Fair Trade

Many of you know that I’m an advocate for fair trade. As such, on the weekends when I’m not traveling, I invest my time at Dunia Marketplace in the Hyde Park historic district of Boise. It’s a charming, nonprofit store that carries handcrafted items from fair trade artisans around the globe. 

FAIR TRADE is about ensuring good wages and safe conditions for artisans. Equally important, it’s about practicing responsibility. Sometimes referred to as “360-degree fair trade,” it’s also about building more in-depth, longer-term partnerships that empower artisans to grow their businesses and strengthen their communities.

Last week I traveled to Filer, Idaho, to help with Dunia’s annual, fair trade INTERNATIONAL GIFT SALE at the Filer Mennonite Church. All of the proceeds from this huge event are used to support fair trade artisans around the globe. 

While helping with the event, I was hosted by a church family — Shirley and Gary Eichelberger — who went way above and beyond to make me feel welcome. 

Do you look for fair trade options when you shop? Click To Tweet

Do you look for fair trade options when you shop?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Wind Energy

On our drive across and back Washington state for a speaking engagement at Write on the Sound, in Edmonds, WA, we passed zillions of hop yards, apple orchards, bing cherry orchards, and vineyards.

We also passed wind turbine farms, galore! 

At one point, we had the opportunity to get an up-close-and-personal look at one of these giants and learned that: 

  • Each individual, joint-free, seamless blade is 148 feet long, 11.2 feet wide, and weighs 23,098 pounds!
  • Standing over 400 feet tall, each complete wind turbine has three blades, with a rotor diameter of more than 300 feet — nearly the same length as a football field.
  • One wind turbine can power up to 700 residential homes with environmentally friendly, carbon-free electricity.
  • A single wind turbine needs approximately one-half acre of land and uses 40 acres of wind space.
  • Blades sweep an area of 75,000 square feet with each rotation.
What's energizes you? Click To Tweet


What energizes you?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

As Above, So Below

I live a somewhat Dr. Doolittle life. It seems that no matter where I go, I encounter all types of critters doing interesting things. The most recent example occurred just before the trip we’re currently on.

No sooner had I stepped into the driveway, then two geese landed on the pitch of the garage.

Immediately followed by two more geese landing on the pitch of the house next door.

This two-roofed-goose-incident immediately brought to mind the phrase, “As above, so below.” I have to admit that a quick bit of research was necessary. It revealed:

“As above, so below” is a phrase used most appropriately to discuss the principle of correspondence. This principle embodies the truth that there always exists a correspondence between laws and phenomena on every plane of existence.”

Most recently, my law and corresponding phenomena have been:

  • Law—Laurie goes outside
  • Corresponding Phenomena—A rooster in a tree crows at me, ducks line up in a row, and now geese act out the “As above” part of an old adage.

I’m currently traveling home from a speaking engagement at the Write on the Sound writing conference in Edmonds, WA, so I’ve turned comments off for this post. But if I were available to interact, this week’s internal inventory question would be:

What's your AS ABOVE, SO BELOW? Click To Tweet

What’s your “As above, so below?”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Ducks in a Row

We’re fortunate to live within a stone’s throw of the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center. We walk through their peaceful grounds at least once a week. This week I photographed a few ducks lined up on a tree branch in the water. I love the way it turned out. To me it looks like a watercolor painting.

When researching the saying, “Ducks in a row,” I learned something new. I learned that it comes from from ship building. Who knew?!

It turns out that a “duck” is a device that holds the keel in place while building a ship. The first step in building a ship is to get the ducks in straight row thus ensuring a straight keel.

Conversationally speaking, getting one’s ducks in a row means to ensure that all of the small details or elements are accounted for and in their proper positions before embarking on a new project.

Are your ducks in a row? Click To Tweet

Are your ducks in a row?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Egg On Your Face

When our granddaughter has egg on her face, it’s because she’s feeding herself. And at almost one, she’s doing a fantastic job!

But the ordinary definition of “egg on your face” means to be extremely embarrassed. Usually, the embarrassment is the result of one’s own actions. 

The etymology of this word isn’t known for sure, but may come from a time when circus clowns had eggs thrown at them because of their silliness, or when people threw eggs at actors who did a poor job.

