Monthly Archives: January 2012

snot and such

Last week, I played on the couch with Ruby for over an hour. With pillows, tracing faces, counting toes. Andy was in the kitchen, which is like eight feet away. I said, “I feel so alive, so present. Like I am participating in life without distraction for the first time in a few months.” He laughed and said, “Yep.” Last month, we were way busier than we like to be. Part of me wants to list all the drama and craziness that happened in December. But a bigger part of me just wants to say this: I am impressed with and proud of us. We accomplished a whole lot. My body is thankful it is over and ready to settle into the regular ol’ life drama. I’ll do a post dedicated to this outfit that has rarely left my child’s grip in days. I couldn’t resist a preview. Also, my body, in its unwinding state, settled right into a gnarly cold. I know it is strange, but I felt a little (just a little) psyched to get a cold. Perhaps I can only declare that now that I am on the other side of the cold. Sure, it was annoying to be so exhausted and snotty but I feel like it made me do exactly what I needed to do: make time for rest. For two entire days, I napped with my kids and cancelled plans. I hydrated. I worked very little, went to bed at 8. And yesterday I woke feeling renewed with ideas! And insight! And motivation! During the foggy cold days I wasn’t on top of my parenting game. I was impatient and grumpy. The whole curmudegeonly bit crescendoed on a walk with my kids. I wrote about our vision quest in this week’s mama digs: making room. :: :: :: Four things: 1. My story about my snagged url was syndicated on blogher. Thank you, kind reader, who passed my words to the good people over there. 2. The ah-mazing Elke Govertsen is featured in the February issue of Where Women Create. And, I am so honored to be the photographer for her story! You can buy WWC at Barnes & Noble, craft stores and more. 3. This week I am hosting a skirt sale on facebook. All my skirts are repurposed from button down shirts, tees and sweaters with appliquéd love. Sizes 12 month – adult xl. Not on facebook? You can still view the images and email me if interested ( 4. My new temp studio space is right in downtown Missoula. I am sharing Piper and Paisley’s shop until June and we have public hours and a retail space. 612 South Higgins. Locals, come on down. the girls love it at Piper & Paisley – Dig HQ I have so enjoyed this slowing down and haven’t been the best blogger. I am now officially back and ready for more regular posts. I have a lot to share including some awesome new sponsors, recipes, riveting stories about our move and answers to many of your questions (the number one FAQ regarding the move: Did you bring your chickens? Yes. And wait until you see the coop my man is building!). Soon! xo,dig Read more on snot and such…
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snow days

I had most of this written and ready yo go last night and then I crawled in bed with Ruby at 8pm to sing Oh Mister Moon and now it is the next morning. The last four days have been entirely about snow. An epic storm smoothed out Missoula valley with two feet in two days. Our life has been so cozy and elemental as we focused on the basics: fun, food, friends, rest. Work happened late and early to make room for play. My legs feel like I ran an 18-miler; in reality I hiked in knee-deep snow while pulling my kids in a sled for days. My biceps are throbbing from carrying my daughters up the rope tow. This is why I fell asleep in my clothes with my two year-old. I like it here. neighbors gathering in the streets during the storm Margot skied her first top-to-bottom run at Snowbowl. A big feat for my little bug. I was home with Ruby when I received this photo text. I couldn’t stop staring at it. It’s the metaphor that struck me: her independence, she’s growing toward adventures and horizons I can’t predict or protect her from. Skiing is becoming more and more fun with the kids as we can now all be on skis and skipping naps is ok. As much as I loved my little babies swaddled to my chest at the ski hill, watching them scoot around on skis, all bipedal and communicative as they squeal MAMA! FASTER! is totally awesome. Ruby rallied in the lodge for pizza and then crawled into my lap and fell asleep, reminding me of that baby she was not too long ago. She slept for over an hour and then cuddled with Margot on the stairs.  the skiing photos were all taken with my iphone using the instagram app. Really, there are many wonderful things emerging from our temporary tiny home but the one that I love most right now? The bond between my girls. Yesterday Margot and Ruby sat next to each other on the couch wearing tutus. Margot said, as she stroked Ruby’s hair, “Hey, Rubes? When we grow up do you want to get married?” Ruby stared back at her not understanding the meaning of her words but totally understanding the meaning of her words. “Yes,” she replied with a hug. Our space is small, their only escape is alone time on the top bunk. Even with alone time, they want to be together. Alone together. The sledding! Oh the sledding is amazing on the hill behind our new house. Our yard is the easy access to the hill so all day every day, people and kids haul sleds through the foot path just outside our door. I couldn’t love it any more. We sled everyday, usually several times a day. We gathered with neighbors in our backyard. Luminaries, a bonfire, hot cocoa, schnapps and moonlight sledding. It was as awesome as it sounds. Alice runs all day every day. Sister is in doggy paradise. The snow has receded a bit and we are back to regularly paced winter activities. I adored being snowed in for those few days. It really was lovely to witness the power and magic of a storm that outpaced shoveling and stopped us all in our snowy tracks. There is wonderful comfort and relief in that which we cannot control. I wrote about it in this week’s mama digs: snowed in. Gotta run. Ruby and I have a date on the sledding hill! Read more on snow days…
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home is where you want to be

