the bloody lip, or raising a puppy from the adult perspective

Earlier this month I regaled the full story of how Lefty came to my life, well-trained and decent (albeit his short temper with puppies and occasional alpha-male dominance) manners.  I told you about our new dog Maeve, whose spirit is an ancient friend of my own.

As you may have imagined, there is more to this story.

Yes, her soul and my soul may have danced together in another life, and yes she looks knowingly in my eyes, but I did not tell you about last month when she bolted inside with her lead still fastened to her collar and she wrapped her rope around Leroy’s little legs and tied him up like a booby trap tripping him face first into the coffee table.  He has two little teeth marks on his lip and it was perhaps the bloodiest I’ve seen the little guy.  I was furious at Maeve.

maeve maeve

The quirks of raising a dog from a puppy are quite different from inheriting a well-mannered dog as an adult.  Lefty may have possessed his food which made it difficult for other dogs to be near him while he ate, but no one’s lips were at stake.  Certainly not my own son’s perfect lips, the first thing I noticed as he emerged into the world!

I can see longevity in dedication to these early stages of training and bonding with a puppy–and I am grateful and blessed that my puppy is so inclined to please–but these feats are no walk in the park (even when they literally are a walk in the park!).

Yesterday a storm rumbled overhead and the rains came pelt, pelt, pelt and this excited Maeve.  She ran into the front door–before all of us (which is never tolerated in our family, humans enter every doorway first!)–then through the house, then out the back door, and around again.  I had to bring Maeve back to the front door and calmly tell her that humans walk through the door first, and tell her to sit and wait at the door while all of us walk through the door.  My persistence plays an important role in raising Maeve.  What work it is to raise a (good) dog, now as an adult.  I have such respect for my parents for the work they’ve done to raise good dogs.  And I’m humbled by everyone who has a dog, now as an adult!  What work!  What meaningful work.  It’s not always pretty, but it is always worth it.

I love watching Maeve run around with the children, granted I remind her (and them) to be gentle from time to time; I can imagine in a handful of years the three of them adventuring in the woods together, safe and go-lucky.  I love that image.  I love the family dog.  It’s certainly a different picture now that I’m on the parental side of the coin.  I’ve now played the role of the bloody child romping with the dog, and I’ve cleaned and comforted the bloody child from the romping dog.  Oh, the romping dog.

Do you have any humorous stories about raising a puppy?  How does your dog fit into your life?  Does your dog get to use the furniture?  What is your best dog-raising tip?


the expanse of a tidy bedroom




Our family reads poetry every evening as the sun scuttles to the mountains, just as the breeze takes the stage and finds herself playing the main role for the first time all day.  Yesterday we read Variations on the Word Sleep by Margaret Atwood, whom I love.  I love this poem, these words have lived a long time in my library heart.

I love that–in the course of a night–she wants to be all of the sturdy pieces in the subconscious of her bed partner’s sleep.  I love her repetition of the word sleep.  When I read this poem, I’m both excited for the narrator to have such unique and potent ideas to support her partner’s dream life, and for one to receive such support.

For some reason, I imagine their bedroom to be stark and crisp.  The sheets cool and flat.  I imagine the bedside table sparse with only necessity–a glass of water atop its mother-pitcher, a favorite book of poems, a current novel, and a feather or a crystal or a charm or a seashell from that trip to the north coast some years back, a candle perhaps.  This got me thinking about a tidy bedroom, and the name bedroom, of course!

Our bedroom has an old ironing table along the wall, a host to my decorated altar.  (All of the aforementioned specimen sit on my altar.)  And it has our bed, of course.  And diapers.  On our bedside stand– an old wooden folding chair with slats that slide–is a special blessing candle we light each night after story time, a book of stories, and our nighttime water.  That’s all, though; that’s enough.  I love the crispness of our bedroom.  I think it allows for me to drift into sleep unnoticed and necessary.  I think the sparse gives space to my dreams and my sleep hygiene.

