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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Special Poem - Written on a Leaf....

So impressed
with this poem on a leaf
by my youngest granddaughter

we'll be an angel and fly away....

I called Jamie and asked
"who wrote this poem
she said my
Amelia did."

So was not going to post today
but was so touched by this poem
I had to share.

I told her
when I die
and my ashes are sprinkled
in these woods
I want this poem read...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Rum Cake - Looks Good

The old recipe is pulled out of file
and probably been over 20 years since I made it.

50 year old stem pan is prepared
Cake looks good
and always concerned if they will slide out of pan when inverted
and no problem
looking good.

Sugar, water, butter is boiled for 5 minutes
stirring continually,
take off burner and add Rum.
Pour on cake after many holes are punched in cake
Finished product
and it looks good.
I am tempted to try
but if I do
might eat the whole cake...
This is a copy of the old recipe
close to 50 years old
I remember
that many years ago
when children were small and all home
I would use Rum flavoring
when making this cake.

Sure hope this is as good as I remember...

There was a small bottle of Bacardi Rum in the cupboard
planned on putting in tea at times
so used that.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Lost Art

An all day soft rain
not much accomplished
recipes still piled on table
boxes of pictures I am sorting for children
are still sitting here.
Since Thanksgiving around the corner
I will try to hide them somewhere
until family leaves.

I have always like to iron on a rainy day
went up to the loft and into storage room
and brought ironing board into guest bedroom.
Ironed for several hours
pillow cases, table clothes (does anyone use them anymore besides me? :)
blouses and a cotton night gown - a lot still left.

I may be the only one
left on the planet that likes to iron.

Early in the morning
turkey out of freezer
and make corn bread for dressing (not stuffing but corn bread in this cottage)
Need to pick a bouquet of my Sage.
Tuesday will make a rum cake
and have not made it in years.
My recipe is yellow with age and I wrote at the bottom "so good."
Wednesday will make pumpkin pie and a pecan pie (with choclate chips for Jamie)
Set table, platters, pans I use on counter and have everything ready for me to begin cooking at dawn on Thanksgiving.

I like my New York Times that I received on Sunday morning for 1/2 price,
always look forward to it
and this morning some was missing (disappointing) and
will have to call local delivery person in the morning.

Day ending
and do not like it getting dark so early...

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Welcome Arrival

The mailman is coming down the long gravel drive,
Callie is barking
and I have the thought
maybe several books I ordered are arriving.

There here :)

New book by Mary Oliver that has just been released
"Blue Horses"

A book I read about
and this one is putting among
her favorites on the table.

A book for my grown children....
for them to read the words
whenever they visit
my words to each of them.
Heart felt words
and beautiful pictures.

Wherever You Are
my love will find you
by "Nancy Tillman"

A reasonably nice day
and so nice to be a little warmer,
trip to market this morning,
post office and gas in car
and will have to make one more trip before Thanksgiving
for a few items to be fresh.

My 2:00 meal finished
and going to sit down in my favorite chair
and read...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


It isn't your job to make everyone
feel comfortable with your emotional process.
Nevertheless its up to you
to ask yourself the tough questions
so you can gain clarity about
the next chapter of your life.

~~Joseph Campbell~

I learned about Joseph Campbell from Cate at
Mentioned this writer to my son
and he told me he had some of his books in his library upstairs in this cottage :)

Vegetable soup simmering with
 roast from the freezer
leftover from my Beth's birthday dinner.

Will be good on this frigid day.

Rosemary resting on screen porch
instead of in
the blowing wind
on terrace...

Looks as though
the Christmas Cactus
will bloom in several weeks :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Early Morning Thoughts

As this small book is once again picked up
I note the little slips of paper sticking out of various pages
marking special words.

The thought arises
that I am making progress in many ways
but will never arrive where the desire of my heart is.

This one will just keep searching, going forward, one day at a time
and more answers will come but there may not be enough time...

From the book
"The Art of Stillness"
~~Pico Iyer~~

"I find that stillness within, that deep sense of peace that I crave every day.
It is though I find a piece of me that I had lost without really knowing I had lost it."

After living a number of life styles, this one has found it in this rural setting by the woods, a small cottage she built
at age 75.

"Researchers in the new field of interruption science have found it takes an average
of twenty-five minutes to recover from a phone call.  Yet such interruptions come
every eleven minutes - which means we're never caught with with our lives."

"So much of our lives takes place in our heads - in memory or imagination, in speculation
or interpretation - that sometimes I feel that I can best change my life by changing the way
I look at it.  America's wisest psychologist, William James, reminded us,
"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."

I find it difficult at times to choose another thought...

"It matters not where or how far you travel - the farther
commonly the worse - but how much alive you are."

15 degrees on my deck
do not like the cold as it chills me to the bone.
Warming trend beginning tomorrow...

Monday, November 17, 2014


It is beginning to snow
not much expected
but the beginning of a few very cold days
has arrived.
Yesterday made potato soup, cornbread and another apple upside down cake.

