Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Observation and Appreciation

"We don't have time to look at one another.

So all that was going on and we never noticed.

Oh, earth, you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you.

Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?

Every, every minute?


The Saints and poets, maybe, they do some."

From Our Town, by Thornton Wilder

I told you a little about the play we attended with my mom last week, Our Town, and how it touched on the eternal part of mankind. But its main theme was appreciation. Written in 1938, it was well before we began losing ourselves in smart phones. Can you imagine what Thornton Wilder would think if he came back and saw how disconnected we are now?

I was cleaning stalls in the barn yesterday, and the weather was really perfect--not too hot, not too cold. And, it was easy to take my time and appreciate the horses and barn cats. On really cold days, not so much. I have some work to do to overcome my fair-weather ways.

Here are some snippets of life I have missed covering on the blog.

1. Last week was Tumbleweed's fourth birthday! I was having a tooth implant done on his birthday, and he is off at training, but here is a tribute to the birthday boy.

Our journey started a week after he was born, when I drove up to Canada to see him at Shirley's place. These photos came up in my FB memories today.

Those were fun trips, and I was enamored with little Tweed from the first moment. Fast forward to this week, and here he is on a ride a few days ago.

He has exactly one week left in training, and I can't wait to get him home.

2. I have an obsession with shortbread. Yes, I do. I love shortbread, but it's hard to find the perfect cookie, so instead, I have set out to find the perfect recipe.

For those of you unfamiliar with shortbread cookies, they really only have three ingredients: unsalted butter, sugar, and flour. I add a little vanilla and salt to mine, and I drizzle the ends with chocolate. I like a thicker cookie. I still have some experimenting to do to get to where I love them.

3. Epona has changed colors. 

Here she is a few days ago going after the dogs. (They deserved it.)  It will be interesting to see how white she gets over time. We think she will look like her daddy.

4. We have been getting the arena ready ahead of Tweed coming home. It probably needs a sand refresher. I have so much junk  many obstacles in my arena. My main concern is riding trails, and you can tell by looking at the arena.

5. Since this has been a very cold spring, (in fact, we are setting records), we are having a very late blooming season. I have tried to grow the lilacs and purple sand cherry tall enough to encase the back deck. I want it to feel like a tree house. They are finally in their heyday! If you look to the right, you see 3 lilacs bunched together, but there's also one on the side of the deck (to the left, which I'll show in another photo). If you follow the 3 lilacs left, I planted 11 very small lilacs last year, in the hopes of one day achieving a natural fence of lilacs that I can keep short and shrubbish so that it doesn't block the view of Mt Spokane. In fact, the three shown here are getting a little too tall and need to be trimmed down. 

You can see how big the sand cherry are from this photo. The tent we incorporated onto the back deck last year is something we are trying out. We wanted to see if it's worth our time to extend the deck cover with something permanent, and if so, what we would need to build. How high? How long? Open, or enclosed? We have found that we really love that area being covered, but we had such a huge fly infestation last year, we might want it to also be partially screened in for late summer. 

Speaking of flies, I ordered fly predators again this year. I even bumped up my normal order with their extra bonus offer. I am declaring war on flies. War!

Here is one of the little lilacs I planted last year, barely taller than the grass. 

And here is one of the bigger lilacs, but you can see the blossoms have not fully opened. 

We have packed our deck with chairs, couches and tables because every Sunday we have a family get together with anywhere from 8 to 20 people. We need all the seating we can get.  We've also added a baby swing, and boy does it get used. (So does the propane fireplace.)

I was finally able to plant petunias. yay! 

The deck is surrounded by (from left to right) lilac, aspen, sand cherry.

Very crowded!

Yet, each space does get utilized. The light couches were my sons, but he brought them to their wedding last summer and didn't want to take them home afterward. I bought them from them and found the blue pillows at Wal-Mart. 

I have been very attracted to the color blue this year. Here is what it symbolizes:

The color blue represents both the sky and the sea and is associated with open spaces, freedom, intuition, imagination, inspiration, and sensitivity. Blue also represents meanings of depth, trust, loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, confidence, stability, faith, and intelligence.

I am mostly drawn to indigo blue this year, and blue balanced with browns. I have an indigo blue shirt that I purchased in 2 long sleeve and 1 short sleeve, and I wear one of them every day. It's this one from Eddie Bauer. I just went there to find the link, and it's on sale for $12.99.  I think I'll buy 2 more! I love this shirt. 

Okay, popped over and looked up the symbolism of indigo, and look what I found.

Theater? Ha! Yes, please!

I am so into blue this year that I almost purchased a blue velvet couch, but stopped myself only because I read that velvet attracts dog hair like crazy, and we have two dogs.

Here's the loveseat version of the couch I ALMOST purchased. I still LOVE it. Extremely comfy.

While I was out taking photos, I wanted to show you the dinner bell. Our daughter bought this for us about ten years ago. It's fun to ring it and get everyone's attention.

