Monthly Archives: May 2008

I am better at buying plants.

It is nearly summer and I haven’t worn anything in my summer stash in two summers because I was largish last summer and, well, a girl needs some new duds. I was running a work errand on foot yesterday and bug is with her papa on Fridays so I decided to pop into a downtown store. It may sound strange but until like last year I actually shopped in the hip part with music like Black Eyed Peas and Christina Aguilera piping. I now realize that my third-decade-of-my-life self doesn’t have any business shopping in juniors. Besides, I have to buy sizes that are like one and a half the size that I normally wear so that sucks. And, I think my post-bug belly could stand some less fitted t shirts. And, nobody over the age of 23 should wear anything called “baby doll.” And, if there is ruching around the breast area, you better be a B cup at the most. Then I headed toward the stuff made for people with hips and found myself picking things up that I would never have picked up a year ago but I thought, I, well, maybe my style is evolving. I looked up and saw the Misses Sportswear sign and I looked in my hand and realized I had picked up really really ugly stuff. So, I asked myself, nearly out loud, am I just unhip now or are the styles awful and designed for petite pregnant women? (when I posed this Q to Andy he said I sounded like Carrie Bradshaw to which I replied, that might be the greatest compliment I have ever received). The only person who looks good in a large print, empire waist, silky mu mu is a cute prego lady. And, then I was annoyed that it is called Misses Sportswear. What does that mean? That all us Montana women shop there for our cricket attire? I didn’t buy anything. So after work I met some friends for a beer and then I had to go to a certain box store to get things one can only get there like a baby spoon (that’s right my bug is eating cereal!) and plain t shirts that I won’t mind getting baby puke on. Anyway, my opinion was cemented when I found myself in the Exhilaration and Mossimo section next to a cute girl whose boyfriend was picking out pants for her to wear but shoot! They don’t have a size five! I quickly moved into my age-appropriate area of Merona and Issac Mizrahi. By the way, Target is the HOT spot for pregnant women and new moms on Friday night. Anyway, my shopping was fruitless and I am much better at buying plants anyway and they are definitely not made in China. I had big plans to start my heirloom seeds in my friend’s greenhouse but it didn’t happen so I went to the farmer’s market this morning alone because Andy would rather be kicked in the shin than be a part of the Saturday morning who’s who scene. I bought some gorgeous tomato and pepper plants and a small bag of local morel mushrooms to go with our local steak and not-so-local delicious bottle of wine my man got me for mother’s day. Tonight after our afternoon recreation (Andy bikes with Alice and I hike with bug), we are having a backyard dinner date in sunny, gorgeous, green, hopeful western Montana. Our date will be in our backyard with the chickens who are now giant birds. Bossy still scares the poop out of me but I make myself pet her anyway. My mom gave us a sign for the coop that is the perfect addition to the hen palace my darling partner built: The Love Coop. Love in the coop, my backyard, Montana, bliss. Read more on I am better at buying plants….
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my vote is for Obama

It is really exciting that the Montana primary MATTERS for the first time in my voting life. I mean, I always vote but it is usually rather obsolete by the time it gets down to Montana, Puerto Rico and South Dakota. Get yer blank t shirts ready to be spiffed! There is a rally in Caras Park in Missoula this Saturday from 2-5pm. If you bring a t shirt and a contribution to the Obama campaign, my friend Elizabeth will emblazon an uber cool design on the previously boring piece of apparel. For those that don’t live in Montana and want a t shirt and to make a donation to Obama’s campaign, e mail me (will I regret this?) at nicirae at gmail dot com and I’ll work something out with you. Check out her designs here. Read more on my vote is for Obama…
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skiing is over, gardening has just begun.

