Curb Appeal

Three French jacos (with a bit of  parmesan thrown in at the last minute)

Mixed: 2:15 pm

Molded: 3:35

Baked: 4:15

Gave one loaf to the folks in the house with the creek.

I wasn’t surprised when I asked my Smallest Assistant Giver who we should give our extra loaf of bread to–“to the people with the creek!” he said without hesitation. He almost screamed it, and his feet were already pointed in that direction. It’s as though he was just waiting for the question.

We set off around the corner, to the little stucco house that has not only a creek running through the front yard, but a bridge over the rushing water, and a swing dangling from their giant cedar to boot! My kinda place.

We amble by this house regularly. My son loves to stand on the curb, suck his thumb and just take it all in. I love the sound of the water, and there’s so much unusual plant material dotted about the small plot–I try to figure out what’s what; I’m particularly taken with this fun little purple flower that they have planted right by the street.

Anyway, this day of giving is a perfect example of how much we are affected by beauty. Even four-year-olds know this–they know a lot of things…

And behind the curb appeal we found another nice mom, and John Ronan got an invitation to walk across the bridge (!!!) and they even have a young boy who loves to chat about alligator lizards (one of my very favorite topics!) and … you know, it’s not just a house with a creek anymore. It’s faces–it’s real people who live and love, and who give to all of us neighborhood wanderers

another (needed) dose of beauty.


Prayers while proofing…

Half recipe, straight French, two jacos (no starter this time)

Mixed 12:30pm

Molded 3pm

Baked 4:45 pm

Gave: to my long lost writer’s group

Some days have a mind of their own. I had planned on a quick trip to the beach while my dough was on its first rise,¬† but I hadn’t imagined making my first attempt at St. Brigid’s crosses while there. It just felt right, though. The idea came in a flash and before I knew it I was gathering pine needles and plant material and tucking them into the beach bag alongside the shovel. I had a bit more than an hour before my dough needed me back home…

A solitary day at Hendry’s. The kids drew pictures in the sand and munched down a few more treats from Halloween. I fumbled over my fingers and prayed.

Today I learned of a colleague’s sorrow. A baby yet unborn, has already headed back to heaven. What sadness. So my fumbling with pine needles, and reeds from my yard, had a purpose–to honor this family with the making of a cross and the prayers that came along with it. I wanted just the doing of it to be a mark of hope and healing. I pray it was…

St Brigid cross of pine needles

Brigid cross of dietes

Saint Brigid’s crosses are unwieldy things. But the beach is a magical place and though my first two attempts were poor images of what they might be in an expert’s hand, I didn’t care–I just wanted to do, and to be. But I couldn’t stay too long; I had dough on the rise!

I started to collect the kids, but then noticed strands and strands of sea grass. I adjusted my brain, which holds my schedule, and figured the dough could just go on rising.

So I fashioned my third and final cross from seaweed. It was my best prayer yet, and when I finished, I floated it in the gentle waves before I pressed it in a book to send to my colleague later.

seaweed cross cropped

And now for the bread. It came out golden and delicious, despite the long first rise. I wish I could send that sweet young family this hot loaf of bread as well as the cross, but, it’s a bit far for bread to travel–from here to Indiana.

So, I’ll take it to my writer friends, who will devour it with glee.

Some days simply have a mind of their own and we are called to just follow along and forget¬† the dough that’s on the rise…