to celebrate

they met dancing

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Billings has a new grocery store: Lucky’s Market. Strawberries were on sale for 88¢ a pound, so I figured I’d try making strawberry chia seed jam.

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It’s sweetened with honey and agave. I warned Shawn it wasn’t very sweet. He asked why I didn’t add more sugar. I told him I did it on purpose so we could taste the strawberries instead of sugar syrup. He seemed wary.


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I used two pounds of berries, six tablespoons of  chia seeds, and probably three tablespoons of honey and four tablespoons of agave nectar. I heated everything, stirred, mashed, let it reduce, and poured it into glass jars.

Once it cools a bit, I’m thinking of testing it over ice cream. Then we’ll see if it meets Shawn’s approval.

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So I’ve let this blog languish a bit. Home projects have taken a back seat of late, as has photographing and mentally arranging to share those projects and other joys of life.

But I thought I’d pop by to document a large-scale renovation: we’re adding a shower to the downstairs half bath. I’d dreamed of doing such a thing when I moved in to Stanwick Park, but I found that I like dreaming up ideas for improvement and never really carrying through.

And then I married a man of action. I told him about my idea to one day add a shower to the downstairs bath…and he went all wild and said we should get a plumber out to give us an estimate. So we did.

After reviewing the estimate, my darlin’ said we should go for it. A month later I still hadn’t called the plumber to give him the go-ahead.

After some encouragement, I made the call and contracted the work. The bathroom is still torn apart–sans sink, sans toilet, sans shower walls–but it’s exciting to me. I count this as progress!

photo 1The view from the doorway: the shower will be to the left in the back; the toilet across from it.

photo 2The soon-to-be shower(!).



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to share

I’ve been doing some arranging and rearranging, working toward better sharing space. One thing that needed help was my collection of necklaces, stored in a heap in the linen closet that I used for make up and accessories more than linens.

I looked on Pinterest for necklace organization inspiration–most of what I saw was displayed on the wall, in the way. My necklaces aren’t art. I don’t want them on the wall. I don’t want them visible except when they’re on my person.

While doing some yard work, trimming small tree sprouts, an idea took hold. It was simple; I went for it. Every girl probably already has something like this, but I didn’t, and now I do.

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I’m still getting used to the necklaces clanking each time I open and shut the door, but I’m starting to remember that they’re there, and opening the cabinet more gently.

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to paint

Until recently my bedroom was tan. Builder beige. One color, walls and ceilings.

But now, my ceilings are white!

Goes on pink, dries bright white!

Goes on pink, dries bright white!


My walls are a cool gray blue (Arctic Stone, if you must know).

Edging out the tan.

Edging out the tan.

Gray wall versus tan.

Gray wall versus tan.

A better fit; I’m pleased with the change.


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to carry

I recently got a bike. It has a back rack, so I can carry bags, which is nice. But the panniers for sale in the bike shops didn’t impress me. Most of them were just one large compartment, which is inconvenient.

I wanted the bag to be large enough to carry my laptop, a change of clothes and shoes. Nothing suited me. So I made my own. Photo fail; it was blurry and sideways and laziness prevents my fixing the situation.

I got a bag at Montana Rescue Mission, bolted tarp hooks and a drawer pull to the back, et voila!

The bungee prevents the bag from flying off the rack. Helpful.

I used this site for the design:
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snow day


Spring snow this morning meant tea, waffles, and a slow start.

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