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.

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

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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.

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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!

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What’s your most recent learning?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Walk on the Wild Side

I’m excited to share that I’ve signed my third publishing contract. In the photo below I’m mailing it back to the publisher. This book is slated to hit the shelves in August 2020. I’m over the moon with excitement—Woohoo!

My first two books are nonfiction.

For my third book, I’m taking a walk on the wild side and writing a suspense novel that takes place in the Pacific Northwest. No spoilers here, that’s all I’m sharing right now. Stay tuned for carrot-dangling details.

This book wouldn’t be possible without the Pathway to Publication program at the Writers’ Institute and my writing mentor, Christine DeSmet. We’ve worked together before, and it’s a privilege to work with her again.

The next Writers’ Institute is April 4-7. I’ve attended as a student and as a teacher—both. I can tell you experientially that it’s one of the best writing conferences in the country!

A few months before publication, I’ll be looking for mystery-suspense-thriller authors to read my third book for potential author endorsement blurbs. If you fall into that category and are interested, please let me know via email by using the contact page.

Have you ever written or considered writing a book?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

 

House at Pooh Corner

Now that we’ve got a grandchild, I’m dusting off my rusty fingers and getting back into lullaby mode! So far, Luna’s favorite song is Kenny Loggin’s House at Pooh Corner. In the video below, you’ll see that Kenny stopped by (via YouTube) and we jammed a bit.

Story Behind House at Pooh Corner
Kenny Loggins was a 17-year-old high-school senior, staring down his impending adulthood, when he wrote “House at Pooh Corner.” The song was inspired by A.A. Milne’s 1928 book “The House at Pooh Corner,” a collection of short stories about Winnie the Pooh and the rest of the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood.

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My all-time favorite song is KD Lang’s performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame induction of Leonard Cohen in 2006. Here’s a LINK to it on YouTube. Make sure to watch it all the way to the end. Leonard Cohen is in the audience.

What is your all-time favorite song? 

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Pucker Up!

On watermelon’s heels, grapefruit is my second favorite fruit. In our house, we eat it, drink the juice (unsweetened), and use it as aromatherapy by diffusing grapefruit essential oil in a diffuser. It has a refreshing, citrusy aroma.

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According to MEDICAL DAILY, eating grapefruit or drinking its juice, strengthens the immune system, boosts metabolism, reduces kidney stone risk, fights gum disease, protects against cancer, and reduces stress.

According to DOCTORS HEALTH PRESS, when using grapefruit essential oil in the form of aromatherapy, the vapors from grapefruit oil reduce stress, improve mood, reduce inflammation and reduce sugar cravings. It can also help reduce systolic blood pressure.

Not everyone is a fan of this slightly bitter/sour fruit. But even if you do like it, not everyone should have it because it may interact with blood pressure medications and antidepressants. As always, it’s best to consult with your physician.

What's your favorite fruit or essential oil? Click To Tweet

What’s your favorite fruit or essential oil?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Perfect Hideaway

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

When you need to hide out, where do you go?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Joie de Vivre

Rather than make New Year’s resolutions, each year I select a single word to focus on in the upcoming year. In 2019 I’ve selected a brief phrase—Joie de Vivre! Joy of Life!

At not quite three months old, this brief video clip captures one of our granddaughter’s first laughs. Luna’s expression of joy is the epitome of Joie de Vivre!—Joy of Life!

JOIE DE VIVRE—A delight in being alive; an exuberant, keen, or buoyant enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit.

JOIE DE VIVRE—A philosophy of life; a sentiment that involves one’s whole being.

Do you have a focus word this year?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com