My ivy plants died this week.
When I picked the pair out a couple of months ago they were gorgeous - so full of life, the trailing vines spilled over the edges of the pots to gently bob in the air below. But the hot, dry weather we had (and the fact that I’ve been a little distracted with a certain four-legged beastie) was their undoing - and an infestation of spider mites took over and killed them within a matter of days. I almost feel like it happened overnight - one moment there were new leaves coming in and the next every leaf was drooping and covered in little webs.
I did some research to see if they could be saved - and while there were some remedies I could have tried, I also read that spider mites quickly spread to other plants and that ferns are some of their favorite targets. And there was no way I was letting those little bugs get my maidenhair ferns. So, the ivy went in the trash. I guess I just need to make another trip to the nursery this weekend to find a few replacements! And I suppose I also need to be a little more observant of my houseplants.
Little Ponderosa is getting bigger and bigger by the day. She is now aware of, and interested in, other dogs barking in the neighborhood. The milky blue color of her puppy eyes is transitioning to a rich brown and she is able to track objects moving through the air. I’ve also had to make her harness bigger - twice!
With all that growing she’s doing a lot of sleeping too. I don’t mind a bit though - sitting with her on the cool dining room floor, while reading through a draft of my brother’s new novel, has been so peaceful. Even though awake Ponder is a ball of energy that never stops moving, overall I think she’s helping me to move a little more slowly and live a little more in the moment. I didn’t realize I was falling back into my old habits of rushing around and needing to get things DONE - but having her here has connected me to the present.
She’s also showing me the way to a softer self. With puppies I’ve had and interacted with in the past, they become smaller and quieter when they’re stressed or scared - but this is not so with Ponderosa. She does the opposite. If the choice is fight or flight, she’s going to choose the former. Every time.
I think it’s human nature to get bigger and louder and stronger when we aren’t getting what we want - I can think of so many examples of people trying this approach and having it work for them. But with this dog, I realized that the more we demanded the more she resisted (think, last week’s house training fight!). So we started making requests in softer voices so she might choose to tune in and listen. Started focusing on keeping our energy light and happy (which sometimes means walking away for a minute if things get frustrating) so she could relax into a space where learning was not only possible but easy.
I feel I’m building on the work I’ve been doing with Cirrus the past couple of years - only now I have to be even SOFTER and even MORE GENTLE because this pup is so little. I can tell already that this whole dog-ownership thing is going to be much less about training Ponder and much more about Eric and I retraining ourselves.
Yesterday, I finished up four new pairs of earrings using some ridiculously unique Chinese turquoise stones I found in Tucson. Let me tell you all about them…
I like to watch thunderclouds from my window - watch them grow from a few cotton puffs to mass of billowing white that rises straight up mushrooms out at the very top. There is always a feeling of anticipation that builds with the heat as the storm approaches, and I wait for the curtain of hazy purple rain to reach me.
And then there’s the rain - more specifically those first drops that fall during a storm.
The way they hit the dusty earth and ball up on the surface, unable to soak in at first. And the smell - petrichor - that rises up to greet me like an old friend as more rain falls. Sometimes those first drops are all that reach the ground after their free fall through the dry air and I’m left disappointed. But other times, those first drops serve as the prequel to the oncoming tempest. I’ll take them either way.
Turquoise drops and the lightest, most fluttery cascade of chain - the Petrichor earrings, inspired by all the sweetness of of a summer rain. In the shop in just a few!!