Muddy creek and spicy cake.

gl-1-9-pine-branch-img_4080A big branch fell from my Canary Island Pine last night, just missing the lemon tree that we intentionally planted under its leggy canopy, hoping for a bit of frost protection; I hadn’t thought it might be a dangerous location instead. It’s been very blowy and wet in these parts – lots of flooding in the county, though not in my neighborhood. Today came a break in the rain, so I walked again along the muddy creeks.





I was surprised to see this tree looking like Autumn. How could it still hold on to its leaves through the gale? I guess our winter is very like some people’s Fall. gl-1-9-cotoneaster-with-robin-jan-9-2016

It was cool, not cold, the air as fresh as can be. A hundred robins would startle and rise up in a swirl out of the cotoneaster bushes when I walked past, and then settle back down to eat the berries. One is sitting in this bush but he is hard to see.

Big limbs had fallen from eucalyptus trees along the path, and in many places the pavement was strewn with redwood cones and needles. I was alone the whole two miles of my loop. gl-1-9-eucalyptus-downed-branches

Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty,
give unto the LORD glory and strength.
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name;
worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thunders:
the LORD is upon many waters.


A few of these words from Psalm 29 were quoted by our rector on Sunday, referring to the storms that, surprisingly, didn’t force us all to stay home. My youngest two children and I memorized this Psalm about 20 years ago. I think I picked it for them because of all the vivid imagery like skipping, flames, cedars breaking, hinds giving birth. It still thrills me, and is indeed a good Psalm for stormy weather.

The thought of gingerbread came to me out there on my winter walk. So I came home and put together yet another version of Wheatless Gingerbread. This time it was even gluten-free, because I used the flour mix from Minimalist Baker.


It came out lovely and light. This time I also added milk powder and used butter… I think I might still be able to improve on this recipe in various ways, so I should try to make some again soon.

We’ve been keeping the stoves busy in our house. Someone even cooked her chicken breast and handmade tortillas on the wood stove last week. Keepin’ cozy!


6 thoughts on “Muddy creek and spicy cake.

  1. It is so fitting that you have a real wood stove and take such comfort from the elemental provision. Imagine living in a neighboring town that outlawed burning wood…yes. I like that it has a glass door too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your pretty tree still holding its leaves reminded me that 2016 was the year I learned about abscission. Not only do different trees have different patterns of leaf drop, conditions may lead to a tree holding its leaves until every one drops overnight, even wtihout wind, etc. Abscission apparently creates a condition where even the weight of the leaf can cause it to fall. Amazing.

    And this is in no way a criticism of gluten avoidance, but I found it on a favorite person’s twitter feed, and just laughed: “People in LA are deathly afraid of gluten. I swear, you could rob a liquor store in this city with a bagel.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Weather! The world in which we exist, and how dramatic it can be at any time, but especially January. (Though I think I should be saying, “especially any time”.) Love the gingerbread. My husband and I camped in Allegheny State Park in New York on our honeymoon (cabin number 2 on the Anderson Trail) and always cooked on the Franklin stove which heated our cabin. Memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that Psalm! I had to force my brain to be still and really listen and meditate on the words. It wants to race hither, thither and yon and needs some disciplining! 🙂 I’ll have to check out those links! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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