Montana – Day 15

Back in a former life, I was into crafting. I sewed—even made little overalls, with flies, for my boys—I embroidered, did crewel and needlepoint. I did macrame, canned jellies, refinished furniture. I was, basically, insane.

My theory is I was searching for my creative outlet, so when I found it in writing, I gave all the other up without hesitation.

But hey, vacation here, and they offered an apothecary class. Kat and I jumped in!

We walk down to the yoga studio at Spa Town—nice walk, cool morning—where Simone (of the glorious facial) would guide us through the creating of fragrant lotion bars, lip balm and body scrubs.

Just Kat and me in the class in the glass-walled studio. 

We pick molds first, and both of us go for the rose pattern for the lotion bar. Pretty! Since it’s just the two of us, Simone has us double the recipe, then we can add color—Kat and I both combine the blue and red, hers for a lovely lavender purple, mine more pinky, then scent. So many delicious essential oils to choose from. I can’t resist the blood orange. Then, once Simone melts the mix,  we have choices of pine needles, lavender, rose hips to crumble in, stir up before we pour into the mold.

Fun! And into the freezer with our creations.

Now we have a recipe for lip balm and little clear tubes, a little metal box. More color—we both end up with a kind of blush that looks pretty in the bowl, more essential oils. Melt it up, into a little lipped beaker to pour. While these set up, we’re onto body scrubs.

All the while, that view’s right out there through the wide glass walls.

Fine, fine sugar and salt, lots of those herbs for the scrub. I stick with the lavender and rose hips, Kat adds some pine needles. Stir, stir in a little white bucket, add more as you wish. Then the oils.

Here I reach for what I thought was the blood orange, but whoops wintergreen. Whoa, that’s pretty minty. Simone helps me tone that down with the orange, some lime, tangerine, grapefruit. It’s still minty, but now more interesting. And definitely what I’d call alert. Kat’s is lavender, and very soothing, relaxing.

Into little jars, with a label on top for the name.

In an hour, we’ve made lotion bars, lip balm and body scrubs—so much fun, and easy if you just have the ingredients. 

Apothecary class results/NR

Everything smells so good! We walk back pretty pleased with ourselves, even though it’s starting to rain a little.

We meet up with the guys for lunch. Raining more seriously now, so Jason skips his walk and we get an inside table. Good thing as the wind picks up, and the rain beats. They’re got a fire going in the dining room, and the buffet holds many choices. Fish and chips for me! And an arugula and berry salad that was mighty fine.

Hot chocolate’s pretty popular on this damp day where the temp’s barely nudging 60.

We—or should I say the intrepid Kat—builds a fire back in our cabin. It’s a snap and crackle comfort as Kat and I attack the evil puzzle. Slowly, slowly, progress is made.

Warmth/j a-b

Mama-to-be breaks off for a nice long bath with her own body scrub. Time to just relax by the fire, let the rain and wind have their way.

Dinner time, so I need to figure out what I have that’ll be warm enough to step outside again. Why not make use of Old Gringo Lavender boots? I wear them with warm, soft socks made by the creative Kat for me last Christmas. Cozy feet always make a difference.

Big fire in the big hearth in the dining room. Wine, soup, salads, eggplant parm special for BW and Kat, chicken fingers (GREAT bbq sauce) and fries for me and Jason.

Family by the fire/BW

I can’t handle dessert, but others can. Kat makes a special request. The baby is craving the world’s smallest sundae. And they come through with a little scoop of vanilla in a sorbet cup, chocolate sauce, whipped cream. And a cherry on top!


Back home and into pjs. Puzzle is definitely coming along, but it’s got a long way to go! I finally give it up, but Kat’s still at it.

And this morning I see the separate work she’d been doing, big chunks, finally found their connection to the whole. Whee!

Closer to evil puzzle domination/NR

We had horseback riding for those of us who aren’t pregnant scheduled for this morning, but it’s too cold for us greenhorns. We’ll change that to tomorrow when it’s warmer. 

Workout’s done, and ended with my man Rodney Ye and some lovely yoga. I’m going to join Kat at the puzzle for a bit. If I get caught up so be it. If not, I may write for an hour or two.

Our last barbecue in The Yard tonight.


