What is Frozen Spaghetti?

Over the past month, as I launched Apple Tree Magic (yay book is available HERE), “Frozen Spaghetti” and this whole blog forum has come up on my mental chopping block. What is the point of this domain?

Frozen Spaghetti began when I was in 8th grade. We were tasked to write an autobiography and I took it full on. I LOVED that assignment. I have the book on my bookshelf in our study even now. It’s a genuine legitimate thing in my life.

But it’s not Apple Tree Magic. Apple Tree Magic is my creative entity and legacy in the making. It’s my creative word, meant for us all to enjoy together. My work is not about sales and me as much as it is about getting us all together (on the same proverbial and literal page) and making space for something really fun, really magical to happen.

The people I know and love are awesome. I know intelligent, creative, insightful people with really REALLY good laughs. The food and drink they enjoy, the types of experiences they enjoy – are Ecclesiastical in their goodness, their happiness.

My vision, my hope for Apple Tree Magic is to fruit events and community like none other. For it to be a church of love, to a certain extent. Where people enjoy reprieve from the world’s very real chaos, can support other people experiencing the world’s very chaos and – perhaps – maybe balance out a little bit of the chaos that starts in our homes, in our hearts and in our minds.

“Gentleness” has been the common prayer request in my household. On our wall is written, “let us consider one another to stir up love and good works”. We are learning each other in ways that our chiseling our own understandings of ourselves. I believe each human being under my roof is actively changing and morphing as we speak. And, though it is true we are all actively changing and morphing all the time, to witness the extent of the maturation in my specific fishbowl is miraculous.

Think about it. Your home. Your family. Your teens. Your wife. Your husband. Your garden. Your animals. Your hobbies. Your yard. Your floors. Your bathrooms. Your health. Your vitality. These are things you specifically affect. You get to affect them positively, you might affect them negatively. And the biggest thing here is that – to really take that on? Humility is essential. Teachability, a gift.

So – Frozen Spaghetti, what are you? As I let ATM take me further into public life, community – walks and lunches, zooms and classes… Frozen Spaghetti remains to be my private philosophies. Where I cut my teeth on some ideas. Process out loud in written form some new thinking. Where I unfold a little bit. Where I understand myself a little bit better.

For that reason, you should know I might consider making Frozen Spaghetti a paid subscription service. I’m thinking a simple enough couple of bucks for this to be a little bit safer for me to try new ideas out and hold a little sacred space while I think through how I want to write about my personal life – on the internet or elsewhere…

OK. Basement organizing. Lead follow up for books. (I know I said it isn’t about sales, but mama wants a hot tub.) Veggie Cheesesteaks. A little bit of laying out Words that Rhyme Volumes 2 and 3. Create audio link for orders. Start up address labels for this week’s shipment. Look up some scripture. Journal on book 2 (a yoga devotional out next Easter). Oh, and invite you all to follow Apple Tree Magic’s publishing journey. Go to Apple Tree Magic dot com and check it out. Get on the audience list in the footer of the page for sure.

Alright. Tuesday. See ya, erin

My Last Day of Isolation. (The seeming joy of a breakthrough infection.)

When I woke up last Sunday with my chest completely tight after a night where my joints were on fire and I tossed and turned in absolute discomfort which was after having dinner with my husband and feeling like I had been on a Florida shore with no sunblock all day, the first thing on my mind was getting a COVID test.

There was only one other time I thought about getting a COVID test. It was summer of 2020 and we were packing up the house in Bellingham to move the kids, cats, furniture and new husband to Saint Louis. I remember feeling really nervous about getting a test and screwing up our logistics. I had a few days to see about myself, never broke a fever, ended up feeling fine and we kept our plans.

Now, here in the fall of 2021, I was fully vaccinated and definitely sick. One pink and blue stripe later, we were masking in the house, I was isolated to the master bedroom and bathroom and the psychology of being sick with mild symptoms, fine but not fine, and overall figuring out how to handle being excluded when “baby, but you’re in isolation – you have to be excluded” (to use David’s words) was playing out.

I wasn’t sick enough to be nursed, cooked for and cleaned for. I wasn’t well enough to cook and clean without feeling absolutely frustrated (both of those things are really less fun in a mask). I had enough energy to start walking the dogs, but would get out of breath and want to lay down. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t know what to expect others to do for me. But I knew the answer to both of those conundrums was somewhere between “nothing” and “whatever”.

