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

59 Responses to hump day nuggets: just now

  1. I’m the first comment? No way- love the Walking Stick giveaway and Margot’s new dress- inspiring as always, and looking forward to hearing about your shifts this fall!

  2. TRB Holt says:

    I’ll be back!

  3. Daniele says:


    I wish me and my girls could hang out with you for a day :)

  4. Rhett says:

    Love the booster seats & I need some. Are they really a snap? I usually only sew Halloween costumes. Great pics, as always!

  5. That lunch box would be perfect for my son! He starts 1st grade next week and I’ve been looking for a good lunch box.
    Loving this weeks nuggets!

  6. I love it! My kids are just starting to play together – they do greens in water too – it varies day to day what the greens actually are. It’s hysterical to sit and listen to the entire story of what they are doing, who’s job is what, etc….
    A wedding in Red Lodge……still my dreams…..

  7. Last photo- top 5 of all DTC. awesome!


  8. Firstly, I love the black and white striped top you are wearing in the pic with your MIL. Also, I totally want that lunch box. We’ve got some serious shifts happening as well, and I’m trying to embrace them with an open heart and mind. Thanks for putting out the dreamy vibe. I’m dreamin’ big too. :)

  9. Tina says:

    Oh I literally laughed out loud about Ruby being disappointed that the soap didn’t taste like cheese. Poor little love! hahaha

    Your photography, although it as always been remarkable, is getting more and more fantastic and creative. I’ve noticed that ever since you got your dreamboat that your skills have increased – I don’t believe this is because of the camera itself, but rather your desire and drive to take amazing photos because who doesn’t want to take amazing photos when they get a new camera!?

    Here are my nuggets for this week:

  10. Ingrid says:

    can you send me a tomato if I win the lunch box stuff? :-)

  11. me says:

    I need to visit Montana! We would love this lunch stuff, my oldest is going to kindergarten this year and i can’t wait to make her some creative lunches!

  12. Aimee B says:

    Oh, please pick me! I would love my son to have this lunch box! and I’m with Ingrid… a tomato would be lovely!

  13. Barbara says:

    Love that lunch box set expecting a new grandaughter and its just a perfect not so ordinary baby gift from this not so ordinary Gram lol and just think I could add a first day of school note to be read in 6 years.

  14. FinnyKnits says:

    Yay for fishing! Oh, and wowYAY for tomatoes on the windowsill. It is the best place for them to hang out while you think about how you’ll disappear them.

  15. Maria says:

    Love the twisted swing pics. So fun!!! This blog is so enjoyable. Your girls are beautiful & so are your pictures. BTW..Andy is an amazing artist! I love his work.

  16. erin says:

    inspiring as always! what a cute popsicle maker and i love the booster seats. thanks for the giveaway!

  17. becky says:

    I heart gardening and eating locally. New favorite of fav salad…. Roast corn, Sykes, onions, peppers, mix with fresh tomatoes and basil. Add a dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pinch of salt and two cloves of garlic. Talk about summertime goodness. Xo b

  18. Melina says:

    I love the windshield photo. It says ‘what, yeah, I’ve been places!’ Such a great eye for detail you have. Please right more about the ‘effing now!’ because I have been so consumed lately by my own daydreams I’m starting to lose touch a little bit….

    thanks for bringing me back down.


  19. Xtine says:

    I’m dying of curiosity to know your next venture/adventure. I would love those lunch boxes, but I’m sure we would lose them immediately like the last 267 cute little lunch boxes we’ve had.

  20. Love these photos. I just found your blog, and I’m glad I did. Especially like the picture of the chickens. Now I’m off to explore more of your posts and pages and to subscribe.

  21. Sarah says:

    Awesome post :) Love that they play together, and that they are enjoying your chickens! And that salad sounds tasty!

  22. Kelle says:

    the last picture makes me happy. xo

  23. Whitney says:

    You know how to pique our interest, don’t you?!?! Can’t wait to hear (read) what you have in store.

  24. Christina says:

    We’d love a new lunchbox for our adventures!

  25. Oh so very in love with your tomato and blue bird still life. Don’t suppose you’d share a source for the birdies?

    We (well, Nate) had some juicy nuggets this week, too:

  26. Kelly & Eric says:

    Your tomatoes look great! Wish mine would hurry up. Great post!

  27. Kelly & Eric says:

    Your tomatoes look great! Wish mine would hurry up. Great post!

  28. Kelly & Eric says:

    Your tomatoes look great! Wish mine would hurry up. Great post!

  29. Kelly & Eric says:

    Your tomatoes look great! Wish mine would hurry up. Great post!

