Category Archives: Life

Christmas Preparations

When I was growing up Christmas was one of my favorite times of year. I have so many wonderful memories of Christmas and Christmas time. Both of my parents went out of their way to make sure that my sister and I had the best holiday possible. After celebrating in the desert with Bob and company in 2012 and 2013 I was so ready for a cozy winter Christmas. I’m headed back to Washington on Saturday morning for more traditional fun but Sprocket and I have been doing our best to have A Merry Little Christmas all month long.

We went out and got our Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree 2014

We set up the Dickens’ Village houses and made Christmas cookies.

Dickens Village 2014

I’m even back to wearing Christmas bows in my hair (although it’s not quite as big as the ones I used to wear back in high school). This one came magically on a bottle of Bailey’s:

Bailey's Christmas Bow

With each activity, I found myself remembering so many things. Hanging my grandma’s Christmas ornaments, I remembered our annual tradition of decorating my grandma’s tree. I carefully hung tinsel on the tree and remembered my dad insisting on tinsel while Mom (faintly) protested that we found it all over the house.

Grandma's ornament

I made the candy cane cookies, butter mints, sugar cookies, and pepparkakor (Swedish spice cookies) that I grew up making. I remember spending evening in the kitchen baking and watching Christmas movies. We had quite the queue of movies to work through each December.Miracle on 34th Street (the original, in black and white never colorized), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (both the animated and live action versions), and A Charlie Brown Christmas were just the beginning.

Christmas is most seriously my favorite and I’m savoring it this year.


How are you getting in the holiday spirit this year?

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Christmas Tree 2014

One of the biggest things on my To Do list after Thanksgiving was to acquire a Christmas Tree. After two years of spending the holiday mobile in the deserts of Arizona, I was really excited to head out with Sprocket “to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols” in our 4-wheel drive sleigh.

Life is really tough when this is your view leaving town to go find a tree:

Tree adventure!

As I got out of the Jeep, I realized that I had neglected to pack the snowshoes but since we were already at the top of Red Mountain Pass, I opted to deal with posthole-ing to find a tree. Sprocket was unimpressed by my attempt to get a photo of him with the tree and took the opportunity for a rest break:

Cutting Christmas tree

Our tree this year came from almost 11,000′ above sea level and is just a beauty.

Christmas Tree, 11,000'

I feel so lucky that this is how I go about obtaining my Christmas cheer:

Christmas tree on Jeep

Christmas Tree 2014

The 3Up Christmas Tree, 2014:


Christmas Tree 2014

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Amanda Shires

Shortly after finding out I’d gotten the job in Ridgway, I found out Amanda Shires was playing at the Wright Opera House in Ouray. Shires plays the type of singer-songwriter alt-country music that I really love so I immediately bought a ticket.

Then, about four hours before showtime, things got even better when I learned that Jason Isbell, Shires husband, would be playing guitar. Isbell played in Telluride awhile ago and I was so bummed to miss out. (You should totally check out the Death, Sex & Money podcast Confessions of a Nashville Power Couple featuring Shires and Isbell; it’s awesome.)

Amanda Shires

The show was absolutely worth every penny and the really snowy drive home. Shires was so personable and entertaining and the venue was one of the most intimate I’ve ever attended a show at. (It almost reminded me of the Village Club Series at Bates.) Watching these two perform together was also amazing.

Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires

If you ever get the chance to see Amanda be sure to go! The show will not disappoint.

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Ridgway Life

Lately, life has been a little rough at times. I’ve been adjusting to life on my own and taking on a new career all while tackling my #damselNOTindistress projects.

However, looking back at the last week, I can’t help but smile. I attended an awesome Halloween party at The Sherbino:


Halloween 2014


Monday, I went out for burgers and beer with friends. Then Wednesday, we gathered again to eat cheese, drink wine, and play Cards Against Humanity.

Cards Against Humanity

Yesterday morning, our whole school gathered to send off our volleyball team to state. It didn’t hurt that the volunteer fire department escorted the bus out to the highway with lights and sirens.

Volleyball Sendoff

Then last night, I was driving home from yet another Home Depot trip and was absolutely astounded by the quiet beauty of the mountains in the moonlight.

Sometimes it’s just the little things, you know?


What little things are making you happy this week?

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#DamselNOTinDistress, Part 2


Yesterday, I shared my lazy Sunday in bed. Why was I so exhausted? Well, after two weekends of solid work (plus a week of parent-teacher conference craziness combined with more #damselNOTindistresswork), I finished hanging the drywall, applying the mud, texturing, and painting!

This blurry shot is me celebrating being done mudding the drywall:

Finished mudding

And then it was time to mask off the windows and center beam to get ready for paint and texture:



The texturing went quickly and was relatively painless:


And then, finally, there was paint:


I can’t believe how great this place looks!

