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.
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
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).
I adore my writing studio at home. It’s bright, sunny, and there are lots of beautiful trees, flowers, and shrubs to look at through the five large windows that comprise two of the walls.
But on those occasions when you need to get away, you don’t want to be found, sidled up to, interrupted, or chatted with…
I’ve found a spot that’s even better than the public library (you might be recognized there). Go to the law library at your local college or university. In Boise, we have the College of Law—University of Idaho.
Everyone in the study area of a law library is working against deadlines. They’re much too busy even to look up. You can hear a pin drop. It’s a writer’s paradise!
If you enjoy a bit of background noise, merely pop your earbuds in and listen to your favorite writing music. Several years ago I posted a playlist for writers. It’s called The Key of Sea and can be found by following this link: https://tinyurl.com/y6w7kenr.
“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” —Andrew Carnegie
I enjoy every opportunity I’m given to invest time with my granddaughter, Luna. When we’re together, we’re in the moment. When we’re apart, I daydream. I wonder who she’ll be, what she’ll contribute, and how she’ll show up.
Who are you?
The answer to this question defines our personal and professional success.
How do you show up?
Whether we know it or not, we answer this question every day with our actions.
While Len and I were standing in our driveway, our attention was caught by a murder of crows.
“A group of crows is called a ‘murder.’ There are several different explanations for the origin of this term, mostly based on old folk tales and superstitions. For instance, there is a folktale that rows will gather and decide the capital fate of another crow.”
It was pretty cool to watch them land in the bare tree branches and listen to the cacophony of cawing.
Click the “play” button on the video below to hear the murder.
Have you ever seen a/an:
SHREWDNESS of apes
OBSTINACY of buffalo
POUNCE of cats
COALITION of cheetahs
GULP of cormorants
CONVOCATION of eagles
TROUBLING of goldfish
HEDGE of herons
BLOAT of hippos
EXALTATION of larks
LOUNGE of lizards
PARLIAMENT of owls
OSTENTATION of peacocks
TOWER of giraffes
What’s the most recent grouping of animals you’ve seen?
There are places in downtown Boise that are currently under re-construction. The spaces in-between the buildings are somewhat tight, so work crews use their resources wisely, bringing innovative ideas to life.
In this case, they built a giant rubber funnel to channel debris into a dumpster safely. This prevents unnecessary damage to nearby structures and passersby.
Depending on the situation, I sometimes suggest to clients: “Ask yourself this question. What is it like to be on the receiving end of me?”
Is what you channel debris, or is it positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing?
“Never underestimate the influence you have on others.” —Laurie Buchanan
While we were in the labor and delivery waiting room of St. Luke’s hospital in early October, waiting for the arrival of our granddaughter, we walked the halls and admired the incredible work of professional photographer, Brianna Chaves of BC Photography.
And while we were in the main newborn waiting room, we learned that there is another waiting room—the neonatal intensive care waiting room for families whose loved one has given or is giving birth to a significantly premature baby.
The cool thing about the hallway leading to that special waiting room is that it’s lined with photographs of current-day children—ranging in age from five to twelve—who are holding pictures of themselves as premies. The purpose is to provide upliftment and give hope to those in the special area.
The thoughtfulness of each photo made me cry—happy tears.