hump day nuggets: hydrate

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

Nuggets would have been up earlier but this sleepless wonder had other plans today.


:: :: ::

Our rivers are still full but receding. All that water. It really is miraculous.


I helped bag sand last week and I am not sure what I expected but I didn’t expect to see lots of water flowing, gushing down the street and homes wading in feet of water. Or I guess I didn’t know what that really looked like.


Our home is not on the banks of the river, not even close. But, really, we are close. Less than a mile. Rivers, the power and quantity of water that effortlessly moves earth and 100 year-old trees like I move grains of rice with my pinky finger. The Clark Fork could kiss my roof if she decided on a different path.

15,000 years ago our valley was under a lake about half the size of Lake Michigan. Now I don’t feel afraid that Lake Missoula is imminent, it’s just that last week when I stood in my rain boots on Tower Street and water raced around my shins I imagined, for the first time, what Mount Jumbo would look like as an island. When I ran up the trail next to Rattlesnake Creek’s newly cut channel, I considered, like really considered what it would feel like to see water swelling toward my house.


After the girls went to bed, I asked my smart husband about our rivers. He knows where every Montana river begins, what sources feed it, where it travels, what mountains structure its path. He looked at a map and I listened to him explain the beginnings, turns, junctions and ends with my eyes closed. What a wonderful drama.


:: Last Wednesday was Margot’s turn for family night. We went to the carousel and fetched dinner from the yellow store (our neighborhood market).


:: This morning, Ruby shouted from her crib as she does every morning. Sister wakes early and plays with her babies in her crib until she hears our 6am alarm clock alarm and then she enthusiastically shouts, MAMA MAAAAAAMA! Mau! (Mau is milk, nursing). But this morning, she shouted DAA-EE! over and over. Daddy. She yelled for her dad and wanted eggs. Oh things are changing.

We continue to make seedy bread in the trusty bread machine. Love it.

:: My low-water front yard is pretty spectacular this year. I feel quite proud of all that work, one plant at a time, slowly digging up that compact, uninhabitable clay.


:: And the boulevard garden has some issues (some really small, yellow, slow growing plants) but mostly it looks pretty great. I added a bunch of compost mixed with blood meal last week and it seems to be responding well.


The blood meal has some stank. Margot grimaced, “What IS that mom?” I explained it was dried blood. And she shockingly said, “Oh. From my forehead? From when I got stitches?!”


:: We’ve been in this home for eight years and this year our gardens feel established and bursting. The backyard was dirt, weeds and rhubarb when we moved in. Hadn’t been watered in a decade. And, I am happy to report that last year’s dandelion pulling efforts WORKED.
I took down a section of fence last summer (far left) to lasso more light but it doesn’t do much so it’ll go back up.

:: The ice cream truck screams by our house every day right at nap time. I finally decided to throw the kids in the bike trailer and catch it.

Photobucketpost-ice cream nap bliss

:: 50 degrees: art making inside.


:: 70 degrees: art making outside.


:: Today I get to introduce you to new dig sponsor, Tiny Prints. I am usually a DIYer when it comes to design but it was so wonderful and EASY to use Tiny Prints for my custom notecards.

I wanted something simple that our family could use for thank you cards and little hello! notes. I am pleased with my order and the professional correspondence I received along the way. 

Tiny Prints has a ton of unique, non-cheesy designs to choose from like photo booksthank yous and invitations. And they are generously offering up $50 gift certificate to one of you! Leave a comment for a chance to win, y’all. Thanks, Tiny Prints!

:: Margot is in art camp this week.

Photobucket“Here, Ruby! You want to see? OK! I can help you!” Because, obviously Ruby wouldn’t be able to see through this window without Margot’s assistance.

:: Last week one of our chickens jumped the fence and was snacking on our garden. Margot shouted, “Mama, Captain is out! We should shoot her!” I tried to hide my shock and said, “What should we do?” She replied, “Shoot her! I’ll help you!” I asked what that meant and she explained how I walk behind the hen and then she runs toward the back and shoots her. “Ah,” I said, “Do you mean shoo her?”

