Eagle Greenbelt Stroll

Meridian, Idaho

We live about two blocks west of the Boise city limits and a couple of blocks south of the Eagle city limits. So we are literally minutes from what all three cities (Boise, Eagle, and Meridian) offer.

One of the best things about the Treasure Valley is the Greenbelt. It runs for miles along the Boise River.

This morning Sophie and I took a stroll along the Greenbelt in Eagle. It was a beautiful morning and the walk was so very nice. We started out in a park…

0620151036And ended up on the Boise River…

0620151047bThere were lots of people out. Some on bikes, some with their children, some with their dogs.

Part of the walk was along wetlands that are lush with greenery…

0620151101We saw some fish sunning themselves…

0620151047aI was all excited thinking they were trout, but then a man walked by me staring at them and said one word to set me straight, “Carp.” 🙂

One of the houses along the river has the most beautiful cascading petunias I have ever seen…

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I’m a sucker for bridges and can’t pass them up without taking a picture or two…

0620151052 0620151045Much of the walk is shaded, perfect for a hot sunny day…

0620151101a 0620151041aI think I had a better time than Sophie. She was a bit miffed that I didn’t let her swim in the river…

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Hobbes Has Some Fun

Meridian, Idaho

From NPR.org, an article sent to me by my sister Joanne showing us, yet again, that people are good! (Thanks, Joanne!)

Boy Who Lost Stuffed Tiger At Airport Finds Tiger Stayed Very Busy

If a boy named Owen suspects his stuffed tiger named Hobbes has a secret life, the staff of Tampa International Airport won’t disagree. Owen recently lost Hobbes at the airport — and when he reclaimed the tiger, he also received photos of Hobbes touring the facility.

Hobbes the tiger surveys the scene at Tampa International Airport, where he was briefly stranded.

Owen, 6, had flown from Florida to Texas. His mother, Amanda Lake, says that for much of the trip, Owen was preoccupied with whether his tiger was OK.

“Hobbes is one of a kind. He was made by hand by his aunt who lives in Houston,” Lake tells the Tampa Bay Times.

Not only was Hobbes OK, but after he was found by the airport’s janitorial crew, the operations staff decided to take the tiger for some gelato and on behind-the-scenes tours of the airport. Hobbes also stopped by a hotel and played Jenga.

Hobbes poses for a photo with a member of the airport's tarmac emergency crew. The tiger was safely reunited with his young owner — along with a photo album of his exploits.

Hobbes poses for a photo with a member of the airport’s tarmac emergency crew. The tiger was safely reunited with his young owner — along with a photo album of his exploits.

When Owen returned from Texas, he was reunited with Hobbes and given a bound book of photographs that showed what his tiger had been up to.

It was all the brainchild of Airport Operations Center Manager Tony D’Aiuto, who says he used a coupon to make the photo book at a drugstore. The story is drawing wide attention — after all, it’s rather rare to see a heartwarming story emerge from an airport, particularly at the start of the summer travel season.

“It was very, very sweet,” Lake said in a news release from the airport. “We already told him over and over that Hobbes was on an adventure so it was nice to get back and show him that Hobbes really had been on an adventure.

“Thank you to everyone at Tampa International Airport who took such great care of Hobbes. It was such a nice surprise.”

On the airport’s Facebook post about the story, the top-rated comment is from a woman who wrote, “What a great story. What a great airport” — to which the airport replied, “Thanks mom!”

Owen, 6, is reunited with his tiger, Hobbes. He had left the stuffed animal at the airport.

Owen, 6, is reunited with his tiger, Hobbes. He had left the stuffed animal at the airport.

What’s My Size?

Meridian, Idaho

I’m sewing a shirt for myself, and it’s been at least a decade since I’ve sewn clothing.

I’d rather buy clothing already made, but I’m having a hard time finding summer shirts that are made from a fabric that doesn’t contain rayon, polyester, or some other fabric that doesn’t breathe and help keep me cool. So I bought some 100% cotton and a pattern.

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All the patterns I looked at contain multiple sizes, from 6 through 16. And that’s a good thing because I was not really sure what size I needed.

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I’m not a clothes horse and HATE shopping, so I buy most of my clothes at Walmart.

I have always suspected that Walmart uses a different ruler to measure their sizes than other stores.

I’ve almost finished sewing my shirt and tried it on last night. It’s a little snug, and according to the pattern it’s FOUR sizes LARGER than the last shirt I bought at Walmart.

