To the snow, to the snow . . .

When you’re a California baby, snow is a mystical bit that makes its way
 through stories and Christmas illustrations . . .
 You might be five or even ten before you witness snow . . .
 And if you do encounter this wondrous white powdery ice, it is likely 
you drove a fair distance to get there . . .
Today, after heavy rain last night, we woke up to find snow atop 
the mountains that surround our valley.
We decided to take the mountains up on this invitation and drove the windy highway hoping 
to get close enough to actually play in the snow . . .
And we found it!!!!
Not too too much, but enough . . .
Enough to make snow balls . . .
And a tiny little snowman . . .
Our boots got covered in mud . . .
 And snowflakes dashed in our faces  . . . 
Mittens got soggy . . . 
And it looked like winter . . .
What a perfect afternoon . . .

                                                                                  ~ Marica

What I found this morning . . .

Rain thundering down . . . 
Finally finally finally!!!!!!! There has been almost none this year . . . The plants soaking up the water that the clouds are offering in such abundance . . .
The grass covered in droplets, happy and confused . . . 
The very first sprout from my Delphinium seeds . . .
  (On Thursday I was sure something must have gone wrong, they still hadn’t shown their faces.
I decided to investigate more, so I carefully opened up the soil just enough to peek . . . 
What a nice surprise to see a tiny white tail like sprout emerging from the seed.)
My husband always laughs and asks why I am so impatient . . . I can’t really answer that . . .
And another wonderful surprise, my grass seeds have finally emerged. I planted this lawn 
over a week ago and the seed bag had said 3-7 days. I have been checking everyday, 
even the first day, thinking miraculously they might sprout early. 
On the seventh day I gave up and figured we might have to do sod after all. And then today, oh yes on the same day as the Delphinium sprouts, I found hundreds
of tiny grass shoots pumping themselves through the soil. (And if you look carefully, 
you’ll notice all the Cosmos sprouting as well . . . What am I going to do? Last year 
there were Cosmos here, they must have dropped their seeds . . . I don’t know if I’ll be 
able to bring myself to pull them out . . .)
Patients my friend, I tell myself, patients . . .
                                                                    ~ Marica

Dangers at the plant nursery . . .

Some people love clothes shopping . . . On occasion I do too, 
 but I what really gets me, in a bad way, is the plant nursery. 
Often I’ll stop by to get something I need . . .
 I’ll have a plan . . . One that I plan to stick to . . .
 And then I’ll get side tracked . . .
I’ll find so many amazing growing things. Growing things that I don’t want to leave without . . . 
I’ll start a pile, and it will usually grow.
 
Sometimes my pile is just a list in my mind . . .
Sometimes it is in a corner, set aside waiting . . .
Waiting and ready to be purchased. 
Usually the guilt is building a bit . . . I start rethinking the plants I have piled up. 
Do I really need them this very day???? 
Maybe???? Or maybe I can wait for another time. 
That is when I start putting them back. Either in my mind, or actually with my hands 
if it is one of those days that the pile has grown physically in some off corner . . . 
The guilt thins a bit and I adjust to what seems at least reasonable to why
 I have stopped there in the first place . . .
A breath of relief that I managed to manage myself . . .
Whew, another close call . . .
                                ~ Marica

A bit of fire making . . .

Today was a really fun day with all the kids. We had a guest/friend/dad come in and 
demonstrate a slew of survival skills. Mainly he showed us how to make fire with the 
use of friction: Bow-drill,  hand-drill, and the last one was new to me, bamboo. 
The kids were very involved, and it brought me back to when I was a kid and my parents hosted 
a “Tom Brown” camp at our home in the mountains. 
We learned the same technics . . . 
And the fresh smell of fire made the exact same smell . . .
  Everyone got a chance to try the tools and put their best power toward making fire . . .
 It certainly is tricky business . . .
 I believe it would take a fair while for any of these kids to master it . . .

And for anyone who has never read Tom Brown’s book The Tracker it is a must. 

Read it yourself, or if you can, read it to some kids . . .
                                                  Cheers ~ Marica

Done!!

This post should have been published over a week ago, but hey, sometimes things get a little behind.
We finally finished the dolls . . . They’re done!!!
I am so so happy with them. We have worked for weeks starting with socks for the inner strength of the head, until the final addition of red beeswax crayon as rosy cheeks . . .
The kids took such care with every step along the way . . .
Each doll is so unique . . .
This project meant as much to me as it did them. I’ll never forget making these five dolls with these  five girls. Spending the morning sitting together in a circle on the rug, working working, deciding deciding, creating creating.
                                     To doll making and its simple satisfaction ~ Marica

This Sunday . . .

I made two kinds of cake . . .
Gluten and dairy free coconut lemon . . .
As well as I managed to covered my kitchen in a hurricane of coconut . . .
To make this a raw coconut cake for a baby shower . . .
I finished and gave a not yet born baby a hat, so so small . . .
And a woolen soaker . . .
I adore knitting for babies . . . 
I noticed huge changes on the lilac bush out front of our house . . .
 And I watched this eight-year-old girl, sitting on a table being eight-years-old 
like there never was an eight-year-old before . . .
                                                               Happy Sunday to you all  ~ Marica

Lemon Meringue Pie

A friend of mine hired me to make her a lemon meringue pie. 
She brought over flour and sugar, butter and lemons. 
I love how she used the blue paper clips with the brown bags 
and the red writing . . . 
 I used the Genevieve’s Lemon Meringue Pie recipe from my mom’s cookbook, although truth be told, it is my recipe. The pie was titled this because of a woman who greatly inspired my mom as a child and according to my mom, she made a fantastic lemon meringue pie.
I have a serious soft spot for rolling pins and dough, so sorry if there is often a similar image 
floating through this blog . . . 
 And the pie came out looking golden and heavenly . . . 
 I’m going to have to make one of these for myself very soon here . . .


Lemon Meringue Pie

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Pre-bake pie crust for ten minutes.
In a large bowl combine and mix well:
7 egg yolks (save whites)
2 tablespoons corn starch or Kuzu
1/2 cup sugar (or more if your lemons are really sour)
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3/4 cup lemon juice
Pour into a double boiler, or use a regular pot
and be very careful, stir constantly
over medium heat until thick, 10-12 minutes.
Remove from heat and add:
8 tablespoons butter cut in chunks
Stir then pour into pre-baked pie crust.
Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees.
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Add:
1/3 – 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Spread over pie then bake until golden, 10-15 minutes. 
                                                                         Cheers ~ Marica