Showing newest 4 of 10 posts from 04.10. Show older posts
Showing newest 4 of 10 posts from 04.10. Show older posts

4.28.2010

hump day nuggets: these are the days

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

So I do these nuggets and by the very purpose of them, they are itty snippets of the last week, an overarching message composed of individual moments. I like this. But sometimes I have a day like yesterday and I feel like the rest of the last week and all its nuggety-ness has been trumped.

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Yesterday was arduous for both Andy and me. And at the end of it, our family sat at our kitchen table over dinner. I had made a lovely carrot soup inspired by Margot's recent favorite library check-out.

Margot, snot sitting thick on her glistening upper lip played her toy piano AS LOUD AS SHE COULD while singing the abcs. She was standing strong in the center of the table. She refused, no matter how much I talked it up, the soup. She only wanted her papa's bread which he was guarding because the last time he shared, it dropped to the floor for our lucky dog. And because of this Alice was hovering, awaiting more fortune. Ruby was in my left arm yelling--not crying, just YELLING. So I was gripping her strong body, balancing her back-arches, and trying to eat my soup, most of the time my spoon hitting the lower half of my face. Andy, clutching his toast caveman-style, was scooping giant portions of soup into his mouth inbetween Margot negotiations.

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Then we made eye contact and laughed. Oh I am so thankful we laugh. The scene was frustrating but, more than that, it was really funny. Books and utensils and dried chunks of play dough and snot rags littered the floor, our children were bonkers and we were hoovering carrot soup like it was a race. This American Life sounded in the background.

Andy left the table to shower with Margot and I left to change and nurse Ruby. Perfectly choreographed, this is our nightly divide-and-conquer. We pli矇d away from each other, our purposes understood.

And then the big charcoal sky yawned and spilled piles of water through brilliant sunshine. So, choreography interrupted, Ruby and I went outside to hear what the storm had to say. And, she said:

These Are The Days.

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These are days you'll remember

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Never before and never since, I promise
Will the whole world be warm as this

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And as you feel it,
You'll know it's true

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That you are blessed and lucky

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It's true that you
Are touched by something
That will grow and bloom in you

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These are days that you'll remember
When May is rushing over you

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With desire to be part of the miracles
You see in every hour

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You'll know it's true
That you are blessed and lucky

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It's true that you are touched
By something that will grow and bloom in you

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These are days

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These are the days you might fill
With laughter until you break

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These days you might feel
A shaft of light
Make its way across your face

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And when you do
Then you'll know how it was meant to be

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See the signs and know their meaning

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It's true
Then you'll know how it was meant to be
Hear the signs and know they're speaking
To you, to you

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-These Are The Days, 10,000 Maniacs

PS The winner of the
Pragotrade Roma Sauce Maker Deluxe:
The Wrightsman Family said...scrumptious photos and descriptions... I'm headed to our happy homestead's site now! I know my toddler would love to help make sauce goodness with a new toy. I mean machine :)!
Congrats! E mail your address to dig this chick at gmail dot com.

4.26.2010

earth week life

Last week's front page of the Missoula Independent reads,

Forget feel-good rallies and one-day recycling efforts. The 40th anniversary of the environmental movement's biggest celebration calls for more drastic measures.

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Honestly I haven't yet peeled open the pages to read more about that statement, but, on the surface I couldn't agree more. It's time to own it, people. And, as one who chose to procreate, I feel especially responsible for being a conscientious, informed and proactive inhabitant of our planet.

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Recycling, cloth diapers, reusable grocery bags, compost, soaker hose watering...we've done these things for years and there's always more I can do....What else can I do? is a many-times-a-day question I ask myself. And without dragging you all into the depths of my environmentally-obsessive brain (been that way since I was a kid), I'll just say it is helpful for me to just always be committed to doing more.

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And, this year, my more is growing and harvesting as much food as I can to feed my family through winter, making the switch from sponge to dish cloth, the purchase of a gray water system dishwasher and trying to buy as much as I can directly from makers. And the latter is so fun and rewarding. Need a dog collar, earrings, doll, car trash bag, bonnet or skirt? Your neighbor makes it and it is affordable.

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As I chatted about in nuggets and on facebook, my family participated in the Biomimicry Institute's Great TV Rebellion last week and, although we don't watch much television, the change was felt in our home and it was good.

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The person randomly selected to win Ask the Planet:

Efka said....I can certainly see, why you love your life. :)

Congrats! Email me your address: digthischick at gmail dot com.

