hump day nuggets: May

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week

I think May is my favorite month. Color and warmth that demands I run and feel, rain and chill that pushes me to sit and witness. Oh, May, you manic, lovable creature.

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Forming nuggets kind of quick(ish) today because my best pals  get to town tomorrow and, currently, their little vacation suite needs some love. Specifically, the entire surface of their bed is covered in laundry.

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Anyway, laundry is boring. More interesting is the reason for the heap: we have been outside, only passing through our home. How can we possibly focus on socks when peas are growing by the minute? How are we to fold napkins when the rivers sprint to kiss the pedestrian bridge? How can I prioritize anything other than walking among the arrowleaf balsamroot and snow-covered peaks?

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I know you are picking up what I am putting down. After months of a long, cold, gray winter, my skin craves to touch the air. It’s irresistible.

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Nuggets.

:: We biked to our lovely local family-run farm to fetch flowers and starts. Margot’s choices surprised me. In a greenhouse full of every color imaginable, she chose oregano and a spiky green dude for her pots. Sister knows what she wants.

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:: The bliss of shared backyard meals.

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:: Busted out the kiddie pool and just as I was smiling at how peacefully and happily the girls were playing while I planted tomatoes I saw Ruby giggle with excitement, my phone in her chubby grip. It remains quite waterlogged but the bag of rice thing worked.

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:: My sewing business is growing a bit and involving some travel. Nothing far but every time I follow a river out of our valley, I am gobsmacked at the beauty of where I am from, where I live.

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:: Squirrel Slayer‘s beautiful blooming trees hang into our yard. No squirrels on this tree.

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:: “See Ruby? You just put your feet up like this and then your hands like this and then swing like a big kid. Some day you’ll be a big kid. Maybe next summer.”

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:: The magic of compost.

This:

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Turns into this:

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Several have asked about my compost method and I must say it is highly unscientific. No, you don’t need sun. Yes, you need to add water if it gets too dry. No, it doesn’t smell. We pile all of our kitchen and yard waste and chicken poo, turn it every few months and voila.

:: Our boulevard garden is going to rock this year. I am less afraid of illegality now that boulevard plantings are sprouting up as quickly as spinach in Missoula. Ruby helped me plant squash.

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:: It was my turn for last week’s family night. I made spring rolls and steamed up the last of 2010′s beans and we then ventured off to find ducks (even when it is my turn, I am heavily influenced by a certain three year-old) and play on the big blue slide. Tonight, Margot has chosen cheesy noodles (shock!), carrots and ice cream followed by the library. I wonder if I can sway her into putting laundry away?

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Y’all have asked for our cheesy noodle recipe and, like the compost, it isn’t very scientific, but here’s a stab at a “recipe”:

:: Margot’s Cheesy Noodles :: 
- pasta (we like egg noodles)
- cheese, shredded (any combination will do…cheddar, havarti, parm, mozz, swiss etc.)
- butter
- flour
- tofu, crumbled
- carrots, shredded
- spinach, chopped
Prepare noodles. Make a roux: Melt a generous scoop of butter in a sauce pan over lowish heat. Add enough flour (about the same amount as the butter) and whisk until thick. Add milk (~1/2 cup) and stir until warm. Add shredded cheese (~1 cup) and stir until melty. Add crumbled tofu, shredded carrots and chopped spinach. Mix with noodles and serve.

:: While cheesy noodles aren’t gourmet, I do love that it is an entirely local meal (I linked above to our family staples). And the locality is made even easier by my favorite way to grocery shop: Farm to Family Montana. I am so happy this inspiring business is joining us as a dig sponsor.

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Margot and Ruby love F2F deliveries, diving right into fresh produce.

The gist: I shop from my home and a pile of local and organic food is delivered to my home days later for a $5 delivery fee. I support Farm to Family and local farmers and makers (like dig sponsor Wee Chef) and my family eats fresh, awesome food. The prices are competitive (check out the CSAs and produce boxes) and the food quality is outstanding. I really love Farm to Family.

Place and order and use coupon code ‘dig this chick’ to get one dozen dozen (free-range, organic-fed, from the Rattlesnake Valley) for free! Thank you, Farm to Family!

:: We made dog treats for a certain canine friend who is sick. It was supposed to be a surprise but, while skyping last night, Margot proudly announced to my mom, “We made cookies for Annie!” Annie will still be surprised.