Best trade ever: housecleaning for clothes. Her daughter will have new skirts, I can see my bedroom floor!

:: “Mama, can you button this? And then I am going back to bed.”

“Sure. To go to sleep?”

“No, to have some valentine.”

I assume she meant down time.


:: I am so thankful for fresh greens right now.


All tender and sun-warmed. Goodness they are delish.


Water is interesting. The most prized natural resource and so often taken for granted. Amazing that it is essential for every plant and animal.


It is reflective. It is slippery and liquid, pours from the sky and seeps into the earth. We crave it, we shelter ourselves from it.


In a world that feels so divisive at times, so at war, I think about the things we all have in common. We all have feet, we all feel happiness, we all need water. Imagine if we all celebrated the commonalities?


happy hump day out there

:: :: ::

all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from

102 Responses to hump day nuggets: hydrate

  1. cheryl says:

    your gardens are beautiful and i love the second last photo of the tricycle and ruby and the puddle! so fun!

  2. About me: says:

    It’s nice to hear that it’s taken you 8 years to get to know your yard and garden well. We’re going on 5 and I was starting to feel discouraged, but now I’m inspired!

  3. Julia says:

    Beautiful post Nici. I don’t think I have thought about water as inspiration, at least not as you did today.
    I highly encourage you to never ever stop writing the “Margotisms.” They truly make me laugh out loud at times,and what a good thing that is!
    Thank you for posting tonite. I look forward to your nuggets.

  4. 1. That is NOT your front yarrrrrrd!
    2. I have Margot’s pillow case.
    3. I want to trade for skirts.

  5. I love your bedroom, the chest of drawers; I am dreaming of seeing my floors too! Great trade!

  6. Katie says:

    I love it. As usual a post here leaves me with a smile.

  7. Love your art buckets! Love your gardens! Love your blog!

  8. Melina says:

    Looks kind of beautiful over there. I am glad to see the rivers are receding. In Seattle, we’re still making the ‘June-uary” joke and laughing very halfheartedly. Cold, rainy here.

    Margot napping looked so small when she was sleeping! Almost like a toddler! And Ruby is getting to big, sometimes I’m not sure who is who.


  9. Water. I KNOW. We are also considering the possibility of flood, but then…nah, here?

    Your garden and yard is magnificent: what an inspiration. We will be starting from scratch this summer. Have already planted 8 trees : )

  10. Oh–HOW do you keep Ruby from mostly EATING art supplies (or, say, painting and drawing on the floor/walls)? In all your photos, she’s always sitting so primly right at the table.

  11. I love how every picture of Ruby walking she’s got her arms up in the air – I know for balance…but it seems so “hallelujah” pose. LOL

  12. Water, water everywhere. Glad to hear the rivers are slowly receding. The bay is fine. Tides moving up and down with regular rhythm. But the rain. Holy. A torrent of horizontal proportions beating us down, snuffing my covered grill (that was what I thought protected), and making my girl throw her arms up in the air and say, “what is going on around here?” Love the reflective shot of water and the bike. Good thoughts.

    You front yard rocks. And you’re daring for taking on the boulevard garden, sharing it with so many passing peeps and animals. Eek!

    Good luck this weekend, but I doubt that you need it. :) Sounds like you’re ready to rock n’ roll.

    Jennifer from Annapolis

  13. Beautiful post. Your gardens are an inspiration to me as well. And even though my baby boy is growing up and doesn’t always call for mommy first anymore (okay he’s actually four!!) my absolute most favorite word out of his mouth is Da-ee. I hope that stays for ever!

  14. Lisa says:

    I recently used Tiny Prints for baby shower invites. This is nothing like the packages at Target. They were so elegently beautiful I still have one hanging on my bulletin board.

  15. I think your life is beautiful. :)

  16. Karisa says:

    Montana’s rain this spring has just been mind-boggling. My in-laws tell me stories, and I can’t even imagine.

