Monthly Archives: August 2011

the first day

I cried this morning while my dull knife split steamed beets. That is what Margot requested for lunch on her first day of preschool. And a peanut butter and jam tortilla sandwich, specifically with a generous mixture of peach and raspberry jam. Read more on the first day…
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shift

our favorite secret swimming hole Things are shifting. Soon, I sneak outside to tuck my tomatoes in under the cool moon. We bike to my neighborhood farm and buy four dozen ears of the best corn that will dutifully wait in the chest freezer for a blustery opportunity to remind us of tan skin and bare toes. Last week, I wore my down coat and I swam in the Clark Fork (at different times). Our home heats up like a whore on nickel night* during the day and cools to down comforter necessity at night. In the mornings I sit outside in the chilly morning air, I sip coffee and study the way my daughters’ bare toes shuffle through the grass. I regularly stop mid-pick to stare at a sunflower’s perfection. I memorize the curves of Margot’s growing body. Her baby belly is gone. Flat. Just like that. I witness Ruby’s zucchini-like growth. Too bad I can’t harvest her to preserve her nowness. Although, growth is cool too. I feel introspective and aware with the coming fall. I always do a bit. This year feels particularly poignant with Margot’s new gig. Starting Tuesday, she will spend two days a week in a beautiful blue classroom which stings me with pride and the raw difficulty untucking her from my wing a bit. In this week’s mama digs, I wrote about my family’s compass. Last year we had a severe scare that I am actually thankful for. It rocked our world and we came out with clear motivation and understanding of ourselves. Er, that sounds so final, like we are there. We are there but we are moving that direction and it feels fantastic. Goodness, the link already: At least I love today. It is a haul to get to our spot. A short drive but a super steep descent down to the river. Ruby on my back, I was on all fours several times. And then two side channel crossings but once there, it is the most perfect place in the world. ps HOLY SMOKES y’all. Thanks for your purchases! I had over 60 orders this weekend! Sale ends Wednesday, Aug 31. xo *props to Anne for that little gem of a saying :: :: :: all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com Read more on shift…
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SALE :: SALE :: SALE

Hey! I am having a sale: 30% off my entire shop for the next week. Use coupon code ‘SUMMER’ to get your screamin’ deal.* And….thank you so much for your support. I have so much fun designing appliqués and clothes. I know there are a lot of choices out there and I am so appreciative that you all choose to buy my stuff and support my family. I love what I do and I love that you pick if for those you love. Lots of love all the way around!A few FAQ: What states and countries can you appliqué? Can you place a star or heart on a specific location. Read more on SALE :: SALE :: SALE…
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hump day nuggets: just now

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week I can be a heavy thinker, a big dreamer. And I can be impulsive. I suppose I just want to live well, seize opportunity so the dreamy thinking makes me wonder what else I could-should-might do. And the impulsiveness boils up from my ancestors and demands I just do because this tender life is pretty effing NOW and there are so many good choices. I feel on the cusp of big things, path-altering things. This last year has brought some change and perspective that frequents our conversations and makes Andy and I, thankfully, consider what we are to do with ourselves on this planet. I think it is awesome that I am in a partnership where we sincerely, regularly consider our legacy. I also wish I could turn it off at times. I know I am being vague but I don’t have anything in particular to share other than I feel excited and hopeful about some shifts. When there is something to report, I will. For now it just happens to be on my mind, on this summer Wednesday. And in the spirit of me, to compliment that heavy, dreamy thinking, I have some pretty effing NOW things to share. Cheers! :: Fishing Rock Creek with Andy’s mom who I really hate calling my mother-in-law because she is one of my best friends and my kids adore her endlessly. Yes, I know the average in-law situation and yes, I am so grateful. Her name is Joan. :: I told you we were in Red Lodge for a wedding and, being that the shin dig was a mere 1/2 mile from Joan’s house, we brought the kids to the ceremony and a bit of reception and then hightailed them home and had a wedding date. Holy holy. It was fun. Love these three. I made Margot’s dress from an old skirt. See before and after here. It was the best of both worlds having them there and then not. Dancing with my husband, eating at the pace I wanted with a hand for a fork and a hand for wine. It was a good night. Good to be just the two of us with old, dear friends and good to come home and smooch their sleepy cheeks. :: The tomatoes are on and so so good. :: Our boulevard garden is a jungle of food and we are beginning the preserving. Also, I feel badly because I have totally dropped the Virgin Harvest ball. I am inclined to crack some joke about blue balls here…I love all the enthusiasm and have been a bit overwhelmed by the participation. My inbox sits with hundreds of flagged messages from those who want to join in and I just can’t keep up with the listings on the VH page. Uncle. The flickr group is wonderful and there are some great conversations happening over there. So, I am sorry I haven’t kept up with the listings! It is pretty rockin’ that so many are growing new things this year. We would love to hear about/see what you are up to. Link up here in the comments or share on flickr. :: Lots and lots of popsicle making these days. :: Margot is digging her new trapeze but sister still loves to spin in the baby swing. It hangs from a 20+ foot rope and Andy twists it up as tight as he can and then lets it fly. Pure joy. :: I made the girls some oil cloth booster seats, something I have had on my to-do list for months. The pattern is from One-Yard Wonders and was a snap. A bonus is that two can be made from one yard if you cut carefully and don’t snip off half the bottom when you are trying to finish them up real quick one morning before having coffee… :: Welcome back to dig sponsor, Walking Stick Toys! This awesome, locally-owned business has an impressive online store and carries the best art supplies, unique toys and games (this is Margot favorite puzzle) and fabulous school lunch stuff. In the back-to-school spirit, WST is giving away a killer lunch box. Leave a comment for a chance to win. (also, head over and ‘like’ Walking Stick Toys on facebook to get info about upcoming sales and products. hint: big sale this Friday!). Lastly, you can get 20% off your purchases by using coupon code DIGCHICK. Thanks, Walking Stick Toys! :: Margot and Ruby visit with our chickens several times a day. “Hey mama, Rubes and I are just going to go on out and check on the chickens just in case they want to say hi.” :: Montana August Windshield: :: Ruby assists with laundry powder making. she was pretty disappointed it didn’t taste like cheese :: Margot and Ruby spent over two hours taking care of this grass in water. Or, rather, taking care of kids who needed to eat and take a nap. Their mom was a stick and the wagon their home. The water to grass ratio had to be constantly adjusted, for the comfort of the kids. :: Last week I mentioned a cucumber salad we have been loving. It got better with the addition of apricots. We chopped cucs, halved apricots and tossed with sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, garlic and salt. And, it reminds me of this salad I made last year with cherries and cucumbers. served with raspberry-chipolte marinated pork chops (the last from our pig we bought last summer) and steamed beans. Oh how I adore a totes local meal. :: Playground play is just the most fun these days. Ruby is starting to run. They take off together and I just watch, in appreciation, my kids. They have each other. Heavy, dreamy and now. happy hump day out there. :: :: :: all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com Read more on hump day nuggets: just now…
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Not All That Accurate But A Good Story