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I used my recipe but used almond butter and flax instead of peanut butter and cornmeal. They turned out great and my kids like them too.

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:: Ruby is 18 months old. Goodness, a wonderful age.

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Holes in the knees of tights, insisted-upon snow boots, wonky haircut given by older sister, always smiling and curious.

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:: Margot dropped her sparkly darker blue heart hoodie downtown earlier this month among the thousands who were out for our monthly art walk. To her disappointment, we couldn’t find it. And then? Then, I got an email from a reader who found and recognized it from my blog. So we brought Lee a cupcake and fetched the hoodie. Love my town (and readers!). Thanks, Lee!

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This week, I am looking forward to: staying up late with bffs, an outdoor concert, first lettuce harvest, planting pole beans, bouquets of lilacs, green trail runs. I know June will soon be my favorite. What are you looking forward to this week?

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happy hump day out there.

:: :: ::

all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com

37 Responses to hump day nuggets: May

  1. TRB Holt says:

    xoxo….now back to read!

  2. Melina says:

    Hey Nici! I am looking forward to assistant teaching my first birth class on Saturday, collecting sea glass on the beach with the little boy I take care of, and my mom is coming into town all the way from Vermont on Tuesday. Until then, I have about 4 posts I’m excited to write up on my blog. Lots to look forward to!

    I had to keep scrolling up to look again at that photo of Margot running through the Montana foothills….and to think, Montana is so close to Washington yet it’s one of the THREE state’s in the lower 48 I’ve never been to!!

    xox
    Melina

  3. Melina, Come to Montana! It would be great fun to meet you. Maine is the one state I’ve never been to…not so close to Montana though.

  4. Marti says:

    I’m looking forward to meeting my best friends new baby boy this weekend! (And I’m sure they are going to love the N.C. shirts I bought from you)

    I made the pumpkin cranberry biscuits on Saturday that you posted a while ago and they were delicious! so delicious that I think my husband might have wanted to remarry me…I think he ate 15 and my 3 year old probably ate just as many.

  5. fricka says:

    I’m looking forward to a weekend out of the city, hiking, photographing,cooking, baby loving, dancing and recharging.

    Your compost recipe is just like mine, dump, water, turn:)

  6. Courtney says:

    May is absolutely my favorite month in Montana. You know spring is here, despite Mother Nature’s attempts to smite your enthusiasm with rain (or snow). What am I looking forward to? A roadtrip to Coeur d’Alene, where we’ll sit in the lake house, watch it rain, play scrabble, read, drink whiskey, make pretzles and enjoy family and friends. Yay Memorial Day!

    PS: Someday, give me the low down on why you don’t start your squash plants from seed? No grow-light for your family? I’m considering adding one to my gardening repertoire next summer…

  7. booksNyarn says:

    I am looking forward to hitting the road with my niblets and gf to visit my family in upstate NY. We have mini-golf, mountain hike, ice cream and my father’s birthday waiting for us!

    Enjoy!

  8. Sarah says:

    Once again I love this post! I’m looking forward to starting our compost back up in our new place, and to having a garden where I can actually use it! :)

  9. Courtney, I don’t have a great space for seed starting. Every year I try to improve my system and never end up with the awesome starts I wish for. Last year I borrowed space in a friend’s greenhouse and it worked great but I wasn’t on it this year! So we bought squash, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower and cucs. The rest we will plant from seed in the ground.

  10. Mindi says:

    I am looking forward to *hopefully* planting our garden… if the rains would ever stop! (Of course two months from now I will be doing rain dances…)
    Happy Hump Day!

  11. Tina says:

    I am beyond looking forward to hosting my big sister’s baby shower this coming Sunday. My Mom is coming up from Ohio so she can be here for it (we live in Canada) and it’s sure to be a really exciting day! It’s my sister’s first baby and she’s having a boy. Seeing as I have two girls, it’s a huge deal to me that she is having a boy! I can’t wait to be an Aunt.

    All the pictures that you post that show the mountains in your area make me swoon. The landscape looks so beautiful and I can only imagine how sweet the air must smell! I would love to experience it myself one day.

    Brianna is 15 months, and I can’t get over how much I LOVE this age. Full of curiosity yet still somewhat innocent and needy, learning so much every day and doing such silly, adorable things… it’s heavenly. I wish time would slow down just a wee bit.