When was the last time you had egg on your face? Click To Tweet

When was the last time you had egg on your face?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

You’re a Gem

I’m a fan of semi-precious gemstones. I wear citrine on my left hand and turquoise on my right hand and in pendant form. I enjoy the symbolism of both:

CITRINE
Also known as the “Light Maker,” the citrine gemstone has a bright yellow hue, which reflects its equally vibrant energy. Like Vitamin C for the soul, the citrine crystal emanates positivity and joy. Its name is derived from the French word for lemon (citron), which carries a sense of sunny and optimistic joie de vivre.

TURQUOISE
Turquoise is a French term meaning “Turkish Stone.” It comes from the French phrase pierre turquoise, where “pierre” translates as “stone.” The sea-to-sky energy of turquoise has been prized for centuries in various cultures — from Persian and Egyptian royalty to indigenous people in the Americas (North, Central, and South America) — for its protection from negativity and connection to the purity of natural elements, especially water and air.

I’m currently preparing to present a skill-builder session at the sold-out Women and Leadership conference at Boise State University, so I’ve turned comments off for this post. But if I were available to interact, this week’s internal inventory question would be…

What gemstone are you attracted to and why? Click To Tweet

What gemstone are you attracted to and why?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Lifelong Learning

It’s not every day you see a hundred pairs of knee-high wading boots lined up at the ready. But it’s Salmon and Steelhead Days in Boise. A time to celebrate the biology, history, economic, and cultural significance of salmon and steelhead.

During this three day event, the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center hosts 80 classes of 5th graders from 34 schools around the Treasure Valley. 

“Kids in the Creek,” is but one of six stations the kids engage in during the event. At this station, they learn about aquatic insects and healthy aquatic ecosystems.

As both a student and teacher at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, I feel it’s essential to always be learning something new.

What are you actively learning about? Click To Tweet

What are you actively learning about?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Henny Penny

Standing in the driveway waiting for Len to come home, I had the eerie feeling that I was being watched, so I turned around. At first glance, I didn’t see anyone. Upon closer inspection, this is what I saw:

When she saw me see her see me (yes, you read that right), she let out a shriek, “The sky is falling!” At least, that’s how I translated it.

That moment made me laugh. I’m glad I didn’t miss it.

“The moment is where our life takes place. We miss the moment—we miss life.” — John Daido Loori, author of Zen Photography

What recent moment are you glad you didn't miss? Click To Tweet

What recent moment are you glad you didn’t miss?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Declutter

These are four areas that Len and I decluttered so we can live abundantly:

1. OUR PURSUITS
We identified three opportunities that genuinely light us up — that align with our values and strengths — and let go of the rest.

2. OUR RELATIONSHIPS
We took an in-depth look at relationships that we want to nurture, including boundaries we set where needed, and habits of engagement that we continue to develop (i.e., listening, appreciating, helping) — and let go of the rest.

3. OUR THOUGHTS
We realized that the person we speak with the most is ourself. With that in mind, we make a practice of listening to our internal monologue, then ask ourselves: “Is it true? Is it logical? Is it helpful?” When we come across thoughts that aren’t positive, uplifting, constructive, or healing, we pluck them out like weeds. They don’t have a place in our internal garden.

4. OUR STUFF
We eliminated things that aren’t must-haves so that we can enjoy what we truly find pleasure in. I love how Seth Godin puts it: 

“The frenzied search for more is a distraction and a place to hide, all in one. Pick the right stones and cherish them as you turn them over. That’s enough.”

Do you resonate with any of the four declutter areas listed in this post? Click To Tweet

Do you resonate with any of the four declutter areas listed in this post?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Category: Food for Thought

Yes, please!

One of our favorite places to camp is along the river near the mountain-town of Garden Valley, Idaho. 

Before it gets dark, we find two long sticks, then using a Swiss Army knife, we whittle the ends into perfect points for piercing marshmallows.

After dark, we build a campfire, get out the marshmallows, Hershey’s chocolate bars, and Keebler graham crackers — because there’s nothing better than elf-made food.

Ooey and gooey, s’mores are delicious fun!

What do you want s'more of? Click To Tweet

What do you want s’more of?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com