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I think Walmart and other stores want their shoppers to think they are not as fat as they are.  So we feel good thinking that we’re “only a size 12” when really we’re a size 16.

The pattern company I bought is called New Look, but they aren’t using new sizing.  🙂

Golden Rules

I came across this on-line yesterday and found it inspirational enough to share with y’all. Hope it resonates with you as much as it does with me.

It’s a list of Melinda Gates’ “Golden Rules” for life which first appeared in the  Winter 2014 issue of PORTER magazine.

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I love the simplicity of the rules, the encouragement to connect with myself and with others, and the reasons behind the truth and importance of each of the rules.

1. Trust yourself. This is the most important thing. Everybody has an inner truth and if you learn how to listen to it, you’ll be happier in everything you do.

2. Make time for quiet self-reflection. There are distractions everywhere, and you need to connect with nature and quiets truths to live a meaningful, balanced life.

3. Cultivate great friends and keep them close. Tell them what you’re learning and what you’re excited about, and they’ll do the same for you.

4. Be a lifelong learner. You’ll be amazed at what you don’t know and what the world holds in store.gates

5. Broaden your world view. I didn’t know anything about half of the world until I was in my early thirties. I’ve spent the last 20 years filling in that gap and its one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.

6. Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing we all have in common.gates-3

7. Get a good night’s sleep! I’m talking about eight hours. And while you’re at it, exercise. Your mind and body need it.

8. Laugh aloud as often as possible. Laugh with others. Laugh at yourself. However you laugh, do it with abandon.gates-1

9. Teach your children your values – don’t just teach them how to tie their shoes and do multiplication tables. Teach them how to think about the important things in life.

10. Read books with your friends and family and talk about them. You learn and grow more when you do it within a community.

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Magpie Murder

Meridian, Idaho

My dad will turn 95 at the end of July.

For 95, he’s in amazing health. Heck for 80, he’s in amazing health. 🙂

He lives with my sister Mary Lou in her gorgeous house that sits in a park-like setting on the Carson River in Fallon, Nevada.

Wildlife is bountiful including deer grazing on the pasture, neighborhood dogs stopping by for a Milk Bone treat, and a plethora birds.

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For some reason, this year there has been an abundance of magpies. And Dad can’t stand magpies!

I’ve always rather liked magpies, but many people don’t. I think part of the reason is that they are clever, and the other part is that they have a reputation to steal things.

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Magpies are part of the crow family, and the Eurasian magpie (pictured above) is considered one of the most intelligent animals in the world, and the only non-mammal species able to recognize itself in a mirror test. (Wikipedia)

Dad taught all his girls lots about the outdoors. We went on a camping trip most every summer. We learned how to fish in streams and on lakes.  He taught us how to catch lizards using dental floss and a stick. We hiked to the top of Mount Rose, the highest mountain near Reno. (I’m pretty sure I complained the whole way because it was a tough hike and freezing cold, but now it’s one of my fondest memories…)

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Dad taught us many of the things he loved doing as a boy. He loved sharing and teaching, and he also enjoyed doing those things again.

And apparently that continues…

He asked Mary Lou for a sling shot for his birthday. She ordered one and gave Dad his gift early.

And now he’s doing target practice for magpie murders. 🙂

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Male Character Study

Meridian, Idaho

I’ve been on a Netflex binge, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

After such limited  Interney connectivity and no opportunity to steam for the last year, binging seemed appropriate. 🙂

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I rejoined Netflix and perused the plethora of choices. I prefer TV series over movies, so that helped me narrow my choices.

I settled on Longmire, a contemporary western crime series based on a series of books written by Craig Johnson.

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I chose it because I really like the actress who plays the female lead. Katee Sackoff  was excellent (and creepy) in 24. She is excellent (and sardonic) in Longmire.

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Once I started watching Longmire, I became more and more intrigued by the portrayal of a deep and long-lived friendship between Sheriff Walt Longmire and bar owner Henry Standing Bear.

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Walt and Henry have been friends since sixth grade. They forged their friendship across racial lines, an anomaly for the time.

What I like about watching them interact is the honest comfortableness between them. They have each other’s backs and accept each other as they are.

However, they will call each other out if one goes too far. The intimacy of their knowledge of each other is a refreshing change from typical machismo testosterone-laden shows.

You might give Longmire a chance if it sounds interesting to you. I like it, and you might, too.