    Enjoy your family night tonight! What books do you predict Margot will choose at the library?

  12. Adriana Iris says:

    your baby running on that open field…and the blooming tree…heaven thanks for that…Also love the f2f program you have.

  13. Jeanna says:

    Your nuggets never fail to make me smile. :)

    I am looking forward to bringing my new little “Bean” home from the hospital. His almost 4-year-old big brother is quite excited about this too.

  14. Nicki says:

    oh my goodness…such gorgeous pictures!

    This week I’m looking forward to a long weekend visiting my family in northern MN. Next week my summer classes start which I would normally be dreading, but I’m so close to being finished for good that I can’t help but be excited! Love this time of year…just beginning to dip our toes into summer. Have a wonderful time with your BFFs!

  15. Judybusy says:

    Love seeing everything come to life and see all of you enjoy it so much.

    This weekend, I will see my oldest niece celebrate high school graduation, attend a goodbye party for a dear friend moving to California, and plant my basil, tomatoes and annual flowers. I am also getting a new perennial bed prepared and will be planting that out with a serviceberry tree and various shady things!

    The niece and I will be talking about our upcoming trip to Italy in late June!

  16. CB says:

    This week will bring guests fro the other side of the world to us, and then we are off to a cabin (think rustic, oh VERY rustic, as in a little energy, no running water, a little river outside and a glorious view of the valley)
    Hoping for creative and self-entertaining kidlets for the long drive, just to let loose once we get to the mountains!
    Will do some baking to prepare! Can´t wait!
    Smiles and have fun with your friends!

  17. Mihaela says:

    I want to move to Montana. It is such a gorgeous place!!

  18. Zoe says:

    I have two very special events to look forward this week and next week. On Friday, we will head to the Acoustic Cafe music festival in Alabama. This festival is organized by my husband’s uncle and is awesome because of the family friendly atmosphere and fantastic music. But the best thing about this year is my brother-in-law and his wife are flying in from Maryland. Not only have they never been to the festival before, but my brother-in-law has never met his uncle and they are so much alike for two people who have never met. I’m really looking forward to this special family reunion.

    And speaking of family reunions, on Memorial Day, we are flying to London, my hometown. It’s been two years since we were last there, and I am so excited to introduce my 8 month old to her aunts, uncles and cousins and to getting cuddles from my parents again. My 6 year old and 3 year old are beyond excited too. The anticipation is better than the build-up to Christmas.

  19. FinnyKnits says:

    Props to Lee on the sweet find! Go blog!

    I hit a trail race last weekend and thought of you out there – chilly fog, green mountains, blossoming wildflowers and miles of gorgeous single track. You’d have loved it.

    :)

  20. Kelly Cach says:

    “Manic May”….love that. My sister and I use the term “manic” as well…..good day, bad day, good day, bad day. Weather in Idaho is similar and I don’t mind a bit. I don’t consider any condition “bad”. Not even the massive rain & wind storms that knock down trees in our neighborhood, and then magically disappear in a heartbeat, only to let in rays of sunshine and chirping birds!

    What I’m looking forward to:

    *Summer vacation starts Friday for my sweet boys.

    *FINALLY having a small space for the boys to grow pumpkins & sunflowers.

    *SEWING! Seriously, your blog has inspired me. I literally go to bed dreaming about fabric.

    *And just found out that my Nora Girl (who turns 10 months old today) was gifted a scholarship for 12 weeks of Kindermusic starting next Friday. My heart is full. Down Syndrome has blessed us in more ways than ever fathomed.

    Wishing the whole world could know her,
    Kelly

  21. gelka says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that Margot was so excited about making dog treats! My sweet Princess pup is not feeling well either (damn old age and arthritis) but tell Margot she has inspired me to whip her a homemade treat! :)

  22. I love, love, love May – it’s when the garden wakes up and we get to celebrate my daughter’s birth day.
    So at this moment, I am looking forward to working on a ton of details for a little 3 YO’s Neverland birthday bash (less than 2 weeks and I’m so disorganized!!). Working on embroidering bags as we speak to look like a lantern where Tink is trapped. Looking forward to eating our first lettuce and seeing dear friends over the weekend and sailing and swimming.

    Nici, what is that tree from the Squirrel Killer? Looks like bouquets of tulips from the shot. Curious.