    I love how Margot and Ruby are playing together so much! And your garden looks amazing! I am growing my very first veggie ever – peppers!

  17. Have you ever used your outside fireplace as a pizza oven?

  18. Jessie says:

    I love it. <3

  19. Erica says:

    I love reading your blog. Margot’s vocab cracks me up!

  20. Liliana says:

    More garden pics!!! Yay!! And the funny things Margo is saying these days are a hoot!

  21. rebecca says:

    ,,,2 “nuggs” this week, JACKPOT!,,,love, love and laughed “shoot her, i’ll help you”,,,(smile)

  22. Aly says:

    Love your nuggets. Your life inspires me.

  23. Jennifer says:

    This is just a wonderful post. And I LOVE your front gardens. Do you have a map of it with what plants you’ve used?

  24. TRB Holt says:

    Just saw, feasted on photos…I’ll be back…xoxo

  25. melody says:

    i love this. your garden is a dream! totally in love with the photos.

  26. TRB Holt says:

    Just read and feasted again….I’ll be back!!

    But have to say… SO love Tiny Prints!! AND you know I am the queen of thank you notes and cards…will be shopping there…:)

  27. Erin says:

    I giggle every photo of Margot picking Ruby up…My 4 1/2 year old always does the same to her 1 1/2 year old brother.

  28. Kolleen says:

    Love her little misunderstood words! How perfect!

  29. PapillionMom says:

    Oh Nici, the “Margot-isms” crack me up…she reminds me so much of my daughter at that age. She’s so smart but the mispronunciations are just priceless (love the Valentine/down time comment). Glad to see you guys are safe from the flooding, at least for now.

  30. lauraprell says:

    Wow, The river is wild! I am always amazed at the power mother nature has. Sometimes I think she is really mad!

  31. I adore those panorama shots. Too cool.

    Water has caused me a great deal of anxiety. In the six years I have lived on this island, I had never had to experience a tsunami warning until this last year– we had TWO. I’ve always been respectful of the ocean’s power, but to imagine water rushing toward your home…well…it scares the crap outta me.

    I hope the flooding subsides soon.

    Aloha ;D

  32. Mama Mel says:

    I absolutely love the last photo of Ruby with her arms up in the air. It is as if she is saying, “hey big sis, wait for meeee!”

  33. Denise says:

    OMG, Nici, you have me laughing and swooning, once again! I laughed out loud several times while reading this post and read several parts to my husband! Margot is hilarious – such an imagination and spirit! And I can’t wait to someday hopefully have a sister for my little girl – love Ruby and Margot’s relationship! Thank you for sharing!

  34. Kelsie says:

    Awesome give away!! We all need a little inspiration to write a really nice note (:

  35. Sarah says:

    Love your front yard!!! Beautiful!

  36. colette says:

    Love your gardens… beautiful.

    Love the idea of making personalized ‘thank you’s’.

    Great post!

  37. April says:

    Enjoy your blog so very much, Dig! (Even though I don’t comment so very much.)


  38. Jennifer says:

    Ah, the ice cream truck – rolls down our street at “innappropriate” times too. My poor 4 year old believes it is the “Music truck”. I’m not ready to tell him what it really is – is that terrible?
    Lovely nuggets as always.

  39. Goodness, I hope with summer coming the rivers continue to recede! Great nuggets. Something to look forward to each Weds.

  40. hodo says:

    Water is amazing! Happy to see that it’s receeding. If we had Big Dipper ice cream coming by our house everyday during the summer I would gain 30 pounds! Beautiful yard you have. Your posts often make me miss Missoula.

  41. sarah says:

    i would like some of those greens mailed to me please. yum!

  42. Love the boulevard garden! Those greens look awesome. I am a bit jealous. I gotta get better at this gardening thing. :)

    Love the personalized note cards!