Living Room

Dining Room


The flooring arrives today! Once that goes in, I think I’ll finally feel like I’m not living in a construction zone!

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Taking A Breath

The last month has been a really busy one for me. I was either playing all weekend (Kristin visiting and going to Joes Valley with some #omniten friends were highlights!) or working on the house (the last two weekends).

This photo is from Saturday night but it still sums up my Sunday:

Beth and Sprocket

I have a #damselNOTindistress update coming your way this week but yesterday, I finally took a break. I made a Home Depot run in the morning, got home, cleaned the kitchen up (it’s finally a functional kitchen not covered in drywall dust!), and then I made a cup of tea, crawled in bed, turned on a movie and started working on my quilt.


I desperately needed a day to recharge my batteries. (Interestingly, Katie wrote about the same idea yesterday.) Today, it’s back to school and #damselNOTindistress-ing. But sometimes, a quiet rainy day is just what the Sprocket ordered:

Sprocket relaxing

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Telluride with Kristin

Kristin and I need to be better at taking Selfies apparently because this whole post looks like it’s all about SP and me. Luckily, she was kind enough to share some photos of our awesome day in Telluride here on the blog. We headed to Telluride via Last Dollar Road to enjoy the last of the fall colors, walked around downtown Telluride, gorged ourselves at Brown Dog Pizza, and rode the gondola to Mountain Village for a little extra scenery.

Beth Lakin Bault and Sprocket in Telluride

Beth Lakin Bault and Sprocket in Telluride

Beth Lakin Bault and Sprocket in Telluride

San Miguel Mountains

Beth Lakin Bault and Sprocket in Telluride

Beth Lakin Bault and Sprocket in Telluride

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Unadventure Weekend

This weekend was all about #damselNOTindistress. And you know what? It was a gorgeous fall weekend and it kind of distressed me I couldn’t go hike Precipice Peak.


And yes, I am rocking a black eye. Sometimes I’m just clumsy.

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#DamselNOTinDistress, Part 1


If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed the hashtag #damselNOTindistress floating around. Before we decided to part ways, F and I signed a six-month “work for rent” lease on a place that needed a little bit of TLC: pulling up old carpet, sheetrocking over wood paneling, and a few other miscellaneous projects.


Since I solely inherited this fairly large project shortly after a pretty life changing experience, I have to admit that it inspired in me a little bit of the “I am woman, hear me roar” feeling. Plus, since this project is taking up most of my free time (well, at least when I’m not hiking or doing something much more awesome), it’s one of the only things besides Sprocket’s sweet face I have to Instagram these days. And so, #damselNOTindistress was born.

ThermostatI’ve even had to buy some tools. I get excellent service at Home Depot.

Power tools


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Me, In A Nutshell

Beth and Sprocket

I’ll have more photos and stories from our adventures this weekend but first, I just wanted to share a little glimpse into How We Roll.

Sprocket and I were in the Jeep between Animas Forks and California Pass on our way home. Radio reception came back just in time for Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” to come on the radio.

Since Sprocket doesn’t judge, and really, he likes to see me happy, I cranked the volume up and did a happy shimmy dance in the drivers seat.

I met a jeep coming the other way. The road was plenty wide enough for us both to continue moving, I just needed to go up a rocky section of road. I downshifted, still singing, with Sprocket’s head sticking out the window over my shoulder.

I didn’t really think anything of it, until I saw the rather amused faces of the other driver.

Oh well. That’s how we roll.

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What A Month!

One month ago, I walked into a classroom and stood in front of the room for the first time. I’d had plenty of 1st Days as a student but this was the start of a new career and a new life in Ridgway. That afternoon, I found out I was getting divorced.

According to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, I should be set to have a heart attack any minute since a score of 300+ on their inventory leaves you with a 90% chance of an illness or “blowing up.” I took the inventory and scored over 400…

In contrast to getting sick or blowing up, however, I’ve done my best to readjust, reset, and begin again.

I bought land here in town and began to dream of what my house should have and how it might look. (Perhaps another stressor but I do love dreaming of a new home and scheming how to make it happen.)



I’ve climbed mountains: a 14er and a couple county highpoints plus made dreams and plans for so many more. I’ve hiked with friends and have plans on the calendar for a Joe’s Valley trip and at least one more friend hike in the next month.

I’ve began to settle into my rental and do some work on it in exchange for rent. (Follow my adventures in single gal renovation on Instagram and Twitter at #damselNOTindistress.) I’ve had a friend visit me for a change and there’s another one scheduled to arrive a week from tomorrow.

Ridgway Fall Festival

I’ve caught up with old friends on the phone and found myself active on Twitter and Instagram again. I have had more emails, Tweets, texts, Facebook messages, and phone calls of love and support than I would have ever imagined.