By Friday, I had convinced myself to treat isolation as a little sacred time. I had used the week to finish my book, Words that Rhyme and Lullabies, and get a file out to the printer for art samples, editor for editing, designer for tweaks. Having that pdf off and running gave me a mental break “holy smokes my book is done” moment and I realized I had the rest of my time alone to dwell.

I started working through some organization.. gathering the material for book #2 – a devotional guide to emotions. I pulled fall and winter clothes up and washed and worked out my wardrobe for fall / winter. I lit candles and ate ice cream sandwiches and let my energy pool back into my body until Saturday night rolled around and I felt up for a glass of wine outside with David.

I spent Sunday pulling and potting my favorite plants to give them a shot indoors. I cleaned out my front bed and harvested my lavender into bundles that are now drying above the piano. My favorite moments from isolation were when David was off of work and we sat out in our backyard with the dogs and a fire and took our masks off. We had coffee on FaceTime and watched a movie synchronously but it was that outside time that really filled my tank.

And now it is Monday, day 9 of my 10 day quarantine. I will gather feedback on my book this week and start forging into the business side of getting the word out there and gathering orders for the first edition paperback of my first ever book. WOW. I will also start the real work of “writing writing” which requires a daily reading practice, a daily writing warm up, and some mining of spiritual thoughts and content. So today – my last day of quarantine, is like a little morph into new work, a new week.

Anyway. I hope you are staying safe out there. If you are feeling sorry for yourself today – trust me – from my little red hen complex to yours, it really helps to remember everything you have in front of you is a gift of some sort.

Even the hard stuff. That’s where the growth is. Name the belief you have that is causing the shit to feel real and see if that belief is worthy of keeping around.

I’m thankful for my breakthrough COVID infection for reminding me just how in control of my own mental health I am by tracing my emotional vomit back to my beliefs and what I am or am not allowing myself … :) I am thankful I was not needing medical care as I waited this out. I am mindful of those who are super sick and alone.

I am glad I allowed myself the space to surround myself with notebooks and hot tea and candles and use my quarantine to reboot and transition.

Yeah. Somehow we made it work. OK….

Until next time… erin

Lavender bundles
crossing my fingers for these geraniums to live through winter indoors!

now in the market for a digital camera: an old school blog

maybe it is because i am thoroughly immersed in season 7 of gilmore girls, which i am watching through for the first time. maybe the security of good love. maybe the winds of change, the adventure in the air, the travel plans. sigh.

but regardless of anything else, here i am at the laptop hoping to stick to what is true enough and real enough and fluid enough for me not to question it. just type. preview. post.

sure, i may question it later, maybe after – when somebody comments or texts or calls – or when i experience life and what i thought i knew evolves. but when i am typing in all lowercase, holding on tight to a thought – it’s this that i really remember my earliest days having a blog. that true blog feeling…

there was this sweet little time in my life where i wrote out of my kitchen while i cooked. i didn’t dream of being full on mommy blog or spiritual blog or perspective blog. i didn’t plan on documenting every iris, every year. i didn’t think through certain types of poetry or lyric i shared. i just did it, whatever came and felt good. frozen spaghetti.

david just left the house in a fizz as a reaction to my reaction to our busyness – me preparing us for life, him preparing life for us. in these moments where we are both slam packed – thinking every minute through, paying attention to the clock – we can in our newness forget how perfect the other is in their humanity, their warmth, the fact they are there.

i said to david a few months back, “to even have each other, is a gift. to have you to get frustrated with, is a blessing.”

and it is true. what i have learned in the realist parts of relationship is how true my love is, how deep my gratitude, how excited my heart…

i hear the dogs chewing up cardboard in the laundry room and i need to clean up, finish up and get ready.

the day’s logisitics are as daunting as they are unplanned, unhinged, unanchored. It’s a busy day of “at some point” with the perfect balance of doing because you need to and because you want to; even in that what you need to do is necessary because of what you want tomorrow – next week, in a year.

thank you, as always, to my long time readers and friends who still sit here for a minute.

accidentally washed my iPhone with the towels so I’m operating off a vintage Samsung, laptop and iPad. (making handwritten letters obviously best.) – erin