The Perfect Breakfast

Boise, Idaho

I’m staying at Melissa’s with Olive, her dog that thinks she’s a cat.

And this morning I’m on my way to play Pickleball with a new group.

What better way to prepare for a couple of hours of hard play than to have the perfect breakfast?

An apple fritter and a Diet Pepsi!

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Doesn’t get much better than that… 🙂

Sadly, Some of the Pigs Died

Meridian, Idaho

Most of the time the news is on while I’m eating breakfast or cooking dinner, it’s just background noise.

Who can listen to all of that and determine what’s REALLY important vs. what just made the cut to make the show because it’s interesting, scary, or odd? Or involves a Kardashian? 🙂

If we paid intense attention to it all, we’d be crazy…

The other morning an “odd” story made the news.

This little piggy went whee, whee, whee, as it fled a flipped truck along with thousands of its brethren.

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A whopping 2,200 baby pigs ran amok onto an Ohio highway when a tractor-trailer carrying them flipped over Monday evening, NBC affiliate WDTN reported.

The big rig flipped around on U.S. Route 35 in Xenia around 7 p.m., sending the piglets squealing across the highway southeast of Dayton, officials said.

Multiple fire departments, paramedics, police officers and nearby citizens attempted to wrangle the baby pigs and take them to the county fairgrounds, where volunteers and fire crews helped cool off hundreds of pigs. (From NBC New York)

I was intrigued by the oddness of it and actually paid attention.

Then I laughed out loud when Natalie Morales said, and I quote, “Some pigs, sadly, died in the crash.”

Where does she think those pigs were headed for? A feed lot where they would be fattened up and ‘sadly’ die to make up the bacon, pork chops, and tenderloin roast that so many of us enjoy…

What also cracked me up while watching the video was figuring out which of the rescuers had been around animals before.

This guy has held lots of dogs and cats, but probably not too many pigs.

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This guy, on the other hand, knows how to handle his pigs.  🙂

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Airplane Yoga

Meridian, Idaho

As Melissa and her best friend Kassi fly to Montreal to watch Women’s World Cup Soccer this morning, here’s a post especially for them to stay calm and serene on their long, long flight!

I actually did a lot of these while flying to and from Europe a long, long time ago.

They really helped me feel better and less likely to snap at the person next to me as he smacked his gum over and over again.

Happy and Safe Travels!

Neck Release

yoga-1Instructions: On the edge of your seat, keep your spine upright and shoulders rolling back. Rest your hands lightly rest on top of your thighs. As you inhale, stretch your head back gently and on your exhale softly allow your head to rotate forwards.

Keep this slow rotational movement all in one direction five times and then softly repeat in the opposite direction. 

Benefits: When sitting for long periods of time, create mobility into your upper body. We can carry a lot of tension in neck and shoulders.

Emotional Release

Yoga-2Instruction: Sit cross-legged, place your arms across your chest and lock your hands under your armpits. Keep your thumbs pointing upwards. Raise your shoulders without cramping your neck muscles. With your chin tucked and lips closed, breathe deeply and slowly through both nostrils for three-11 minutes.

Benefits: This pose promotes a calm mind. You’ll find that your thoughts are still there, but you won’t feel them.
Please note it’s best to ask cabin crew for a glass of water before this practice.

Spine Flexibility

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Instruction: On the edge of your seat, align your feet aligned with your hips. With your hands lightly on top of your thighs, inhale, and roll your shoulders to arch your chest upwards and outwards.

Look to the tip of your nose, and on your exhale, roll your spine forward. Allow your body to follow the flow and length of every breath. Continue for 10-20 breaths.

Benefit: This movement will enable you to free any tension or emotions that you may hold onto by releasing blockages within your spinal column. Cat-cow pose opens up your spine.

Rejuvenate and Calm

plane yogaInstruction: Stand with your feet hip distant apart. From your hips, tilt forward with your knees and just let your arms hang down, placing one hand onto each elbow.

Press your feet firmly on the floor and take 10 deep breaths, then stand up slowly.

Benefit: Forward bends lengthen your spine.

Energize and Revitalize

plane yogaInstruction: Lift your right foot off the floor and bend your knee so your lower leg is behind your body. Carefully grasp your right ankle with your right hand and pull straight up until your heel is by your butt. Hold for five-10 breaths before switching sides.

Benefit: Stretching your quadriceps.