Cowabunga!

In July, I enjoyed a week at my sister’s beach-side home in Cardiff by the Sea during the first leg of my book tour at The Book Catapult in San Diego. 

Moonlight Beach is but one of the many jewels in the beach communities of Cardiff by the Sea and Encinitas, California. It’s located in a residential neighborhood at the bottom of a steep incline that gently slopes into the Pacific Ocean. 

This well-loved beach receives a lot of face-time from local volleyball players because of the three beach courts. And with a large playground, ample picnic tables, lifeguards, and a snack bar, it’s family-friendly and perfect for a picnic or a day in the sun. The icing on the cake? Plenty of clean restrooms and showers.

While there, I enjoyed breakfast at the ever-popular Pipes Cafe, shopped at Seaside Market, visited the Self-Realization Fellowship Temple, and checked out the Cardiff Kook Statue. Cowabunga!

When was the last time you hung ten or stuck your toes in ocean water?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Choice Is Ours

As a holistic health practitioner, I work with people who struggle with anxiety, PTSD, depression and other conditions that make it challenging to find joy (which I define as inexplicable peace). 

I’m sure you’ve heard the adage, “Happiness is a choice.” Much like Lori Deschene, the founder of Tiny Buddha, I believe that “Happiness takes a lot of choices that are sometimes hard to make,” is more realistic. 

I love the happy paint job on this bicycle!

Each day we’re presented with countless choices. They include the decision to:

  • Accept ourselves and our struggles. Or not.
  • Take responsibility for getting help. Or not.
  • Do things that promote personal wellbeing. Or not.

Even when—especially when—we feel like giving up.

What’s your most recent choice for happiness?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Eyes Have It

When we walk out our driveway and turn right on the sidewalk, we pass over a small stream. The other day we noticed an addition. Someone had affixed a pair of googly eyes to the rail.

I love to people watch. But I have to remember, it works in reverse, too. No matter where we go or what we do, a good portion of the time we’re being watched.

In my first book, Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth, I wrote, “Never underestimate the influence you have on others.” As a grandma-in-waiting (will September never get here?!) I’m aware that a little pair of eyes will be on me; my granddaughter will be in my sphere of influence.

Who do you influence?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Mind Gnawing

You’ve heard of mind-numbing. How about mind gnawing?

Recently our son and his family relocated to a place just around the corner from us. Yay! We’re excited because it’ll make visiting with our granddaughter extremely convenient once she arrives in September.

Len and I got to help them with their move out/in process. If you’ve ever moved before, you know that event requires simultaneous spinning of several platters:

  • Change of address at the post office? Check!
  • Key duplication? Check!
  • New driver’s license to reflect new address? Check!
  • Update address with employers? Check!
  • Ad infinitum

Even though I’d written tasks down, a move still leaves things gnawing at the edges of one’s mind. My brain felt like the beaver-gnawed tree in the photo below! I kept thinking we’d forgotten something…

Well, I’ll be dammed (pun intended), there’s beaver activity along the Boise River!

One night I sat up bolt upright in bed and told Len, “Bicycles! I never saw the kids bicycles during the move! I think we forgot about them.”

Sure enough, their bicycles were still in the rack at their old location.

What’s gnawing at the edge of your mind?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Banana Belt In the Pacific Northwest

We live in Idaho’s Treasure Valley, more specifically, Boise. Len flies out of the Nampa Municipal Airport—just a hop, skip, and a jump from home. So it was with eye-popping interest that I read an article stating the following:

The Treasure Valley area around Nampa is known as Idaho’s Banana Belt.

The article defined a banana belt as, “Any segment of a larger geographic region that enjoys warmer weather conditions than the region as a whole, especially in the wintertime.” That’s certainly true for the area we live in.

Kari Prassack, a paleontologist at Hagerman Fossil Beds, elaborated: “It’s called a “banana belt” because it is an area that receives warmer weather and less snowfall than the areas surrounding it—like a belt of the ‘tropics’ in Idaho. 

“This happens because warm air lifts upwards over the mountains, expands and cools, producing rain. And then, as drier air, it descends along the other side—in this case into the valley here where the air compresses and warms.”

I was surprised to learn that we live in the banana belt of the Pacific Northwest. Furthering my flummox, I learned that we live relatively close to a fossiliferous Pliocene-aged site!

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about your geographic location?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Ready to Rumble?

Planes, trains, and automobiles—there’s no doubt that we travel a lot. Not only do Len and I love it, but Willa does too!

Willa catching G-force

One of the cool things about state-side travel in a vehicle is the rumble strips. They’re not in every state, but we’ve discovered they’re prevalent in the Pacific Northwest.

If your vehicle is just a wee bit further into the left lane than you intended, you hear a loud rumble noise that captures your attention in a quick hurry. And if you were starting to doze off, it’s enough to wake you up!

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, a center line rumble strip is a longitudinal safety feature installed at or near the center line of a paved roadway. It is made of a series of milled or raised elements intended to alert inattentive drivers (through vibration and sound) that their vehicles have left the travel lane.

What was the last thing that grabbed your attention?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Losing Your Marbles

I have an out-of-state friend who sent me an email telling me she’s losing her marbles! She attached the following photo and explained that she’s working hard to lose excess weight by observing portion control, eating nutritionally dense food, and burning more calories than she consumes through consistent exercise.

After calculating the number of pounds she wants to lose, she put that number of marbles in a Mason jar and labeled it POUNDS TO GO—the ones that have to leave her body; the pounds she’s evicting.

She has another Mason jar labeled POUNDS LOST. 

Every time she loses a pound, she takes a marble from the POUNDS TO GO jar and puts it in the POUNDS LOST jar. For her, it serves as fun motivation and a visual way to track her weight loss.

I told her I think she’s brilliant! She said she’d love to take credit for the idea, but apparently, it’s been around forever. She knows teachers who use erasers instead of marbles; surfers who use seashells, and so on.

When was the last time you lost your marbles?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com