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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Broccoli Soup - Stop Thinking of the Past and Future

Cool, damp day.   Thought of Broccoli soup.   The first time I tasted was at my friend Clarice's
home, now gone 15 years and still miss her.    Invited to her home for lunch and she served this and I asked
about it.  

It comes in little packages, you add 2 cups of milk, 2 cups of fresh chopped broccoli and butter.   I found at the local market and now
they haves stopped selling it.  Bought this last package from Trader Joe's in Nashville. and not going
for a while until son arrives home to take me to Nashville.   After just using this last package thought of Amazon and there it was.
Just ordered  to have on hand.   I sometimes add small amount of shredded carrot and sometimes top
with cooked chopped bacon, not this time.
Quick and healthy.....

I copied this morning for my journal.

"We know not to get caught in the past or future,
(and difficult for me to do)
but in order to be in the Now, we also have to let go of the present"

"Lock Kelly"

Monday, February 27, 2017


Yesterday could not seem to get going, sun was shining
 but in the 40's and windy.
Sun shining so brightly, pulled the old rocker as close to the door as I could and sat in the sun,
then willed myself to put on jacket and babushka, like my mother used to wear in Michigan and later in Tennessee and swore
I would never do this :)  Went outside with afghan taken off end of my bed, now this is my prize
but I did not care just took it out and wrapped myself in it.    Felt so good, almost fell asleep.
Soon needed to prepare afternoon meal and willed myself to go in with the thought there will
be enough for several days.  A meal filled with memories, I always prepared but in the past the next door neighbor had recently lost
his wife, daughter could come every few months from Oklahoma, Carol would always invite me to come for dinner and it was so appreciated and started with a glass of white wine.  She made the patties this way, called them croquet's  and I have copied her :)
Began to prepare Salmon croquet's formed in the size of golf ball I put them
in a plastic bag filled with Panko bread crumbs to coat. I use a small can of Red Salmon for just me, when son arrives will use a large can.  Then made the so simple to make Peach Pie, when made had not restocked brown
sugar for topping so sprinkled a handful of Pecan pieces on top.

Weary night and turned my bed down at 6:00 and fell asleep at 8:00.

Now this morning going as usual and now Blueberry, Cranberry bread coming out of oven
and ready for glaze.    Nothing in freezer that I have baked and am starting to restock.
Need to put lemon glaze on bread
and time for day to begin at a slower pace....

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Early Morning

Up at dawn, drive out to pick up N.Y. Times (the best paper in the world) and the Tennessean
(not much in it.)  All through the years walked the long drive year round to do this but not now.
Might do part of it if black topped but it is River Gravel which I wanted in this rural home.

On the computer, first thing every morning to spend time with family, friends and sometimes
information looked up.  Most mornings begin with Kefir, yogurt and some banana,. This morning a scrambled egg morning filled with broccoli and some frozen red, yellow
and green peppers,  pot of green tea, slice of Ezekiel bread from the freezer put in nonstick skillet will add Pear
Honey and need to call friend and see if she has another jar in her pantry, so good and I want it
here for Jimmy's visit.   Years ago made my favorite Pear preserves but not in a long time.

I eat two meals, hearty breakfast and small 2:00 meal, Ensure usually in the evening and sometimes one during the day, add ice cream and a treat of one piece of dark chocolate  - they keep me going.   No weight problem, never had one and stay about 108 now and in the past about 114.

Soon I will hang my prayer flags, love seeing them blow in the wind.

I fill the small pill bowl, one a day vitamin, calcium, magnesium, fish oil, probotic, vitamin D,
cranberry pill and the pain reliever 8 hr from Tylenol and now started on low dose of
Curamin that was highly recommended.   All of this seems to take the edge off of the chronic
pain from escalating arthritis, all over the counter and only several prescriptions drugs
which are Alzufidine which is for arthritis and inflammatory colitis and told to take the
rest of my lifetime.   Now given Vitamin D shot once a month and told it may help with energy.
Seems like a lot to me but nothing strong or costly.  Will not do the many strong pain pills
recommended as they really drug me...

