Tuesday, April 9, 2013


At 2:55 this morning the wind slammed into the neighborhood.  She roared, loud and fearsome, like a mythical goddess.  The trees shuddered.  The house shook.

I tried to doze, but couldn't.  It was so strange.  There was a surreal current coursing through the streets, but not a pleasant kind of energy.  I must have fallen back to sleep occasionally because I had surreal dreams to accompany the wind.

At around 4:30 I thought she must have gone to Marathon or Midland or somewhere far from here because the silent stillness woke me up.  But never fear!  She was just hanging out around the corner.  In about five minutes the roar returned and didn't relent.  Not at all.

Now the wind has calmed, but a thick haze of dust shrouds the mountains.  My nose is clogged and my eyes are gritty.

The fresh green leaves on the trees are gently fluttering like butterflies.  I can't believe there is a single leaf left on those trees after the crazy wind.  Can you believe two years ago this week I was in Alpine looking at houses with a real estate agent?  And that the crazy wind turned a tossed cigarette into a wildfire that scorched hundreds of thousands of acres.

There is something comforting to me as I consider patterns of nature.  I am glad there is no wildfire right now.  The wind does not always live here.  As disturbing as she is to my nights' rest, there is something about her that draws me in.  That said, I certainly hope she bothers someone else tonight.

Can you believe that two years have passed since we made our way to Alpine from the farm?  Crazy.

I wonder if this wind is related to the one who woke me up in Virginia?  I just started reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez's memoir, but perhaps I should revisit At the Back of the North Wind, by George MacDonald.

PS Did you know that in the South of France they have a name for the wind:  The Mistral (which means "masterly").  But the Mistral is known for clearing the skies, and this wind has dirtied them considerably!

Friday, April 5, 2013

I love my customers. I really do.

Another thing for which I am thankful:  my wonderful customers.

They come out of their way to my bakery, some once a week, some twice a week, some when they can make it.  I am not exactly on the beaten path.  I don't have a sign out front.  They have to wend their way through the six or seven bikes in the carport.  My bakery is a big sunroom off our house that used to be Mrs. Turner's art studio.  Three walls of windows.  Two giant walk in closets, one for pots and pans, the other for ingredients, hundreds of pounds of chemical free grains, tubs of organic coconut oil, rolled oats, organic raisins, pounds of yeast, plenty of organic cinnamon and vanilla.

On a rare occasion I have everything out of the oven and bagged up by the time customers walk through the door.  But more often than not I am still taking cookies out of the oven, bagging up granola, or printing up labels.  A one woman operation is not always as fast as she wishes she were, even with the very long hours and skipped lunches and breakfasts, and cups of coffee instead of real food.

But these customers don't growl or grumble as they wait their turn in line.  They kindly visit as I pass out hot cookies, they introduce themselves, they catch up on smalltown news, compare rainfall and lightening strikes as I bag bread and take money and make change, answering questions about recipes and spelt and gluten.

Some of them read my ads.  Others come because of a friend's recommendation.  Who knows how these folks find out about the bakery?  But every Tuesday and Friday I end the day exhausted but grateful to these folks who enable me to live out my passion:  offering delicious, healthy alternatives to over processed foods.

Store bought food is much cheaper than my expensive spelt and coconut oil.  Store bought bread looks the same, week in, week out.  My bread varies, with moisture content, protein content and many more variables.

I am so thankful for these folks who go out of their way to support my tiny little business.  Just wanted to say so!  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Yesterday started out hot and sticky.  With an eery looking sky.  The wind blew away the hot and the sticky and brought with it cool and electric air.  And rain down south.  I had the opportunity to practice not envying when a couple of customers told me that it rained for an HOUR at their places.  I made myself be very thankful for them.  Which wasn't hard at all, because I truly was thankful for their rain.  The air smelled so fresh and alive.

Today I walked through the yard after getting the mail.  I picked some late blooming jonquils, a couple of clusters of violet-hued desert mountain laurel, and the very first yellow rose!  What a fragrant boquet enhances our messy kitchen.  Most everything feels better with a bouquet of freshly picked flowers on the table.