  43. Ellie says:

    I had to smile at your 50-degree and 70-degree art making, because I’ve been meaning to tell you that I copied your art table idea, complete with buckets hanging from hooks on the wall, and it has been my kids’ favorite place in the house for weeks now. I can count on them spending at least one-third of our indoor time there, and it’s been a great place for them to create together, learn about sharing, seize opportunities to help each other (big brother reaches and brings down a bucket if little sister does not first climb on the table to get it). Then just this week, as I was wondering where to get a kiddie picnic table for little money so they could do the same outside, I spotted one with a sign “FREE” right at the entrance of our neighborhood–Little Tikes, which wouldn’t be my first choice, but it has worked great for finger painting and all sorts of messes this week! And hey, nothing beats free. So, a long way of saying thank you for the art table idea. Everyone who comes to our house asks about it, and I always admit unabashedly that I stole the idea from someone who is truly creative (because I’m not). And if they ask more, I direct them to your blog

  44. CLP says:

    There are two things that I look forward to Wednesday for, the beautiful nuggets and dance class. Thanks for your writing and photography.

  45. kate says:

    Triple love Margot’s take on things! What a sweetie!

  46. lafalda says:

    nice peonies : )

  47. Jennifer says:

    Texas needs the water badly! We are in drought. :o( Watering every other day our hibiscuses and roses. And our house foundation. Don’t need busted pipes!

    Loved the read today, so green with envy over your garden. So lush, and just beautiful. Some day, I will have one.

    Water, yes very common, very needed and it seems to either go all at once to one place and not where it needs to.

  48. Jeanne says:

    Great post! Art camp…I am intrigued. I especially love the pictures of the trike, lettuce and Ruby with her dirty tights. It makes me know they are explorers in every aspect of life!

  49. Whitney says:

    I love how you are so relaxed and just go with the flow, something I need to get better at although having number 2 has helped me to be less neurotic if you can imagine that! I have a sleepless wonder myself and it is hard. He is up with the sun, takes 2 short naps a day but goes to bed as the sun sets as he is exhausted. I LOVE sleep but love my little man so much more and am really starting to enjoy our time together in the mornings.

    Be careful with all of that water…mother nature is amazing!

  50. I know exactly what you mean earlier this year I was transfixed by the news as a small non flowing creek bed in Toowoomba QLD turned into a violent raging river tha could shift and turn cars like they were mere leaves. My mind turned over a zillion what if’s….. the power of a flood is truly unimaginable.

    PS…”shoot her!” OMG Margot your hilarious!

  51. oh my Lordy bee, your children are so cute…and even though I have followed your blog for 9 months now…and still can’t get over it.

    My one and only baby girl will be turning one soon and I would love to try tiny prints for her 1st birthday invites :-)

  52. jenniwaka says:

    Beautiful post. I wonder if you have something like our Plantcycle group where you are–it’s like Freecycle for plants. There are seed swap meets and an online “what is this flower?” or “what should I do to save this plant?” community. We are going to be moving soon so hopefully I can finally take part in it next year instead of being a lurker… :)

  53. Haha. I think both of you are mixing words up.

    Don’t you mean “shoo”, not “shoe” or shoot”?

  54. Jenni, Plantcycle sounds awesome! And makes so much sense. I wish we had one.

    Green Zebra, Ha. You are very right! Fixed now.

  55. An off-topic question–I was reading about black-billed magpies, a corvid which is said to live in Montana, and I wondered if you knew about them because their common name comes from Margot + ‘pie’ meaning speckled (as in piebald). Do you ever see magpies in your area?

  56. Abby Taylor says:

    We’ve moved into a new house last spring and didn’t have time for gardens. I just finished dropping in kale seeds. A little late, but I have faith!

  57. Angela says:

    I love Margot’s long dress with cowgirl boots…would love to steal that look myself!
    And how awesome to strike up that housecleaning deal…would love to find that deal…had a housekeeper until this spring and now can’t really afford it :( Happy for you!
    I adore your blog…the delightful photos and amazing writing have me checking everyday for a post :)
    Thanks for your great giveaways!