Many years ago, my friend gave Margot a book called Let’s Go Home. It is one of our favorites and, tonight, it was Ruby’s bedtime choice. I read There are many kinds of houses in the world, from little cottages to big mansions, from farmhouses to bungalows. But no matter the kind of house, it is the living inside that makes it wonderful, what happens to each room that makes it marvelous. It is what the house means to those who live there.  It is so right on. Since our recent move, I’ve been talking with my kids a lot about what home means, where it is. We visited our ‘old’ home last weekend. Knocked on the door for the first time ever. We chatted with the new family, expecting their first baby next month. We sat on their furniture in their home. Ruby had a hard time with it, saying “No. My special home.” Followed by a tearful “Go home, mama? Milky?” Sister was bummed and confused. I get it. Chris gave my domain back. Can you believe it? I can. I felt wronged when my url – my business that supports my family – was snagged and littered with scandalous ads. I know many found me, but many didn’t and clicked into that domain only to pay into Chris’s pocket. Every click generated revenue for him. It was frustrating, not because of my address, but because it was so wrong. And that is why I pursued the issue. It isn’t fair or right. I am a peacemaker. And I do speak up for what is fair and right. I am nice and optimistic; I am firm and driven. I was fired up. I didn’t once feel like a victim. That was a wonderful surprise; I settled, calmly even, right into it. I felt motivated. To pursue what was legally mine, protected under trademark law. Problem is, people like me can’t afford to advocate for themselves. There are legal and arbitration fees. The language and process is overwhelming.  I waited, wondered how it would shake out. I focused on what I wanted: something positive and productive, I didn’t know what it looked like. I think people want to do good. I think people are good. And the more I lean into this, the more I am reminded of it. I got an email from a reader, Sieglinde, whose husband is an attorney. He generously offered his legal services. Kyle. Kyle who is kind and smart and so generous I find myself continually brainstorming things I can make him for the rest of his life to express my gratitude. Kyle wrote Chris. There was some back and forth. And then, Chris, the guy who wanted 4800 effing dollars, gave me my domain back. FOR FREE. I am not naive, I don’t think Chris has a crisis of conscience and is suddenly looking for new work as a yogi (although wouldn’t that be amazing?). But I do know something to be true, the thing Margot sang to me the morning this all went down, that little prophet: If you believe in kindness you’ll be free. What is a home? Appreciation. Belief. Intention. Humor. Confidence. Light. Comfort. Creation. Encounter. Breath. Margot’s birthday, December 2007 Ruby’s birthday, November 2009 Growth. Expression. Play. Nourishment. Wonder. Exploration. Ritual. Home isn’t an address, a domain, a place. Rather, home is here. Here. ps Both domains will redirect to the same place! No need to change bookmarks or anything. It’ll take a day or so. Phew. pps A happy nod to the inspiration for the title of this post, This Must Be The Place by Talking Heads. “Home is where I want be but I guess I’m already there…” Sing it. Read more on home is where you want to be…
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now nuggets

nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words, about the last week  First, THANK YOU. When my domain was bought out from under me, I wondered if it meant the end of my contributions here, if I was to look to the next thing. I was open to that, even though I feel like I have more to give to dig. Read more on now nuggets…
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If you believe in kindness you’ll be free.