Corn bread in small cast iron skillet that was my grandmother's.  Now pretty
good at making 1/2 recipe and it came out of skillet perfectly.
A lot of projects that I started and never finished will be going on today.
Continual problems with computer and Verizon has sent me a new Sim card
and representative will call this afternoon and hopefully it will be better.
A big part of my problem is living in a rural area and using a air card.

New book arrived that is by my chair
"The Art of Stillness"
adventures in going nowhere.
by Pico Iyer
Sounds like this one :)

A day in a cottage by the woods

Friday, November 14, 2014

Too Soon

Yes, too soon for these flowers
but they are a gift yearly
from a friend who has a nursery
by her property.
Usually receive about Thanksgiving
but a lot going on in her life at this time
being home bound with a husband who is bedridden.
She picked them up early because she was
told that nursery would have none in another week.

Where to put them in this small cottage
a problem, but they went up on the loft
and when my 2 youngest daughter's with families
arrive for Thanksgiving dinner they can take their flower.

Early Christmas on the loft at Woodhaven

The green plants that I have had for years
 came in from my screen porch and they always do well during the winter months
on the loft area.

I no longer put up a Christmas tree and just a few special holiday items are put out.
These flowers look so pretty
I think I will take my lunch up to the loft, eat
and look out the big window at the cold wind blowing...

Inside for several days and a lot accomplished that has been neglected
during the beautiful days I stayed outside in the garden.

A plus
because of strong winds
most of leaves have blown away.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Early morning
Callie taken to be clipped and bathed
while it is still warm.  Someone very close does this for me 3 times a year.
She was beginning to shed and now she is ready for Winter months.

School boy helper arrived
and a lot done in 2 hours.
This is all I can hold out with me working with him
at a fast pace.  So pleased I found him during the summer.

Separated 6 sections off of my beautiful Aster
and replanted in other areas.
This plant has traveled with me for many years
and have shared with countless people.

It grows all summer and looks like a medium size bush
and when it blooms (the last flower of the year)
it is a beautiful purple.

Then up the gravel drive to clip on some more bushes,
moved a section of fence, raked leaves and blower needs
a new battery which should arrive tomorrow.
Some wooden chairs and tables put in out of the weather.
Garage vacuumed and while some of this was going on
I lit the fire pit as it was full, no wind and will not burn it
when I am here alone.   I continually am putting small sticks
and  branches in it.  Will have to fill again before my little girls
arrive on Thanksgiving as they like to sit by the fire.

2 hours have gone by and as my helper left
I put some chicken in a baking dish for lunch.
Smells so good and copied the recipe from somewhere online.

Preheat oven to 375
Chicken in Pyrex dish
and cover with plain yogurt, some Parmesan cheese, garlic power,
seasoning salt and pepper. 

I always keep pieces of chicken in freezer for easy meals.
Usually use for my chicken salad.

Was really upset
could not find my keys and need to start wearing them on a chain around my neck.
Finally found them and then could not find
a wonderful poker with carved wooden handle that was made for me
by a friend almost 40 years ago
thern I found it where I had been raking :)

Parsley, chives, sage, rosemary and thyme still looks hardy
and wish I had picked a bouquet of my basil before the frost
took it, but do have a lot in the freezer.
My rosemary of 4 years did not make it last winter and
purchased a new plant in the Spring that has been in a pot and just
placed on screened in porch - smells so good..

So a busy morning and it is 1:30
going to eat and wait for the rain that is soon to arrive...

A lot accomplished...

Checking In

A quick post as days are filled with busyness.
This may be the last really nice day before cold weather predicted arrives.

On computer this morning
"Like cold water to a weary soul
is good news from a distant land"  Proverbs 25:25
The words that greeted me
reminded me of emails from my son
which always are uplifting.'

Long list is rapidly being completed

Yesterday - cleaned drains with baking soda, vinegar and hot water
                    changed heat/air filters
                    cut back more plants and my trusty friend the leaf blower is wonderful
                    shut vents under cottage

A quick lunch at 1:30 which is now my main meal
of salmon croquettes, my turnip greens, black eyed peas, mashed potatoes, corn bread and from the
freezer the last piece of carrot cake from by birthday :)
This early morning
chores continue at a rapid pace and continually am reminded of my son's words to me
"pace yourself and rest more."
It will come after today and looking forward to being inside to finish many ongoing
Still need to have trusty truck serviced...

Thanksgiving around the corner and will be good to see most of family.
So happy my granddaughter Sarah,  the chef :) is working in Nashville and so
pleased is her mom.   Hope this turns out to be something permanent
and would be so nice to have her live nearby as she has been working in
New York in the winter and Nantucket in the spring and summer.

A continual joy is seeing the Orchid my granddaughter sent me for my birthday.
I have good luck with these plants and they bloom on for months.
Jessica, again
grandma says thank you
and enjoy your new job of teaching...
My day begins
and will check in later....