Blood work came back with just a few suggestions, inflammation a little high, nothing new
and told to keep doing what I am doing and do not stop.   Even thought my schedule not like in the past repeatedly told your diet, exercise,  weight and perseverance is keeping you doing all you do
 as you pass through your 80's   So much I do not like but am thankful as it could be much
worse....  Do not like the severe flares of pain and balance issues.  Will share love the 10's unit I use
it helps with pain and will continue simple yoga as often as I can do it.

My mind is continually writing and go over my son's schedule when he is here in this cottage
with me.

A health breakfast of yogurt, fruit, nuts and seeds and green tea.  Sometimes he will eat
what I eat, I like to vary from this to egg, waffle loaded with fruit and maple syrup and

He is very disciplined in the morning waking at 5:00 and reading for one hour before getting up
does the same thing at night before going to sleep.  I have tried this but so far just cannot seem to do it.  Want to get up for day to begin and too weary at night and just lie there meditating and praying  with my ocean tape playing until sleep finally arrives.

He does yoga for an hour each day, walks the country road 2 or 3 times daily.   I am always
concerned in the evening as it begins to get dark, I always keep Callie secured on the deck
as she does not wander from this property.
Looking forward to family visits on Sundays and soninlaw cooking on grill, maybe burning fire pit
and times he will take me to the big city for Thai food and my special bakery and anywhere else
I want to go.  Been craving a good steak and lobster which I love and rarely have.  He is so kind to me on these visits and just wish he was closer :( but he is so
happy with his life in the country far over the ocean and what more can a mother ask for...

Whatever food I prepare he likes and always ask him if he wants anything special, I like to
bake, some of his childhood favorites like Banana Pudding.   He will eat some but not a lot.

Need to stop writing, clean kitchen and want a morning of reading.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Jessica, my first granddaughter.....






Your now married and teaching in New York.  Grandma is so proud of you.

40 degrees colder then yesterday but bright sun is shining.
Early morning errands and this small town has a lot but lacks much good  food for me to pick up.
UPS drop off and Amazon such a help to me and returns so easy.

Everyone is so kind as I do my simple errands and shop.   Doors opened, UPS came out to
take large package out of my car,  people smile, love this smaller town, even have had people offer
to help me put gas in my car - must be the cane :)

Looks like my mattress will be exchanged in 2 weeks, so difficult contacting anyone and everyone
seemed to be from other countries and I had difficulty understanding them and several hung
up on me when I asked them to speak louder.    Finally reached one so kind and thanked this
young woman.

I make a lot of soup and always freeze a carton, so chili, with cheese and special chips, fruit tea
and the last slice of my Zucchini bread, want to make my Blueberry Cranberry bread soon.
Later today may make the Peach Custard pie, so easy and tasty.

Everyone have a good day, somethings beginning to bloom and hope with heavy frost due
that I do not lose anything.

Strange weather.....

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Happiness is..Help, New Pain Relief and Book...

Receiving an email
showing Jamie's welcome at her new job.
That's my girl :)
3 Piles of limbs burned
and yesterday a 4th gathered to be burned soon.
This is the way it is when you tidy area in the old woods close to your cottage.
Some say "just leave it" but not yet.
Young man called "no school today, can I help you with anything"
I replied come in the afternoon as doctor appointment in the morning,

Thank you Peyton....

Not many young people want to work anymore.

Sad that my special therapist last day today.   Will miss Arthur but can reapply in 3 weeks.

Gift from a friend and so highly recommended,   Took one pill after lunch and will take another
one soon.   Hopefully this helps since I have tried so many things.   Curamin
and do have a shaker that I sprinkle on some food, but this is much stronger.  Also a book that
I will begin to read.    Thank you, Trish,,,,
Warm but cloudy and rain is approaching and cooler weather.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Morning By The Woods

I pick up my camera
On the mat for 15 minutes as Callie watches me -- 1 lb hand weights & phone always near by....
I keep having thoughts of a book I read 10 years ago and find it after much searching, a reminder that my
books need to be better organized.  So many from from helpful, novels and my many of poetry
an interest that came about when my son moved to Thailand 10 years ago and began to share
quotes to me, never thought I would enjoy Chinese poetry as much as my Mary Oliver books.

