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.”

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

Lighten Up

In late September I had the pleasure of reuniting with several people I’d gone to high school with. It wasn’t a formal reunion. Rather, it was a gathering of individuals who’d attended Orange Glen High School in Escondido, California, who now reside in the Pacific Northwest.

It was an enjoyable visit. In talking with people, I learned that in addition to our age, shared school, and the fact that we live in the Pacific Northwest, we have another common denominator. Without exception, the people Len and I spoke with are contemplating, or in the process of downsizing.

Within this collective mindset, it turns out that less is more, and that “he who dies with the most toys” doesn’t win.

What was the last physical item you offloaded?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Amber Waves of Grain

Road trips are one of our favorite things to enjoy. And with a bead on dog-friendly hotels (thank you Best Western Plus, we love your rewards program), Willa gets to come along, too.

Last week we attended the Arlington Fly-In in Washington state. The scenery in the Pacific Northwest is spectacular with soldier-straight rows of grapes vines in mile after mile of vineyards, vast fields of pole-climbing hops, the heavenly scent of apple trees as far as the eye can see, farm stands bursting with freshly picked bing cherries, and oceans of golden wheat gently blowing in the breeze.

It’s enough to make you burst into song. And we did—America the Beautiful!

When was the last time you spontaneously burst into song?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Cheese and Whine

A recent getaway once again confirmed that the Pacific northwest boasts beautiful wine country that easily rivals Napa Valley, California. Located in the east end of the Yakima Valley, Prosser, Washington is home to several dozen wineries. Vintner’s Village is a concentration of nine wineries—including our favorite, Airfield Estates Winery—connected by sidewalks, making for a wonderful wine walking tour.

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Endowed with a slight control-freak-streak, if I’m not heavily sedated in charge of my travel environment, I tend to slam on non-existent brakes, lean away from sheer drop offs, and whimper and whine as I white-knuckle the passenger grab bar. So much so, that Len pointedly asked, “Do you want some cheese with your whine?”

I’m absolutely confident that each of you is a model passenger so I won’t ask about your travel phobias. Instead I’ll ask…

Where did you go on your last getaway?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Zen Den

It’s that time of year in the Pacific Northwest when Mother Nature not only makes herself known in vivid color of riotous blossoms and 50 shades of green on every tree, but in storms that vie with the incredible Native American drums of thunder.

Willa used to get scared out of her wits when thunder crashed, banged, and boomed! Our Vet had us try homeopathic remedies, a calming prescription, and a “thunder shirt” — all to no avail. Then we created a “thunder bunker,” lovingly known as her Zen den.

Simple yet effective:

  1. We cover her crate with towels.
  2. She puts herself into it and we close the door just “to” — not latched.
  3. We listen for her to dig up her bedding, circle, and settle in.
  4. We turn on a large fan to cover the noise of the thunder and she sleeps through the storm.

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Literal or figurative, when you’re scared or upset, where’s your Zen den?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Home is Where the Heart Is

We arrived safe and sound in our new location — Boise, Idaho. Located in the southwest corner of the state, Boise is situated in the Mountain Time Zone and enjoys all four seasons without overdoing any of them — temperate.

We did our homework before choosing our new location, checking the crime rate, income tax, property tax, local/state government, history, cultural offerings, and outdoor adventures.

We leased our 100+ year old home — sight unseen — and landed right side up! We plan to take our time finding a home to purchase; thoroughly researching where we do/don’t want to live in the Boise area. In the photograph below, our little cottage is on the left of the two-dormer home.

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In the short time we’ve been here, we’re already head-over-heels in love with the bicycle and dog intensive historic district where we currently reside. A stone’s throw from an off-leash dog park, yoga studio, library, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Boise State University — places that are important to us.

Within two days our house became a home. I define the difference as follows:

  • House — a structure.
  • Home — a safe place with emotional attachment; it has less to do with the physical structure, and everything to do with positive, loving energy.

If a house is a place to hang your hat, and home is where the heart is, where is your heart?

© Laurie Buchanan

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