Ducks in a Row

We’re fortunate to live within a stone’s throw of the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center. We walk through their peaceful grounds at least once a week. This week I photographed a few ducks lined up on a tree branch in the water. I love the way it turned out. To me it looks like a watercolor painting.

When researching the saying, “Ducks in a row,” I learned something new. I learned that it comes from from ship building. Who knew?!

It turns out that a “duck” is a device that holds the keel in place while building a ship. The first step in building a ship is to get the ducks in straight row thus ensuring a straight keel.

Conversationally speaking, getting one’s ducks in a row means to ensure that all of the small details or elements are accounted for and in their proper positions before embarking on a new project.

Are your ducks in a row? Click To Tweet

Are your ducks in a row?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Lifelong Learning

It’s not every day you see a hundred pairs of knee-high wading boots lined up at the ready. But it’s Salmon and Steelhead Days in Boise. A time to celebrate the biology, history, economic, and cultural significance of salmon and steelhead.

During this three day event, the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center hosts 80 classes of 5th graders from 34 schools around the Treasure Valley. 

“Kids in the Creek,” is but one of six stations the kids engage in during the event. At this station, they learn about aquatic insects and healthy aquatic ecosystems.

As both a student and teacher at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, I feel it’s essential to always be learning something new.

What are you actively learning about? Click To Tweet

What are you actively learning about?

© 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

Influence

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

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Cut Deadwood

Len and I live in a carriage house (circa 1865) in the Warm Springs historic district of Boise. The main house and carriage house are separated by beautifully landscaped grounds that are lush with flowers, foliage, and trees. 

This year, one of the trees enjoyed a pair of peregrine falcons as residents. They subsequently had babies. It was fun to listen to their screams for “food, Food, MORE FOOD!”

All of the human observation to potentially catch “flying lessons” and other fledgling antics, caused the owners of the main house to notice some dead branches and decide to have the deadwood removed. But not until after the feathered family had safely flown the coop.

Deadwood — before and after. In the top photo (before), notice one of the peregrine parents perched on an upper-most limb.

Deadwood is a threat to tree health. Infestations thrive in the decaying wood, which can ultimately lead to the death of the tree—not to mention, it can make a tree structurally unsound.

Deadwood pruning is the removal from the tree of the dead, dying, or broken branches and diseased branch wood. This can be significant for the health of a tree—allowing the tree to flourish.

Certain people, places, things, events, and opportunities can drag individuals down—deadwood. Maybe they’re time or energy thieves, or perhaps they’re a financial drain. Regardless, they can weaken an otherwise sound structure.

What deadwood needs to be removed from your life so you can flourish?

© 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!

Banana Belt in the Pacific Northwest — Who Knew?! Click To Tweet

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

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Lazy Dazy

With the publication of The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the Workplace just two weeks away, I’ve used the month of June to enjoy a much slower version of life before I hit the ground running:

July 11, San Diego, The Book Catapult
July 27, Boise, Rediscovered Books
Aug 12, Crystal Lake, IL, Veteran Acres Park

When I was in Joshua Tree, CA I saw this “hammock roundup” that five people can enjoy simultaneously.

On Eleuthera Island, the neighbors across the way enjoy a solo version of quietude.

And while we don’t have a hammock where we live, there’s a multitude of gentle choices. My three favorites are reading (dive headfirst into a book and don’t surface for a good, long while), restorative yoga, and walking the Boise River Greenbelt. We’re also just a stone’s throw from an arboretum, nature center, and park.

What do you do to recharge your personal battery?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

DNA Blueprint

Boise, Idaho has a fantastic downtown area with a plethora of incredible signage. One of my favorites is this one for the Idaho Blueprint and Supply Co. I love that it’s three-dimensional, that it doesn’t lay flat against the building.

Every time I pass this sign I think of my blueprint, my DNA. The dictionary defines DNA as follows:

“DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is like a blueprint of biological guidelines that a living organism must follow to exist and remain functional.”

“We’ve been led to believe that the goal of equality is to somehow make differences disappear yet, in reality, it is to be profoundly aware of them and to recognize them as beautiful and valuable and necessary. The virtue is not in ignoring our various distinctions, but in celebrating them; not in pretending as though they don’t exist, but in believing that their existence makes us a better version of humanity as we live together in community.” —JOHN PAVLOVITZ, from his book “A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community”

Have you ever had your DNA tested to discover the breakdown of your ancestry?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Gratitude – It Does a Body Good

I’m incredibly grateful. Not only the part of the globe we live on—the Pacific Northwest in the United States—but for our specific town, Boise, Idaho. It’s quite possibly one of the friendliest places on earth.

Boise is quite possibly one of the friendliest places on earth

The words “gratitude” and “grace” share a common origin: the Latin word gratus, meaning “pleasing” or “thankful.” The Association for Humanistic Psychology defines gratitude as “Orientation towards noticing and appreciating the positive in the world.”

How do you weave gratitude into the tapestry of your life? Click To Tweet

Boise – the home of free beer

University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons’ research revealed that grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that literally boosts the immune system—a clear PHYSICAL benefit.

Boise offers free smells (good ones) too

Dr. Alex Wood, a postgraduate researcher in the Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, said that  “Gratitude is an integral part of well-being”—a distinct benefit to our MENTAL and EMOTIONAL faculties.

Gratitude boosts whole health

Gratitude helps to open the heart, the seat of compassion. It helps us to see the good in our experience. It enhances trust and helps us to forgive—a benefit to our SPIRITUAL aspect.

How do you weave gratitude into the tapestry of your life?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Book Fairies

Yesterday I took part in Hide a Book Day with Goodreads who’d teamed up with the Book Fairies (#ibelieveinbookfairies) and thousands of authors all around the globe to hide books for people to find, read, and leave for the next person.

After affixing the unique Book Fairies sticker, I bound mine with color-coordinated curling ribbon, then hid ten signed copies of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth throughout Boise, Idaho. I opted for high foot-traffic locations such as the airport, the Towne Square mall, the capitol building, and several coffee shops in historic downtown.

If you’re an author, I hope you were able to participate. If you’re an avid reader, I hope you found a book left by a book fairy.

When was the last time you were touched by a bit of magic?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com