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, December 31, 2014

The Cardinal And Happy New Year

A comforting thought for cold Winter days
A cardinal is a representation
of a loved one who has passed.
When you see one it means they are visiting you.
They usually show up when you most need them or miss them.
They also make an appearance during times of celebration
as well as despair.
to let you know they will always be with you.
Look for them
they will appear....


As we begin a new year may it be
with thankfulness and peace.
May we put painful memories to rest,
except the upcoming year
with challenges it will bring,
reach out in love
to all that cross our path and
accept the love that surrounds us.

May we each be
Happy, Well, Safe and at Peace.....

Monday, December 29, 2014

Healing Baths

The bath salts my son sent to me were from Amazon. Cannot read the package as  part of it Japanese and part Chinese. I am still doing research on bath salts from Japan .
Would like them from this particular place but so far unable to contact them. Have used Google also with no results. If one who is more computer knowledgable then this one can do this, please let me know....
All I know at the moment  is these bath salts have been helpful and have used them twice.  Personally would not use over 2 or 3 times a week. Will see if  they continue to be help full. Sure is nice to be pain free and sleep well. Hope it continues :)

Unrivaled Waters

Spring Water Quality

Kusatsu Hot Springs: The Very Definition of Quality Stating the facts as they are… spring quality we are proud of.
Due to its naturally flowing strong acidic water, there are many anecdotes that tell the story of one of Japan's prominent spas.
Here is a look at its quality. As evidenced by the common expression "Kusatsu yoi toko, ichido wa o-ide" (Come to Kusatsu once in your life, since it's such a wonderful place.), there are reasons why it is revered as a famous spa.

Strong acidity: the key to its renowned antibacterial powers

In only ten days, a 6-inch nail left in the hot spring is reduced to a mere skeletal shard (as seen in the photo on the right). A 1-yen coin (made of aluminum) would dissolve without any trace in only a week. The secret to Kusatsu Onsen's sterilizing powers is its strong acidity.
Experiments have proven e-coli bacteria cannot survive for even one minute in Kusatsu's spring waters, and virtually all other bacteria and fungi are unable to proliferate and soon die. This is why these waters are reputed to have beneficial, therapeutic affects. A good hot spring is like a good doctor. Kusatsu Onsen is proud of its century long reputation that "it can cure any ailment except heartache."

Main contents

Acidic spring water containing sulfur, aluminum sulfate and chloride

Main therapeutic benefits

Relief of neuralgia, muscular and arthritic pain, skin ailments, stiff shoulders, bruises, sprains, chronic fatigue, chronic women's diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries; promotion of general health and convalescence, etc.

Specially chosen bathtub materials

The yubatake is the symbol of Kusatsu. Here, hot water from the spring's origin gushes down wooden channels made from five-centimeter thick pinewood still containing large amounts of resin. Fine quality pinewood or Japanese cypress rich in resin is the optimum choice of material to continuously withstand acidic spring water. This is why many inns still have old, wooden bathtubs made of similar materials. Thus, the quality of Kusatsu's spring water also serves to create a typically rustic hot spring atmosphere.

Water Output: A Completely Natural Flow

Kusatsu Onsen boasts the largest natural output of any hot spring in Japan.
Trails of steam seen rising into the air all over the town enhance any traveler's experience.
Let's take a look at this incredible amount of water that enables the continuous flow of the natural hot spring.
Kusatsu Onsen is rightfully proud of both the quality and quantity of its waters.

Unmatched Quality and Quantity

In Kusatsu, more than 32,000 liters of spring water gush out every minute – the equivalent of some 230,000 barrels per day. The spring's source is Mt. Shirane, an active volcano. This makes it possible for all Japanese style inns, hotels and spa facilities in Kusatsu Onsen to continuously provide their guests with spring water that doesn't need to be reheated, diluted or otherwise adjusted. This lavish amount of water allows visitors to have a luxuriously sensational experience.

