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, January 30, 2015

Years Ago and A Memory Of My Mother

All through my mother's lifetime
she made the best slaw.
Can remember her holding a head or 1/2 of cabbage
always using a hand grader.
I could never quite master doing this,
even if I cut a smaller wedge of cabbage
could not hold it correctly.
My grader in image
I have had for many years.
My small Cuisinart chopper
is perfect for me in so many ways
and use many times a week.
Also several small tools I use for grading.

Main difference between my mother's slaw and mine
is my addition of small amount of red cabbage and green peppers.

This morning as I was making this slaw my mother came so vividly to my mind and
realized that she will be gone 15 years in a few days.
She passed away at 82 a few days before her 83rd birthday.

Miss her....

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Callie and Look What I Found

No sleep last night
and when I got back up at 3:30
thought I would let Callie out.
Looked in the utility room across her little gate
and she was not there.
I called for her
went outside and she came running.
The screen door on the screen porch
had been torn badly.
Never before have I done this
guess I let her out last night
and forgot to bring her in :(
A 40 degree night
Callie I am so sorry.

Yogurt, banana and tea for breakfast
and when I go off line
will scramble an egg and have toast and tea.

Filled bird feeders
had not been done in 5 days
and look what I found.
I feel better if I keep moving
and have always been like this.
Know I will crash after lunch
and mail pickup.

Continual connection problems with Verizon
but just not up to spending hours online and phone with them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Two Busy Days

Errands finally finished.
As time is going by (rapidly) your favorite doctor of years has retired.
Moving you change doctors again
and finally you find the right one that sends you a letter that she
is no longer using your insurance.
So made a visit to  meet another one this morning
and it will not be the one.   Much has changed
and will not go into it at this time.
Will say that my past has been with doctors who knew me, my family
and they were friends - now it is - what's is your problem, your treated and that is it.

Restocked pantry, freezer and so good to arrive home.
Purchased a frozen
 bag containing, Sesame Chicken from P.F. Changs.
Do not know if this is local or nationwide.
A favorite eating place in Nashville.  I like Chinese food
but can only tolerate occasionally.

Quickly warmed my meal, stove top in large nonstick skillet.
Stated it was 2 servings
Cooked only 1/3 as I eat small portions and this was way too much.
Half way through cooking added some mushrooms and a side of rice that was on hand.
Looked so pretty in my plate
I took its picture.

Have tried much that is available at the grocery in the frozen section and like none of it.
In the past would keep something like this on hand for busy times that I did not feel like
cooking and finally stopped.
This Chinese dish was tasty and will see how my stomach tolerates it :) (stomach did not like
I add this several hours later : )

I eat very little bread, do not like from freezer, no longer bake my own,
but occasionally like a slice toasted with breakfast or toasted and topped with my
pimento cheese or special fruit jam.    My daughter Laurie reminded of Ezekiel bread and it came to
mind that I use to buy this bread, it is in the health food freezer section, so good, a hearty healthy bread.
Bought a loaf of the sprouted whole grain and enjoyed it so much yesterday morning.
When I want a slice can take it out of freezer and this will last me for months.
Miss the bread from the bakery in the big city, Tuscany bread and maybe soon I can
make a trip and have that available in freezer.

Spent a sleepless night and restless day or two
worrying about family in N.Y. and Washington
pertaining to weather
but all turned out well.
Also my chef granddaughter fell on ice
2 days ago
and fractured her elbow.
Lucky it was her left arm.
the special young woman that I share my
N.Y. times with
came by and told me her husband
will have open heart surgery next week :)

Wish I did not worry so about so much
 I have no control over.
On second thought
at this time
all I have control over
is - me.
Keeps me in constant prayer
and thankfulness..

but the wonderful Sun is shining...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Last Week of January

A bitter cold, windy, cloudy day begins.
Need to run errands
but not out of anything but bananas
and will wait another day.

Bright sun was shining yesterday
even though cold.
Now this one never stops
always tidying and cleaning
but why is it when that bright sun
comes through the windows
you see
dirty windows
 fridge needs deep cleaning
and dust everywhere.
I really do not know anyone else
at this time of life
that is constantly doing what I do.
My daughter called this morning
I shared this
and she commented
you see a lot that other's do not see :)
or ignore....