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Chinese Poetry

When I first started writing
my son sent me a poem.
A poem I could relate to
and love.
I began searching his books
as he was out of the country
to see where it came from.

I posted
and it is somewhere on past posts.

"Five T'ang Poets"    translated by David Young

After a night of rain
I go out, wearing clogs

wrapped in an old overcoat
against the spring cold

water pours white
through the open dikes

peach blossom glow red
beyond the willows

fields of new grass spread away
edged and checkered

poles rise from the wells
at the wood's edge

I go back in
to write at my small desk

evening arrives, I'm alone
happy among the green weeds.

My favorite book
"The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse"
by Red Pine

here are some more on my table

"Mountain Home
The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China"
 translated by David Hinton

"The Selected Poems of Po Chu-1
translated by David Hinton

"Five T'ang Poets"
translated by David Young

"A Drifting Boat - Chinese Zen Poetry"
Edited by J.P. Seaton and Dennis Maloney

I find it amazing that these poems
have been translated.

I would never have suspected that in my
later years that I would be drawn to this type of poetry.
This one knows the answer
the words describe a simpler lifestyle
then I have known in the past
which at this time of my life
I am focusing on.

There are many more among his collection of books
but these are some of my favorites
and I have ordered copies for myself
so I can mark and date...

All books available from Amazon

I Never Noticed

Yes, so close
and I never noticed
this beautiful work of art
right outside my window.
The rain has ended
and so delightful it was
just a slow rain all day yesterday.
Now sun and wind and
as the leaves are blown off of the trees
some is revealed
that stayed hidden.

This nest so close to where I often sit
and I wonder why birds were not noticed
at this nest.

Yesterday once again picked up my Chinese poetry books.
It took me over 70 years to discover
these simple and peaceful poems that have been translated.

At the present time I have about 5 and was introduced to them
by finding about a dozen among my son's books.
I have enjoyed going through his many books stored in this cottage
as he lives part time in Thailand.

These poems were translated by an award winning translator
Red Pine

Poems from The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse
written by Stonehouse who was born in 1272.
He was a fourteenth century monk who became a hermit
at the age of 40.

"the body lasts about as long as a bubble
may as well let it go
things don't often go as we wish
who can step back doesn't worry
we blossom and fade like flowers
we gather and part like clouds.
I stopped thinking about the world a long time ago
relaxing all day in a teetering hut"

"I saw through my worldly concerns of the past
I enjoy old age and enjoy being free
rope shoes a bamboo staff the last month of spring
paper curtains, bamboo blossoms and daybreak dreams
freedom from worry and care is my practice
last night what the pine wind roared
that was a language the deaf can't hear"

Just a sample of these peaceful poems...

Time to turn the computer off
day is flying by
and up since 4:30

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cranberries Arrived

Cranberries arrived at the market
and this early morning
baked my apple upside down cake
with an addition of cranberries
to the apples and walnuts.

Looks good
and will have some with tea for breakfast.

A light rain fell all night
and predicted for today.

So my tulips and crocus all nestled in their pots
have a good start.

An inside day today
and all is well....

I have to add
all of my online friends
are the best in the world.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What Do You Do

What do you do
when you are deeply burdened
and sad.

I pray, meditate, exercise, walk
and stay busy.

This morning going over floors, furniture
and will plant the tulips that have been on my
to do list way too long
and take a long walk.
A warmer day today
but rain coming in tomorrow and
cooler rest of week.

So much has happened over the last weeks.
Several deaths of some I felt close too,
health issues with some
that over the years wished the relationship was different
but never changed,
other issues ongoing for weeks
and will probably continue.

Being a mother
I stay concerned over some of my children
and issues they have to deal with at this time.

I continue to pray continually,
and sometimes have to be silent
when I disagree with some that is happening.

At a different stage of life
I was in control of most in my life  and those close to me.
Spoke with authority and was listened too
and now time has changed that.

I need to listen, be silent more and when asked
for my opinion
but only when I am asked.

This one started out years ago
with the thought that my marriage, children, grandchildren,
business involvement
and all would be like a fairy tale
if I tried with all my heart, was a good daughter, wife, mother, friend
and when I was aware of a mistake
corrected it.

Guess living a real life
is not that way...

But when I silence myself,
 listen to my heart
and not the words of my mind
that rambles on
I am fully aware
of my many blessings.

Monday, November 3, 2014


Early this morning
at dawn
spotted a coyote
in front field

Callie stay safe

Saturday, November 1, 2014


One chocolate sheet cake
my Beth requested
 is cooling
one end
no walnuts
as one young granddaughter requested.
Always so good
and made more times then I can remember.

From The Nashville Cook Book
dated 1976.

Do believe
I sent a copy of this book
to my oldest daughter

Remember to turn your clocks back.

No extra hour of sleep
for this one
as she will just be getting up
an hour earlier :)