
held lovely flowers from my son
and decided to put a candle in it.
Preparing for colder weather
and now forecast
is for 70's for a week.
now I can do some outside cleaning
in the garden...

A call last night that brought back so many memories and so much sadness
a special friend had passed away.

Someone that helped me for years beyond what would a real estate person would normally do for you.  His daughter Kay worked with him
and I always left their presence feeling uplifted and reassured that there are some
really sincere, good, honest and helpful people out there.
It may seem strange to say
but they always left me feeling special and loved....
All I created was special to me, I was ready to go forward but in some ways it was sad.

God Bless You
you will be truly missed....

and Kay thinking and remembering you in a special way....

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Now that I am free to be myself, who am I?
Can't fly, can't run, and see how slowly I walk.
Well, I think I can read books,
   "What's that you're doing?"
the green headed fly shouts as it buzzes past,
I close the book.
Well, I can write down words, like these, softly,
"What's that your doing?" whispers the wind, pausing
in a heap just outside the window.

Give me a little time, I say back to it staring, silver face,.
It doesn't happen all of a sudden, you know.

"Doesn't it? says the wind, and breaks open, releasing
distillation of blue iris.

And my heart panics not to be as I long to be,
the empty, waiting, pure, speechless receptacle.

Blue Iris by Mary Oliver

A chilly day here by the woods
a chill that seems to penetrate my body.
reminding me that Winter is not far away.
Not much accomplished
mind blank a lot of the day.
In the afternoon I pick up my Mary Oliver books
poem after poem is underlined
and little papers sticking out of the pages
pointing to poems that speak to my heart.

As I read
this one is touched with sadness
seems I relate to much on these written pages.

I am not really sad
just not pleased
that I never arrived, never accomplished
and never understood
so much I have wanted in these last years
and I guess
I have expected too much of myself.

Peace and answers to some questions
just seemed to never arrive
guess I know the answer
really quite simple
but why do I continue to question
and not accept
because much in my life I did my way
and a lot I had no control over.

But so grateful for what has transpired over this lifetime
just seems
I longed for so much more,
probably more then most people
and realize I am different from most
thinking too deeply
even though I try to live in the moment.

So at this moment
I will stop typing
and go and pet Callie
she is always the same,
 always welcomes me,
expects so little.

On a lighter note
I brought in the hummingbird feeders
washed and put them away until next Spring.
Have not seen them for 5 days at this time
and frost due in the morning...


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

With A Glance

with a glance
this one could pick
out her special son
(on bottom)

Never would I have imagined
a few years ago
with him living across the street
from me
in the big city
that in the near future
 he would be living in Thailand
part of the year and teaching.

Also that one granddaughter working in a busy
office in New York would trade that job
for teaching special children in a school
in New York.

Another granddaughter has arrived nearby
to be with her mom (my daughter) for a while.
She changed from wanting to play her french horn
in symphony's to pursue her love of cooking.
Home from Cape Cod to return in the Spring
unless something else opens up.

Callie seems to have recovered :)

I have not been eating very well, taking care of her
and not up to cooking.
Kept thinking of a meatloaf and smelled so good in the kitchen as it was cooking.
Yes,  today made a small meatloaf, my turnip greens and turnips
and mashed potatoes - good comfort food and can eat on it for
several days.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October Continues, Finder, Keeper and Callie

Ground is covered with acorns...
I spotted a bluebird yesterday
best shot I could get
An article read in New York Times
this afternoon.
I found interesting and will share.

"it's the things you come across,
not the things you buy, that
can carry the deepest imprints.."

Brought to mind a number of small, no value items
that I have found over the years that are in this home and bring back special memories...

Interesting - if you care to read about it
go to
you can download a sticker of where book is coming from.
I have so many books that may come off of my shelves
and may leave some of them in different places.
Will be interesting to see where they wind up.

Callie, is a little better and would only eat when I feed her by hand.
Today she ate a slice of ham out of her bowl and loves a bowl of milk.
Not the healthiest diet but at least she is eating something.
Refuses everything but this ham, offered her some scrambled egg
this morning and she turned her head.
Her liquid antibiotic - the syringe fell apart - I put in a spoon, open her mouth
and it it goes - with my thought - hope she does not decide to close her mouth
and take my fingers or part of hand.
So will see what tomorrow brings.
She is drinking water and took a short walk with me today.

