I usually take three two-mile walks each day. Each walk is on a different route, but they’re all in or near the Warm Springs historic district of Boise, Idaho (established in the mid-to-late 1800s), which means I get to see some cool stuff, including relics of days gone by.
Back in the day, it was customary for a horse-drawn carriage to pull up parallel to a perfectly spaced hitching post and set of steps. Once the reins were secured in the iron loop on the hitching post, the driver would open the carriage door, and the occupants would descend the steps.
“Hitch your wagon to a star”—the famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson—means to aim sky-high and follow your dreams, with the implication that you can achieve anything!
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.
[bctt tweet=”Are your ducks in a row?” username=”@TuesWithLaurie”]
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.
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
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
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 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?
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?
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.
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?