So while we live in a “baby-gated community,” it’s not to keep others out, it’s to keep our big dog, Willa, from wandering freely as she’s inclined to do at this time of year. And to keep Luna, our granddaughter, from joining her.
I’m about sharing our similarities and celebrating our differences.
I’m about crossing cultural, language, social, and economic barriers to build community cohesion, understanding, acceptance, and peace.
Last year I hosted a writing retreat on Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas. It was my second time there, and I loved it! One of the interesting things about this exotic location is the potcake dogs.
According to Wikipedia, “a potcake dog is a mixed-breed dog type found on several Caribbean islands. Its name comes from the congealed peas and rice mixture that local residents traditionally eat, as the rice that cakes to the bottom of the pot would go to the dogs. Although appearance varies, potcakes generally have smooth coats, cocked ears, and long faces. A group of potcakes is known as a parliament.”
In my experience, the dogs—who generally travel in small groups—are friendly. They’re usually looking for a food handout. If you accommodate them (which I don’t think you’re supposed to, but I did), then you have friends for life!
The same thing happened when I was in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
And the same thing happened when I was on a writing sabbatical in Darby, Montana—only this time, it was with a small herd of deer!
Would you feed a stray animal—even if you’re not supposed to?
We have a massive jar in the corner of our living room that I put a dollar a day into it. And each time Luna’s parents pick her up from us watching her, they drop paper money into it. At the end of each month, we deposit the money into a college fund account for our granddaughter.
You’d be amazed at how fast it adds up. Let me give you an example:
The entire year before we walked across Scotland as a family, we kept a huge jar by the front door. At the end of each day when we all got home from school or work, we’d empty our pockets and purse of all change—not paper money, just coins.
At the end of the year, we converted the change into paper money. It paid for all of our meals (3 people) for the entire time we were gone (21 days).
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” —Robert Collier
Please join me June 28 – 29, 2019 for a magical journey at Soulful Prairies, located in Woodstock, IL.
Soulful Prairies is a registered International Peace Site with a unique energy that will transform you by just visiting and learning about their ongoing vision and events.
Arrive Friday evening and start your retreat with a group session focused on taking inventory of the first half of 2019.
Are you experiencing the level of peace that you desire?
Did you set goals and are halfway there?
Did life take an unexpected turn and you need to modify your plans?
Are you utilizing your unique gifts and strengths to move forward in a purposeful direction?
You will create an updated vision for the remainder of 2019 from this powerful session and feel focused and back on track before a restful sleep at Soulful Prairies.
Saturday morning will bring renewed energy and determination in your efforts to earn your P.H.B. (Peaceful Human Being) self-generated credential. We will enjoy a tour of the farm, have an amazing horse experience in the arena, followed by the beautiful vibrations of Linda Bruce and her gong, and continue our group session taking us on a journey to seeking peace in yourself and others.
Friday, June 28
Arrival at 7:00 PM
Peaceful Reflection and Renewed Vision Session
Appetizers / Beverages
Wishful Star Gazing by the fire pit
Breakfast at 8:00 AM on Saturday for overnight participants
Saturday, June 29
Arrival at 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Business of Being / Living Fully Session
Unique Horse Experience and Lifting Your Vibration with Gong Session
Maintaining Your Peace and Moving Forward Session
You will have the option to register for the whole retreat, arriving Friday evening including overnight accommodations, or the Saturday only option—whichever works best for you. SPACE IS LIMITED TO ONLY 11 participants for the overnight option.
Overnight Option: Friday through Saturday (full retreat cost) $195
Click HERE for overnight registration.
Saturday Only Option: $95
Click HERE for registration.
One of my daily treks along the Boise Greenbelt revealed a new addition—a native plant and pollinator garden.
A posted sign explains:
“As the human population grows, so does our impact on the natural world. Buildings, roadways, and crops crowd out or completely eliminate the natural habitat needed by some species to survive. Pollinators are among those whose numbers are in decline.
“The City of Boise has installed an ‘insect hotel‘ at this location to provide a safe nesting site for insect pollinators. Its proximity to flowering plants ensures an adequate supply of nectar for feeding, and the hotel’s nooks and crevices offer a safe place for rearing offspring.”