  30. Kelly & Eric says:

    Your tomatoes look great! Wish mine would hurry up. Great post!

  31. TheresaT says:

    oh I like those booster seats!

  32. Ellie says:

    It is such a challenge to straddle the present and the future, and to feel that one is doing justice to both, isn’t it?
    I love the idea of Margot and Ruby taking care of the grass kids in the water for two hours. My boy never had that sort of imagination when he was younger, and still doesn’t at five (though he’ll build infinite imaginary stuff with legos), but I can see a rich fantasy life developing already in our 22-month old girl (she looks at a radish from which she’s bitten off a bit, exclaiming, “pig!”–and it does, indeed, look like a pig). I wonder if it’s a gender thing, or just personality…happy hump day.

  33. Rhett,
    Yes! Seriously a snap. Not as cheap as I had hoped. One yard of oil cloth + buckwheat hulls + foam. I think I spent around $35 for the two. But, easy! Yep.

  34. Salty dogs, I inherited those blue birds from my grandma! She always had them in a sunny spot in her home.

  35. First of all, I love how Joan is your friend. I am blessed to have in laws that tucked me into the lives as their own; Ben sometimes thinks they love me more so than him, but I know that’s not the case. Nevertheless, it’s an amazing blessing and release of stress from married life.

    The boulevard garden is killing me! It’s stunning bounty. Sorry that the VH is dragging you under; you need to find balance to allow it to be fun again. Can you get your assistant to catch it up to speed?

    Kudos on the boosters. Very fitting to have one blue one for Bug. Was that $35 expense including the “Oh sh*t!” sewing moment of cutting the cloth? Been there. :)

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  36. Marti says:

    I am also lucky in the in-law department and a plus to my MIL she makes me the best breakfast in the whole world when I let Ivygirl spend the night with her. In fact I often ask her…”You want to take Ivy tonight? Because I could totally go for your biscuits and gravy.”

    I love looking at the WST website and do it often. I’ve never purchased anything but mostly b/c the grandparents beat me to the punch on gift buying. But she has some REALLY GREAT STUFF!

    Here’s my virgin harvet:

  37. Jennifer,

    No, the $35 doesn’t account for that moment! Ha. And, I am just letting the Virgin Harvest go…the invite and concept are still there but I am not going to list participants on my site.

  38. Marti, what an amazing profile pic! I love it. Nici, I hope your changes include a new addition to the family, in one form or another…

  39. Annie says:

    So enjoy your nuggets. Little blurbs you make that give us so much more (like the fact that Ruby must have had the opportunity to taste the soap to discover it wasn’t cheese : )

    Walking Stick toys with 20% off! Perfect for my little man who is starting Kindergarten!

  40. On of the great joys in life…My mother-in-law, introduces me as her best friend! It is SO sweet and such an honor!
    Lately we have a 9.5 month old that visits our office for 1.5 hours each day and I bought her a second hand johnny-jump-up kind of thing and she spins it up tight and lets it unwind to her delight and to my almost nausea! Very dleightful, Very cute! My girls are grown ups now, but your stories bring it all back plus the hope that I will have little grandies soon! Crossing my fingers! AND I have some leftover foam from our new camper mattress AND soem lovely oil cloth from my last splurge at SElvedge….I think a booster seat is in my future! Grandies or no!
    Ah Summer! ~m

  41. I feel so blessed to have a great friend in my mother-in-law too! Love your new booster seats! I’m a big dreamer too!!!

  42. rebecca says:

    ,,,my favorite photos are of margot all wound up and flying high, what a thrill she must have felt going fast, faster and fastest!,,,and i do love the photo of rubes grating cheese, ooops! i mean soap,,,(smile)thank you for being a “heavy thinker & big dreamer” as a result “nuggets” are always the BEST blog to read!,,,

  43. Rhett says:

    Thanks for your reply. Think I’ll give the boosters a shot! Might have to skip on down to Selvedge. They’re having a BIG sale, ya know.

  44. Sammie says:

    Nici, I am a cult follower of your blog, but I think Nuggets might be my favorite. We are big fans of homemade washing powder as well. I’m still working on getting the Dude to agree to the chickens…wish me luck. :)

  45. Erin says:

    I thought you were a genius with the hole in the jar lid idea, but this booster seat thing just took you up another notch!! Must.Make.One.Right.Now… But first, do you think I could sub rice for the buckwheat hulls??? Our Coop and Joann’s didn’t have buckwheat hulls or bean bag fill (another idea I saw on the web). Thanks!