Output of Major Hot Spring Sources (from the Kusatsu Tourism Directory)

Name of spring sourceOutput

Fruits of the plentiful waters

Yubatake – "a field of hot water" – is the symbol of Kusatsu. Here, something called yu-no-hana (literally "sulfur flowers" or mineral salts) is formed when the massive quantities of spring water are exposed to the air. This natural bath salt is removed from wooden tubs four times a year while the water flow is temporarily halted. Carefully removed by hand, the bath salts are packaged in cone-shaped containers, whose annual production totals only seven to eight thousand. Visitors who purchase them can enjoy the fruits of this plentiful, precious hot spring at home.
The Yukawa River

More than just a hot spring for bathing

The hot springs in Kusatsu are put to various uses. In order to lower the temperature of the scalding hot Bandai hot spring to a temperature suited to bathing without diluting the water, a heat exchanger is used to pour cold tap water on the pipe through which the spring water flows. The tap water, which rises in temperature during the process, is then used to melt snow on roads and is supplied as hot water to Japanese style inns and private homes. Another example is spring water that flows into the Yukawa River, which is neutralized with natural coal to maintain an environment suitable for fish. These are all facets of Kusatsu's philosophy of "onsenism," principles to maintain the quality of our

Copyright (C) 2013 KUSATSU-ONSEN All RightsReserved.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


Checking in and will share a little and more later.

A wonderful holiday time with some of family
and my cakes sent to daughter in Tampa
arrived safely :)

My son introduced me to bath salts from Japan
and they may replace medication I have been taking for aches and pain.
Oh my
what an experience with 20 minutes of soaking
resulting in a no pain night and slept like someone taking a sleeping pill (which I never do.)
Kusatsu Onsen - oh my would like to visit.

Sale purchase, always after Christmas at 75% off.
Paper Whites with such a heavenly scent.

Fridge emptied of so much
but enough left for my evening stir fry
simple and so good
After 60 years of baking and using a small hand mixer
I used a gift card
and this is on the way from Amazon.
Almost feel guilty with the purchase - but I smile..
Will end with an image of last night
Will be back
to share more

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wishing You Merry Christmas

A warm morning
with showers.

My world by the edge of the woods
is very still as I wait for darkness to end.

Thanking each of my special online friends
for your friendship, special friendships
that just seem to appear are a gift to me
at this time of life as so many are no longer here
my special children and grandchildren for
the joy they bring me.

We all have so many blessings,
 may we always focus on them
and grow from those things
that seem to sadden us.

This year seems to have gone by so quickly
and a new one will soon begin.

For this one
every day is precious...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Far Over The Ocean

Christmas in Bangkok
Part of letter sent to me

Today went to visit with my friend Monk Frank at the home of Ajahn Sumano. Ajahn Sumano is a Theravadan Forest monk from the states who has written several great Dharma books and lived in this cave for 25 years meditating and writing - now he is in his 70's and lives in a hut near the entrance to the cave. Ajahn Sumano is also a student of the late Ajahn Chah - a very famous Thai forest monk and author of some incredible books which I read over and over....... Monk Frank ( also from the states ) brought his 93 yr old mother along for the afternoon of meditation and Dharma talks led by Ajahn Sumano. The 2 ladies, Pop and Por, are two of my yoga friends who came along - my language teacher June also came along. I have visited Monk Frank and Ajahn Sumano many it was cool and breezy and people were burning leaves nearby so very relaxing as we sat outside under a shelter in a very rural area.......also much food was brought......


Special son
missing you
but when family is gathered
I always set a place for you
and visualize you there among us...

 By tomorrow will have baked 7 Rum Cakes and 6 loaves of Cranberry Orange bread.

So weary 

 Signing off...


Found this little sign yesterday
and also lucky to finally find boxes
to send some baking items to Florida.

Wish this sign
 was metal,
will nail on tree by woods
as you pull down long gravel drive.
Maybe it will
 last until little girls visit on
Christmas Eve.

Painful nights continue
and feel better if I keep moving
and a busy day of baking continues. 

Later in the day
will enjoy reading the New York Times
Sunday paper....

Friday, December 19, 2014

New Recipe

Cranberries so good for you
never used in the past except during Christmas.
Now using in a number of recipes
including on my once a week
 flax seed waffle with maple syrup.

Seasonal and lower price at this time and am putting
in the freezer along with last summers blueberries and strawberries.

Cranberry Orange Pound Cake
made several hours ago
on this cloudy morning....

