About Laurie Buchanan

holistic health practitioner, transformational life coach, speaker, author

Plight of the Pollinators

One of my daily treks along the Boise Greenbelt revealed a new addition—a native plant and pollinator garden.

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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.

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Do you, or does your city, take steps to promote native plants and pollinators?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Cut the CRAP

Last Nov/Dec I had a miserable four-week bout of bronchitis. It was hard enough to breathe, let alone eat. So, not on purpose, but entirely by default, I inadvertently cut the CRAP: 

  • Caffeine
  • Refined sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Processed foods (except pasta)

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Because I was miserable (and couldn’t enjoy it anyway), the CRAP was easy to forego. And though I didn’t need to lose weight, when I stood on the scale, I discovered that I’d lost 8 pounds. 

As it turns out, I don’t miss not having caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol, or processed foods (except pasta), so I’m continuing to cut the CRAP. I feel fantastic!

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?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Crime Doesn’t Pay

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.

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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). 

Did you know that forensics is a female-dominated field? That is so up my alley (when I was growing up I wanted to be a mad scientist). In another lifetime I’m going into forensics! 

In another lifetime, what field of study would you go into?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Rock On!

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.

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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.

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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’s the most recent thing that’s rocked your world? 

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Medicine Cabinet

After the Capsule Wardrobe post last week, I received a dozen emails asking:

 “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:

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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
  • Toothbrush
  • Tongue scraper
  • 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.).

What’s in your medicine cabinet?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Capsule Wardrobe

My friend Jane B. sent me a Facebook message saying that her yoga group was curious about my minimalist’s wardrobe. I understand that it’s hard for some people to wrap their head around, so I pulled my clothes out of the closet and hung them on a bar so you can easily see that I have 29 pieces—a capsule wardrobe. I grouped the pieces into three sections:

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The LEFT side is my yoga/activewear.
You’ll count 7 hangers, but we’ll call it 9 because while taking the photo I was wearing a top and bottom from that group.

The MIDDLE section comprises my casual/everyday clothing.
You’ll count 12 hangers.

The RIGHT side is my dressier pieces.
You’ll count 7 pieces, but I purchased a dress after this photo was taken, so we’ll call it 8.

I call my wardrobe an “abalone capsule” because the pieces that aren’t black, grey, or white (my base colors) are comprised of colors found in an abalone shell: blues, greens, teals, and turquoise.

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Somewhat like Garanimals (the children’s mix-and-match clothing line), I can grab clothing from any section of my closet and know that they’ll match. The cool part? I only own and wear items that I love.

In my experience, the thing that’s vital in a successful capsule wardrobe is owning well-made pieces. If you looked at my clothing tags, you’d find Patagonia, Title Nine, Marmot, and Columbia. I own one purse (Baggallini), and my shoes are either Clarks or Keene.

The photo of my capsule wardrobe isn’t a single season of clothing, it’s all of my clothing—except for undergarments (Boody Eco Wear) and swimsuit (Speedo). On a coatrack by the front door, you’ll find my coat, vest, ear-covers, and gloves (Patagonia).

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My clothing reflects my personality and lifestyle. I’m an active, outdoorsy type of gal.

What kind of relationship do you have with your closet—enjoyment or dread?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Mystery Writers Academy

On January 24th, I attended the Mystery Writers Academy hosted by the Idaho Writers Guild and presented by Vickie Gooch, a detective in the Major Crimes Unit of the Idaho State Police.

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I now know more about sex crimes, the production and sale of drugs, violent offenders, “suicide by cop,” probable cause affidavits, ViCAP (the FBI’s violent offender program), human trafficking, Touch DNA, cold case homicides, and serial killers than I ever dreamed of. All of it is necessary knowledge when you’re writing a suspense/thriller novel and you want the details to be accurate.

Vicki Gooch’s presentation and examples were outstanding. She’s knowledgeable, humorous, approachable, and a high-energy presenter who kept her writing audience right where she wanted us—dangling at the end of her sharp hook! She’s a great teacher who looks sweet, loving, kind, and thoughtful. But as we all know, appearances can be deceptive. This woman can kick butt and take names!

On February 28th I’m taking a tour of the Idaho State Police Crime Lab. Just imagine what I’ll learn there!

What’s your most recent learning?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com