The last few nights really cold to this one
in high 30's to low 40's.
In the past cold weather never bothered me.
Last night - long underwear (which I never thought I would wear to sleep in ;)
sure felt good...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Humming birds still at feeders and keeping fresh sugar water available for them.
Lawn is covered with leaves and I can remember living in the city
almost picking up every leaf as they fell.
Not anymore
I like the way they look and have discovered with a few windy days
a lot blow away and also excellent mulch for my perennials.
The ground is covered with acorns and being careful that one does not make me trip.
Also use to cut back all plants and now do some but leave many
as it seems the birds find something to nibble on in the Winter months
and I like the way they look as they glisten with ice and covered with snow.
Soon will separate perennials and plant along the woods path.

Time for hot water bottle at end of bed
do not like a heating pad - as it is drying.
Time to use down comforter and not just turn down like months past.
Time for Rum in my hot tea and turning on
gas logs - oh how I wish they were real logs burning like in past years.
Time for homemade soups, chili and getting out the small crock pot.
Time to read more of favorite books and not buy anymore.
Need to plant some tulips in pots
and will not put in the ground for squirrels to eat.

Soon will bring plants inside from screen porch and sometimes it is  almost November
Soon will start putting suet cakes out for the birds - still too warm.

And I might add.

Nothing is made like in years past....
going to 50 this night
and heating unit will not come on
nothing but problems with it since installed
5 years ago.   H/A man arriving in the morning
to see if some critter built a nest in it.

Update on Callie.
Vet thinks she ate something in the woods.
Liver inflammed, she has a fever, given a shot
 and I am giving her an antibiotic.
Hopefully she is soon her normal self and well.

Well aware that this one has much to be thankful for.
My life journey has been full of ups and downs,
never dull, filled with many creations
and so many blessings.

Following my son's advice
need to lower my standards in this cottage and flower beds
and relax more.
Trying to do this and
aging will probably make this happen

Seems I hardly ever sit down
always something to do....

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

White Chocolate Cake With White Chocolate Icing

A slice of this cake was recently brought to me by a special person.
Oh my, so good and I immediately called for the recipe.
For family visits dark chocolate cakes always are made
and now I am going to add this one.

White Chocolate Cake

3 oz. white choc. squares chopped
2 tbs whipping cream
1 box super moist white cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

bake according to cake instructions.

3 oz white choc. squares
3 tbsp whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
2 cups of powdered sugar

Can add chopped walnuts on top
but I think I will leave plain.

Going to make as a sheet cake   -   and I did
and in the future try a layered cake

Hope I have good luck...  turned out good....

May make this for my  birthday cake - soon.

and I did

My girls do not bake cakes like their mom :)
and I do not want a store bought cake.

I am still the fussy one....

Monday, October 13, 2014

Oh My

Sent to me and I needed this.....

"It does not matter how crazy life is these days,
since it seems you can still make the sweetest lemon meringue pie
out of the sourest lemons available.
You are capable of manifesting the beautiful visions in  your dreams
if you are handed the right ingredients.
Don't be distracted by the vagaries of the moment.
Keep your eyes on the prize
for the best results."

Once again
just me and Miss Callie
and she is not eating her dog food
but will eat a little chicken left over from Sunday dinner.
Rabbi shot tomorrow
and Vet will look at her :(
Hopefully my little rescue dog that I have had for 5 years is fine.

Last Saturday
all the smoke alarms went off - there was not a problem in this cottage.
My daughter able to take 2 down (so glad she was here with me)
but one the ceiling was too high for her to reach.
They would not stop their noise
and was put outside in a vehicle
and still sounding off.
Electrician replaced them early this morning
said this rarely happens....

Ordered a small truck load of large rock this morning
 to put in an area that is forming a ditch with so much rain.
Truck got stuck in the mud but was pulled out by company that sent him.
My school boy helper - moved some gravel into ditch
and eventually will have to have someone with a tractor blade
move the remainder.

My helper continued with picking up limbs and several other chores.
A lot accomplished in 2 hours.

This one was going to rest today
but up since 4:30 AM
going nonstop.
A lot accomplished.

At the moment I have stopped.....
This one has a habit she is trying to stop.
Seems I cannot rest as long as there is something to do.

Storms due tonight
and hopefully they miss my cottage by the woods.

Check Facebook once a week
to see what is going on in family
and saw this
mom with her Jamie :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

A New Chapter Is Beginning

It continues to rain daily in my area
ground saturated and so muddy
for this one to be outside and cleaning garden.

Humming birds are still visiting the feeders daily.
My granddaughter spotted them at the feeder from
my bedroom window and made the comment
"they sure are fat."   I smile as I share they are
eating a lot in preparation for the long journey.

Some hang around a long time
I noticed in the past.
Seeing - Rufus and Red throated at the feeders.

I was going to have some outside help with her visit
and even several projects inside but it never happened
just enjoyed talking and listen to her.
She is so wise for one so young and I smile when she
said "grandma you do not seem like your age"
and I replied that's the number but not my spirit...