There have been evenings spent with lovely diverse Ridgway friends in their homes, in the park, on the river, and at Colorado Boy.

A film starring me and nine amazing friends debuted on YouTube. (Both the premiere with commentary and a version with just the gorgeous film are online now!)

It’s been hard: moving, a new job, divorce, friend making, and renovating all at the same time. I haven’t had much time to post here but I will get that scheduled in again soon.

But you know what? I’m smiling.


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Homeowner’s Tool Kit

Everyone needs to have some tools of their own. My grad school roommate’s father had bought her a simple tool kit from Sears plus a hammer and she became the de facto quick fix person in our house. Then I moved in with F who had All The Tools so my biggest concern was knowing where to find the right tool for the job and where to put it back.

Photo Per Erik Strandberg
Photo Per Erik Strandberg

At no point along the lines did I ever have to purchase my own tools. I don’t own a house now, although I’m looking forward to that in the not-so distant future, but I do live in one and I’m fairly self sufficient (YouTube how-to videos are the best!) and need to be able to do some things without borrowing tools.

I won’t be able to buy everything tomorrow but I do want to start budgeting to spend a little money on tools each month. So I turn to you all, dear readers, what tools do you use all the time?

The List, so far:

  1. Screwdriver (already have)
  2. Tape measure (already have)
  3. Utility knife and blades (already have)
  4. Cordless drill (I’m embarking on a pretty major drywall project so this is a requirement!)
  5. Hammer
  6. Pry-bar
  7. Dikes (Turns out that’s a portmanteau word for “diagonal cutters,” cool, huh?)


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Almost 29 and Looking Forward

The last six months has been a whirlwind of working various jobs while moving towards the ultimate goal of permanently being able to call Ridgway home. To make that happen, we took a camp host position in California but when that didn’t meet expectations, we headed for Oregon. In Oregon we spent way too much time commuting or traveling for work.

Being offered a job in Ridgway was a huge relief: I would be learning a new career and we’d be doing the work of establishing ourselves somewhere for good but it was work I looked forward to. The last two years of being semi-nomadic have been really hard on me. From the day my parents brought me home until I left for college I only lived in one house. My family had birthday and holiday traditions that meant the world to me and I looked forward to establishing some in our home—the instability of the road wasn’t conducive to that happening. I missed having friends I could go visit and get some much needed non-relationship support. Pulling into Ridgway with Forrest at the end of July, I was so hopeful.

On the very first day of my new job, my hopes were dashed. Our six year relationship was over. While occasionally tumultuous, I learned a lot about different ways of looking at the world while we were together. This is not what I’d have ever hoped for but I wish Forrest the best as he takes the next stops in his life.

Next Sunday, I turn 29. Instead of spending my last year of my twenties preparing to build a home with my husband, I’ll be relearning to live on my own. I’ll be chasing goals that had become less of an emphasis when I was part of a couple. I’ll be working on building my own life here in Ridgway. I love blogging here at 3Up Adventures and look forward to sharing my journey with you all.

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New Job, New Clothes

When you’ve spent the last few year wandering the country hiking, exploring, and living out of a vehicle having professional (or even professional-like) clothing isn’t a huge priority. It becomes even less of a priority when you work with companies like Stonewear Designs and Columbia Sportswear—I always felt cute and well dressed for what I was up to. Or I did, at least until I accepted the teaching job in Ridgway.

For the first time since I worked for the health department in Missoula (way back in summer of 2010!), I looked in my closet and thought, “I have nothing to wear for work today.” I’ve been able to adapt a handful of pieces to wearing to school by adding a cardigan or layering a cami underneath but I have a long ways to go to have a truly professional teaching wardrobe so I’m going to need to budget a bit each month to buy non-hiking/workout clothes!

If you’ve met me, or even if you’ve followed me on Twitter and the blog for awhile, you probably know that I’m a lot more apt to spend money on gas or on new gear than new clothes. And trust me, no one was more shocked than me to know that I spent $150 on new clothes today. The only question remains, how long until my students realize that most of my clothes are from Columbia?

Columbia clothes order

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English Paper Piecing Quilt, Part 2

It took me almost a year and a half to finish the first phase of my quilting project and now just a scant three months after finishing that, I’m on to the next part! I’ve almost completed sewing the hexagons into groups of seven and now they’re all laid out on the floor awaiting assembly!

Assembled hexagons

Just like when I was making the individual hexagons, I aimed for about 250 hexagons to a quart size bag; this amounted to 36 pieces made up of 7 hexagons. This meant each gallon zie bag contained 1008 hexagons.

Assembled hexagons Laying out hexagons Hexagon flowers

I think I can start to visualize a finished product!


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