First, we closed on the sale of our first home yesterday. Second, I spent the last 24 hours doing something I hadn’t expected to be doing. See, my domain was up for renewal and I have it set up to automatically renew but my credit card on file had expired. I received an email notice to update my info in the midst of selling and buying a house. I called and couldn’t remember my pin so I couldn’t pay. Weeks later, yesterday, I phoned Caleb at Go Daddy who kindly helped me on the phone for hours, found my pin and then told me my domain was inaccessible to everyone until the next morning when it would probably go up for auction. I was bummed and frustrated but also thought who would want my domain?! Little did I know. I have since learned all about domain squatters. My site was purchased before I could say dig. Or any other single syllable words that come to mind… Now. Early this morning, after having a little (or big) but that’s so unfair! fit I took a big breath in my small apartment and made myself pay attention. Because, whether I wanted it to be or not, this is now part of my path. So, what next? I opened myself up, really wanting to settle into it. That moment, Margot started singing a piece of a song, on repeat, that she heard at a Cinderella play last month. At first the high pitch and repetition was irritating. Then I realized what she was singing. If you believe in kindness you’ll be free! If you believe in kindness you’ll be free! If you believe in kindness you’ll be free! If you believe in kindness you’ll be free! I got the info of the person who bought it. He lives in Illinois. I emailed him. I phoned him. He answered. Just a dude who was all hello? like I was calling to ask him out for a beer. Me: Um, hi. My name is Nici. Did you buy my domain this morning?Squatter: What?!Me: I have a website and I think you bought my url? I am just really confus…Squatter: I can’t talk to you right now! I don’t know anything.Me: Well, I really don’t want to let you off the phone just yet. I would like…Squatter: I don’t know anything! You need to send an email. I don’t even know what you are talking about.Me: I have a general question.Squatter: I don’t…Me: Please, give me just one moment. I am so bummed about this and really need to figure it out. Please help me. Do you buy up domains that accidentally expire and try to sell them back for lots of money? Because, I can tell you right now I am not a contender. Do you…Squatter: Nothing like that. Send an email and someone will be in touch in two hours.Me: What is your name please?Squatter: {very long pause} Chris. And then he hung up on me. I did get an email from them and they said “You can just send us your ABSOLUTE BEST AND HIGHEST OFFER in this email and then we will either accept it or reject it.” I wrote back. I am proud of my email. It was kind and fair. And then I let it go. No more power or energy going to Chris. I might get my domain back, I might not. If I don’t get it back, it will be an opportunity for something else. I don’t know what yet and, yes, it is very disheartening and upsetting, but I do trust it will lead me somewhere else or into something else that is better. In the meantime! Will you help me? I have a whole lot of readers who don’t know the new url and I don’t have any way to direct them here. Dig this chick’s new url: To make my new address pop up in search engines instead of the old, I need to get my traffic back. Google ‘dig this chick’ and only click on the new url, not the old. You may have to go to the second page but it is already working as my old site is no longer number one. Additionally, you can click through a link on facebook. You don’t have to be on facebook to see my wall. Or etsy. Or instagram (@nicirae). If you see the old url somewhere, will you let me know? Also, change your bookmarks, blog roll links etc. And, help spread the word if you have pals who read dig. Thank you. a walk in the field behind our new home, late last night. Today, I am especially thankful for my work, my family, my friends, my town, my new home, my internet community. I swear, all your supportive energy, your kindness doesn’t leave room for anything else. It is indeed freeing. xo Read more on If you believe in kindness you’ll be free….
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