White Chocolate Cake is going to be baked to go along
with a carrot cake for family visit this weekend.
Daughter arriving in hours from Tampa :)
so happy to have her with me....

Continually writing down words that speak to me
and most of the time do not note where they came from.
Reading some books on aging to see if I am different
from many - same in some ways and different in many.

The spirit and the flesh are certainly different when it comes
to this one "the spirit seems to think it can do anything and still makes long lists
but the body cannot do some on this list."    I have thoughts lately of what else
could I do to this cottage that I would enjoy.
I truly thought in this simpler home
I would never have thoughts of doing anything more
then gardening, reading, writing and enjoying all nature has to offer.

This mind seldom slows down.
A long time ago
someone shared with me that when they had thoughts like
this - it bothered them when they could not do them.

I am not like that
as I can plan it all in my mind
and this is what I enjoy
it does not have to materilize....

With a creative past it starts dreaming - goes like this - I could glass in the screen porch
with big windows that can be opened in the summer so I can enjoy it in the Winter.
Also, I could enclose part of the deck - make a sun room with a small wood burning stove
(but I truly cannot handle the wood anymore like I did in the past.)
So many plants and here I am trying to have less and it will soon look like the woods inside this
home.      Thoughts continue, I should have made the
garage bigger instead of for one car - but then cottage would have been bigger because of room
upstairs and did not want more room - the goal was something small.    Thought of building small outbuilding for garden items
and truck which I do not like sitting out in bad weather - but every one's vehicle sits outside
in the rural area and it truly does not matter at this time of life "but I love my truck :)  Then the long gravel drive -  all of those bigger homes through the years had concrete or blacktop
but this drive is 4 or 5 times longer.  Would be nice for when I walk so I do not stumble on a big rock
or hole in the grass beside it.   Really budget should not do any of these things - need to watch
everything in case I live a long time and need more help with just day to day simple things.  Stupid thought - if I get that bad
I do not need to be here.   Family busy and I do not need to be a burden.
I am ready to go - at peace - but still want to be here a while to see how my granchildrens
lives develop - they are all so smart - these are this grandma's thoughts.
Guess little by little I will continue to clean the woods around me.  Cut down anything I can and open up
more space where I can see activity in the woods.  Put up more bird feeders and as I separate
perennials put them in the woods.

It is very apparent
I am becoming different
but remain the same
in so many ways.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Some Special Days

From my son far over the ocean

From my oldest recently married granddaughter
14 blooms and 4 buds
From a special niece in Michigan
Grandma and her 2 youngest
grandchildren.  They spent the night with
me last night, a bad storm, no electricity
but were still here...

A dozen cards on my table

So much love shown me this day
and continues through the weekend

Guess this happens
when on this day
October 9
you were born to your teenage mother
at your grandmother's home,
weighing in at a little over 4 lbs.

Been a life of many chapters
21 years with your parents
22 years of marriage
that produced 4 wonderful children and 5 grandchildren
and included one little blond headed girl that came along with her father.
Now seemingly it seems
the rest of those years you
were on your own....
for this one who turned 80 today.

Will keep sharing and writing
until everyone gets bored with me....

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Special Gift

A busy day
grass finally cut
2 small trees cut down
need more sun in the garden.

My granddaughter and I are pulling out of drive
to pick up a pizza
and notice a special friend by her car.
She tells me that she has put several items
on the screen porch for me.

It is October
and look at these Iris.
I have never heard of these plants
that bloom several times a year.
Look at the color of one of them,
they are magnificent and did not
plan on planting anything else in this small garden.
But may :)

How beautiful this is
and a piece of 2 different cakes
that are new to me.
A blueberry and chocolate
and must have the recipes.

An enjoyable day
and Polly you made it even more special.

Thank You
Dear Friend....

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall Has Arrived To The Woods and Life Is Good

The weather seems to escalate between very cool to very warm
and still some blooms
Humming Birds still at feeders and I am keeping the feeders full.
Not to good an image because as I stand by the door trying to catch them
they are wise, notice me and fly away.
I like good bread and cannot find in this local town.  This morning on trip
to market discovered something new that is being carried.  A flat bread
from Canada.   So tasty, a piece pulled off, warmed, dipped in some
warm olive oil - and so good.
Day is ending, a day full of surprises, one - everything I lost on
computer has miraculously reappeared.
Stopping at a yard sale of one who I have never seen without a smile
on her face "my Lucy" - spotted 2 pillows with bird images on them
and asked "how much" and she replied "take them, they are yours"
I immediately replied "let me pay you"   and she said
"no way."