  46. Erin,

    I ordered buckwheat hulls because I couldn’t get them locally either, unless I ordered 25 pounds. Rice would work OK but would be spendy and so heavy. Each bean bag calls for 3 lbs of buckwheat hulls and each pound=14 cups. So, 42 cups! That’s a lot of rice.

    Plus, with the buckwheat hulls my kids can easily carry them.

    This is where I ordered from:

  47. Coraly says:

    Where did you find the popsicle tray? I can not find them any where and the stupid dixie cups and craft sticks that we are improvising with are driving me batty!

  48. lauraprell says:

    I hear you with the desire to want an off button to your mind. I say that all the time. Love your popsicle tray I used to have one like that! oh and tell Ruby I would mix it up to0 that looks just like cheese :)

  49. Erin says:

    Thanks Nici for the buckwheat hulls info. I ended up using foam and some fiberfill, and they turned out really good. I added a handle and my 4 and 1 year olds have been carrying them around the house since I finished them.

  50. Christa says:

    I’m going to have to try a couple of those boosters, too! I even have that book (how have I never noticed this project?) and I’ve been wanting some reason to buy some of the cool oil cloth I’ve been seeing!

    Love that photo of the tomatoes & birds. Here’s my nuggets for the week:

  51. Daniele says:

    those bluebirds have been on my mind since I saw them in this post…someone in my fam had the same ones when I was a kid and I loved them. but I can’t figure out who it was or what happened to them…I love them though…

  52. Peggy says:

    I love that you have a Joan and not a a typical mother-in-law. ;-)
    And poor Ruby…I would have been disappointed that it didn’t taste like cheese too. I remember being about 4 years old and my sisters (easily) convincing me that the modeling clay strips were gum. I was disappointed too.

  53. Melinda says:

    I’m jealous you have so many red tomatoes! Most of mine are still green but the weather’s cooperating so there’s hope. My youngest will be in preschool with his sis this year and he needs a lunchbox…that eco would be slick!

  54. ashley says:

    i am joining your nuggeting. our house has a non-traditional monday-friday, making hump day today!
    bub rocks the eco and we love it, x ashley

  55. Love that last photo of Margot. And, dude, I *know* about dreaming and scheming. Sometimes I go overboard and wish I could give the dreaming a rest for a bit. I think my dreaming drives my husband nuts cause he thinks I’m not happy in the now, which is a total misreading of dreaming : )

  56. Christine says:

    I just today was wondering if I dream too much. Is that even possible? I never considered myself a dreamer, but a realist and then today it hit me. I am ALWAYS dreaming of the next thing and how to make it happen. I lived in Missoula then moved to be closer to family once we had kids. Reading your blog makes me SO heartsick for the MT life and my dreams keep taking me back there, especially now that we have the kids. Thanks for giving me glimpses, even though feeling heartsick doesn’t always feel good!

  57. Haha, I’ve had a few kids take bites out of the fels neptha :) So funny/sad/funny!

  58. Lisa says:

    I love how Margot calls Ruby “Rubes”! My son calls the dog ‘dogs’, his friend Toby ‘Tobes’ and Grandma ‘Grams’. Oh, and I am as lucky as you in the MIL sitch…she’s just my awesome friend who happened to raise my awesome husband.

  59. TRB Holt says:

    Burb ~ your boulevard garden is pure beauty not to mention ingenious! I would love to be on a stroll down your street and gaze at your sidewalk delight!

    I remember that scare with Andy like it was yesterday…you are so right about the stress monster, it can sneak up and grab you in an instant…you are both wise to realize & stop and smell the beauty in each other.

    A thrill runs through me when you say, “I feel on the cusp of big things, path-altering things”, because I know I get to tag along on your adventure…you are the best!

    Margot Bea ~ I just saw you last month and swear you have changed dramatically…where did that little toddler go? I now see before me a beautiful little GIRL…one that holds a forever special spot in my heart as MY first grandchild. Things I have noticed about you lately ~ I love how wise you are, we actually have full sentenced phone conversations, you ask profound questions about real situations & want to have REAL answers, (like the questions you asked & compassion you showed about the recent funeral you attended & the deaths of my two beloved pets), I love how you always ask about your Uncle Trav and when you say I love you, I FEEL it! I Love You A Bushel & A Peck!

    Ruby Jane ~ you may not talk in full sentences to me on the phone, but I never tire of your “h…Hi…HI HI HI!!!!”. AND I love the way you smirk! I think you are very funny and so do you! You have certain a look that you do that tells me that you are TRULY watching & keep track of everything! I wish more than anything that I could see you every week, NO make that EVERY DAY! You Are My Sunshine!

    Love to all,
    xoxo Mom/Gram