Spring cleaning in the past took
a week. 
Maybe a room a day.
Now it takes months
but only doing this a few hours every day.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Please Pray For Balisha - Pat

Online friends become so special to us.
Most of the time we never meet
but read and share comments
 from our hearts.

My computer and writing opened up
a new world for this one
8 years ago.

Balisha has been waiting to know exactly what is going on
with her body.
This morning she shared
it is ovarian cancer.

So sad
I am for her.

I might add that I will not disappear
and if I can no longer post on my journal
one of my children
will let you know why.

Please pray for this special friend.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Friday On A Rural Road

A special neighbor came by early this morning
to pick up New York Times
she brought me 1 dozen of her fresh eggs.
Will use for baking.
They are almost too pretty to use :)
and they will be delivered weekly.
These will be a treat for my son when he visits soon.

Could not resist this Hyacinth plant at the grocery last week
finally blooming.
The scent is heavenly.
you are not far away :)

Breakfast - coconut yogurt, blueberries, 1/2 banana, apricots, plums, dates and sunflower seeds.
white tea and a shot of pineapple juice (a Dr. Oz recommendation)

Simmering for lunch - Chili
End of the day as I look out the front window
They are eating the wheat :(
and I might add that just getting up I am greeted with snow on the ground
the first. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Movie and Blueberry Bread

Rejoined Net flex for the next month of not being outside.
Seldom find a movie that holds me spell bound.
My son
said I might like this 2014 movie
The Hundred-Foot Journey.

I loved it, but then I love cook (have always wanted to chop like a chef), scenery from Italy was beautiful (where I always wanted to visit)
and have an aspiring chef in the family - my granddaughter Sarah.
I found it
so wonderful to sit still for 2 hours
which I seldom do :)

Shared with me in the past
and made this morning
with my new Kitchen Aid Mixer

So tasty
but is crumbling
and think next time I will put in 3 of my loaf pans.
Also, I rinsed blueberries and they may have been still damp
when I put in batter at the end - next time will dry them real good.

Blueberry Bread with Lemon Glaze

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 and 1/2 c flour
1 and 1/2 t. baking powder
1 and 1/2 t salt
1 and 3/4 c blueberries tossed in 1 t. flour and 2 t. sugar - I  used 2 cups of blueberries
and add a handful of cranberries


2 cups powdered sugar
2 t lemon juice
2 t. heavy cream
1 t. softened butter

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine butter, cream cheese, vanilla and sugar,beat until fluffy.  Add eggs and flour, baking powder, salt and mix well.
Fold in blueberries. & Cranberries.   Bake in well-greased bundt pan or 3 loaf pans
for 40 - 50 minutes.  I found 55 to 60 minutes better.
While it cools, combine ingredients for glaze, stir well and drizzle over cake.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thoughts From The Woods - Let It Go...

Sometimes I think I have succeeded
and then the thoughts come creeping
under the door.

Thoughts from long long ago.
So thankful that is no longer my world.
Thoughts that some still live in that world
and I have the thought
why did they never move on
and be thankful for - now.
Maybe they just never wanted
the freedom.

Thankful that I have moved on
and life is good....

I hear the lyrics to this song
and I smile....

Let It Go

The snow glows on the mountain tonight
not a footprint to be seen.
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside.
Couldn't keep it in.  Heaven knows I tried.
Don't let them in, don't let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know.
Well now they know.

Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back any more.
Let it go, let it go.
Turn away and slam the door.
I don't care what you are going to say,
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway.

It's funny how some distance,
makes everything seem small.
And the fears that once controlled me
can't get to me at all
It's time to see what I can do
to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I'm free

My power flurries through the air into the ground.
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like am icy blast
I'm never going back
the past is in the past....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Returned from dental appointment yesterday and hear Callie barking,
looking out window I see helper from utility company out in front, opened the door
and their was the huge box sitting on front porch that FedEx had delivered.
I am in luck as I ask the service man "could you please bring this heavy box
inside for me?"  Then inside, we open this box, then another and finally the
third box holds the mixer and he places on kitchen counter for me.   So thankful
was this one who asked me "do you recognise me?" it took a moment and then I realized
it was the son of someone I know who is an excellent Mexican cook.  My thought
 "God is so Good."   The mixer appears perfect and will soon use.
Within a few more hours the UPS man pulls in the drive and takes the faulty mixer
off and so pleased to have all of this done.

