"Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing." — Laurie Buchanan

Night Blindness

You may have seen the video of neuroscientist and sleep author, Penelope Lewis, discussing the link between Alzheimer’s disease and lack of sleep. She goes on to share that sleep is critical to innovation and creative processes.

Regardless of what I’m doing, I tend to throw myself into it wholeheartedly—including sleep. With that in mind, I wear a “black out” sleep mask and soft foam earplugs to induce a cocoon-like ambience that nothing but a cold wet nose in the face (Willa’s, not Len’s) can stir me from.

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A person who’s normally alert, curious, and enjoys observing the smallest details, when it comes to sleep, I choose to turn a blind eye, to block it all out.

Do you ever intentionally turn a blind eye?

© Laurie Buchanan

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I’ve Got a Secret

Something exciting is happening in my world.
I’m not going to share it with you.
Just yet.
But I will.
Soon!

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The reason for this excitement was a catalyst for reaching out to other writers — published women authors — with a request. Without exception, this network of friends stepped up to the plate and embraced my request with yes, Yes, YES! Their glowing support has me bursting at the seams.

Like fizz in champagne, do you have something — secret or otherwise — that has you bubbling with excitement?

Psssst, if you’re one of the authors who’s stepped up to the plate, mum’s the word…

© Laurie Buchanan

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Recently, a tree in the Municipal Park close to our home was cut down. A view of the cross-section reveals its growth rings.

Rings on a tree

According to my online research: “Visible rings result from the change in growth speed through the seasons of the year; thus, critical for the title method, one ring generally marks the passage of one year in the life of the tree.”

In pioneer days, a person my age — I’m swiftly approaching 58 rings — would be considered elderly. Today, however, even with silver hair and deeply etched laugh lines, that’s mere change.

By intent, many of us have cultivated a combination of habits that contribute to our number of growth rings. These might include eating certain foods, steering clear of certain things, exercise, taking vitamins and/or minerals, etc.

Even though you’ve cultivated a bevy of healthy habits, what single one stands head-and-shoulders above the rest toward your quality longevity?

© Laurie Buchanan

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A Bird in the Hand

Last week as I was heading out our driveway I enjoyed watching a deer across the street. Not in the least bit afraid of foot or vehicle traffic, it continued meandering on its merry way.

During our son’s recent visit, he had the opportunity for an even closer encounter with wildlife:

Bogus Basin is a mountainous area near Boise, Idaho particularly enjoyed for its recreational snow offerings, so in June it’s almost deserted. The heat that week — even at 5,000 feet — was triple-digit intense. During our hike we found a small bird exhausted from trying to flap its way out of a skylight in a shuttle stop. He didn’t realize it was plexiglass, and was too disoriented to simply come down out of the rafters and fly away. That’s when our son got involved…

Climbing up inside the shuttle stop, he gently got the bird in his hand and climbed back down. Staying in the shade, our son used Willa’s water bowl to bathe the little fellow with cool water and give him a drink.

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We didn’t think it was ever going to leave him. Once it started singing — and we knew he was going to be okay — our son placed the little fellow on a low-hanging branch and from there we watched him take off. A very cool experience for all of us.

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What was your last up-close-and-personal experience with nature?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Sis Boom Bah

Many trees along the Boise River lean way over the edge — toward the water — bringing to mind a cheer we used in high school:

Lean to the left
Lean to the right
Stand up, sit down
Fight, fight, fight

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It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you’ve got someone on your side; someone rooting for you!

Who are you cheering for? On the flip side (pun intended), who’s cheering for you?

© Laurie Buchanan

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En plein air

En plein air is a French expression that means in the open air and is usually used to describe the act of painting outdoors.

However, part of our son’s recent visit occurred in plane air as Len piloted us to one of the many adventures we had during his stay.

Aviation headsets allow us to communicate with the airport tower, other planes, and with each other.

Aviation headsets allow us to communicate with the airport tower, other planes, and with each other.

Cruising at an altitude of 9,500 feet and a speed of 140 knots in a Cessna 182, the whole family — including Willa — enjoyed a bird’s-eye view as Len flew us over many of Idaho’s gorgeous peaks and valleys.

Willa wears “mutt muffs” for hearing protection.

Willa wears “mutt muffs” for hearing protection.

Much of Idaho’s rugged terrain is threaded by blue ribbons of rivers — many of them tributaries of the mighty Columbia River — whose fresh water eventually makes it to the salty brine of the Pacific Ocean.

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What’s your most recent en plein air (in the open air) experience?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Geographic Bucket List

Our son is coming for a whirlwind visit — Woohoo! As we plan how we’ll invest our time together, we’re referring to the “Idaho Bucket List” we received when we met up with friends at Story Story Night in downtown Boise.

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Published by Boise State Public Radio, the lengthy list includes:

  • Spend the night in a forest fire lookout
  • Picnic at Shoshone Falls on the Snake River
  • Pan for gold
  • Bike the Hiawatha Trail
  • Catch an Idaho trout

What sights or activities would you take visitors to see or do in your neck of the woods?

© Laurie Buchanan

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