In 2017, my sister gave me 1,500 ladybugs for my birthday. They arrived via special delivery with a “hotel.” And while the ladybugs didn’t take up residence in it (they were having too much fun eliminating aphids in the rose bushes), lots of other insects did. We have it located against the carport wall, underneath one of the rosebushes. It looks like a miniature version of the one in the native plant and pollinator garden along the Boise Greenbelt.
Do you, or does your city, take steps to promote native plants and pollinators?
I wish I were the one who’d coined the phrase “Cut the Crap,” but I’m not. It was established by James Duigan, a wellness warrior extraordinaire. If you’re interested, here’s a LINK where you can learn more about his philosophy.
On purpose or by default, have you removed anything from your lifestyle?
Last week I, along with several other writers, took a tour of the Idaho State Police Crime Lab. Our tour guide, Rylene Nowlin, is a DNA specialist.
During the tour, I saw and learned so many interesting things. From the processing of rape kits to cyanoacrylate (super glue) fuming to develop latent fingerprints, and everything in-between.
For obvious reasons, we weren’t allowed to take photographs inside the crime lab. Here’s a shot of the outside of the building.
Rylene shared stories that made us laugh (some people are clearly out to eliminate themselves from the gene pool), and stories that curled our hair (how can people be so cruel?).
Did you know that a coroner is an elected official who doesn’t have to have a medical degree? In fact, they don’t have to have any type of degree. None whatsoever. They just have to be able to get elected. There are places where the local feed store operator is a coroner.
On the other hand, a medical examiner by definition is a licensed physician, and in most cases, they’re trained to be forensic pathologists. They’re appointed to the position.
Some states have both coroners (usually in the rural areas) and medical examiners (usually in the non-rural areas).
Last week Len, Willa, and I took a road trip to Puyallup, WA (just outside of Tacoma).
Len attended an EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) Chapter Leadership Bootcamp event.
I had uninterrupted writing to accomplish.
Willa? She simply loves road trips!
On the way back to Boise, we stopped at STONEHENGE. Yes, you read that right. We stopped at the American Stonehenge in Maryhill, Washington.
The Maryhill Stonehenge—a replica of England’s Stonehenge—is built on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River, the border between Washington and Oregon. It was commissioned in the early 20th century by the wealthy entrepreneur Sam Hill, and dedicated on July 4, 1918, as a memorial to the people who had died in World War I.
We were wondering if the expression “What in the Sam Hill?” is based on the Maryhill Stonehenge Sam Hill. According to Wikipedia, it’s not. They explain:
“Sam Hill is an American English slang phrase, a euphemism or minced oath for ‘the devil’ or ‘hell’ personified (as in, ‘What in the Sam Hill is that?’). The ‘Sam’ coming from (sal(o)mon an oath) and ‘Hill’’ from hell. Etymologist Michael Quinion and others date the expression back to the late 1830s.”
I lived in Washington state for five years and never once heard about the Maryhill Stonehenge. Finding out about it rocked my world.
“What does a minimalist this look like?” “What does a minimalist that look like?”
The easiest question to answer first is, What does the inside of a minimalist medicine cabinet look like?
Some of you aren’t old enough to remember the Right Guard deodorant television commercials from when I was growing up. But I assure you, I don’t see another human being when I open my medicine cabinet door!
I don’t know about other minimalists, but here’s what inside my medicine cabinet:
TOP SHELF—LEFT TO RIGHT
CeraVe AM moisturizer with SPF 30
CeraVe PM moisturizer with ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid
Boom! — The one and only makeup item that I use on my cheeks and lips for color
LaVanila, the healthy deodorant (vanilla/grapefruit)
LaVanila, the healthy fragrance (vanilla/grapefruit)
MyChelle sun protection with replenishing solar defense SPF 30 broad spectrum
BOTTOM SHELF—LEFT TO RIGHT
Toothpaste — Colgate Optic White stain fighter
Honest face & body lotion
Hello mouthwash naturally healthy with aloe vera and coconut oil
You might be wondering where Len keeps his stuff. It’s in one of the bathroom vanity drawers. The other drawers contain our shared items (q-tips, floss, cotton balls, band-aids, etc.).