Up early for an excursion to the Paint Mines. Forty five minutes and a world apart, Indians roamed here, fashioned pottery from the clay, hunted buffalo, lived well. My goodness, what perfection, the two of us, the birds and Pilar and Pedro’s cousins, hopping up a storm. Can you spot the second one in the photos?

We marveled at the earthly quiet, our hushed voices and birdsong, wind in the grass, blue sky. This is what our Western hearts missed out east, the prickle of cactus, gazing upon the vast plains, scorched rock and dust.

I returned, my heart full, of love for our home and inspiration for our garden. It will be like this, with bunnies hopping, flowers dancing and grasses waving, birds whistling and butterflies flitting, bees zooming and us sighing, happily. Absolutely yes.

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Stay

Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there.

Rumi

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Hey there, ho there, hi!

Much of the random and sundry this Monday afternoon, list style:

  1. Pilar, neighborhood rabbit. Thusly named by enforcing sexist stereotypes of size. Pilar is a small bunny. Her larger companions are named Pedro. They woo us daily with cuteness and by gobbling dandelion after dandelion.
  2. Teeny-tiny cacti, no bigger than the smallest cornichon!
  3. Cracked mud after a big rain.
  4. Ever beautiful Palmer Park.
  5. Evening walk – weeds and skateboarders.
  6. Flying and posing with Megan at the Air Force Academy. Egads, we had a marvelous time!
  7. Not pictured: If you value your time and sensible heart at ALL, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT see The Lobster. It is gruesome and horribly wicked and cruel. See Maggie’s Plan instead. It’s fun and silly and New York-y, plus Julianne Moore with an accent. I LOVE HER!!
  8. Also not pictured: Holy crapper doodle, we have counter tops in the kitchen. No more plywood! No more splinters! Just plain awesome. Tile backsplash in t-minus nine days. Woot!
  9. Also not pictured, part 2: We saw Saturn with the telescope! Saturn!

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There are so many fragile things, after all. People break so easily, and so do dreams and hearts.

Neil Gaiman

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All the best angles of our new yard! Our lot is huge, almost double the size of our Portland house and more than double that of our Pittsburgh place, though most of that was taken up by our ginormous house.

It is a shambles at the moment. After years and years of neglect, the back is mostly dandelions, a falling down fence, and the remains of dead trees and shrubs. That big dumpster I told you about? I filled about half of it with branches and the skeletons of six foot tall monster weeds. Fear not! There are a few gems – the snowball bush just above the bird bath, a spindly volunteer of a flowering cherry, a lilac, choke cherry, and three onion plants, smack dab in the middle of the yard. We’ve been using the greens in salads, and will, one fine day, move the plants to a proper garden bed. There, they will be joined by rhubarb and tomato plants (Sun gold! Cherokee purple!), cucumber, and maybe some ground cherries and boysenberries, if we are lucky enough that they can grow here.

In a wildly wonderful windfall from my friend Jennifer (holla!), we got two massive piles of beautiful stone that we plan to break our backs moving into some pretty configuration involving runoff from the roof, then add masses of flowers, currants, wild roses, and native grasses. Oh, and a patch for herbs and peonies (I already have an order in with Adelman Peony Gardens!), because, well, it wouldn’t be a Colleen Sohn garden without them. No, it would not.

That’s all dreaming, though, at least for now. The inside of the house still isn’t 100 percent hospitable. There’s no shower, but a dilapidated bathtub, no toilet on the main floor, but one in the basement, next to a sink that doesn’t work. BUT, the kitchen counter comes this week, and the guest room is looking pretty snazzy, with a fresh coat of paint, new bedside table, bed frame, box spring, and linens. Just in time, too! Our Pittsburgh friend Megan is joining us today for a visit. We are so excited to see her!

Oh, and the first picture, we’re enjoying a mighty pretty and delicious bulgogi and bibimbap at our new favorite Korean restaurant Shin Sa Dong. Yum…

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