I Am Still Here

As of yesterday
new modem installed
and back on line.

Love my isolated life
writing, reading, gardening,
and my computer.

this area does not supply
the connections for my computer
that a big city

A busy week with children and grandchildren
A birthday week :)
and I have the thought
they arrive quicker then in years past
and not many left
so better treat each and every
day in a special way.

After meltdown from many hours of
finding computer problem
it was good to "just be"

The thought kept arising
"I am truly addicted to my computer"

Plan on writing less
and hope I can do it.

Thanks to all for contacting me

You are all so special to this one....

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Computer Problem

I have lost all of my favorite list
where I list blogs
I communicate with.

Worked on it all afternoon.
It restores
and then disappears.

So as I received comments
will reenter.

My daughter's to help
but one coming Saturday
and another one
a week from Sunday.

The computer is my main line of communication
with so many.

Do not like this....

Reflections On My Gardening Life

A very inexpensive used book ordered
do not even remember how I came upon it.
 Pleasantly surprised I could relate
to so much shared in this book.
A lot of pleasure I gained
and reminders of the past.

A lot underlined and will share some (and posted a few of my thoughts)

~~~~I have no memory of my mother or grandmothers without a garden.

         My garden not at all like most gardens,  not planted in even rows,
         like nice neat little girl's should be, but all mixed together,
         making a lot of brilliant colors when they are in bloom.

         Like to think this is how my children will remember me,
         that I created an impressive but simple naturalistic habitat. (these are my words)

         I need to withdraw into the world of nature to replenish myself,
         but not to remain for too long.   (now it is never too long for this one )

         Need to take meticulous care of myself these dark, difficult days. (oh yes)

          I vowed never to be made miserable again by any kind of dominating or,
          for that matter, any other brand of difficult love.  (I was a slow learner)

          glittering in the sunlight, after frozen rain has transformed familiar
          surroundings  into a shimmering silvery place.

          Over my woods fence everything is dense, tangled, riotous,
          and wild brances of dying trees.

          "In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through man, in spite of
            of real sorrows, there I feel nothing can befall me, no disgrace,
           or calamity that nature cannot repair" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

            An old bird feeder that was once in my grandmother's garden is now in my
            cutting garden   ( I have my mother's bird feeder that is outside
            my bedroom window)

Have shared so much
and this is last

           The regimen of working in the garden in the early a.m. is thrilling,
            to begin and end the daylight hours like that.
             I'm doing more good gardening because I have more
            energy in the early a.m.   It almost seems like stolen time,
            private and pure time
            certainly a gift to myself.  (at this time of life the early morning
                                                          is my high energy time )

I know their are many other's that love to garden, like Lorraine, Balisha
 and this one.  Who can
relate to the words I have shared.

Words from
"Four Tenths of an Acre"
by..Laurie Lisle

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


A recent comment about my images
sent me on some word searching
and I discovered it describes this one
almost to perfection.
Memories surface of a now deceased and special
 decorator friend
who constantly referred to me
as having eclectic taste.
I have always like all kinds of things
but drawn to the old, with character and flaws.
as time when on in my lifetime.

Never heard the word before :)
or if I did
I forgot.
Humbly and honestly admit,
it is a new word to me.

The art of imperfection,
the Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi offers an inspiring new way to look at our whole life.

 I am surrounded by wabi-sabi as
everything in this cottage is full of imperfections,
there is nothing new that surrounds me, old, scarred
and full of memories.
 As I glance out the window
at the old scared trees standing and many on the ground
I see beauty.

I love driving down the country roads and seeing the old
barns, now almost paint bare and leaning and I wonder
about the stories they could tell.

This word also describes "this one."
and guess that is why I am living in the perfect place
at this time of my life.
I can remember 40 years ago viewing my old farm house
that needed so much repair but I in an instant fell in love with it,
 fence surrounding it that was falling down and the massive
old trees in the yard.
Some looked at me and shook their head
when I made the remark
that I felt like I had come home....

A short time of my life years ago was lived in more perfection
of the world and I was miserable, it was not me
and no more...

Words in part as I did research on the meaning of this word.

"it takes a mind quiet enough to appreciate muted beauty, courage
not to fear bareness, willingness to accept things as they are.

 it depends on the ability to slow down, to shift balance
from doing to being and to appreciate rather than perfecting"

I like this word
but still working on the slowing down and doing
to being and to appreciate rather than perfecting.

I might
this word describes my son
and also a dear nephew who is restoring his grandfather's
home and filling it with items of the past with meaning.
It will be almost like a museum.  This one has helped
me immensely with completing a file on the past
of grandparents and great grandparents from my mother
and father's side.