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

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Early Morning

"Give yourself and someone else the gift of space and silence"

Preparing to bake and phone rings
a welcome call from Thailand.
Sharing of plans preparing for his move to 275 sf condo.
The norm for his area in the big city, families live in this space
and Sunday, N.Y. Times shared of new condo's being built with this square footage.\
in New York.  

Oh my
what a challenge
but then we all have too much stuff....

Made pumpkin bread  at 7:00 this morning - it has been a while for this delicious bread
Still awkward using my upscale, pretty mixer :)
Something I use to do
and not in a long time
put a glaze on the 3 loaves of 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp of lemon and almond flavor and 1/4 cup water
brought to a boil and poured over loaves.
I want to bake a lot over the next few weeks
and freeze some each time
for when my son is home with me...
A healthy breakfast
Mixed the last of mushrooms and spinach in my scrambled egg.
Next meal at about 2 or 3.  Two hearty meals a day suits this one
at this time of life.

Sun is shining and warmer today and tomorrow
hopefully I can move my truck out of ice.

Day begins with cleaning the kitchen...

Friday, February 27, 2015


I should not be writing
I am so sad..
A special friend has been in the hospital all week.
She went 2 times calling 9ll
and each time after checking her and medicating her
they sent her home.
Not the third time
She is 92
so dear to me.
Just called to just check in
and she cried
said I do not think I will make it this time.
So I pray
hope for recovery for her.

Drove to pick up mail
stuck in the ice
and I know a warming trend is arriving
but my drive and by the house
still icy.
Stopped 50 feet from home
and could not get out of ice.
Does not matter if it sits there
so lucky to get back inside.
Boots give no help
on the ice.
Computer problems continue
went off line this morning
about 20 times as I tried to do something.

You know it seems
that when you need some that are special
to you
and they know you are having a difficulty
they cannot deal with you
so they almost disappear.
That's alright
for I know what is going on.
I have not been like this
or maybe I do not remember
being like this.

The last couple of years so many I know
and have been close too
experiencing severe health issues
and some no longer here.
So aware this will continue as one ages
and a part of our jouney
but still difficult to accept.

I strive for balance
pray continually
am fine but a difficult time
with 3 close ones
having health issues.

Enough said...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My First Granddaughter

Happy Birthday on the 28th

So many memories
This picture taken years ago at the old farmhouse
you have on my old jacket with your arms around brother Gavin :)
The orchid you sent me for my birthday is blooming again :)
I write about the snow, ice and cold surrounding my woods
but it is nothing like you experience in New York
going and coming to your teaching position.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Life At The Moment

I have so much to be thankful for
heat, electricity, water, shelter, food, a wonderful family and special friends that
checked on me yesterday.

They arrived in the big truck, made tracks in the driveway that was snow covered ice, shoveled my walk
 helped me so I could get to their vehicle safely, seed in my bird feeders and  took me to the market, brought me home and helped unload
a lot of groceries.

Another neighbor brought my Sunday paper to me along with mail of several days.

Sharing honestly
since not seeing a soul or being out for 9 days,
felt like I was about to lose it but recovered somewhat after this kindness.

I am unsettled about my ct scan on Wednesday and really do not need
to predict that surgery may come about
but think it may.  Cancelled once because of snow and ice
but looks like a lot of melting tomorrow and it should be no
problem for me to go forward.

Not wanting to just disappear for days and may not feel like writing
I feel obligated  to tell all the special ones that stay in touch with me.
Accustomed to being in control, this one healthy for the majority of her life
 is not too brave of a patient.
It is not life threatening but just a hospital procedure of any kind
unsettles me and I am ashamed to admit it.

May continue to write like always
and may not for a while
just really do not know at the moment.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday - 2 PM


It started raining early this morning
but not much melted
Yesterday I called a neighbor, they groom Callie have a big truck and asked them
if they would drive in and back out
so I could see where my drive is.
Hopefully a lot better as the day and night continue -  my Beth is driving up tomorrow to take me to the market.
So good
to receive her call and offer.  I do not want to appear needy and helpless as time goes by
Have to share and ashamed too
I almost lost it yesterday - not seeing anyone for over a week and cannot get out..