Back to the color blue, it's no surprise I'm drawn to it, and I don't think I'm alone. What we've all been through, and are still going through, leads us into greater introspection / wisdom, and personal freedom. As a society, we lost sight of the concept of LIVING over living, but it's coming back to us. 

Future, your color is blue--indigo blue, and it is time to start paying even MORE attention!


  1. You are so insightful! Love reading your thoughtful posts. I like all colors. When I have to chose one, my favorite color is purple. I miss my lilacs. Yours are very pretty and must smell divine! I transplanted an offshoot of my fav magenta lilac. It made it through the Winter, but not growing much other than a few leaves. Everything grows super slooow here. A year ago I picked out a soft pink lilac for Mothers Day. New lilac color for me. I thought it was going to give me a couple small blooms this year, but either the deer ate the buds or what I saw were not buds. Your porch/deck looks so inviting! I bet you spend a lot of time with your family out there enjoying life, when the flying pests aren't taking over.

    Your birthday boy Tumbleweed looks amazing. All grown up & doing big boy stuff. Your future together looks bright!

    1. Thank you! I agree, Tweed is a handsome birthday boy! I’m curious to see how he has changed and it will affect our relationship. That is interesting about your difficulty growing lilacs. We are the Lilac City. Literally. We have a Lilac Parade and a Lilac Queen—everything is lilacs here. They grow like weeds, impossible to kill, and vigorous. The lilac by the deck really does put out a beautiful perfume when the wind is blowing. We do spend a lot of time out there. Last year was unique. It got blazing hot in early June and killed the baby birds. The flies seemed to takeover. There were more than we’d ever seen around here. It made going to the barn pretty miserable, and eating outside miserable, too. They go away at night, but that’s not much help. I think my emergency barn misters helped breed more flies because they were worse in that stall. We installed them because Epona would have died in that brutal heat wave without constant cooling. It was a tough summer! Thinking back about it makes me almost appreciate this cold spring we’re having. It probably killed off a few generations of insects. The birds are happy and flourishing.

      Purple. I looked it up and got this: “Purple is the color of spiritualism, supernatural, and imagination.” My usual favorite color is a burnt orange, which is similar to a deep saddle leather color. This latest blue attraction, at least in decorating my house, is unusual for me. I’m not drawn to ocean motifs. I’m definitely and inlander and love earth, as in dirt…brown. And fire. Haha. Leather. I need another saddle. 😂

  2. Your home looks so inviting and comfy! I like the idea of having the porch surrounded by lovely shrubs but still keeping the view.
    Awww baby T'weed! He was so adorable and it seems he has grown into a fine fellow.
    Looks like Epona will have a varnish coat. Appaloosas change so much over the years!

    1. I had not heard of a varnish coat, but I looked it up and that seems correct. Thanks for the information. Tweed is a sweet boy, and sure is beautiful, too. You did good!! It sure was nice visiting you and him four years ago. Good memories. ❤️

  3. Can't believe Tweed is already 4! He was a beautiful baby and he's a gorgeous grown up now. Bet you can't wait to have him back and start working with him. Wonder if he'll get an indigo saddle pad?

    Love your deck! The tent is a good idea. My daughter has a deck with a retractable awning. So when you're not using it you hit a button and pouff it winds itself back up. Your lilacs must smell wonderful. We have a lot of giant bushes here and when you walk out of the house it smells great. They're fading now though. I like to bring them in and enjoy the smell in the house too. I'm sure you know this little tidbit but in case you don't...lilac bushes were planted in colonial times at the back of a property to keep the evil spirits out and bring luck. I think you're covered there!

    1. I didn’t know that. Yes, we’re covered! I remember Sunday drives with my parents in rural Northern Maine, 80’s, and we would find old abandoned farms and they all had lilacs. We’d usually pick a bunch and take them home, but they were so fragrant that started to give my mom headaches. They grew well up there, and so here, too.

      Indigo saddle pad…hmmm, wouldn’t that be pretty?

      We have considered the retractable awning, too. That is always a possibility if we feel a permanent structure is too obtrusive. My first thought was to make a Tuscan-style wood overhang, but I wasn’t sure it would provide enough shade. Then we had that horrible fly problem last year, and I began to think a screened in room, but that would definitely block the view from the house. We’ll see how I do with the “fly war,” and if I can make it pleasanter outside this year. 🙏

  4. How can Tweed be four now?! I clicked on your link for the shirt and realised it's the one I've been considering buying! I am drawn to cranberry, but I also love blues and greens.

    1. What a coincidence. They are great shirts and come in almost every color. I looked up the symbolism of cranberry, and it sounds like your personality:

      “Cranberries are a symbol of bounty and gratitude. Moreover, the color cranberry is associated with boldness, courage, and action, primarily by association with the color red. In many ways, cranberry can also represent being passionate and intense, as well as having the energy and vitality to push boundaries and limits.”


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