Our family slid into our narrow car spaces and cruised over to Red Lodge last Friday for a wedding. It might seem like a long drive for one day but it is remarkable that 12 hours on the road is classified as a reasonable weekend road trip in our great state. Or maybe it is my family’s intimate relationship with this particular piece of Interstate 90, the narrow canyon that yawns open to the east, hikes tall mountains, wraps along great rivers until we turn off into hug of amber hills framed by the Beartooth’s spine. It is here, on the snaking old highway that everything relaxes for we are close to my mother-in-law slipping around her screened door the moment our car turns onto Haggin, close to friends who walk down the street to see what’s up instead of texting. Red Lodge keeps stories of our childhood and, amazingly, we continue to live these same stories, the only difference our age and dependents. Anywhichway, no matter the length of time we can stay, the journey there is always worth it. I had several moments of reliving experiences, like deja vu but more understandable. For example, Andy and his tribe of childhood friends woke, grabbed their poles and walked one block to fish for a minute in Rock Creek. The same group of men has done that same thing in that same creek since they were small kids. Also, I sat on my ma-in-law’s back deck and sipped coffee while she picked raspberries and saw  the exact same scene I have seen for 14 years except for many years there weren’t two eager kids gobbling them up as they were plucked. These recurring but evolving experiences are so comforting. backyard berry picking at Gramma Joan’s Yesterday our friends floated and fished the Stillwater and my man was bummed he couldn’t go, we always have one of the longest drives home and he works at 7am on Monday morning. I have written about Andy’s friends before, this posse that formed more than 20 years ago and remains tight. I urged him to float, told him who cares if we get home late and were a total junk show. His friends applied some good ol’ fashioned peer pressure and they were off. That afternoon, it mildly sucked shoving stuff into our car at the hottest time of the day, which was also nap time, to go on a hunt for the Swinging Bridge take out somewhere between Absarokee and Columbus where our friends were dropping my husband riverside. But the girls rallied after their brief protest and we settled into our adventure, Alice’s head out the window, Margot counting cows (one through 17, repeat), Ruby picking individual sesame seeds off a bagel and tossing them all about the car. Before we left Red Lodge I hung with friends, hiked with my kids and mother-in-law and had a wonderful day. The “free” days, when I get to stay longer than I thought, are the most fabulous. While on the hike I remembered hiking that same trail with Andy years ago into Black Canyon the day after watching The Blair Witch Project. I have since stopped watching scary movies. Literally, not even one. I was so annoyed with how amped up my fear was on that trip. I wrote about my memory and creating new experience in the same space for this week’s mama digs: the power of place. Also of note is that I wrote my mama digs on the drive yesterday, taking breaks to avoid puking from carsickness. When we got home I asked Andy to help me with a a title. He finished reading and said, “How about Not All That Accurate But A Good Story?” which is totally NOT surprising because we are that couple who tell stories together and think the other one is looney tunes for their recollection. So we laughed (and rolled eyes a few times) as he nitpicked my details. Then I got a text from my best friend this morning that said, Blair Witch was 1999. Ha, I suppose I am not good at the details. Wishing you all the loveliest last days of summer! :: :: :: all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com Read more on Not All That Accurate But A Good Story…
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