Day is going by quickly will share no more.   Breakfast of waffle, fruit, green tea and son just called.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

So Good....

Just finished enjoying Jamie's chicken recipe

Posted recipe 2/17  Had most of ingredients and picked up spinach, rotisserie chicken and mushrooms, yesterday and I always change recipes, used white onion and no fresh herbs as did not freeze
in cubes last year (will this year as love fresh herbs from my pots) used dried ones which I do not like to use but added some flavor....

This is a winner.....and will have tomorrow also. (which is today Sunday)
So healthy with spinach, mushrooms, chicken, artichokes, tomato, olives
and much more.
Will be making many times as this one does not find a lot that she really likes.
This will be good in Spring and Summer months, especially with crusty Tuscany bread  from Provence in Nashville (my son will take me when he arrives in weeks to come) and a slice
of fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Kitchen is a mess and had difficulty retrieving Balsamic Vinegar from way back in lower cabinet.
Keep having someone help me reorganize staples where I can reach them.   If I get down on the floor
have difficulty getting up :)
Day begins
and the son of someone who occasionally helps me called and is coming this morning for a few
hours.   Will have him tackle some weeds surfacing and clean garage.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


I wake really early, like 4:00 AM, like seeing the day begin and it is happening earlier. I open the blinds and get back in bed for a short time.  I love this time of morning...

This morning as daybreak begins I view barren fields and it is warm but sprinkling rain.
Wonder why these pale green walls look gold color in this image taken at day break.

Remember my first days in this cottage, one of my young granddaughter's spent the first night
with me.   There was nothing at the windows and I liked it and there was very little furniture
as home in Nashville still on the market and it was furnished for showing.

I liked the almost empty rooms and nothing at the windows where the fields and woods were
viewed by this one.

Last week a visit to rheumatologist and she had no new recommendations and would not do
blood work.  She said oncologist would do this Monday.   Just the word oncologist
gives me an uneasy feeling.    Dr. Means is so nice and caring and want to see if inflammation
level is normal and probably not with the severe arthritis.  She will check protein level in blood.    I do like that she always gives me
advice about a lot of things.    So will go Monday even though I do not want to.

Thinking seriously of not going to doctors anymore and continue following my good diet, exercise all I can
and trying to have positive thoughts and even though not like in the past, some quality of life.

Looking forward so much for my son's visit from Thailand in weeks to come.

Enough shared on this rainy day and need to do paperwork and continue checking on mattress
issue.   I was told it could be exchanged after 30 days, just do not like that I cannot reach them
by phone.

Notified that one so talented passed away yesterday at 94.  God Bless him, over the years he helped
me with 4 homes, so many memories surfaced.  He helped with home where older children grew up
and then when we moved to the massive home in Nashville, then when I bought the old farm house
and ideas with another home.   When you grow ancient, so many memories and many you would like to delete like you can with the computer but the mind is not that way :(  Like that there will be a small family gathering
in his garden  I like this and what I want with just my children and grandchildren....

Friday, February 17, 2017

Mattress and Recipe

I ordered my new mattress online
it arrived on time and my helper said his parents would like my old one.
It looked like new but probably 15 years old and needed a low profile box springs to lower
mattress so I could get into my bed easier.

Well, I thought all mattresses were the same and I learned differently.
My old mattress is 7 inches high and the new one 10 inches high.
Have not heard from my 4 emails stating I want to exchange this mattress for a lower one.
So now one more problem to solve....

