Monthly Archives: September 2009

hump day nuggets: the harvest

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and (few) words about the last week It’s fall. Yes, the equinox was several weeks ago but tonight we will have our first hard freeze with the expected low at 28. Today I am home with bug and it is a good day to be home, pulling up and hanging all those tomato plants heavy with green fruit, making pesto, applesauce. Sipping hot beverages with npr humming in the back ground. Preparing, physically and emotionally, for this next season of stews and hearty bread, dinner at a reasonable hour, thick sweaters and boots, down comforters. Closing up our house, tucking in our garden. Bye dirt! Margot said the other day as we left the garden with arm fulls of food. Yep, one more turn of the shovel for garlic and then bye dirt until March. Read more on hump day nuggets: the harvest…
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why I can’t wait

I can’t wait to be home with my kids. That is a super loaded sentence. One I sometimes feel like I needed to justify or defend, to follow that sentence with but I plan to also nurture some creative endeavors and write and do development consulting blah blah blah so the receiver of the information doesn’t perhaps conjure up the image of me as a stay-at-home-mom. Even though I will be….but I hate the stereotype of a woman wholly defined by her children. Whose stereotype is that anyway? None of my close friends model it. I am embarrassed to admit that I think it was my own some time long ago and I am not sure where it came from…Perhaps it grew out of my own uncertainty about having kids. Since I had Margot nearly two years ago, I have enjoyed making it work well: the career and the home. I give my kid a lot. I give a lot to my career. I give a lot to my man and my friends and my family. And I save some some for myself. And part of me is afraid of changing that model. Or maybe I am just mourning the loss of that model. It has worked really well for me until now. I am nervous about what the change will mean to my girls, my colleagues, my friends. It is freaky to redefine how you answer the question what do you do? and I find that I have this canned answer explaining how I will still move through the world just as thoughtfully and productively as I do now. But, you know, I have always had a stump speech about this working mom question. What do you do? Right now when I talk about my work at the museum it inevitably leads to so you work full-time? I then say yes. But Margot came to work with me for a year and she is only in daycare three days a week and and…because I am afraid of that stereotype too. But I have been slowly discovering a really liberating notion: to not give a shit about what others could think about my choices, particularly my parenting choices. It has been a journey but I am there. Or, closer. How boring would it be if all women made the same choices? And how beautiful is it that we have so many choices? I can’t wait to be home with my kids. And whatever else also comes out of it or doesn’t, I just can’t wait to be home with my kids. I am so fortunate. I can’t wait to not feel like I have to be hyper-productive in every sliver of free time away from my job. That every day will be flexible, defined by what I choose to do with two vibrant girls by my side teaching me humility and patience and a love I never even knew existed. That I can say yes to lunch dates on Tuesdays and hikes on Thursday mornings. That I can be spontaneous because the work I have to get done just needs to get done at some point. When Margot was one I cut one day out of my work week. Mondays it is just my bug and me. It is in quiet moments on Mondays that I know, in a rich and awakening way, how lucky I am to be Margot Bea’s mama. And today I just reveled in my awareness of what my life will be like. This morning bug and I headed up to our dear friend’s farm for the annual grape harvest along with two friends and their daughters. There were dozens of Missoulians buzzing about the vineyard, filling yellow tubs with grapes. A thick breeze snuggled us into a row as we chatted over hearty clumps of organic fruit. The Rattlesnake Valley was twinkling. It was all so simple. Really, it was everything I want in life: community, camaraderie, dirty hands, happy kids, an awareness of myself on the planet. After harvest, we ate good food and after that Margot and Moana got down with a perfectly placed string of mud puddles. I didn’t have any where to be but there. Margot announced she had to pee after watching Moana do so and proudly peed in some knapweed and then I scooped my muddy chicken into the car where she fell asleep and this Ben Harper/Jack Johnson song from one of Margot’s cds came on. I can change the world. With my own two hands. Make it a better place. With my own two hands…I can reach out to you with my own two hands… and I just understood myself, my current path. Jack and Ben helped me have a moment of clarity. There are so many ways I can change the world. And positive change is almost wholly about mindful intention. I am a mama. All else I care about remains and actually has new importance but now, right now, I have the high charge of raising two conscientious, open, engaged, loving and passionate girls. And I just want to give it my everything. Being a mama demands that I exhibit what it is to be a conscientious, open, engaged, loving and passionate person. It demands I nurture myself and my own interests if I want my girls to do the same. I can’t wait to be home with my kids. Because one day, relatively soon, I will send my kids off with more frequency and longer duration until I eventually I say goodbye for months at a time. I don’t know what that will look like but I know what now is and I don’t want to miss any of it. I can’t wait to spend my days, with two girls, baking, learning, sewing, running, resting, gardening, dirtying, cleaning, singing, writing, playing, dancing, problem solving, reading, existing. As a Mama with intention. Living fully. And I get to just figure it out as I go. Read more on why I can’t wait…
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humpedy hump hump

