making and listening

the making
::in the kitchen::

*strawberry jam
just two pints this time, but it brings our total so far up to about 16 cups of from-the-backyard strawberry jam
(mine always separates like this when I process it, I think because I leave it pretty chunky... we just stir it up before digging in.)

it would seem the best strawberry-jam-making helpers wear capes (nothing but capes),

and are more than glad to assist with the sticky clean up.

(raspberry jam is up soon, we're watching those bushes and while most branches still end in tight little clusters of greenish unripe berries, we have found two ripe ones.....)

speaking of unripe berries, I had to have a chat with C today about never ever picking unripe blueberries again...... sacrilegious, it is! (though they do look pretty against that bright 'radish' color of her newly painted picnic table, I must say

*granola, from this lovely cookbook (I've now made two things from her book, the other being baked oatmeal, seems I like what she does with oats).  I added a bit of cinnamon and some sesame seeds, and swapped coconut oil for the butter.  it has orange rind in it and I swear that smell takes me right back to christmas baked goods as a child (though I'm quite sure my mother didn't actually bake anything with orange rind?) and memories of my mom pulling those pillsbury cinnamon rolls out of the oven and glazing them with that orange-flavored icing.  can't say I've got a desire to eat one of those now, but oh my gosh the olfactory memory lane...

::for her::

*the newly painted picnic table
*number rods

inspired by this, I started the process of making her own set of montessori-esque number rods a while ago and have finally done it. (okay, some of the rods still need a bit of paint, but they are so close to being finished)  these are a bit different from the traditional montessori material, in color and size, but I am a-okay with that.

::for me::

I've been making changes in our furniture situation, shifting things around in her room, the office, and the dining room.  the wall above the mantle in the dining room is now a chalkboard wall where I plan to write my favorite quotes in chalk-marker.  some of my favorites are listed here.  there are many others that will be dueling for the available space. from winnie-the-pooh to wendell berry to julia child....  quite a mix it will be.

I keep telling myself they aren't just for christmas.  they are christmas lights from december to january, and otherwise they are just..... lights.  sparkly, lovely, cozy lights.  one day maybe I'll actually hang those pictures on the wall.  for now, the plate rail is an eventual-wall-decor catch all.


I've been sneaking in *little mini garden beds in the form of cinder blocks and small rock-lined raised beds pouring out of the existing garden space. (I'll do another garden post soon, no doubt.  seems every other post is about the garden)

something else I've been making is *mistakes

mistakes in tadpole rearing, specifically
they were all, all eight of them, doing great for a couple weeks and then they started dropping off
I'm not sure why,
they seemed to be enjoying their chlorine-free water and their cat food and lettuce...
so we were down to three
until today
today when I left their lovely new habitat in the hot sun
(it wasn't in the sun at first, mind you, but I didn't check on them for a while and then, when I did....)

the two that were still completely water bound are no longer
the water was way too warm
bad tadpole-mama! (but oh, the things I've learned for next time)
but there's one sweet little froggy left, one little amphibian successfully reared and dangit we are letting him/her go in the creek tomorrow (where, yes, s/he may get eaten almost immediately or otherwise perish) and then I can picture him/her happily living out their little froggy life in creekside bliss.

the listening

it's been a big pandora week
who am I kidding, it's nearly always pandora around here
it's been:

natalie macmaster and sam bush&jerry douglas for inspiration
brett dennen
alabama shakes
regina spektor

over time so many of my pandora stations sound alike, surely I could whittle it down a bit
would love to hear others' favorites....

*I am playing along with dawn 


  1. Your house looks so beautiful and cozy and inviting. I love the lights you have hanging! I think I might invest in some of those, myself. Claire is so big! She is absolutely gorgeous, kinda like her mama. Hope all is well! Love you guys!

    1. thanks, Jennifer! plugging in those white lights is one of the first things I do in the morning. on the way to the bathroom, before turning on the kettle.... it just makes everything feel cozier. she IS getting big, and I stop and stare at how lovely she is quite often (she doesn't always ACT lovely, of course...) oh gosh, thanks~ we are well, and I hope you are too. xoxoxo

  2. love the twinkle lights, so festive! Your daughter sampling in the photo is what summer is all about. On my pandora: indie pop, classic pop, talking heads, cold play to name a few.

    1. it really is- licking sticky fingers, strawberry juice or popsicles dripping down their chins.... I love cold play- listened to them a lot when I was pregnant.

  3. I love twinkly lights year round as well. The photos of your daughter are by far my faves today (though all of your photos are my faves). And those of the fairy lights around your house. Makes me want to move furniture around as well. xxoo

    1. I knew I wasn't alone in the twinkly light love! I plug them in first thing in the morning and they immediately make the house feel cozier, especially on rainy, grey days. thank you- the poor girl gets photographed quite a bit by her mama.

      I HAVE to shift furniture around every few months or so. I know I'm not alone on this either. love that fresh start feeling, and the way it pushes me to keep things cleaner and less pile-y for a while. (just don't look in my bedroom, that's where all the piles are hidden)

  4. that's an impressive list of things made. i don't have a post/list for this week so your list should cover me - hee hee!

    we have fairy lights all year round too :)

    1. ha! you know, it's definitely a very picture-filled post. many more photos than things made, but still quite a few I suppose. it WAS my first full week of summer break. you're busy working, I gather- what kind of freelance work do you do?

      love the lights. I've never heard them called fairy lights... I like it!

  5. So much goodness here!
    Yay for berries! I had to laugh about the early picking. We had the very same convo when the kids were young! Such good helpers... just a bit early!
    RIP the tadpoles. ;-( Where they starting to get legs? When they start to get legs the non-legged ones will nip at them because they are smaller and sometimes kill them... and if given the chance eat them.
    But the lights are so very pretty & I love the chalkboard idea! Happy thoughts!
    Thanks so much for joining in this week!

    1. it's funny- so far this year she's been really good about not picking things early, but for some reason, those shiny little orbs were just calling her name. I actually told her if she chooses to pick any more before they are ready, then those are her berries and her papa and I will eat the others once they are ripe. she looked at me like I was crazy. she knows I was bluffing. oh the tadpoles. total mystery. they were all doing great, then started dropping off (no changes I was aware of) and then the got-too-hot-in-the-sun incident (cringe). we released the one successfully reared froggy today.
      thanks! I'm all about ambiance. who isn't, really? and the chalkboard is replacing my original plan to write in sharpie on the wall. thinking this will be easier to change shall the need ever arise.
      I enjoyed it! good motivation to stay (somewhat) busy~


thanks for taking the time to read and comment~