hump day nuggets: Hello, Jack

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


Our first frost came this week. It was later than normal and I found I felt a bit like I did at the end of my pregnancy with Margot. My due date came and went and every day I left work to all of my coworkers saying things like, I have a feeling tonight is the night! only to see my giant self waddle in again the next day. There is an element of relief in just moving ON to the next thing.

The next thing being winter. Earlier bedtimes, skiing, holidays, soup, darkness, cold, tea, puffy coats, thick beer, last minute travel that depends on road reports. OK, so we are still firmly in fall but, just like spring, it feels like a warm up for what's to come. A preparatory class.



:: Our family (my in-laws) was here this last week and it was wonderful. They are amazing and constantly exceed expectations. I don't take this for granted.


:: I have a particularly amazing relationship with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law. For example. We traveled a few hours away (for Andy's aunt Jean's art opening!). The three of us and Margot exited the hotel room to allow Ruby and Andy to fall asleep. We got bored so we played hide-and-seek and then found an even better way to spend our time.


::  Our friend, Pam, sang and played guitar at Margot's preschool last week and Rubes and I brought thank you! love you! flowers to her at work. The excitement and hugs surrounding the delivery made me want to pop in on friends with gifts more often. I think I'll make that happen.


:: We had a puny pumpkin harvest this year. As in, one tiny dude and that's it. Thankfully, our neighborhood farm grows some killer pumpkins. I've mentioned this place before as we buy a lot of food there. It is a no frills, awesome, family-run farm. When I checkout I am tempted to tip because I feel so invested in their survival. I love Benson's Farm (corner of 7th and Reserve).


Margot was with me when I downloaded these photos and she sang a little operatic accompaniment:

I was picking out a pumpkin
And my shoe was falling off a bunch of times
Then at last
My shoe fell off
And then I still had a hard time picking out a pumpkin
And then I was holding one that I wanted
I found one
It was white
And my shoe fell off


It was a fun adventure, the three of us picking out our future masterpieces (and one for dad).


:: Welcome to new sponsor Witty Lili! This Swedish-based company is growing and producing cool products based on the definition of witty: Amusingly clever in perception and expression. In their words,"To be witty is, among other things, to be smart, spiritual and humorous." This sweet character is featured on many fun products for kids (my favorite is the Cross Subjects Notebook).

Witty Lili is hosting a competition: you (or your kid!) submit a poem about snow.  It will be made into a postcard and published and for every postcard sold 50% of the profit will be donated to the organization ActionAid. Plus, the winner receives a selection of prizes valued at $70. Good luck and thanks Witty Lili!

:: On Monday afternoon, I had a feeling Frost was tapping our shoulder so we headed out for a sunny garden romp. It always feels so slow-mo sweet at the end of the growing season. All these leafy, proud plants that began as a SEED a few months ago, putting out their last efforts to produce. Dang, I really love witnessing this cycle with my kids.

If we had another 30 days of heat, I swear I'd have record-breaking tomatillos.

Hey! Prints of my photos are now available for purchase. Thanks for asking!

Margot invented this awesome game where she jumped over the pulled carrots. The risk grew as the pile grew. And when it got too easy, she unbuckled her shoes and tried to keep them on as she soared.


:: Ruby and I harvested plums and pears from our secret source of free fruit. She was astonished at the scene ( I really was way up in that tree shaking with all my might. Oh, we laughed.). Her contagious reaction prompted a whole essay about how in the freaking moment my kids are all the time. I wrote about it in this week's mama digs: winning.

I shook the tree, Ruby hunted for viable fruit and, when inspected would either declare, "Wook! Good one!" or "Oh, bummer. Buh-mer." 


:: And all this brings me to my kitchen floor right this minute. You should see my counters.

I am digging the Winter Prep. In fact, as much as I love seasons, I think October just might be my favorite month. It is full of things I love: food harvest and preservation, enough chill to demand cuddle, holiday planning, tights, baking, costume making, chilly hiking.


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


Ingrid said...

that dimpled hand holding onto the pear....sigh....such yumminess

Kristi said...

Autumn is my favorite time, I love feeling the slide into winter with heavier fabrics and layers and knits. Your harvest looks wonderful.

acmeorange said...

Lovely. (Though, stiffling jealousy over your garden produce, secret source of tree fruit and affordable pumpkins. Eighty-five cents? A dollar and 20 cents? Man alive! We are paying five times that in Georgia. Sigh...)

Alie said...

Your life is beautiful! Harvesting sounds terrific. I noticed the same thing as acmeorange---our pumpkins are super expensive here in NYC, and 85 cents seems positively unbelievable!

dig this chick said...