We have been having greens from our garden for the last few weeks. The soft, meaty taste of arugula that hasn’t been on a refrigerated truck from California to Montana is bliss. Every year, I forget what that taste is like so it is always a wonderful surprise. Piled on pizza, wedged in fish tacos or just by the handful straight from the garden. yum. We are having a second round of the asshole cold snap. Memorial Day weekend in Montana is always a crap shoot. Every year, on this weekend, we head to Red Lodge for the opening of the Beartooth pass–to ski and hang with friends and family. I am in Red Lodge now. I am not skiing this year as I didn’t alpine ski all last season because of a bug and well, I am a bit of a scaredy cat about my first time out in a while being on the steep burliness of Rock Creek headwall. I feel a tiny bit lame because of it but am having a great time with my ma and ma-in-law. They live two blocks apart. Right now my mom is dying Joan’s hair while bug naps. Good stuff. This morning, Andy could hardly drink his coffee he was so anxious to get his gear on and go search for *snow.* This, among many other skiing-driven obsessions is one of his traditions, as he refers to anything he likes to do. He meets up with his posse every year and they get all suited and geared up and drive up the pass (it is closed all winter and opens on this weekend every year) to check it out. They ski together like they have since they were like eight. The group is a modest bunch. Some are professional skiiers and nearly all could be. Andy is sponsored and a total badass and is so sexy on the snow. He hates it when I talk about it but, come on. I am just a proud wifey. I love his not-all-about -the-scene, real love for skiing. He could care less about the post-ski bar party, bro and often negotiates for the last chair while many are in the beer-consumption mode. Well, to be honest, I love it most of the time–it sort of depends when you ask me about it because sometimes he gets so tunnel vision about snow that it is really annoying and not sexy at all. For six months of the year, my man sets his alarm early (and he usually gets up at six anyway) to check ski reports. I feel all desperate like a mom madly waving her arms at her child as he heads off to prom to look at me! Part of his wedding vows: I promise to always meet up with you for lunch on a powder day. This sentence got cheers from the group of aforementioned friends. So, oy, I love it and it makes me insane. I was planning to write about the amazing arugula salad we have been eating. Funny how that happens when blogging. And, so, as long as he makes smart decisions when dropping that 20 or 30-foot cliff, like maybe not doing it now that we have a little kiddo, I am supportive. Skiing is Andy’s religion. And I don’t mean that in the cheese dick (another andyism) sense, but in the way that I need gardening sense. I feel about the season’s first harvest as Andy does about the season’s first big winter storm. We are both driven by weather and ecology. We both get focused and obsessed with the minutia of our habit. I am thankful this occurs in different solstices or we could be in trouble. On Memorial Day weekend, his religion ends and mine begins. Read more on skiing is over, gardening has just begun….
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five summers ago

I found these pictures of my garden that I made out of rock hard, dog-compacted, neglected soil inhabited by previous dope-dealing renters of my home. The entire yard (two city lots) was concrete-like dirt with dandelions. I dug the entire front and back yard (did I mention it was two city lots?) by hand. Just me and shovel and a whole lotta determination. I got kinda sappy and even a bit teary when I found these photos. In 2003, Andy and I had decided to settle as much as we felt comfortable doing, which wasn’t much really. We bought a house on a lick and a promise. We had no money and talked a relative into co-signing a loan. With art degrees, two cats and furniture we found in alleys. We had been together for six years. I had just started my work at the museum. No fence around the garden. Before dog. Before marriage. Before house remodels. Before purchasing our first grown-up things like a fridge and a couch that was sturdy and pretty and I could imagine having forever. Before my half-time receptionist job turned into a full-steam-ahead career. Before a kid. Five years ago my garden was unfenced and limitless. The soil was dug and amended and seeds were sowed (the metaphors! I know!). It was an experiment that turned out pretty well. Read more on five summers ago…
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each wtih their own personality

The super model onions are all lined up and ready for the catwalk: The ambitious peas reach their long, skinny arms for security: The feminine rhubarb’s dark, wavy locks modestly conceal her deep red tissue: The cheerleader arugula stands crisp and preppy with her pom poms: The sophisticated and brooding mesclun mix carelessly sunbathes: The meditative beets have decided it’s time to get on with the sun salutations: The radishes spread their heart-shaped shoulders, readying themselves to catch a tiny baseball: The incognito spinach hasn’t revealed it shape just yet: The lavish strawberries promise velvet fruit soonish: The tired taters are slow to emerge and kindof unsure of their identity: Read more on each wtih their own personality…
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