this saturday morning: welcome back to my blog

it’s still before noon here in the central time zone. one of the almost 6 month old puppies is giving off a “please cuddle i am so so sweet also this is different than what i am used to happening right now” whine and the most interesting thing about it is that i don’t actually know if it is the boy dog or the girl dog, the caramel colored one or the blonde.

i told my husband to expect that in 4 – 5 years i would likely want another puppy: a gray one that i can master train to be a gentle giant, loving big fat amazing dog. like the kind built for mountains, treks and carrying supplies – providing warmth and emotional support.

a long, long time ago – like right when the crate and barrel on brentwood blvd went up, that plaza had a couple of shops that were for design minded people. one of the shops; it’s shop owner had two bouvier des flandres. i felt completely enamored with these gray, tall gentle wandering souls who glided behind the shop keeper’s case and looked at me only to say hello.

the baby dogs in my house now have fallen silent. the only sound in my house is some appliance hum (no laundry), the birds outside and the faint dispelling of radiohead coming from our bedroom where my husband naps. likely not dreaming of that same gray puppy.

having two puppies is – for both of us – colliding worlds of independence and order with chaos and random events. part of the reason for the two puppies at this junction is because it is all mixed up anyhow.

we are both exploring and operating.

on a personal level, i am the boss of my creative life which requires settling into ideas that are new to me:

i set my schedule completely

i take baby steps towards my dreams.

i express myself freely through music, words and song as an emotional gift to the world.

ideas i have known and always known (my husband is brilliant, his talent unending, my kids? glorious (and all on vacation) etc etc etc) are the roots of this whole new machine: my titanic, my life force, my creative energy.

gratitude, at some point, evolves from appreciating what you see to honoring what you know (about yourself and others).

trust is that gratitude’s inevitable fruit.

said another way: thoughtfulness is spacing out and forgetting’s best friend in that one needs the other to hurt in order to heal.

Trust is spacing out and forgetting’s best friend.

Me, 7.17.21

an opposites attract sort of thing.

welcome (back) to my blog. please consider sharing my writing.

for those new, hey how are ya – you usually find me on family stuff. if you got here because of the word “puppies”, let me know in the comments and let’s start sharing ideas on how to raise littermates, siblings, and establish independence.

ok. that’s all for now.

A married woman with her children lays on a theatre bench in Bellingham, Washington’s Boulevard Park July 3, 2020. #PandemicBride

Who is the patron saint of puppies?

We are winding down with tea and the US soccer game and I allowed myself one Google search parameter and only two articles to decide on my next step for tomorrow. No. Rabbit. Holes. Erin.

It is proving to be difficult (as I start on my fourth attempt at this paragraph) to use this outlet to help myself out without going into the complete nitty gritty of everything in the top of my mental funnel.

Two months ago, I was browsing soy sauces online for 45 minutes, researching braises and comparing blueberry bushes. Tonight? I am actively processing guilt for not crate training the puppies immediately, thinking about how I am going to explain to David that this is about to become a super pain in the ass, and praying The Watering Hole is a miracle God sent angel gift that helps me have two dogs that are good to other dogs.

I did not know that you are supposed to keep littermates separate at night, people. Also, thank you internet for being horrifying with all your information.

It is starting to make more sense every day. The goal of littermates is for the dogs to be “obedient together” and “confident separate”. With this in mind, I feel pretty good about how we are managing the dogs. (They get a ton of attention and individual time.) But…. they are coming of age and rough housing and it’s like a drunk driver teaching another person how to drive blindfolded. I did not realize that littermates will not teach the universal dog language inherently. Every time I see Rey play bite Thor on the leg I cringe, use the Say Uncle command (which makes them stop and sit at my feet for a treat), and pray all this work pays off.

I feel like a theme in my life is that I make things harder for myself right when I get to a clearing. If I achieve a plateau, I add a layer. I wondered tonight if it was a super hero complex or my saboteur archetype. Paging Caroline Myss.

I was all in on Rey and Thor (my 17 week old shepherd mixes) for good reason. I wanted family dogs to help spread the love. I wanted to walk good dogs and take them to beer gardens and sunsets. I miss my old dog and how he would lay in the sun while I gardened. If I was to get dogs, now seems to be a good time. There is just always so much you don’t know until you get into something.

As I near forty (my birthday is at the end of June), I realize all these Google searches I am doing now about the dogs; trying to get enough information to synthesize into one strategic dog culture, is a lot like the conversation David and I had after we got home from Home Depot with armfuls of supplies to strip, clean, condition and paint our 100+ year old porch.

It did not take long after getting into the project for us to change our plan. We felt like we wasted the morning but both agreed it was time well spent – we needed to get into it to know how we wanted to do it.

So, here I am. I am into it figuring out how I want to do it. And I am wondering if this is a 40 year old maturation thing. I wonder if now I will have a treasured habit of contemplating everything I may want to know prior to jumping in. It doesn’t seem like me, but I think it is becoming me. I think this is a big shift where I combine bravery and experience.

When I was painting the porch, I had a little bit of clarity where this thought came, “the dogs will be what you make them”. And I felt relief. They love my kids. They love me. I LOVE THEM. I bury myself in them sometimes. I hold them like babies and they calm us all. My mom said today “they are really special, Erin”. And they are.

I just don’t know what I’m doing. lol. Ok. Good night. Mind if I talk about puppies more on this thing? This felt good. erin

this photo is titled “help me jesus”

About Easter

The more I have come to live, the more I have come to realize that in waves of doubt or despair – literally equal in that moment – are hope and celebration.

The church has failed so many people and Easter really is simply undoubtedly a celebration of spring, light after darkness, new life and the mystery of creation… the joy you feel when the green of your hostas or ferns, the yellow of your tulips or lillies straight up usher in the first real day of winter being over.

These are undebatable truths. These can be communally celebrated, witnessed and experienced.

But about Easter.

I am an Easter person. And it’s not because I was raised on lyrics like “veiled in flesh the Godhead see” or “Christ the Lord has RISEN TODAY – ALLELUIA”. Which built an understanding of a savior and my need to be saved.

And though I am suspicious to believe I am Easter person because I have experienced ruach – spirit – pranayama in the humbly low brass tones of // crown him with many crowns – the lamb upon the throne // and how (even in this very moment) I am moved to tears thinking of how love is bigger than me, love requires faith, and so LOVE must be DIVINE. Holy. Recognition worthy. Eyes closed feel it worthy, divine. I know it’s not just that.

No. I think deep in my bones I am an Easter person because I know moments in my life where I have experienced a different, more peaceful or positive, emotion after a terribly anxious, fearful one have been moments where I have sacrificed, let the bad guys have their way while keeping my belief, or where I held the hand of a dying woman to then witness the peace of her dead body; her spirit obviously not there.

Maybe religious Easter coincided with seeing Christ energy in the sun, the green, the grass. Or feeling the open hearts of those experiencing beautify after thunder, darkness and silence. Maybe we should all scale it back out of headlined beliefs and generational religion and feel what we know to be true: the natural cycle of new life coming after death.

I am an Easter person. A finder and lover of the silver lining. A collector of rocks, an exchanger of peace, an encourager of hope.

A lover of green ferns.

A celebrator of the faithfulness of the rising sun and moon.