Quite a process as I first called the mixer company and they were going to handle,
then with another call was told that it would take 6 weeks and I responded with cancel.
Another call to Amazon, who has never failed me and this delivery and pickup happened
in 24 hours.  Now that is good service.

My helper who needs work called last night and wants to work today, I would rather wait a few weeks.
Have not decided that while help is available to use him or wait.   Very weary at the moment
and when the rare help I use is available it is tiring for me as I continually guide them.

A special picture arrived this morning from my granddaughter of her and brother, my birthday boy.
I remember this well from a visit at the old farmhouse.   Jessica has on my old work jacket :)
So many wonderful memories
that make me smile.

Today looks like the last warm day for January as normal weather is returning.

So much to do
does anyone ever catch up ?

Monday, January 19, 2015

You Have Given Me Much Joy - HAPPY BIRTHDAY - GAVIN

Special grandson
Grandma remembers so well the times you told your mom that you wanted to visit me.
The first image at the first home I built on this property and you wanted to visit me
before I moved to the city. 
This last picture
you made a visit when you were attending Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Another visit you arrived with a special friend and fell in love with a little dog I named Bear.
He was found on my country road that early morning before you arrived.
Little Bear has had quite the life.  You took him back to your Fraternity house in Nashville
then on to your mom's after graduation, then on to Washington, DC where you work and now
just recently when visiting your mom and dad in Tampa, Bear was found a new home in Florida.
All along I knew in my heart that he was not a city dog and maybe now with some wide open
spaces he will adjust.

Ending with

H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y....
with much love
from grandma.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Unexpected Sunday Blessing

My to do list is growing
and much on it now requires a little help.

A call last night from a young man that went to high school with my Jamie.
Chris has helped me on and off for almost 20 years.  Last year
was working as a welder, called and he had been laid off until
end of March.   Asked me if I had anything he could help
me with for 1/2 day on a day I usually do not work.
Made an exception since so much to do, no help has been available
and another sunny 50 degree day.

Inside for an hour, cleaning top shelves of cabinets and high furniture
I can no longer reach and uncomfortable getting on ladder like in the past.
Turned my mattress, moved the heavy rocker upstairs closer to window
for me.  Mixer off of cabinet, packed in its box, by door and ready to be picked up.

Then outside, more brush burned as wind not blowing, vacuumed garage, checked to
see if mower would run, checked the oil,  cleaned
most of garden area and raked some leaves.
Brush fire is down to where I feel comfortable as he prepares to leave.

Baked beans simmering, eggs for deviled eggs are done and my cole slaw
looks good.  Stuffing celery with my pimento cheese (Sky reminded me).
and hot dogs - the good kind - that have been waiting for little girls
to cook on burning pit - I am going to eat them :)

Simple lunch in a few minutes,  time to stop and read the New York Times...

Have not baked since Christmas and tomorrow would like to make a blueberry recipe
that was shared with me.

Macaroni Salad - For Sandy

I use to make this all the time years ago
when children were growing up.
So simple and good to keep on hand.
Came to mind the other day and had the ingredients.
This one just adds what is on hand and tasty to her.

2 cups of macaroni - cooked and drained (when I made for me I just used 1 and was enough for 3 servings.

Add - chopped celery, sweet onion or green onions, chopped green pepper,
          hard boiled egg chopped, green peas and some pimento.
          Mix with Hellman's mayo.

Times in the past I would add chopped olives,  tuna, chicken or even small shrimp and stuff in a ripe tomato.
If fresh lettuce on hand
can place on this

I love bean sprouts and fresh ones were available and topped it with the sprouts.

Salt, pepper and I sprinkled some paprika on top.

There all kinds of variations
and you can Google to see other recipes

A delightfully warmer day,
lunch on the deck in sunshine
and for some reason was unusually tired
seems I never catch up and always projects
I am working on.
Try to take one day at a time
but find myself thinking a lot about
what does the future hold.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Unsettling Process

A lifetime of wanting this upscale mixer
and never purchased.
Saw no reason as my hand mixer was sufficient.
Hand mixer began making strange noises
so I used gift cards from children to purchase
this beauty
from Amazon.

