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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A New Kid in Town

Move over Jack and the beanstalk, there’s a new kid in town!

A few months ago we had a small, forgotten sweet potato that had “eyes” on it. I thought, Idaho is famous for potatoes, lets see what happens when I plant this little guy.”

A week or so into the experiment, this is what it looked like:

Laurie's potato experiement

Today, this is what it looks like:

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The sweet potato is the green plant with the long vines crawling along the window sill and the ground.

It has a daily growth spurt!

What have you nurtured that’s growing well for you?

There really is a new kid in town. Our son enjoyed his June visit so much that he relocated from the midwest to Boise this week. Woot woot!

© Laurie Buchanan

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Reading, Writing, and…

Every Monday morning we drop Willa off at day camp after driving through Starbuck’s for a puppaccino—a vital part of the weekly routine.

Not on the menu, a puppaccino is a small, complimentary cup of whipped cream for your pup that you can get along with a paid-for item.

After check-in, we leave Willa at “school” where she socializes with other dogs, interacts with humans (both male and female), and gets her toenails trimmed without fear.

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In the back left you’ll notice a pool for supervised swim time.

When I think about my years at school, I learned several things that serve me well. Aside from reading and writing, the most important skill I learned was typing—something I use every day.

In addition to reading and writing, what’s the single most important thing you learned in school?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Rules Are Meant To Be…

Willa and I were out on a walk when we happened upon this humorous photo opp. It immediately brought to mind the oft-quoted statement: “Rules are meant to be broken.”

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Meant for their vehicle’s safety due to road construction, the folks in this instance turned a blind eye to the clearly posted sign.

Should rules be obeyed, regardless? Or should we follow the rules only when they’re in our best interest, or in the interest of the greater good?

When do rules apply to you?

© Laurie Buchanan

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The Fine Art of Balance

When you click the “play” button in the brief video clip, you’ll see two mourning doves on top of the security gate where we live. The ride is fairly smooth, but even in the slightly bumpy parts, the birds stay on.

I feel fortunate to have captured their seemingly effortless balance on camera, and I’m fascinated that they remained unruffled by my presence.

And while most of us don’t ride gate tops, we do balance multiple things simultaneously: career, family, home, relationships…

Do you remain cool, calm, and collected during the bumpy parts of the ride?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Night Blindness

You may have seen the video of neuroscientist and sleep author, Penelope Lewis, discussing the link between Alzheimer’s disease and lack of sleep. She goes on to share that sleep is critical to innovation and creative processes.

Regardless of what I’m doing, I tend to throw myself into it wholeheartedly—including sleep. With that in mind, I wear a “black out” sleep mask and soft foam earplugs to induce a cocoon-like ambience that nothing but a cold wet nose in the face (Willa’s, not Len’s) can stir me from.

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A person who’s normally alert, curious, and enjoys observing the smallest details, when it comes to sleep, I choose to turn a blind eye, to block it all out.

Do you ever intentionally turn a blind eye?

© Laurie Buchanan

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I’ve Got a Secret

Something exciting is happening in my world.
I’m not going to share it with you.
Just yet.
But I will.
Soon!

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The reason for this excitement was a catalyst for reaching out to other writers — published women authors — with a request. Without exception, this network of friends stepped up to the plate and embraced my request with yes, Yes, YES! Their glowing support has me bursting at the seams.

Like fizz in champagne, do you have something — secret or otherwise — that has you bubbling with excitement?

Psssst, if you’re one of the authors who’s stepped up to the plate, mum’s the word…

© Laurie Buchanan

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One Ringy Dingy, Two Ringy Dingy

Recently, a tree in the Municipal Park close to our home was cut down. A view of the cross-section reveals its growth rings.

Rings on a tree

According to my online research: “Visible rings result from the change in growth speed through the seasons of the year; thus, critical for the title method, one ring generally marks the passage of one year in the life of the tree.”

In pioneer days, a person my age — I’m swiftly approaching 58 rings — would be considered elderly. Today, however, even with silver hair and deeply etched laugh lines, that’s mere change.

By intent, many of us have cultivated a combination of habits that contribute to our number of growth rings. These might include eating certain foods, steering clear of certain things, exercise, taking vitamins and/or minerals, etc.

Even though you’ve cultivated a bevy of healthy habits, what single one stands head-and-shoulders above the rest toward your quality longevity?

© Laurie Buchanan

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A Bird in the Hand

Last week as I was heading out our driveway I enjoyed watching a deer across the street. Not in the least bit afraid of foot or vehicle traffic, it continued meandering on its merry way.

During our son’s recent visit, he had the opportunity for an even closer encounter with wildlife:

Bogus Basin is a mountainous area near Boise, Idaho particularly enjoyed for its recreational snow offerings, so in June it’s almost deserted. The heat that week — even at 5,000 feet — was triple-digit intense. During our hike we found a small bird exhausted from trying to flap its way out of a skylight in a shuttle stop. He didn’t realize it was plexiglass, and was too disoriented to simply come down out of the rafters and fly away. That’s when our son got involved…

Climbing up inside the shuttle stop, he gently got the bird in his hand and climbed back down. Staying in the shade, our son used Willa’s water bowl to bathe the little fellow with cool water and give him a drink.

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We didn’t think it was ever going to leave him. Once it started singing — and we knew he was going to be okay — our son placed the little fellow on a low-hanging branch and from there we watched him take off. A very cool experience for all of us.

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What was your last up-close-and-personal experience with nature?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Sis Boom Bah

Many trees along the Boise River lean way over the edge — toward the water — bringing to mind a cheer we used in high school:

Lean to the left
Lean to the right
Stand up, sit down
Fight, fight, fight

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It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you’ve got someone on your side; someone rooting for you!

Who are you cheering for? On the flip side (pun intended), who’s cheering for you?

© Laurie Buchanan

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