  58. Rhett says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. Callie says:

    I just adore that photo of Margot lifting up Ruby–in the cowboy boots! What a sweet big sister.

  60. Karla says:

    We are enjoying our lettuce too! Love the cards you made from Tiny Prints with the dandelion words and cute picture.

  61. Rhett says:

    Your front yard looks GREAT! Some of my garden veggies are slow-growing and a bit yellow too. Might have to get some blood meal. Some sunshine here in Missoula might help too! Oh, and I love the ice cream truck!

  62. Abs says:

    I covet your low-water front yard!!!

  63. Marti says:

    Love that front yard! Wish ours was low water! I’m a first time garden planter this year and it’s small – jalapenos, cayenne peppers, sweet banana peppers, red bell pepper, squash, zucchini, cucumber, and a pumpkin vine. I really didn’t expect it to live but I have a few squash and peppers budding! I’m so excited.

  64. Rivers and water carry so much energy and power. It’s truly amazing what it can do. This years flooding has been incredible. We were down by Forsythe and Miles City when a lot of the flooding down there was just occurring. To see this first-hand was humbling. What would the world be without water, indeed. I have to say where I live we have a very low fee for a community well, meaning some people take advantage of this and water not once but three times a day in the middle of the day. I think we will see that water will become more scarce over time. Great photos Nici! xo b

  65. Always a treat.. beautiful photos, thoughtful words, great ideas.. inspiration flowing over.

  66. wow-your flower garden looks amazing! Love all your spring-y photos!

  67. Karen says:

    Chicken comment….priceless! I love the awesome things that come out of kids mouths. Yah on the gardens being in full swing this year. We have had a lot of rain and clouds lately so the garden is not as big yet as I had hoped. All in due time :)

  68. Love TinyPrints! I’ve been using them since Theo was born for all of my custom stationary and cards.

    The second to last pic in this weeks’ nuggets is on my list of NHC faves! :)

  69. Margots dialogue is possibly my favorite thing to read (not that your other things arent as interesting, I’m just partial to funny toddlers).

  70. Jenn says:

    LOVE the comments from kiddos when you have to decipher what they *really* mean. The chicken one is priceless!

  71. Caroline says:

    Oh how I love your gardens! Beautiful! And the girls are growing so much…

  72. i could eat that entire bowl of fresh lettuce for breakfast this morning! delish!

  73. I am subtlely and slowly using your blog to explore the conversation of having a second child with my husband (hon – look at this!). Your pics of your girls, sisters, almost move me to tears sometimes. Thanks for the nuggets.

  74. Babygirl says:

    such adorable kids…and you are soo crafty. I have a crafy side, and unforntunately not a big enough space at this time to really dive in. All your craftiness makes me want to buy a house yesterday…but soon enough. enjoy fathers day weekend.

  75. Annie says:

    Love your commonality thought. Something I will share with others.

    Beautiful gardens!

  76. Punksy says:

    Your daughters are super duper cute and your photos are beautiful!!!

  77. Hey Nici!

    Glad to see Ruby’s bangs growing back in. The hair chop–whether self administered or big sister inflicted–is a rite of passage.

    Susan :-)

  78. Ani says:

    Margot is such a fun big sister – I love the shot of her holding Ruby up so she could ‘see better’. Too cute.

  79. Bikini By 30 says:

    Margot’s musings always make me laugh.

    I’m itching for a bread machine. I think a scouring of Craigslist might be in my future!

  80. Amanda says:

    Your yard is amazing! And my big girl is obsessed with “helping” my little one by picking her up, too. Regardless of whether or not being a few inches higher actually helps anything. So cute.

  81. I really hope some day blogger figures out how to let me reply to individual comments!

    Clove: Remember, you are looking at a STILL photo. Ha, she’s a mover. She doesn’t eat supplies much but she does love to draw on inappropriate surfaces. One thing I do is give her something weird to draw or paint on like a tin can or another paintbrush. This usually keeps her from marking my phone or shoe.

    mammothvictory: It would take some work to get the outdoor fireplace functioning and we were going to go for it but it turns out that it is our cat’s favorite bed. So, instead we pad it with straw and our feline pals lounge.

