much ado about nuggets

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


I had a few paragraphs written and I went back to reread and, man, I sounded whiney. I've had a raunchy cold and a busy week complicated by no car keys. So I have been biking all over town towing my snotty head and two kids in a trailer. See, whiney. I promise you are grateful I deleted those two paragraphs.

I deleted them because of an encounter I had with the checkout woman at our market. I was standing there staring off, thinking of the over 300 things Kathie and have to sew and ship in the next week (!), wishing it was an hour earlier because dinner was going to be too late, feeling a bit ho hum about my anvil face. She said, "Hi!" as she passed cilantro and chorizo across the counter with an infectious smile.

"Hey," I said with a slightly forced but genuine grin. We know our checkout people as this market is a few blocks from our home and we pop in almost daily. Then, she said, "So! Got any fun plans this evening?!" Her cheerfulness was almost annoying because I was in my exhausted funky space and then I chose to engage with this woman who had a hand out when I needed some help up.

I started to reply something like no, not much...but then I realized I had a wonderful evening "planned." I said, "I am going home to have dinner with my family." And I thought about that. Her eyes lit up and she said, "That sounds awesome!" And I said yes it was. She excitedly told me that she was in college and planned to study all night. And then as I plucked my bags off the counter, she waved, "Have a great night!"

I will, I thought. Thanks to you, sister.

Isn't is amazing how one person has the power in one interaction to change the course of a day? Imagine if everyone approached every encounter striving to leave a positive impression upon the other?

Just a few nuggets the day after hump day today. I had plans to write nuggets after bedtime last night but instead I chose to go to bed with Margot at 8:30. We read a book I got from Andy's grandma when I was pregnant with Margot, four years ago.


It is old and falling apart and when I got it I imagined exactly what happened last night. Like, when Margot discovered the old newspaper clipping tucked in the back.

Photobucket"Mama, I think that man should really have a helmet on," she said after studying the photo for over a minute.

:: I love my kids' love of books.


:: It's been so fantastic spending time with just Ruby on our new preschool schedule.


:: Loads of corn preserving and cooking with corn (corn potato chowder above, recipe soon) in our home this week. Margot becomes attached to a particular ear and eats it raw. Sister loves corn.


:: Welcome back to sponsor, Hip Mountain Mama! In their words: Hip Mountain Mama is a small family business that strives to offer the best Handmade, Sustainable, and Fair Trade items for your Natural Lifestyle. We have a strong passion for preserving the Earth, raising our children in a conscious and natural way, and promoting other small family businesses. What's not to love about that? Two items our family use every day are the reusable paper towels and reusable snack bags. The kind people at Hip Mountain Mama are offering you all 10% off this month: use code "digchic." Thank you Hip Mountain Mama!

:: Sending out lots and lots of packages lately. It is so satisfying to see a pile of brown paper envelopes containing stuff we made heading off to states and countries all over the world.


:: Margot made me a duck out of clay and paint and I loved it so. But then she decided she wanted to give it to her teacher. I kind of hoped she's forget but no way. And I suppose if she is going to regift art she made for me, her teacher is a worthy recipient.

"I'll make you another duck, mama. I promise."

:: Mama digs went up yesterday. It is about the differences between a man cold and a woman cold. I wrote it when I was so blech but I think it holds up pretty true even with my clear head (and car keys! off to make copies right now...) Click here to read it.

:: Popsicle season is winding down.


:: Backyard dining is winding down too.


:: Outdoor swims are definitely winding down.


:: Sheep skin and blanket afternoon reads on the rise.


:: Close-toed shoes at the park on the rise too.


Every one of us has the power to impact another. We all know how a nasty, hurried, mean-spirited exchange can influence our energy. Same is true with a warm, positive, kind exchange. Thanks, dear college student. I'll pay it forward.

happy hump day out there


*Nugget it up and share. If you'd like, link to your nuggets in the comments.*

:: :: ::

all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com


The Salty Dogs said...

I, too, will try to pay it forward. As I hear sad stories from my clients, I am reminded how good I have it to be "too busy."

And that I am blessed beyond beliefe to have (and recognize) what matters:

TRB Holt said...


magalways said...