    Also I need to post a question on the Harvest about a “spirited” group of squirrels that are digging up my first attempt at strawberries. Oh they’re eating the roots. I love my squirrels, but their enthusiasm is twisting my knickers!

    Have an awesome weekend. Your BFF is yet another talented person. And I’m jealous that you still have Lilacs blooming.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  23. Amanda says:

    Gorgeous. That hillside and landscape with your big girl walking towards nothing is absolutely gorgeous.

  24. Mumma Bear says:

    Your photos are fab. You inspire me to have chickens and make amazing compost for my vege and herb gardens.
    Totally think you have your priorities in order – Laundry,well actually, folding and putting away is on my list of things to do – only way at the bottom!!!
    Happy May :)

  25. Sarah says:

    gorgeous pictures of your beautiful home!!! I really want to compost next year….so impressed. have fun with your friends!!

    (PS. I facebook posted but wanted to make sure you know I linked my blog to you as inspiration for our first every vegetable garden).

  26. Dana says:

    love, love May, But June is so AWESOME!

  27. The beauty of where you live is indeed gobsmacked worthy. Some days I dream of packing up and heading back to MT. Just the other night I scoped out the real estate section in Eric’s Montanan during dinner. :)

  28. Carla Wesley says:

    Enjoy your summer! Our winter has arrived, we had temps of 2 degrees this morning and it’s snowing in the mountains to the east of us, we have a couple of months to go before we can head off on a ski trip but making soup and hibernating has begun!

    Do you know what kind of trees those are in the squirrel murderers yard are? They are beautiful!

  29. Jean says:

    Good post. I’m looking forward to nuthin but blue skies and R.’s retirement party Sunday. Wish you were going to be there, but have fun with your pals. xoxo

  30. Kelle says:

    I cannot wait to see the boulevard garden. I still remember pulling up for the first time to your house and those giant sunflowers right in front. Kudos on Ruby’s spring moon boots. xo

  31. TRB Holt says:

    I am looking forward to planting my new hydrangea/native grass garden!

    Burb ~ Your photos just keep getting better…they tell a story without words…with your words they are a BEST SELLER!

    Margot ~ You have got to be the cutest 3 year old I have EVER seen…I know I am a bit predgious but YOU ARE! and…your Margotisms are over the top! I love how you have things figured out & done when they are barely a thought to others. It is so much fun for me to watch you grow into the beautiful little person that you are…I so wish I lived closer to you. Someday…I Love You A Bushel & A Peck!

    Ruby ~ I can’t believe that you are on your way to two! It seems like you went from baby to little girl overnight. I think it is because you are walking now. Every time I see you smile with those big blue eyes my heart skips a beat! I can’t wait until our next visit…You Are My Sunshine!

    I love that you made Annie cookies! I suppose she will have to share with her ‘sister’ & ‘nephew’……I watch her like a hawk, let her sleep on the bed, love on her every chance I get and smile when she sits and stares at me with her thankful loving brown eyes…her tail never stops wagging. I will miss her terribly.

    Love to all!
    xoxo,
    Mom/Gram

  32. Peeper says:

    I love the picture with the bumble bee umbrella!
    I love your friends blog site – what beautiful photography. Had I known about the Bi-rite shoot last weekend Ada and I would have been there to eat salted caramel and balsamic strawberry ice cream!

    I’m looking forward to having my husband back. After years of school and recent months of intense study he has passed his oral board exam and is a board certified radiologist. Everything we said could happen “once this exam is over” can go on now. We can move on!! Hallelujah!

  33. Amy says:

    Wow, that third picture is amazing. Reminds me of home… southern Alberta!
    Your photos and stories are always so inspiring!

  34. Kelly says:

    I just love visiting your blog!! :)

  35. rebecca says:

    ,,,i’m so looking forward to being home in maryland after one month away on holiday in arizona,,,i’m anxious to get my hands dirty in the garden, play some golf, visit my local farmer’s markets, outdoor picnics and concerts under the stars,,,but i’m especially happy to be home with “him” and to sleep in my own bed!,,,

    ,,,enjoy your BFFs!,,,

  36. Walker says:

    WOW! Gorgeous pictures of your beautiful home!! I really enjoyed your blog..
    Thanks for sharing with us.. Flowering Pear

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