Potcakes

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.”

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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?

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© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

College on $1 Day

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:

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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

Currently, what small effort are you repeating?

Currently, what small effort are you repeating? Click To Tweet

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Soulful Prairies Peaceful Retreat

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.

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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.

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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.

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RETREAT AGENDA

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
  • Lunch
  • Unique Horse Experience and Lifting Your Vibration with Gong Session
  • Maintaining Your Peace and Moving Forward Session

Registration
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.

Cost
Overnight Option: Friday through Saturday (full retreat cost) $195
Click HERE for overnight registration.

Saturday Only Option: $95
Click HERE for registration.

I look forward to seeing YOU there!

Join Laurie Buchanan at the Soulful Prairies Peaceful Retreat Retreat June 28-29 in Woodstock, IL. Click To Tweet

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Nailed It!

My most recent, “nailed-it” moment was when I typed The End on my first fiction novel—book one in a suspense/thriller series. After fist-punching the air, I burst into happy tears.

Nail it!

I wasn’t alone in my writing effort. At last year’s UW-Madison’s Writers’ Institute, I was honored to promote the Pathway to Publication program and signed up for it myself. My coach was Christine DeSmet. She figuratively held my hand through the new-to-me fiction territory, taking the fear out of it and making it a distinct pleasure.

Now I’m working on book two in the series.

What’s your most recent “nailed it” moment?

What's your most recent NAILED IT moment? Click To Tweet

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

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.”

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

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!

On purpose or by default, have you removed anything from your lifestyle? Click To Tweet

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?

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

© 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.

ROCK ON! — What's the most recent thing that's rocked your world? Click To Tweet

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.

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

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