Every time you write, you pay it forward. Your blog does this for me every time you post. It's a breath, a moment, a smile and usually a tear that allow me to stop and be thankful for the world and for people like you and your family who share in it. Thank you.

rebecca is... said...

,,,hallelujah! the keys were found!,,,it's amazing how one persons attitude can change another's,,,i think it's important to lend a smile, a "hello", "good morning", any friendly cheer or sentiment or..."so, got any fun plans this evening?" (smile) miss college student, probably went home to an empty place only to begin the long evening of studying and maybe she secretly wished she was having dinner with the cline's at their home,,,in fact, as i read "nuggets" getting closer to the end, i thought you were going to suggest you invited her over for dinner,,,(smile) you pay it forward every day, it's part of your DNA, it's who you are!,,,

~ jessica said...

I read something a while ago, a quote from the Dalai Lama:

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."

Dang if that doesn't stick with me and change my attitude constantly.

PS: You make me want chickens! But my little apartment yard is too small. :(

clove's corner said...

You always pay it forward with your blog. The other day, I was feeling blech about being chubby pregnant, then stumbled into an old Dig post of you, chubby preggo with Ruby and I totally changed my view. Now: I'm happy to by chubby pregnant, realizing I only have 3 months left to be chubby pregs and the rest of my life to be something else. How freeing it is to stop clenching and accept.

Kelle said...

Me spots some new Toms. Me like. You had me with that old storybook. And I completely love the story of the happy woman. There is a woman who works at our Costco in Naples. She runs the sample tables and every time she's working a table, she sings. Loud. Makes up songs about the product she's offering, and it is annoying. Until you walk away and smile because you realize it makes you a little bit happy.

I like them apples.
xoxo Miss you bunches, Montana girl.

Amie said...

Love your nuggets, Nici. Thanks for making my day a little brighter as well. xo

My own nuggets keep me pretty busy around these parts...

Rhett said...

When we moved to Missoula a few years ago, we noticed right away how nice everyone is. I love the cashiers at the two stores where we usually shop and have told them I appreciate their positive, helpful attitudes. One said, "It's so much easier to be nice, don't you think?" Yes, I do!

Hope you're feeling better!

T. Nelson said...

Love Ruby's open popsicle mouth. :)

Mama auf deutsch said...
This post has been removed by the author.
Wimmer Girl said...

Thank you for this. Your words and photos bring me back to where I need to be with my own girls of nearly identical age.

Jean said...

I had a very similar experience today. I had to go to woman's house to if R. left his crummy, old shoes by her manure pile. R. loves that pile and brings home loads of it every year. I did not want to run into this woman, though she is lovely and I like her a lot. I just shun people from time to time and today was one of those days. But lo, she was cleaning out her corral. It turns out we had a very uplifting conversation--for both of us. I got to share some very personal stories about my life, as did she. We found a common bond we didn't know we had.

Also, I love the photo of Margot on her bike, those pink boots and the red. It reminds me of William Eggleston's famous tricycle. Your photos are really rockin' it, woman.

Minnesotagal said...

You've been paying it forward for ages with all of your previous posts. It's one of the reasons I come back again and again to read. If I'm ever in a funk about parenting I spend some time reading old posts and invariably find inspiration and renewed energy. Thank you for that Dig!

Melina said...

Hey Nici!

Here are my version of nugs:


I hope you kick that cold!


Shaylen Maxwell said...

Agh, a wonderful read. I love the book & the personalized gift sticker. Wow. Just thinking about that little Dottie (I think I read that right) and her grandmother back in 1930. I have a few similarly old books (inherited from my greats) and I just treasure them. Can't wait for when Sneaky is old enough to really enjoy them.


Carrie said...

Oh my goodness! What an incredibly special storybook. Love it. Hope you feel better soon!

P.S. Ruby looks like such a big girl now!

StephM said...

Ah...I think I needed to read this. I get into these quiet little funks all too often. It's always wonderful when someone pulls me out of my funk when I least expect it! And on the flip side of that...I want to be that person that unexpectedly pulls someone out of their funk. I should try a little harder!

Ellie said...