    Jennifer: I don’t have a map of which plants I have but I do know everything that is in there. I could throw a list together?

  82. pintsizepredator: We see magpies all the time! I am looking into the ‘Margot’ connection. Thanks for sharing!

  83. Yuliya says:

    I really love the art table idea, just as soon as Aliza stops eating the art supplies…

  84. Kelle says:

    Oh, your yard is so inviting. Loving those photos.
    I miss the ice cream trucks. We don’t get them down here. I want to see my girls running barefoot, dropping change, chasing after trucks for bomb pops and drumsticks.

  85. FinnyKnits says:

    Oh, Nici – your xeriscaped front yard garden looks incredible! Lovelovelove! Mine’s in a weird stage right now, in between bloomings, so it looks a bit less YAY than it did a month ago, but that’s OK – natural also means seasonal and also sometimes means weird looking. I’m OK with it.

    And I LOVE Tiny Prints! I was going to order Bubba’s AIDS LifeCycle thank you cards from them but…maybe I wait and see how the contest turns out :)

  86. jen says:

    love these nuggets today. though i’m a few days late … blame the beautiful outdoors, k?
    plus also … came across the BEST tacos ever. carmelized onion and braised greens. SO GOOD.
    i’ll see if i can dig up the recipe for you. we added tofu … but grilled chix or steak would be good too.
    i was going to say something else … but i have to finish filling the dishwasher and preparing for a day of garage saleing. ugh.

  87. Amy says:

    So I had the best comment, but didn’t have time to leave it when I first read this… and now I forgot what it was. hahaha, guess it wasn’t so great after all!!
    so now I will just leave this crappy comment, because I SO want to win this giveaway! ha!

  88. Emily says:

    Love your point about water. It’s amazing to think about how much we all have in common. Good luck with boulevard garden!

  89. Jessica says:

    Love the post…your pictures are amazing! In another life I was a gardener with fabulous vegetables, fruits and flowers…hopefully I can live that life again soon…your garden makes me hungry! :)

  90. Jessica says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  91. Daniele says:

    love the pic of Margot lifting Ruby…

  92. Great post! Would love some thank you cards :)

  93. erin says:

    lovely post as usual! and thanks for sharing about your family nights…we are about to start something like that…i can’t wait to see what my 3 year old (who i think would be GREAT buds with margot) will come up with!

  94. T-Dubya says:

    Im pretty sure I used to work at the “yellow store”! Good choice Miss M!!

  95. Dana says:

    Love tiny prints!

  96. Melissa says:

    ok, your ice cream truck? so freaking awesome! ours is so . . .not. somehow avi must sense it bc he doesn’t even ask for ice cream when it lumbers by (crooning the same creepy song i remember from my own neighborhood ice cream truck as a kid).
    i also appreciate how long it has taken you to get to know your land; we’ve only been in our new place a few months and the learning is slow but also very exciting.
    suddenly, my kids have become early risers–wtf?? the only benefit is that i feel we really live each day to its fullest.

    and to make a long comment even longer–we were at this local park the other day and there is a lovely indoor space, kind of museum-y, and they have an “exhibit” about how much water we each have in our bodies–there is a scale that tells you the ratio for your body and also a filled gallon for kids to lift and feel–a 31 lb kid like avi has like 2.5 gallons of water in his body–i thought that was so profound!
    enjoying this post during a lull on a saturday at the hospital, xo!

  97. sarah d v says:

    love tiny prints. Adore your front yard.

  98. Annia says:

    Yes! Totally in agreement with Julia about the Margotisms. They’re so good, they deserve their own post!

  99. You have such a beautiful front and backyards!!!

  100. Love love love love love love.
    Glad i found you whilst blogsurfing.

  101. saying that an legitimate Chanel designer purses are usually

  102. mobile hacks says:

    marketland hack tool no survey,