Not the Splits!

You’d think that as a tree-hugging minimalist, I’d prefer an online calendar. And while I use one for back-up and electronic reminders, I love my paper calendar.

What I don’t enjoy is having my weekends split—with Sundays on the left side of the page and Saturdays on the right. I don’t live split weekends, so it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around them, even on paper.

After a bit of research, I found a paper calendar that leaves the weekends intact—Saturday and Sunday together on the right-hand side of the page—at the end of the week. Hence, weekend. I’m giddy with delight!

What’s your calendar preference?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Elephant Wisdom

Len, Willa, and I were out on a walk and saw an estate sale sign. While they stayed outside, I went in. As I perused the many items, I overheard the estate sale woman telling another Lookie Lou that the 95-year-old woman who’d resided there was alive and well, but had decided to relocate to Florida.

While blatantly eavesdropping, my eye caught a small, glass, cobalt blue elephant holding court over the living room from the white-painted brick hearth of a fireplace. A minimalist, I don’t acquire many “things,” but she now resides in my writing studio.

It’s interesting to note that elephant wisdom includes the art of listening. An animal with large ears and a comparatively small mouth, we learn that we would do well to listen and speak in those proportions.

During this holiday season, some spiritual traditions read and sing about the three wise men and the gifts they brought to the Christ child. In fact, the giving of gifts has become a tradition among many people, regardless of their faith background.

I’m learning about the gifts of elephant wisdom. They include awareness, confidence, dignity, environmental protection, guardianship, family love, happiness, kindness, listening, longevity, patience, reliability, stamina, and wisdom.

Which of these gifts do you resonate with most?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Steam Heat

It’s the time of year in the Pacific Northwest to crank up the heat. Every time I turn the knob on our heating registers, I’m reminded of the Pointer Sisters rendition of Steam Heat. On the City of Boise website you’ll learn:

“Four independent heating districts operate geothermal systems within Boise that serve more than five million square feet of residential, business, and government space. Energy is produced locally and sustainably. Every gallon pumped out is injected back into the system.”

One of those four independent heating districts is historic Warm Springs, a tree-lined avenue that’s home to many of the Victorian-style mansions erected by wealthy miners and businesspeople around the turn of the 20th century. The area gets its name from the natural hot springs that flow from Boise’s fault line.

We live in the carriage house of one of the oldest mansions in the surrounding area (circa 1865). We’re fortunate that our minimalist space enjoys earth-friendly, cost-efficient heat from the hot springs throughout the winter.

I don’t get “steamed” too often, but when I do—it’s not pretty. A few of the large, small, and mid-sized things that get me hot under the collar are mistreatment of people (anything less than respectful), littering, and people who don’t take loving care of their animals.

What chaps your hide, boils your blood, or makes you hot under the collar?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Grass is Greener

Kitty corner from our driveway is a lovely home with enough acreage to pasture two horses, Butterscotch and Nutmeg. Recently the owners had a landscaping team put trees in along the fence line.

In an effort to prevent the horses from rubbing against the baby trunks—giving the trees a chance to establish—a temporary rope fence was put in place to keep this small space horse-free for a while.

Butterscotch and Nutmeg have the majority of the acreage to graze in, yet they stand at the temporary fence and gaze yearningly at the small patch of grass they can’t have.

Have you ever had a case of the grass is greener on the other side?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Odd Couple

We live within walking distance of Boise Little Theater—Idaho’s longest running, all volunteer, community theater, where local thespians tread the boards.

Do you remember the television show The Odd Couple? When our little theater presented the female version, we couldn’t pass it up. In this gender-reversed rendition:

  • Oscar Madison is replaced by Olive Madison.
  • Felix Unger is replaced by Florence Unger.
  • The Pidgeon sisters are replaced by the Constanzuela brothers.

Instead of the poker party that kicks-off the original version, the curtain opens to Olive Madison’s messy living room where the girls have arrived for an evening of Trivial Pursuit.

Each of us has tendencies:
Some — like Oscar and Olive Madison — lean toward easygoing, creative disarray.
Others — like Felix and Florence Unger — lean toward fastidious, apple-pie order.

Which way do you lean?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Turtleback

One of my friends, Shirley, received a writing fellowship and is currently enjoying a temporary home. Another friend, Janet, recently wrote about her love affair with an island home. Marian downsized homes and moved across town. Sandi moved from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast.

Home. Unlike turtles, most of us don’t carry ours on our back:

  • For some it’s a geographic location… the place they were born, or grew up.
  • For others it might be a person. When my mother was alive, if I announced, “I’m flying home,” Len knew that meant I was going to visit my mom.
  • For many it’s a feeling—a safe place with emotional attachment that has less to do with the physical structure, and everything to do with positive, loving energy.
  • For some it is a specific, tangible structure.

What is home to you?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The 59ers

On September 28 I begin the 59th year of my life. My fifties have been grand, and I have so much to be thankful for. In no particular order, following is a list of 59 things that I am tremendously grateful for:

  1. Breathing—the ability to breathe with ease
  2. My senses: taste, touch, vision, hearing, smell, equilibrium, intuition, and my sense of humor
  3. Health — body, mind, and spirit
  4. Connection with divinity, family, friends, and companion animals
  5. A world of ethnic cuisine to enjoy (especially Asian)
  6. Trees
  7. Travel
  8. Books and libraries
  9. Photography
  10. Farmers—”no farms, no food”
  11. Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, hummingbirds
  12. Gentle dog groomers who work with animals without scaring them
  13. Blue skies
  14. Thunderstorms
  15. Mountains, log cabins
  16. Oceans, lakes, rivers, streams
  17. Creativity
  18. Music and singing (I’m a rock star in the car!)
  19. Exercise: yoga, bicycle riding, swimming, hiking
  20. First responders: Red Cross, firefighters, police, paramedics
  21. Teachers who make positive, life-long impressions on their students
  22. Healing: traditional, complementary, integrative, and alternative
  23. Color (especially green)
  24. Laughter, smiling
  25. Personal safety
  26. Treats: peppermint ice cream, red licorice, BBQ chips
  27. Peace
  28. Intentional kindness
  29. Manners
  30. Backgammon
  31. Spontaneity
  32. Flying with a safety conscious pilot (Len) who keeps the ease of his passengers — seasoned or otherwise — in mind
  33. Imagination
  34. Mental acuity: focus, memory, concentration, and understanding
  35. Sensitivity
  36. Comfort with being alone (enjoy my own company), personal getaways
  37. Sunrises and sunsets
  38. Flowers, color
  39. Drinkable water that flows from a tap
  40. A roof over our heads
  41. Geothermal heat
  42. Proximity: we can walk or ride our bicycles to everything we need
  43. Dreaming
  44. Indoor plumbing, electricity
  45. Volunteers and humanitarians such as hospice, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd, Conservation Society, Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, and Conservation International
  46. Curiosity, observation
  47. Color blindness — nonjudgment based on skin color
  48. Philanthropy
  49. People who leave places better than when they found them
  50. Ergonomic desk chairs
  51. Scented soy candles
  52. Glasses that help me to see clearly
  53. Physicians, surgeons, dentists, optometrists, medical technicians (etc) with well-developed bedside manners
  54. Flying kites
  55. Appliances: refrigerator, stove/oven, microwave, coffeemaker, etc…
  56. Enjoyment of learning something new
  57. Entertainment: screen, stage, and sidewalk (i.e., buskers)
  58. Uncluttered space—inside and out
  59. My lifelong partner, Len

Big, little, tangible, or intangible, name three things you’re grateful for.

Note: we are currently traveling. I won’t be able to respond to comment until Wednesday.