:: :: ::

And, I wrote about our tv-free week for this week's mama digs column:

"Mama, come draw with me?" Margot pleaded at 6:32am.

"Oh," I yawned, disheveled curls hanging in my eyes.

"Maybe you need coffee first?" she inquired cheerfully.


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4.23.2010

dig this sponsor: Our Happy Homestead (giveaway!)

Well, at the end of Earth Week, I am so excited to introduce you and yours to this month's sponsor: Our Happy Homestead.

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Really, when I first heard from owner Dave, I was wholly charmed as soon as my eyeballs glanced the business name. It makes me smile. And, after several e mail exchanges, it became clear that he, his wife Jesi and their family, are indeed thoughtful earth-dwellers and happy homesteaders. The couple signs their "about us" page on their website: Helping to make your homestead a happy one, David and Jesi Coles. What an inspiring and important mission.

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Their site is full of fabulously helpful items that will assist any person, seasoned or newbie, looking to connect with their happy homesteading self. In their words: At Our Happy Homestead, our vision is simple. From the products you need for rural and urban-rural living available here at our store to the insights and educational resources on our blog, Our Happy Homestead is here to equip you for a wholesome lifestyle.

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I asked Dave a few questions about Our Happy Homestead and his answers make me, well, happy. Read on, happy homesteaders, there's a wonderful giveaway and reader discount at the end!

What inspired you to start your business?

Our family has been using most of the products that we now sell for more than a decade. We started well inside the city limits of a large metro area and have been working hard to find a self-sufficient and more natural lifestyle in that environment, even as we’ve been slowly moving towards the outskirts of the city.

The more involved we became, the more sense it made to move from a hobby and lifestyle into a family business; it’s been a fantastic experience in which we’ve been able to demonstrate hard work and entrepreneurship to our children while helping other people move towards the lifestyle that we love.

Our business philosophy is very simple; we’re more concerned with earning and keeping your business five or ten years from now than we are about the product you’re buying from us today.

What three Happy Homestead products does your family rely on the most?

We’ve worked very hard to make sure all of the products we carry are either products we use in our own home, products we have extensive experience with, or products with exceptional track records that we can stand behind. Obviously we can’t use everything since we want to offer a good selection of the best products, but we’ve very sensitive to the feedback we receive on all of our self-sufficiency supplies.

All of our family's bread comes from our Wondermill Wheat Grinder (we’ve been using the same unit continuously for more than six years now) and our Bosch Universal Mixer. We also use the Berky Light water filter in our kitchen on an almost hourly basis. Our municipal water doesn’t taste the best and it saved us a considerable amount of time and effort last year when a broken water main forced our town into boil restrictions for three days. Finally, we’ve put the miles on our Open Country Meat Grinder which we’ve been using for the last three years to process all of our game and small livestock.

Sometimes it takes some extra effort to learn the skills necessary to prepare and process your own whole foods, but the results are more than worth it – our family hasn’t bought a loaf of store bread in more than seven years!

What ideas/advice do you have for urban dwellers who seek a more self-sufficient lifestyle?

As with anything new, take small steps and only go as far as you’re comfortable. It’s taken us years to slowly learn the techniques and methods to move towards self-sufficiency. Remember that “self-sufficiency” isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. There are a thousand ways you can bring the homestead into your urban or suburban home – most of our whole wheat customers live in larger city areas and are trying to bring some of the country back into their homes. Grain co-ops are prevalent in metro areas, often giving urban bread makers a wider selection of grains and beans at lower prices. Get started on your food storage if you haven’t already – pick up a few extra cans the next time you’re at the store. There are some exceptional resources on building and cooking from bulk food storage; our goal is to provide all the tools you’ll need to get back to basics.

:: :: ::

giveaway deets:


Leave a comment on today's post and you'll have a chance to win a Pragotrade Roma Sauce Maker Deluxe. What is this, you wonder? This is all you need to know: No more peeling or coring! Simply load the hopper and turn the handle to create fresh sauces and purees from just about any fruit or vegetable.

Hello, dreamboat. I bought one. My mind is swimming about the possibilities of baby food, tomato sauce, peach butter...and ALL THAT FREE TIME I'll have because I won't be manually pitting, coring, skinning, de-seeding for a million hours in my hot summer kitchen...

So the comments will close next Tuesday, April 27, at 9pm MST. I'll randomly pick a winner and announce The Lucky Duck in Wednesday's nuggets.