Baking, cooling and glazed.
Recipe by Chef in Training,

Good, but thought comes to mind
that I have so many great, much used recipes collected for 50 years
need to stop adding more to my file.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Nothing The Same - But That's Alright

In past years there was everything on hand
special containers and huge assortment of paper and ribbon
for wrapping.
No longer so over the last couple of years.
Amazon and gift cards easier for this one and now not much of that.
The baking of these 2 cakes was a thought that surfaced
and not on hand what I would have had in the past to wrap them.
Usually just share on plate wrapped with foil
but these cakes needed to be packed a little more secure.
Wish I had Christmas shopping bags to put them in
but all is fine.
I checked on line ( to see if you keep them in the freezer ) and the wonderful thing about these Rum cakes
is that they will last for months just covered or in frig and they are super moist.

They are on plate, doily, cardboard insert in center opening keeps foil from sticking to cake,
covered with foil, then some wrapping paper and I had large zip lock bags
to put them in.   Do keep zip lock bags on hand in every size and this super size
is great for large items.

Sky, thank you again for the paper roll idea and I unrolled some paper toweling for the
cardboard insert.
Balisha, next time out and about will pick up a large roll of cellophane :)

I still love to bake, a lot to clean up and seems it is relaxing to me at this time.
Watch very little television, just news and it is depressing but need to know if I am still
on the planet.   Need to start reading more as books are piled everywhere....

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


These 2 smaller stem pans were purchased
many years ago and have not used them for
20 years.

A normal size stem pan recipe
makes 2 smaller cakes.

Took out of oven, cooling and inverted
to continue cooling
was so pleased after so many years
all is fine.
Now soaking up
butter, sugar and rum sauce
and a sprinkling of powdered sugar
Maybe more powdered sugar
after totally cool.
Will place on a red plate
with doily underneath
and now
the question is
how do I wrap them
to deliver tomorrow ?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

This Morning

Much loved, trusty old truck serviced and has been almost a year.
All is well except hose for window washer fluid plugged, hose good and in time will check it out.
Shared years ago how I bought this truck from a dealer I called in Nashville.  Shared exactly what
I wanted, no extras, my color, medium size and could not drive to big city.  Received call
and truck information was shared with me and told they would bring it to me with someone
following to witness sale and take driver back to big city.  Another conversation to be sure
they were bringing what I wanted.   Oh my, exactly my truck and on sale since end of year.
It was purchased and pleased every since except for 2 years it was given to my son for his
mechanic to drive (since I was in the city and did not need a truck) and at this time would have half the miles if I had kept it.

Next to bank to cash the really big check of $22.90 from my insurance company which stated
since I had all of my insurance with them and no wrecks for almost 40 years
this was a gift to me.   First time I ever received such a gift and probably is about .60 cents a year
for me :)   Thankful I am - also for the big $10 increase in my SS.   Another mistake because divorce never entered this ones mind, one check was written for 18 years in husbands name when I ran the financial end of business.   Remember sitting at that desk many hours over the years and even
worked from the hospital bed when my son was born.  Remember the nurse asking "why is an adding machine and checkbook being brought to you when you just gave birth to a baby :)
Loyal I was...

Next to Walmart for a few items and they did not have the suet for birds that I wanted.  What they had was too expensive and I can buy at farm store for much less.
Used my $5 coupon for lotion I like.  
Thrifty I am.
Also purchased some Rye grass seed to spread on areas that might wash in the next months.

Several times a year I stop at the pizza place.  It was almost noon and the weekly buffet has
excellent vegetarian pizza.  Always $5.99  in the past for all you can eat and I put 3 or 4 slices in a box.
Told it went up $2.00 at the cashiers and after warming when I returned home noticed no mushrooms like
in the past and something new had been added black beans.  It was still tasty but missed
the mushrooms.   Everything changing - even my pizza...

I wonder many times why I share, just like writing and family knows about my interesting probably is boring and repeating myself a lot lately
but will just keep writing.

The days by the woods continue to be cloudy, damp and cold.  Sun where are you?

My Beth sent this to me
and said it reminded her of me
and so right she is.
This is my home
and Peace resides here...

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Blessing This Early Morning

At dawn they arrive
2 trucks and 4 men.
I thought maybe a pick up truck
owner and helper
and was certainly wrong.

They cleaned gutters, burned huge brush pile,
surrounding cottage lawn and garden has been blown clean,
nailed up my Woodhaven sign that had come loose,
turned over bird bath so it would not freeze and
even took some things out of my car that were to
heavy for me to lift.