I so know what you mean about a single person having the ability to change the course of one's day. I've just spent my first full week teaching two sections of freshman high-school Writing, and I've come back from school each day with a big smile on my face. Fourteen-year olds have a contagious sort of energy, and even though I went to my second class today feeling dead tired after going to bed well past midnight and waking up at the crack of dawn, then heading to school on an empty stomach and a gallon of coffee because I did not have time for breakfast, they managed to make me laugh within five minutes of the start of class.
I LOVE all the photos of your girls and books in this post, especially the one of Margot looking at the guy without a helmet. How insightful of her to note.
I may finally be moving my sunday slivers to hump day nuggets, now that I have to spend sunday nights prepping for monday morning class and I don't teach on Thursdays.
Hope you feel better soon. A cold's been going around here, too.

Christa said...

I have a lot of empathy for your key situation. Last fall I found one set shoved in the little hole in backside of one of the carseats when I unbuckled it to let someone borrow it months after the keys disappeared. I also had a bad spell where I kept losing them on ambulance calls and would end up driving back 15 miles or so to some patient's driveway at 3am after delivering the to the hospital to search. I now have spare keys everywhere (to the extent that people make fun of my random single keys spread out everywhere I might go). I was sure glad there was an extra one in my console when I couldn’t find mine after watching fireworks this summer only to have my daughter tell me “Oh your keys are in the back of Papa’s car,” 10 minutes after her Papa had left and started on our 50 mile trip home.

Here's our week:

Kelly Cach said...

Oh, your little Ruby!!! She's such a dolly. I love her hair, her open-mouth plea for a popsicle, and her dimpled elbows :)

Hope you feel better soon ~

Happiness is... said...

Such a good outlook. What a nice way to be reminded when you least expected it.

Oh, I hear the sentimental winding down of summer in your life…the last of popsicles…and eating outside. It's sad, but then again, I love fall so much for so many other reasons.

-Jennifer from Annapolis

Going To Seed said...

Andy and I are in man vs. woman cold right now. Guess who is sleeping in?
Thanks for the nuggs.

Tammi said...

Okay, first nuggets up on my blog. Thanks for the inspiration.


Bikini By 30 said...

This is how I feel about going to Trader Joe's for groceries. Any Trader Joe's I have visited from Chicago to NYC has the friendliest employees who are always upbeat and positive. I always leave feeling cheerful.

Ruby is such a little cherub! What a dreamy grin she has!

Baby By The Sea said...

So much goodness: a book from long ago, a friendly person on the most routine of errands, girls who love books and bikes. I think I smiled the whole time I read this. Glad you're feeling better. You had me in stitches with the mama cold vs. daddy cold. Really, it is AMAZING how much of nothing Luke does when he's hit with a bug and how much I don't stop when I've got the same.
Ruby, enjoy this mama-time because with mama all to yourself it's really the sweetest time for you, too miss second born.

Annie said...

My son started kindergarten this week. I loved my day home with my 2 yr old. It reminded me of the days I had with my son when he was only 2.
We're having WONDERFUL weather this past week and it looks beautiful and sunny this weekend. I'm eating up every moment of warm sunshine as if to store it for the winter.

My Love is..... said...

perfectly said!

FinnyKnits said...

So so super true. I'm glad it set your day in a better direction. Sometimes I'm so ready to be bitchy that its hard to pull it out of the fire, but you're right - worth it.

And OH it looks like we're all getting mentally prepped for Not Summer Anymore. *sigh*

Still...cozy afternoons with an awesome book aren't the absolute worst. I suppose. :-) :-)

Christi said...

I love reading your blog! Like other commenter said, you pay it forward with your blog. In a crazy world of who can do it better, your blog is an inspiration to me. It helps me realize the simple things are more important. I love how you do all of your canning, cooking, and daily tasks with your daughters. Sometimes I put those things off because I have little ones and think I need to wait for them to be out of the way, but after reading your post realized I can do these things with them and they would probably enjoy it much more than anything else. Thanks for being my pick me up on a grumpy day.

Just Trying Not to Blink .... said...

Your posts just radiate the sweetness of life with little girls in the house. Love, love, love the old storybook.

... and thanks for the reminder to be kind and pay it forward.

Stacy Kaye said...

I agree! I went through the coffee drive thru the other day and the barista was so happy and friendly that he just made me SMILE and I couldn't help it, I just had to pay for the coffee of the woman in line behind me. I told him to just tell her to have a great day. I knew he would do it anyway, because he was making sure we ALL had a great day.

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