How I love the dream world.  I wake slowly (dreamily) in the mornings to relive those opaque memories, a beggar for those concrete images to flash upon my retina.  And once I have the memory of the dream, I go to work: I analyze, I write, I delight in the potential (endless) meanings behind my subconscious imagination.  A while back I had a dream I was in the bus, only it was a generic recreational vehicle camper and behind me in the living quarters were a bunch of overly chilled out young men.  I told them I’d be back and I walked into the animal shelter.  I saw that a just-shaved-bald man was signing up to take my soul dog–a Great Dane/Australian Shepherd mixed breed whose build was that of the great Dane with the exact colors of an australian shepherd, an intelligent gentle giant with piercing blue sea eyes.  I close-talked the man, I laugh now, but I even grabbed him by the collar (why I aughtta-esque), and told him there was no way I’d let him take my soul dog.  I walked back to the bus and couldn’t get the engine started.  I alerted the young men in the back that they would need to leave if they couldn’t quiet down.  And finally started the ignition, drove off, and I don’t remember if I got the dog, what the bald man said, and where the laid-back youngsters disappeared to.  That’s the beauty of dreams, I think.  You don’t have to know it all, there is gentle surrender in the mystery, it’s an easily accepted known about dreams.

Naturally though, I went to town with this dream!  I’ll spare you my musings and best friend text message banter, suffice it to say that I love the dream analysis and I found a quiet space in the wee hours of morning to think about this dream without clutter in my bedroom, for that, I am grateful.  I am grateful, too, for the expanse and space to breathe in my bedroom.  And how splendid it is to be necessary, to be unnoticed.

lindsey wayland

meet maeve

A long time ago my family inherited a dog named Lefty.  I was in middle school.  He lived outside with our slightly older dog Beau, a white German Shepherd who loved my father faithful and tried.  Lefty and Beau ran around and enjoyed themselves out-of-doors for many years.  Beau loved water, he loved water in a river, in a lake, in the kiddie pool, and from the hose pointed straight at him for as long as someone–anyone would spray.  Lefty pretended he loved water, maybe because he saw how much attention Beau received for the quirk, maybe because he thought that’s what dogs did, but he did not love water.  In fact, Lefty despised water.  His dedication to pretending he loved water, in hindsight, drew me to be his person.

His person as in every dog has a person, one person.  Not necessarily their “alpha” but the one they spend most of their years loving more than anyone else.  Because of a soul connection.  It would be later that I would admire Lefty’s admiration for me by following me into countless bodies of water.

When Beau passed away I had moved to college, but I was home when he died.  My dad and I both cried that day.  My dad was Beau’s person.  He’s been the person for three dogs, now, all with B names.  Lefty moped after that.  He did not need to pretend he loved water, and he got lost in that territory, the really honest place.  It can be dark.

I insisted I take Lefty back to my small east Texas college town.  I said he would be happy with one-on-one attention.  I don’t know what persuaded me to be so certain, a driving force with which to be reckoned.  He came with me in my hand-me-down gold Geo Metro back to Cason street.  He came everywhere with me after that, to the Library, to Geology lab, to parties, to friends’ houses, to the grocery, and swimming (yes, swimming).  He was my dog as much as I was his person.

Until his passing, I never gave much thought about being the person for another dog again.  We were content together, Lefty and I.  When he traveled back over the rainbow bridge, my heart collapsed.  The timing was perfect, though, I was moving to San Francisco and couldn’t find an apartment allowing a dog.  My heart grows deep and sad just regaling this story now.  I cried all night, I tried to sleep inside at my parents house the night he passed away, but couldn’t and I rested with his body in the back of my father’s truck.  I laid on his cold hard body, sobbing instead of sleeping.  A cat we thought had run away (whose amnion Lefty nosed after he was born on Cason Street) came back for the first time in months that night and slept with me in the bed of the truck.  Good ole Guido.  We buried Lefty in the back yard at my parents’ house.  I buried my favorite childhood book Todd and Copper next to him.  I wore his scratched royal blue bone-shaped metal tag on a necklace for a year after he died.  I still keep the tag in a ceramic hexagon painted fish dish on the bathroom shelf next to my intact extracted wisdom tooth, an old typewriter W key, and a crystal.

Last winter we began to open the idea of a dog in our family.  I got really clear about my intentions in April, just before Easter.  We had been searching for puppies here and there, and once clarity washed over me–I wanted to adopt and rescue a puppy–our perfect dog showed up.  Maeve was born in the mountains of central Washington with four siblings.  Her ancestry is a bit of a mystery but we have two puzzle pieces: she is part Bernese Mountain dog and part Border Collie.  She is a delightful mystery mutt and I love her more than I could imagine I would.


I have known her before.  Our souls’ have been together before this life.  I am uniquely drawn to her, and she to me.  What a blessing!  She has a strong inclination to please, looks deep into my eyes with a knowing about her.  I am so in love!