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and (few) words about the last week :: New bedroom. Ah paint. $30 and one day (with the help of my ma in law) and my whole world is transformed. Our room was a coral color that I liked for a hot second but have not liked for more than a year and when the quilt was finished and I became impregnated last spring, the painting of our room moved to the top of my to-do list. I wanted my walls to be the color of sleep. We will be having our baby in this room or perhaps a tub in the kitchen. In seven weeks, give or take. More on my birth plans later. after. oh.before. blech. :: I really want to get Margot a play kitchen for her birthday. This kitchen to be exact. And after Andy and I had a frank discussion about our finances last week, we developed a thrifty budget which doesn’t allow for such purchases. We made a pledge: all gifts this holiday season will to be made by our hands or bartered for or found. And, really now, my man doesn’t have time to make a kitchen so I let it go and moved onto my other plans of handmade dolls and cars and cookies and such. AND THEN. THEN I got an e mail from a potential dig sponsor who gave me links to her company’s site. And after a few email exchanges, they are sending me this KidKraft kitchen, the VERY kitchen I crave, in trade for a few links and a product review. I can’t believe it. Too perfect. I feel so lucky. Thanks universe for giving my girl a super sweet red kitchen this December. :: Andy’s mom visited last weekend and it was divine. :: A while back, a dig reader wrote to ask if I’d like her sewing machine. Seriously? An older, metal Pfaff. Really, for the most part, people amaze me with their niceness. Yes please! I replied. Cause you know I sew with an ancient Singer feather weight and while I love love its simplicity and nostalgia (inherited the beauty from my grandma and my mom and I both learned to sew on it), it is limiting. And Jacqui just sent me the machine and it has sat for months waiting for me to figure it out. And on Monday I did. What took me so long? I have a zig zag stitch friends! And an automatic needle threader thingie! woot. THANK YOU Jacqui. :: Alice is tired of elmo and thought he deserved a resting place in the back yard but her burying skills couldn’t disguise that neon red fur and bright white eyeball. :: Margot is now speaking sentences which is just totally amazing to me. Hands down, her two favorite songs right now are Feist singing 1234 on sesame street (she calls it chicken four) and twinkle twinkle little star (she calls is tinkle star). At least 18 times a day she says, tinkle star please mama peeeeeeeezzzzze and then I sing and if anyone else in in the room she interrupts me by saying papa star or chelci star or neysa star because she insists everyone sings together. It brings her such overwhelming joy I think sometimes she forgets to breathe. And then she sings and she says tinkle star (really really high) whatcha are (exactly like sarah palin) aaahupahbothe tinkle star (dropping dramatically low). Approximately 18 times a day. And what does this have to do with photos of her helping make pie? Nothing. But they’re cute photos. :: And, the best for last. Four years of marriage with my man (and 12 years together). I love him more than ever. I love that I knew him when we were awkward teenagers. We met when we were 13. I love that I knew him when everything we owned fit in our 1983 rabbit and then our 1987 cutlass supreme, futon coiled on the roof and we hopped from Missoula to Jackson to Red Lodge following seasons. I love that I knew him through college and after when we were different people but happened to have grown beautifully together. I love his brain and his talent. I love his heart. I love him as a papa. To quote one of my favorite bloggers: I just love him to the moon and back. Alice was our flower girl, photo by Ici Schemmphoto by Paige Green Read more on humpedy hump hump…
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hump day nuggets: strawberry pillows

Soaking up every last bit of summer with backyard dining. Ashamedly, we don’t do this enough. Because often in the evenings, at the wind down from a busy day, food has one job: to feed us so we can move on. It appears easier for the family to gather around the kitchen table. But, really now, it isn’t hard at all to go outside. And everything seems slower and more thoughtful when eating outside. Read more on hump day nuggets: strawberry pillows…
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how to can stuff (high acid)

So enough of you have asked that here I am doing a wee canning tutorial. And wow, it took a few weeks get it up…canning is a lot of work but then documenting the process is a beast unto itself. It really is easy I swear and not at all scary. Our country tends to be extra freaky about worst case scenario stuff and while botulism is real, it is rare if you preserve correctly. And it’s not hard to preserve correctly. So weeeeeeeee! here we go. Read more on how to can stuff (high acid)…
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