I will start having them next Spring to cut grass and mulch.

So many years I have done most of this and no longer am able.

Mornings I still pick up limbs, use blower and tidy all I can
and using a school boy occasionally is just not getting all done.

It was so reasonable and will not post cost.
They were doing so much, so fast I was getting uncomfortable
with what it might cost.

Never have I said this to someone in the past "is that enough"
but that is what I said and he replied yes
and have a Merry Christmas...

They must have been Angels....

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Easy, Quick and Tasty

Easy Clam Chowder
yesterday and will finish today
so good.

Chopped onion, celery and potatoes cooked

Add to 1 can of Clam Chowder
1 can of chopped clams, used a little liquid

Simmer altogether with a cup of half and half
or little more

ending with a splash of Sherry
and topping with crumbled bacon, cheese
and Parsley and Chives
still thriving in garden.

Wondered about adding a touch of hot sauce,
know my son would :)
as he adds to everything.

Next will try a seafood chowder
adding shrimp, oysters and cod.
My favorite
lobster not readily available

I made enough for 2 days
so good with some Gouda cheese crackers
I found at market.

 I may
make again and
add more of everything and serve
when family visits.

Thankful that I like my food more then eating out,
still love to cook and enjoy taking a recipe and changing.

reading one of your entries
thank you for reminding me of
my favorite chowder.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Less Is Alright As Time Changes

In years past
really big tree
decorations and
flowers everywhere.
Wreath on the door
and outdoor lights.

A little less for the last
couple of years.
No help available
and much in storage room
not able to bring downstairs.

Was disappointed that I could
not take wreaths down from high
wall in garage.
I tried :(

But that's alright
as this little guy
sits by the side door
on the screen porch
where most visiting
make an entrance.

does not seem to bother me
this year.
In fact seems kind of nice...

Made another Rum cake this morning
and 2 more cakes to be made
over the weekend...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

From My Little Corner Of The World

I looked back to see what was going on about a year ago.
Seems much looks the same.
Thinking of all special friends during this holiday season.
Potato soup is simmering, going out to get the mail
on this cold and windy day.
When days are cold
there are times
I sit in this chair
looking out the window at my bird feeders
and sometimes I feel the warmth of the sun.

Thinking of all of my special online friends
on this day,  you will never know how special you are to me
 with your visits
and comments.

Some times I have the thought
"what would I do with out  you,
my computer, camera and Miss Callie.
You have become a big part of my world
during these Winter Months.

Winter months bring time for reflection,
 deep thoughts and needed rest.
But cannot deny that I miss being outdoors
doing all the things I love to do.

So happy that tomorrow the days will begin
to be a little longer each day.

Today a special brunch with special friends
and their must have been 10 decorated Christmas trees.
The food was tremendous with 16 attending
and I always pick up a new recipe
this time for
a fruit compote that I will duplicate for
visiting family on Christmas Eve.

This family so special to me and always include me like I was part of their family.
One of the reasons I returned to the woods.
The oldest Delphe came in from Florida yesterday.
Hip replacement 4 months ago and 89 years old.
Lorene is 86 and cares for bedridden husband of 90 - around the clock.
They are amazing.....
Then this one
in these last of the 70 years...

Wishing you an Early Merry Christmas
and soon to arrive
the best New Year ever.

From One Woman
who lives at the edge of the woods...

Friday, December 5, 2014

A December Morning

Cold and light rain continues.

Polar Shift is playing on the Bose
A number of years since I played this relaxing music
purchased almost 40 years ago on a trip to Gatlinburg, Tn.
Checked Amazon to see if it is still available
so old - it is now used for a penny...

Inside the DVD
these words

"May this continent, the last
explored by humankind, be the
first one to be spared
by humankind."~~Jacques Yves Cousteau, 1973~~"

View from kitchen window
garden asleep under a blanket of leaves
Collard greens soaking
and ready to cook
must have something green to eat
and burned out on Kale and Broccoli.
Will top with chopped bacon and hard boiled egg.
pumpkin bread
with cranberries, walnuts and raisins.

Trying to stay off of computer
It is so easy to become addicted
to something
which is not operating like it has in the past.

Once you begin
takes a while
but finally nice to be disciplined :)