My Words at Sandra’s Funeral 5 Years Back

Five years ago, my sister-in-law Sandra Adams Leatherwood died on this day.  Here are the words I spoke at her funeral. These seem fitting for today. *** My name is Len Leatherwood and I am Sandra’s sister-in-law. My nieces requested I say a few words about their mother today. Sandra had a quality that is…

Great Holiday Make-Ahead Dish

Now that we’re moving into the Christmas season, here’s another recipe to consider adding to your holiday table. This is one of those tried and true recipes that you can count on when you want something special. It’s slightly different from stuffed shells. A little prettier. INGREDIENTS: 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese 1 (10…

Thanksgiving Weekend

Ray and I are the last people at the orange grove after a bustling and happy event that started last Wednesday. At our fullest we had around 25 people and that number ebbed and flowed over these last few days as people arrived and left.   We have cooked, cleaned, built fires, spatchcocked a turkey…

Heading to Cambridge in Fall, 2017!

I received a call today from my beloved writing student, Madison Stingray. She said, “Len, I know you’re busy with college essays, but I just want to let you know that I was accepted at Cambridge University for my Master’s degree in archaeology. I start next fall.” This young woman has been my writing student…

Fabulous Orange Cookie Recipe

Granddaughter Luna and I made this cookies today.  They are tried and true and great for the holidays. Of course, fresh orange juice from the oranges in our grove would be best, but you can use any oranges you buy in the market. These cookies are light, orangey and delicious. Happy holidays! Orange Cookies Adapted…

College Essay Crunch Time

I have been sitting in this chair – more or less – since 7 am and it’s now almost 9 pm.  This is the time of year when students arrive and leave and arrive and leave all day long, one after another.  The November 30th University of CA deadline is almost here along with the…

Ray’s 5 Star Cranberry Sauce

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought you might be looking for a good cranberry sauce recipe. Well, if you are, then here it is. This is the best cranberry sauce you will EVER taste. The nice part is that it’s really simple, and it is better if you make it ahead so the…

What You Can’t See in The Photo

This photo was taken last Tuesday on Hillcrest Road in Beverly Hills immediately after Rachael, Ray and I voted in the national election. Ray is taking the photo. What you don’t know looking at the photo: I had just cried when I saw Hillary Clinton’s name – a woman’s name – listed as a serious…

A Visit from Sandra Leatherwood in My Dreams Last Night

Last night I had a tiny snippet of a dream in which my dear departed sister-in-law Sandra Adams Leatherwood appeared. She was young – maybe 35 or so – and we were in the back garden of a house where she lived, but it wasn’t any house that I recognized.  She and I had been…

The Orange Grove Bathed in Moonlight

We came up to Ojai just so we could enjoy the Super Moon at the orange grove. With no city lights to compete, the grove is bathed in soft moonlight bright enough to illuminate each tree. Absolutely lovely. Completely peaceful.  The temperature is mild and the quiet of this place unbends every bent-up muscle. Getting…