When delivered it was left on small front porch
by FedEx
and always packages left on screen porch by UPS
who is super kind and even places large packages inside for this one.
Could not lift to bring inside, dragged it inside
and found someone to help me take it out of box
and sit on my counter.
This a heavy mixer.

Finally, today, as it has been sitting on counter assembled, reading directions that state
beaters are not to hit the bowl and may need to adjust slightly.
Did this twice and still hitting bowl, called Kitchen Aid.
So nice, but do not like that they are having it picked
up, sending me another one as they say this one is faulty.

After new one received I will call and have the faulty one picked up.   So this is
all great but the size of box and weight of mixer for me to place on counter is
 a problem for me at this time.

At this time of life seems a lot bothers me that would not have
in past years.  Always independent, needed help seldom
and now it is not that way and I do not like asking for help.

Do not like even sharing this
because so thankful all is being taken care.
Guess it will be another week before I can use this upscale mixer.

So new one arrives next week and maybe all will be fine this time.

On a peaceful note
sun is shining brightly
48 degrees, I warmed my soup from freezer,
put on tray along with corn chips, my pimento cheese,
and macaroni salad with bean sprouts.

Warm coat is put on, scarf around neck and sat on deck in the sun
for my lunch.   It was cold but the sun felt so good.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I Wondered

Sun is shining brightly
even though very cold.

I sit in the old chair
to rest a minute
 as the sun streams in
the loft window.
The chair I rocked my babies in.
See my reflection in the window
and wonder
can I take a shot that will capture this.
There is so much more
that this one
would like to know about her camera.

Would like one that has more zoom
so I can capture pictures of the
many birds that visit these woods.

Plants do so well wintering on this loft
Need to come up here
more often as
in all seasons
the view is peaceful.

Look again at this image
of my reflection
and have the thought
"is that you
 my spirit."

My spirit will always
reside in these old woods
that I know...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

First Time - Darjeeling Tea

After seeing an image of Darjeeling tea on
Cate's blog
I ordered this tea.

Ordered it along with Star Anise
there are usually lemons, oranges
and cloves on hand in this cottage.

This afternoon
brewed a cup with a slice of orange
and next time will do lemon.
So tasty
and now know why it is called
the champagne of teas.

Now I need to order
some glass tea cups....

Monday, January 12, 2015

Morning, 36 Acres and Jack

40 degrees, misty rain
 kind of morning.
The kind of day beginning that it is so nice to be home.

Day begins on the mat and then on to
a simple breakfast of yogurt covered with blueberries, bananas, flax and sunflower seeds.
English muffins with peach preserves from the local orchard and green tea.
Incense burning
Late yesterday a book arrived.
A book that the pictures on every page
reminded me of my home place.

"36 Acres" by Tobin Fraley

It has made me even more aware of the beauty of these old woods that surround
what I call

Day continues
with ongoing projects
that seem to never end....

Special thoughts go out to my Jamie, Alan and little girls.  A sad morning with putting their
special dog "Jack" asleep.   Jack was rescued by Alan 15 years ago when he found him
injured in a ditch along the side of the road.  So much joy he brought them and now a sad time.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Think Like A Tree - post 1/2009 - Memories

Have been trying to figure out how to re post
old meaningful posts.

Maybe this is the easiest way for this one.

Have been rereading
and find most
meaningful to me
at this time.
Life continues
by my special woods

Time is going by so fast....

I will share.

Might add Tabor, Beverly and Marcia have been following me from the beginning :)
They know  a lot about this one :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cold, Windy, Reading and Cooking

The wind is fiercely blowing
wind chimes making their music
and can be heard inside
But the sun is shining
even though headed for zero tonight.
I miss a wood burning fireplace
but really do not need at this time of life.

Vegetable soup has been simmering
and just finished my second and last meal of the day.
So good and I put in this pot everything I had on hand.
Potato's, onions, carrots, peas, corn, tomato,
cabbage and if not so cold would have dug up a turnip :)
Some frozen left over roast all simmering in vegetable broth.
So pleased I have masterd making 1/2 recipe of my cornbread and cook in
my grandmother's 6 inch iron skillet..   I learned so much from her as I was
growing up.
Do not have to plan a meal for next few days.
First thing every morning I always read
and always learn from Cate...