But wait! There's more! For everyone else who isn't The Lucky Duck, Our Happy Homestead is offering a killer deal on this food strainer/sauce maker: it's normally $89.99 and, *just for you*, dear readers, it's $69.99. Just enter 'digthischick' at checkout to get the deal (offer ends May 31). (Also, free shipping on orders over $99 so grab a few other happy homesteading items while you're there and save big.)

4.21.2010

hump day nuggets: rosy (giveaway!)

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


I am in love. In fact, sometimes I feel shy about answering the question how are you? because I don't want to seem all rose-colored glasses about my life. But, in truth, I'm rosy.

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When I made the choice to not return to my job (that I loved) after my second kid, I knew I'd at least equally love my new life. But really, I had no idea how fortunate I'd feel for the experience of hanging out with these two incredible souls all day, every day.

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Now don't misunderstand. It is really hard sometimes. Like really hard on days when I am so tired and ugly and frustrated I feel like I am barely hanging on, like it's all I can do to not scream. But I had those SAME EXACT days when I was a museum development director. And, I think those days exist if one is doing anything worth anything. It's hard. It's rewarding. It's great.

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nuggets.

:: Margot is a huge help with her sister. She fetches fallen socks, straightens sun hats and sweetly sings songs. Lately, however, when I ask Margot to help me out she grabs a random, nearby object such as a coffee mug or toy and says, Sorry, mom. I can't help. My hands are full. Yesterday, there wasn't anything to grab so she held her ears and told me her hands were full.

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:: Ruby has happily discovered her toes.

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:: Last week I noticed our lawn was obliterated. Which proves how little I pay attention to our lawn...because people round here have had green yards for weeks and I just noticed our brown plot.

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Over the winter, our chickens had free reign over our two-lot backyard and had definitely been feasting on every millimeter of green this spring. We put them back in their run and within a few days, bright green lawn is peeking out. Although this experiment would terrify lawn-lovers, I think our yard, after a season of scratching and chicken poo, will be better than ever.

:: And our garden will be better than ever too. Hundreds of tiny seeds planted, hundreds more to go.

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:: Margot is SO into it. Fascinated by the concept of a seed turning into her favorite food (me too), she visits her garden daily. Her list has grown to include carrots, one pumpkin and little tomatoes. She flipped when she saw the Matt's Wild Cherry Tomato seed packet. And she was really bummed to learn we can't plant them just yet.

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:: But we did get to plant carrots, mostly purple with a few orange (at her direction).

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:: And Ruby's the perfect little garden companion.

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:: Not much better than line-dried clothes. I am so glad I don't live in a community that forbids clothes lines because I'd surely get slapped with some sort of homeowner's fine.

Also I think clothes pins are a fantastic invention. Other fantastic inventions include scissors, zippers, coffee mugs and macbooks.

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:: She's developing notable independence.

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:: Andy stayed home with the girls last Saturday and I went to a fundraising auction with a friend. It felt good to wear heels, hang with friends, drink hoppy beer and bid on art.

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:: Our first (itty bitty) harvest! We've been eating fresh chives on just about everything.

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:: And, our first outdoor dining experience of 2010. It was perfectly cool. The kind of chill that warms by the second until, at the end of breakfast, you are peeling layers off, itching to dig in the dirt.

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:: Margot's weekly art class.

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:: Margot and our dear friend, Ben, have the most fun together.

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:: Seriously. My kids are so fabulous.

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:: Our Earth Week pledge, inspired by the Biomimicy Institute, to turn off the tv and get outside is going well. While we don't watch much of our tv anyway, the commitment has sharpened my focus on my surroundings.

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This week, I vowed to get out with my girls and do nothing but thoroughly explore a different outside space every day. Monday we were in our backyard, gardening, all day. Tuesday we picnicked at the edge of the Clark Fork River.

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We spent our time talking about birds and rivers, mountains and the sun. Margot's inquisitive mind absorbing how sand is formed, where water comes from and why it's cooler in the shade.

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And Ruby, well, I think we are all born with a deep and thorough appreciation for life, love, comfort and beauty.

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All that reveling in our world led to a hilarious photo shoot.

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The Biomimicry Institute is giving one of you a copy of Ask the Planet, an incredible, award-winning children's cd. In their words, The music and lyrics in Ask the Planet are designed to reconnect children to nature, create a sense of awe for the environment and teach them about the concept of biomimicry.

For a chance to win the cd, simply leave a comment and I'll randomly pick a winner on Sunday, April 25.

WHEW. Those were some epic nuggets! Happy happy Earth Week out there!

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