Produce is def cheaper at Benson's than other places in Missoula...no middle man, to transport, straight from field to mouth. Their prices are amazing and proof that organic, local food doesn't break the bank and supports farmers! The beets are 50 cents/pound, apples $1/pound, giant chile peppers 25 cents each...I bet there are Georgia farms like this? Hmm, I am curious (I used to live there!) and I might look into it. With your epic growing season, I imagine you can get local produce all year long!

Tina said...

Are you kidding me 85 cents for a pumpkin!??!? I paid $6 for a mediocre one at our local farm! Holy moly!

I was excited about seeing early nuggets on your blog today. Funny thing is I did mine early today as well! Here they are:

BRH said...

Such a great post. (I've really got to find another way of saying that....) Your garden goodies--and Margot's song!--made me swoon! Happy Fall!

Judybusy said...

I am feeling that same anticipation about winter. I kind of dread it; it's just so long. But I do love sweaters, cords, cocoa, XC skiing and taking our winter-loving dog to the off-lesh dog park that abuts the Mississippi.

Fall is also fun for planting flower bulbs and dreaming of the coming beauty all winter.

rebecca... said...

,,,love the 1st photo it's beautiful!,,,85 cents for a pumpkin unheard of in my neck of the woods, we had a soggy summer and the pumpkins took a big bad hit (rotted) but we managed to choose a few from the family farm that we support,,,the photo of ruby with the flowers, NOW that's my fav,,,margot's little *diddy*, so creative,,,jumping over the veggies, hey that could be a new event at the olympics and margot is just the person to make that happen,,,happy wednesday!

Kelly said...

Margot has the best songs. :) My Macy does that too...makes a song out of stream of consciousness. I didn't know you linked up nuggets. Maybe next week!

Erica said...

My son Jay asked me the other day..."Mom, how come Jackfrost isn't in jail?" I asked why? and his reply, "because he is naughty and paints all the windows white." Too cute! The chubby little Ruby hand hold the pear, swoon!! Been reading for a long time, first comment!! YAY!

homeiswhatyoumakeit said...

You really make me want to move to Montana!
Love the nuggets this week!!

Minnesotagal said...

It has been such a strage year weatherwise in MN. My pepper plants just set a second set of fruit about 6 weeks ago - in SEPT!! I only got 3 peppers all summer long and now I have 16 peppers growing. I don't think they'll ever make it to yellow or red but they'll make some tasty green ones long after I expect to get any. And despite near frost night time temps I just spied a new little fruit that set itself last week. Wonky!
The gardening energy and excitement is just so much more intense and enjoyable with children! Ruby is just two months older than my son so I see so many things mirrored in your posts and love the sneak peek at soon to come things that are just a few months off developmentally.

Kate said...

Beautiful photographs!
I can't get over the prices on those pumpkins at the farm! I knew big city life came with inflated prices, but wow! The one in your photo marked .85 would run me about $17.00 around these parts!

TRB Holt said...

YAAAAAAY! HDNs are here!!!!! I'll be back! xoxo

Julie L. said...

I am 25 years old. I live in a city. I don't have children, nor am I married. I cannot remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but I feel compelled to tell you that I love it. Your ability to capture and acknowledge the simple beauty of everyday life is both compelling and refreshing. Please excuse me while I go and RUN to the bathroom in my office. And then maybe to the grocery store.

FinnyKnits said...

Ahhhhhhhhhh...I love it here. I'm all wrapped up in the same Breaking Down For The Winter mode as you, but without the frost. YET!

The bees are getting bedded down, the garden's coming down this weekend, the favas going in the soil, the canned summer garden lining the shelves, soup's back on the nightly menu, skis are waxed - it's nearly time.

I do love October.

Kelle said...

I just left a great comment and now it is gone. Shit.

The end of it said something about breathing in late Montana fall and living vicariously through your photos and your life-loving heart. There was some other good stuff in there too.

xo. Love that chicken.

clove's corner said...

I am having season envy. And oh, those cheap pumpkins! Wish we'd known about Benson's farm when we lived near zoo town. And PLUMS. I grew up with a plum tree in our front yard, and ever since I moved away I try to buy plums but they are mere ghosts of those juicy purple orbs I ate as a kid.

nicirae said...
This post has been removed by the author.
ctb said...

seriously dig, hotel luggage cart racing?! effing awesome! sista, we could have SO MUCH FUN together.

agree with kelle... total chicken crush!


KWQR said...

Such full, rich, nuggets! In love with your chicken, produce bounty (and local farm - wow!) and family fun. Gorgeousness abounds.

Hip Mountain Mama said...

Great photos of the veggies! Lovely post! ~suzy

Carly said...

Everything that comes out of Margot's mouth is golden. I want to chat with her.

Happiness is... said...