After viewing the Darjeeling Tea with Anise Star, Cloves and Lemon,
from Amazon this one ordered this tea and Anise Star as neither on hand.

I liked the clear glass cup and will add to my cups soon.

Did make tea with an addition of cloves and slice of orange this morning - so good.

the wind is blowing, chimes making their special sound
 and inside
special music "Effortless Relaxation" by Steven Halpern
is playing on the old Bose.

Simple pleasures at this time of life
are pleasing.

Dreaded the trip to the mailbox earlier, heavy coat, scarf, ear muffs, gloves
and another book arrived for my son and mom did not open.

Need to work on projects
but have not
maybe tomorrow
or even next day - no hurry...

stay well wishes
sent to you from the woods.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Opened By Mistake - Sorry

Even though I keep planning
to not order as many books

I am waiting for the arrival of 2 books
I bought used

"Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson"
"36 Acres"

As I looked out the window I could see the mail carrier putting mail in
my box on this rural road.
Heavy jacket on and started
old truck to drive out to see what exciting
is in the mailbox.
I retrieve a book,
lucky me something to new to read on
 this blustery cold day.
Onto cottage and quickly rip open

"The Lost Art of Walking"

Immediately looked to see who it was addressed too,
it is my son's.

Jimmy, sorry I opened your package
but mom's going to read and then put upstairs
with the rest of your unopened mail....

The thought came to mind
that walking is becoming a lost art to many.
I have always loved walking and still do.
Seems with balance issue miss walking in the woods
except when someone visits.
Something I never thought I would do
or admit
is holding onto the grocery cart handle
and walking a number of trips through the grocery.
I feel so safe....
Guess I will get my walking in
one way or another.

Went outside an hour ago
and filled 5 empty bird feeder's
and put out new suet cakes
for the next few super cold days...

While computer is running
I send safe travel wishes to my Laurie
who traveled from warm Tampa
to cold Massachusetts to attend
a best friends son's funeral.
So sad, an accident and then police ran over him.

Next Jamie, safe travel wishes while you attend
something that you will be writing about soon.
Sounds like a Spa.

And next
my grandson Gavin
who lives and works in cold Washington, D.C
Grandma sending  get well  wishes to you
this cold afternoon
by the woods...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Temperature Is Dropping

Yes, colder by the hour
and will continue on with projects.
Going through boxes of pictures,
pictures like we use to take them :)
Sending on to my children.

Chili is simmering
I am moving small chest in front of reading chair
where I can view a candle on these long evenings.

Need to stop

Flu raging in this area
hope we all stay well....

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Practice and Memories Surface

At one time
this one would burn candles
at meal time
only on special occasions.
Last year I started burning at every meal.
At breakfast
this early morning as I finish with my
cranberry orange bread and tea.

Among my son's belongings in this cottage
I found these Tibetan bells.
They also sit by my plate
and the beautiful sound they make
as I ring before beginning to eat
is calming and seems I focus
on every bite I take.
The sound is beautiful
and wish they would ring on their own.

A memory reminder
my Beth in her 30 years of nursing.
my sweet girl.
I remember well
when you were home from college
for the summer - did not know what to do
and I picked up an application at our local hospital
for you to do nurses aid work....

Also, she was my horse girl.
Loved horses and they were on our farm during her growing up years.

Many memories of different lifestyles
that have been a part of this
matriach's life.
But I do believe
the one
I am living at this moment
is the best....

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A New Year Begins

I vowed to write less
and here I am at my computer
this early morning of a new year

So many encouraging emails
I found.

Among them....

One from my son

"Waking up this morning, I smile.
Twenty four brand new hours are before me.
I vow to live fully in each moment
and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion"
Thich Nhat Hanh
Next I read some one's sharing
about choosing a word for this new year
and I choose
the word
This has to be done for this one
once and for all.

Next I share from my Jamie's blog

and soon I will share about new mixer that arrived late yesterday
Oh the size of the box and
so heavy.
Finally it sits on my counter,
looks so pretty,
just my color and
reminds me of nature.
I wonder
can I learn how to use
or am I better off with
a small hand mixer :)

Computer off
and a cold day by the woods