Jamie, sent me this simple recipe recently, going to prepare tomorrow for the weekend
and will half for just me,  Always change recipes, do have artichokes and olives on hand

At the market this morning bought fresh spinach, mushrooms and a cooked rotisserie
Unusually warm at 70 degrees today,  Sat on deck for my lunch.   Theraphy stops next week,
saddens me but do not need another accident to have it continue.   Balance horrible and I am
careful and pain stays but have so much to be thankful for....

Remember - Sunshine and Love makes us all stronger,,,,

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Simple and Easy

At the market yesterday, green peppers were 2 for $1.

So just now in the oven a simple meal of
stuffed green peppers with cooked ground beef,  chopped tomato,  rice with onions, peppers and corn.
Topped with Cheddar cheese and will be good in a short time and also tomorrow
Another warm day.

Oldest granddaughter's skiing with friends, Jessica is the one in black,
their helmets look like they are from outer space.
Growing up in Michigan, can remember well my skiing, ice skating and walking 3 long blocks
down the middle of the street when walks were covered with snow.  This was easier since some did not shovel the
snow off of their walk.   I walked this many times as I got off the big bus and was on the way home from working at the
corporate office of Ford Motor Company at 18 years of age.

Do not miss that weather at all and today it is 60 degrees once again.

Sure is strange weather for February...

Friday, February 10, 2017


I pick up a little book, dated 1995.
A book I heard about years ago from Pastor Sandy Sterban at Cornerstone Church
in Madison, Tennessee.
This church and Sandy spoke in a way that my thirsty soul and broken heart needed.

I look through the pages, most underlined and notes by this one.  I come to February 10th
17 years ago and read the words that my mother passed away on that day.  It was a bitter cold
and windy snow flake day for the graveside service with a closed casket.

So ashamed that I had forgotten and so many memories have been arriving all day.
I was born in my grandmother's bed to my 18 year old mother.
Good times were few and far between as this one born at the end of the depression and no work
was to be found for my father.  They headed to Michigan where my growing up years were
spent and was able to return to Tennessee after I married.
Will leave it at that as so many stories and could not have made it without my
much loved paternal grandmother who brought me back to Tennessee during the summer
months from the huge apartment building where not a blade of grass could be seen.
Guess this is the reason I have loved my nature retreat over the years....

I still miss my mother
and think we always do when we lose them

My mother at 17 and father at 22 on their wedding day - 4 weeks after they had met :)
told her mother that if she did not sign for them to be married they would run away :)
A picture of my mother and her sister at a young age
Look at those dresses :)

Is It Really February

I sit by the door to the deck
morning sun is streaming in and it feels wonderful
I have put Callie outside
but she wants to come in
Lilac bushes are full of buds and Iris have emerged
Enjoying what is going on with our weather at the moment as it may be freezing next week
I love being at home on days like this....

Wherever you are
hope your weather is like this....

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Full Lives

Checking in, weather continues with cold and warm for Winter.
Continual emails from traveling family
Chef granddaughter in Italy, love her pictures

The image on my header
is Jessica  my first granddaughter born in Memphis, Tn and now teaching in N.Y.
my grandson Gavin who lives in Washington, Tn with a wonderful profession,
In this image they were visiting me at the old Farm House, one wearing my jacket and hat :)
My oldest daughter, husband, and grandson Gavin now out west skiing and just received this wonderful picture which includes a childhood friend of Gavin's, they all look so happy.

My biggest smile yesterday and heartfelt love for my youngest granddaughter as I read her thank you note :)

Grandma, thank you so much for your gift of ......dollars!
It was extremely generous of you and am very grateful for your consideration.
Love you to the moon and back... A,R.

Her words impress me at her young age,,,,


Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Memory

A memory
from the past
Jamie and I had relocated to the country
about 5 years earlier.

I loved the years of raising all of these critters and wish I had taken pictures of the Peacocks and Guinees.
They were all pets...
Remember the incubator that hatched 500 eggs
The big garden, fruit trees and constant canning and filling 3 freezers

All of this so new for the city born and raised and the past
of one
who carried a briefcase :)

Wonderful memories surfaced today
as I looked at old pictures.