I made a new kind of corn bread for lunch - made 1/2 the recipe, make in my grandmother's really old
small iron skillet.  Came out good and enough for me for tomorrow and Monday.
Turned it over - no problem in this well seasoned over 100 year old skillet

Weary of 16 bean soup.   But healthy... Remainder goes in freezer.
Need to make my favorite blueberry cake again - this is the last of it..

Computer problems continue
but at least I can get online even if contually disconnecting.
So much I planned on accomplishing during my shut in
was not done.

That's alright...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Life On A Country Rural Road

At the moment not able to send mail to my children
a ritual I do every morning to let them know
all is well.

Have not seen a person, car, neighbor out
all week, need to call post office this morning
to check on mail.  Truck still covered with ice,
 I cannot go down icy steps to try and start
and garage door still has 3 feet of frozen snow
in front of it.   Up every few hours in the night
to make sure water was still running.

All is well and hopefully in a few days my world
will return to normal.

So aware of my blessings as I view news around the world.

So I cook...

Bran muffins, 16 bean soup
and corn bread....

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When You Are Snowed In

Home bound
early morning
16 bean soup
with an addition of onion, carrots, celery and chopped ham.
is simmering in the over 50 year old 2 1/2 quart crock pot.
It was replaced with a larger one through the years that was given away
 and another small one so upscale looking but I took this one off the shelf
yesterday - my favorite
Warmer weather and rain arriving this weekend
the pantry needs to be restocked....

Checked to see if ingredients are on hand,
they are - so may make my favorite
bran muffins
later in the day...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Accepting these Winter days
catching up on some unfinished inside projects
or just sitting and doing nothing..
Sun will stream in the windows today
At lunch time I will go up to the loft, sit in the sun
and dream of Spring.

A steel cut oates kind of morning
Florida strawberries are at the grocery
and have been buying a quart about every 5 days.
On yogurt, oates or just plain with a little honey they are so good.

Tried something that I read about last weekend and wish I had learned years ago.
Rinse your fresh strawberries in 1 cup of vinegar and 8 cups of water (I half  for 1 quart)
soak for about 5 minutes, do not rinse, cannot taste vinegar, pat dry with paper towel
and put in container uncovered (I put paper towel in bottom of bowl). I leave sitting out
for 3 or 4 days and then refrigerate if any berries left.
Berries stay fresh so much longer.  I tried this last Friday and berries still
not showing signs of spoiling.
In the past berries sitting on my counter after about 3 days would spoil.  In fridge
they do not taste as fresh as when out.
So wish I had known of this years ago.
You can google in case my information is not clear.

The coldest day for this one will be Thursday, below zero and then the weekend is warmer and
calling for rain.

Wonderful and can hardly wait for ice and snow to melt, need to fill my bird feeders.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ice Is The Problem

Ice and snow
not much snow
but ice is covering everything.
no where near what is in other areas
but enough that this one will not be able to drive down her icy drive,
go down the steps to the terrace to where truck is parked with windows covered with ice
and probably door cannot be opened.
Hopefully by Thursday I can venture to town.

Not like this in the city
where roads are prepared
but on this country road
it is different.
Almost 40 years ago came to
this plot of land and well aware it takes ice a long time to melt with ongoing cold temperature.
Hoping no power failure.

White bean chili is simmering
and just took a French Coconut pie out of the oven.
All is well, pantry well stocked
and in a way seems kind of nice not to have to go anywhere,
that is
if family keep checking on me :)

Cancelled appointment for scan early in the morning.

Up on the loft surveying the now empty bird feeders
and I notice
as always
2 pictures that belong to my son.
Wish I could transport myself
inside these pictures....

To visit either picture
would be a joy.

Middle daughter fell
and may have injured her knee.
hope nothing serious...

Friday, February 13, 2015

Wanting More

I want more.
More time to garden
to walk in the woods,
 to read and carry my camera.
Time to write
so my children and grandchildren
will know my heart...
Time to just sit still
with an empty mind.
Time to spend with my children

Bitter cold morning
but there has been no snow to speak of in my area, just a dusting a few times.
A morning of quick errands, almost out of bird seed and suet cakes.
Gas in car and so nice the price is so low.
A stop at the local hospital for the awful liquid to swallow (they call it a milk shake)
for ct scan next week.
All is fine but need to check an area.

this one is so ready for you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Balisha (Pat)

My the good Lord
grant you Peace
Ease your pain
hold you in the psalm of his hand.