The title caught me - "could it be Jack O'Lantern or Frost?" Boo - Frost it is. I'm not ready for the shift to cold because my nails are deeply dug into this beautiful season. Enjoying fall with my family is like savoring the last bite of the most amazing cake - the one with the glob of frosting.

Your harvesting leaves me speechless. Many squirrels must envy your passion.


Daniele said...

It is getting cold here too. Summer ending always makes me pretty melancholy...it feels more like the end of the year to me than Dec 31st does.

My husband and I loved Winning...we both read it more than once.

Jenn said...

via mamalode.com:

You always leave me speechless. You’re writing is so vivid and alive, that I feel like I am right there with you in the moment. Today I am inspired, thank you. Have a great week!

Minnesotagal said...

via mamalode.com:

Dito to what Jenn said. This post made me grin from ear to ear – and I *might* just decide to skip to my next destination just because I feel like it…

Jenn said...

via mamalode.com:

Hi Nici,
I don’t know Pam, but I love her! My same philosophy on making music with little ones. I get so much more out of it than they do, I believe.

And I love the visual of adults acting as spontaneously as children. It is not only a beautiful vision, but I think a necessary one in this day of HEAVINESS in our world…….

Thanks for a beautiful reminder. Today, I PLAY!

Marisa said...

via mamalode.com:

Thank you for this. Despite the rainy weather and my own mental spreadsheet, I’m going to try to be a little bit more joyful about the errands I have to run and the crate of pears I must can and jam.

Erica said...

via mamalode.com:

This is what is so great about being with children…we get to see everything anew. Spot on. I just love your writing! Thank you!

Tina said...

via mamalode.com:

Thank you so much for this post today. I am having one of the crappiest days of this entire year so far, and I’ve been very short on patience with my children today. This post helps me to reconnect with the Mom I know I am, the one I want to be, and know that although the day is halfway through I can still turn it around and make it the best it can be.

The wonder of children is simply remarkable and astounding. Thanks for the reminder that, through their eyes, everything magical, new, and exciting. I’m off to turn around this day.

dig this chick said...

via mamalode.com:

Those short-on-patience days can be so hard! It is a wonderful, consistent thing that we can turn a day around. Sometimes, we have to lean in and use a lot of muscle, but it can happen! Hope your day improved. And, even if it didn’t, it ended and began again.

Becky said...

via mamalode.com:

LOVE THIS: “But this is a lame, boring excuse to not be entirely where I am.” Thank you for sharing, beautiful!

savagemama said...

via mamalode.com:

Oh, Pam-cake!

trbholt said...

via mamalode.com:

Don’t you wish the excitement that our little ones show was that alive in all of us EVERYDAY? I Do….would have loved to see you up in that tree!

ps….THAT Pam is a keeper!!!

Catherine Forest said...

via mamalode.com:

Such a beautiful post once again! Thank you for reminding us about that!

clove's corner said...

via mamalode.com:

Perfect description….oh, if we could all embrace the joy of a kid! I saw a tv add a couple weeks ago (no idea what the ad was actually for) that showed an adult having a toddler tantrum in the backseat of a car. Wouldn’t it be great to show adults acting the way toddler do the *other* 99% of the time! Pure, unadulterated, happiness and joy.

Shannon (3SaltyDogs) said...

via mamalode.com:

So perfectly described. My little man (21 months) is the same way, and hit an even higher gear these last few weeks. He’s teaching me lots.

Dana said...

via mamalode.com:

Nici, I’ve been reading you here and on digthischick for a couple of years–I love all of your writing and photographs, but this entry has to be my favorite. It was insightful, inspiriting, and lovely. Thank you!

Sharayah said...

via mamalode.com:

My family and I have talked before about how awesome and hilarious life would be if we stayed acting like children. We’ve made ourselves laugh hard imagining different scenarios. Like if adults acted like kids still at birthday parties they would automatically start running around in circles with their friends, chasing each other, trying to pick each other up, wrestling each other, etc. Haha. Thank you for your awesome stories, I always look forward to reading them and am never let down:)

Michelle said...

via mamalode.com:

I LOVE this quote! “It’s very hard not to love small people who scream your name and jump into your arms. I don’t know why we stop doing that to the people we love as we get older.”
I LOVE reading your blog…Thanks for sharing!

Maggie said...

via mamalode.com:

I read this article yesterday and all day I kept envisioning super-business woman in heels high-fiving the receptionist, the janitor, etc. It made my day, and also made me want to high-five everyone at work. Maybe I’ll get on that today.
Thanks for yet another inspiring and humorous essay!

dig this chick said...

How did the high fiving go?!

Wesley M. said...

via mamalode.com:

Love your painted picture of adults acting like young children. Made me smile – I think the world would be a better place if we could always look at things in such an excited, fun way.

Tina said...

via mamalode.com:

Magical piece of writing about magical happenings- thank you!

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