In today’s #randomkatness

Potential Kat toys/Kat

Note from Laura:  For those of you who mentioned the misaligned photos and captions in the posts, my first suggestion is to see if there’s an update for the WP app for your device. The main complaints have come about devices, but not just ipads or Androids.  My guess is that as WordPress updates the platform, some of the apps may be lagging behind.  I will continue to monitor comments and see what I can learn from the WP community.  Stay tuned. 

13 thoughts on “Montana – Day 15”

  1. Wow, the apothecary class sounds awesome! This vacation spot has their ducks in a row. I’m not sure I’ve heard of so many activities at a resort.

    The food always sounds great. Love the photos! And, such a sweet shot of everyone in front of the fire!

    Thank you for including us.

  2. It’s a pretty sad thing when I keep having to hit “refresh” to see when the day’s new adventures would be posted. I really need to get a (better!) life instead of living vicariously through yours. But since you make it feel as if I’m actually there, I think I’ll stay until it’s time to go.

    Happy apothecary-ness. The results looked lovely. Could smell them from here. Yum. And just the right amount of ice cream, too. Thanks for that.

    Enjoy the rest of your stay. Stay safe.

  3. Apothecary class rocks! What a fabulous thing to do!!!

    And drool, the food descriptions are to die for!!!

  4. I’ve been worried about you guys- I read about fires in Montana. I’m glad it’s not in your area. I laughed when I read about your previous adventures in crafting. When my children were young, i did the same. I actually knitted a skirt, jacket and beret for my baby girl. And there was nothing as relaxing w/a needlepoint at night. But like you, once I found my passion, in interior design, who has the time or patience ? We are the lucky ones that love what they do. I love your evil puzzle- I’d never have the patience to do that today. Glad you are finishing it in time.

  5. What pretty soaps. Rainy day in Michigan too, but needed badly.
    I have a question rereading The Collector and, Lila cries when she killed off one of her characters in the book she is writing. Do you become that attached to the characters?

  6. Love that you made your own soaps, lip balm and body scrubs – they sound lucious. The firs look warm and welcoming, and the four of you look happy and relaxed. Loved the tiny sundae – perfect! Thank you for sharing.

  7. I would love to be there in comfy PJs and doing a puzzle by the fire..sounds wonderful

  8. Loving today’s update…I can just about taste those fries and even taste the huckleberry…also love the warmth of that fire place…Nora, I love the boots…my favorite color…looking forward to reading tomorrow’s adventure and whether you and Kat finish the evil puzzle…???

  9. Hi Laura, I’ve got the misaligned text & photos too. I’m reading this via facebook on my iPhone. I’ve had a fb update during the holiday posts but this made no difference. I’m not sure if there’s anything else to try. Good luck with it ? Ta Mandy

  10. Re-reading the Joe Grey novels, and the randomkatness would be well used by those characters! One of the younger librarians in our system put in for a grant and has been teaching all kinds of crafts, including versions of your Apothecary class, then giving lists of books available to borrow if you want to do more at home. I’ll have to tell her about the lip balm (we made a lip scrub), and that awesome rose mold! That made for some beautiful soaps. LOVE that fireplace!

  11. Came back from vacations with you all already on day 15 🙂 I need to catch up. Blog will have to wait.
    I love crafts. Between it and your books I don’t have time to find my ONE-and-ONLY creative outlet… not even sure I want to 😉
    Lots of catch up to do with you all. Kat blossoms and I hope baby does too even with that tiny sundaes 😉
    Keep them coming 🙂 I’ll stop sleeping if need to catch up.
    Thank you for sharing yourself and yours ❤️

  12. What a great time. It has been a while, but I’ve been a soap and Soy Candle maker for over 10 years. It was wonderful fun and I learned a great deal and hit the larger craft shows all over our county. But since getting my job four years ago, I haven’t had any time. It a lot of work making 50 lbs of soap and 300 Pint size soy candles a week. The Cold Process soap was great fun and I had a blast learn how to swirl in colorant into the plain soap molds that held 10 slabs of soap. It was interesting researching recipes and discovering what scents would accelerate trace ( some florals and all the spicy scents.) You had to work super fast or it just seized in the mold and you had to pitch it and start over. When I was first working with Lye, I was scared but learned that taking my time and shutting off my phone when mixing it helped a great deal. I was fun waking in the morning and grabbing the soap knife and cutting the bars free after unwrapping the mold. I like the huge chunky bars and so did my customers..

  13. Totally love everything about this trip. The “potential Kat toys” cracked me up. How very true. ???

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