Your sharing has been such
a blessing
to this one over many years.
You reached out to me in so many special ways
with cards and books and always
commenting on my sharing.

You will always be remembered

Sending you


Saturday, February 7, 2015

5 Years - Then and Now

Five years ago
built my cottage by the woods
and moved.
My young granddaughter's at that time
and now
Time is going by too fast
for this one.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

From The Cold Damp Woods

Another restless and old bones aching night
days are better
because I keep moving.
One daughter commented
take a pain pill
and my answer
"no way as long as I can stand it
cannot be heavily medicated."

The young woman who brings eggs to my home each week
and her husband are so special to me.
Will Ed, has open heart surgery tomorrow at noon.
Risky, has been shared and they stay on my mind
constantly, one reason for not sleeping for several nights
and this one praying continually that he will be
allowed more time with his wife and family....

Cold weather continues with wind fiercely blowing
but the sun is brightly shining
and I follow it to the upstairs loft
where it is streaming in the windows.
Makes me think SPRING...

Amazon is so easy for me to order from.
Several items on my list
Manuka Honey - which is suppose to heal everything from indigestion to a open wound :)
Dried sugar free Cranberries
and shelled Pumpkin seeds.

Local market does not have these items and
have not been up to driving to the big city
It is so nice to order online and in a few days
items are at my door.
With ingredients still on hand for my granddaughter's Kale salad
I made it again for lunch with an addition of crispy bacon on top,
Sunflowers seeds and sliced hard boiled egg.

Making my list of food to prepare when my son visits.
This salad is on the list...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Granddaugher Shared

When Jessica emailed me this morning
she mentioned making a Kale salad with Radicchio,
shared her ingredients and dressing.

Had most of the ingredients on hand and was leaving
for errands in town.    Purchased the Kale, which I know is super healthy
but just not a favorite of mine and Radicchio which I seldom use.

Cut up lacy kale real small, sliced red onion, scallion, radicchio and sauteed in small amount of balsamic vinegar
and olive oil.  (some eat the kale raw but I needed to cook just a minute for this one).
Dressing, whisk small amount of fresh lemon juice, mustard, drop of maple syrup
and olive oil.
Sprinkled sliced almonds and sunflower seeds on top.
Was out of dried cranberries but will add next time.

This slightly different from my granddaughter's
since I do not like raw kale :)
but was so good, healthy
and easy for this one.
Sliced a hard boiled egg on the side
and next time may sprinkle some cooked
bacon on top.

I will make this often.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chinese Zen Poetry

Candles burning on a cloudy and cold Sunday morning.
A good day to enjoy reading and enjoy my writing.

It took me by surprise several years ago
that I would enjoy  Chinese Zen Poetry
Introduced to it
as I searched my son's books.
I brought his books downstairs by my reading chair
and began to read for a long time.
Strange, reading these poems was a peaceful experience
and still is.

Strange that a southern born and raised of a teenage mother,
and knew no one in her young years even familiar
with this type of literature
would be fond of it.  But then there is no one
in my past family that I relate too
in many ways.  My mother told me many times
over her lifetime
that if I had not been born at my grandmother's home
in her grandmother's bed
she would not think I was her child :)

The Mountain Poems Of Stonehouse
The Collected Songs Of Cold Mountain
and I must order and finally arrived last week.
I must have it...
The Zen Words Of Stonehouse.

Stonehouse was a fourteenth century Buddhist monk who became a hermit
at age 40.    That is all I am going to share.

Page after page is underlined and many little slips of paper mark all the special words.

I can read for hours and relate so to these poems.
Maybe it is because of my love of nature, peace, quiet and solitude
that I finally received as a gift at the age of 43.

Never could this one return to the life she lived before this.
Of course
I am well aware that I have never simplified to the point that has been in my heart.
But I am a woman, raised simply, luck or curse would have it of being in a business that
was a young couples dream come true that provided much.  As soon as it arrived, it was gone.  But it was an
education for this one and one I would not wish on anyone as it almost destroyed me.

At this time wonderful, educated professional children,  grandchildren beginning
in the business world and 2 young ones that are well on their way
fill my world with so much joy.

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

"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"

A sample of this poetry
in these books I cherish

these poems and books
speak to my heart.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 1st - Robins

Eugene Gassett

A cold rainy evening for February 1
snow flurries in the morning
Looking out the window
I count 20 Robins in the tree outside my window