IMG_5541lindsey wayland IMG_5644



The wet lush lands of the Pacific Northwest flow from mountain to valley and trickle and rush and rage and ride with water.  As an adolescent I thought I would only be a writer if rain often poured out my window.  I love this image of young me, the ultimate idealist.  And, a realist, it turns out.  I love this lush land!

The wildflowers flank the roads–fields of yarrow, balsam root, dandelion, chickweed, and as the morning dew dries and the sun glitters the papery petals of littered dandelion, or crisps the last bits of balsam root, I feel home here in this wild land.  IMG_5524

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Having just arrived home after a loop around Oregon and Washington (in the bus!), a calm settles over my home and I sense that I’ve come home in my body.  I focused my intention last dark moon: I plant the seed of being in my body, fully present.  Traveling in our bus opened my eyes to a new way of moving through our world.  I brought my home with me and visited special places.  With young children, this was invaluable.  I love our bus!  I love the simple nature of it.

Upon seeing the sea with the sand in my toes, my feet became buoyant and I flitted fast to the water.  Cool and calm, the tide swam in.  The sand squeaked under our feet, near-powder fine.  As I left the ocean last year I convinced myself that–with an affinity for the forest and river–I didn’t need the tides and vast salty water.  After visiting the northern pacific waters, I feel reborn!  The sea speaks to me: Combing the shore as I comb my own heart for treasures; the ebb and flow of the tides rhythmical and methodical as my own expansion and contraction; the smooth rocks, smoothed with time, with intention, with synchronicity mirror my own depths of surrender.

A sensuous and lush bath for deep groundedness:
:: 9 drops lavender essential oil
:: 3 drops ylang ylang essential oil
:: 1 drop patchouli essential oil
:: 1 cup epsom salt
:: a tub of water as hot as you can stand it
This bath heals me every single time.  Water nourishes me, cleanses me, heals me.
I love the small hint of the earthy patchouli, too.  Once after dinner I went to start the bath and drew this lush grounded bath, upon returning to the table where Cody was just finishing his last few bites.  I kept thinking I was eating bits of dirt, he laughed, until I realized it was you.  Paired with the lavender and the ylang ylang, the patchouli sends my roots deep, and I emerge from this bath feeling light, open, connected.  (Update: I typically don’t use essential oils because of how much plant matter needed for them, but every so often I am inspired for this bath and I indulge.)

On the reg, however, I choose herbal infusions like this one:
:: oats
:: rose petals
:: lavender
strain and pour quart of infusion into bathwater.  I’ll even use a cheesecloth or tea towel and capture the herbs and use them to exfoliate my skin as I wash.

A New Do

typewriterimageOh, the ever-evolving journal.  At age six I began a journey that would later prove to enrich my existence on the planet: I wrote my first diary entry.  My days have since harbored a consistent flow of words and ideas kept in this journal or that.  Pink and purple with a cartoon dog holding a pen, held closed by a very teeny lock opened only by those with the very teeny key; I went through a stage where I only wrote in three-subject college-ruled notebooks; I have dozens of poetry notebooks from sixth grade alone typed carefully and hole punched to fit into three-ring binders; ornate leather-bound and hand sewn journals which hold the key to my deepest desires; a slightly goofy spiral-bound notebook from a Japanese store in San Francisco on Judah Street next to my old grocer Sam, the pages are robin’s egg blue with a border and a girl eating a cupcake in the top outer corner of each page; and lately I use a simple extra-large plain black, ruled moleskin journal, it feels classic and natural.  I have evolved into a more simple space.

I found the blog’s evolution necessary, too, as everything.  Naturally, I’m still working on my “brand” whatever that means.  But it feels a little more open for us to just have a conversation about what it means to cultivate wellness and balance on the spectrum where we meet (what Glitter & Grit was all about, anyway).  I feel less tied to any particular subject, and more true to what my rhythm with life (and thus writing) actually is.

I muse about the image which brands this space, still.  Michael, my beloved dear old friend who designed the beautiful typewriter image, and all the other images that once guided to each different category I’ve covered, and I feel connection to his work and love his dedication to me and my family as we evolve.  I can imagine a moon, the moon phases, or something of the like, as the moon guides me so wholly.  And I am still always in love with the typewriter.  A reader for whom I babysat as an adolescent mentioned the words “the poet and the pioneer” in a comment last month, which are two hats I deliberately don.  Those words are also guiding a new image for me.  Even, a mission statement!  (Thank you!)

Oh, yeah, and I cut my bangs a lot shorter, too.

In what ways are you evolving as we approach the longest lightest day of the year?


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