I had never thought that cookies and fairies were a pair particularly but on this day, they were!
We have had the most unseasonably warm, sunny and divinely beautiful spring in Oregon. Usually this weather isn't typical until July. To have so many weeks in a row, repeatedly, of beautiful sunny weather by May meant that everywhere you went the weather would be a topic of conversation. Sunny Oregon weather is truly that beautiful that it merits so much discussion and speculation, especially when you've traded it in for wet, cold dreariness.
To celebrate the onset of spring, a lovely, amazing woman in our church invited the children over to decorate some spring cookies. What I did not realize is just how popular she is in her social groups for her half-to-three-quarters-inch thick butter cookies that she uses in place of sugar cookies. I feel super lucky to have gotten an invite! She walked me through her recipes step by step and even pulled out the "now that we've made the dough, I'm going to pull out some dough I made earlier from the fridge so we don't have to wait" trick. It was like I was the special guest on a cooking show.
I will post the recipes for her cookies and icing later, but they are currently packed away. When I get a-packin', my brain shuts off as I get into the rhytm of boxing, taping, and labeling. I dont' think about how I wanted to still use what I'm packing up. But I promise I will get that to you in a few weeks.
The decorating was serious business and I loved that she used colored sugar instead of regular sprinkles.
We burnt the cookies a little because we got caught up talking. Oops. I mean,...I can't believe that happened!
Once we had finished and I stood chatting with her, thanking her profusely, she pulled out her standard ammo for the childhood-dream-fulfiling that she frequently does. Would the children like to go out and visit the fairy that lives in her garden? They looked at me, glaring, demanding why I had never before told them that fairies existed or introduced them to one before. I have to admit, it stung a little bit. My daughter has fairy books and we've looked over the pictures and read the poems, but I've never actually created that belief for them.
There is a beautiful horsechestnut tree in my friend's yard which naturally creates openings for squirrel nests and beehives. This opening was the fairy's home.
So she sent them around the yard to look for fairy glass, which fairies love naturally. My friend and her teenage son actually hide these glass stones and other fairy-things around the yard so that the children who come to visit her (and she is quite popular, as you can imagine) can look for magical baubles. They put all of their fairy-findings into the fairy tree to decorate her home.
Of course, fairies love all things nature. Every now and then they would hear a magical tinkling of a bell, which is a fairy's laugh, and run to the tree to see if she left any glitter behind. Of course, there was always a plethora of colored glitter and the lingering smell of cinnamon (or cloves) to indicate her presence. I really need to admit, that at this point I was totally caught up in the magic of it too. Even though I saw her son putting glitter on the tree, secretly ringing a bell and spritzing cinnamon scent, I was almost in tears.
I had to keep myself the thought that the red glitter looked like the scene of a fairy massacre.
The children tried to find the fairy or any of her other friends.
My daughter built her a camp site so she could relax in spa-like indulgence.
They can't wait until we move and they have requested that we find a house with a big tree, preferrably with its own resident fairy. I replied that we would do the best we can do, which is obviously not good enough, so they devised a plan to kidnap my friend's fairy and transport her with us. I know...they look so sweet in the photos that they can shock me with their deviousness. After I finished laughing, I came up with a few fairy-secrets myself, such as that they can only exist as long as they're never caught by naughty children which would be their certain demise.
Here are some of our favorite fairy books in case you're interested too: The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies, How to Find Flower Fairies, and The Girls Book of Flower Fairies. They're all more of the Victorian/romantic-age fairies genre which is really so sweet and charming. We haven't checked out any books on building fairy houses but I suspect we will very soon!
We have had the most amazing year here, I almost can't believe it. It feels like a fairy dream, literally! There are so many things I will miss about the city of roses when it's time to leave Portland.