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Say It, I Dare You

April 20, 2015

Don’t you just wish that a time or two in your lifetime you could answer back how you really feel?  You know, say it with thought so that the other person doesn’t get it until later that day?  This applies to those people in your life that just do not understand no matter what. This also applies to those people that just don’t listen. If you can be the one that listens, you are the better person. At any rate, sometimes, just sometime for goodness sakes, it would be a tad bit fun to just say it.better than yesterday

  1. You are not the Boss of me! Ok, this is a childlike reaction, but I kid you not, this has come up for me recently. So, I tap my fingers on the nearest table top and ponder what in the heck to say to that incredibly bossy person and how to respond. Voila! I use this: I hear what you are saying, and I feel the best way to tackle this issue is to XXXX”. You tackle the issue and bring in other parties that you know will agree with you based on reality as well as reasoning. Subtle and yet effective. Use sense and sensibility and make sure you have a backup opinion from a trusted third party. Do not attempt this without consultation.
  2. You should have asked first. Oh, Lord, help me I have a new Mommy. This situation is best dealt with grace and maturity. DO not and I repeat, do NOT attempt to answer to this one. Give this your very best Southern smile (Google this) and do not react. By tucking this one away, you save face and save yourself from being a jerk in return. You surely don’t want to have regrets with a person so, well, just so like this.
  3. You are not supposed to XXXX. Really, and you are? Ok, you can’t really say this unless (1) you know the policy or procedure, (2) you know who is supposed to or (3) you know not any one person is legally entitled at that particular moment. Often times the better reaction will come to you far after the confrontation, but my best advice is to simply walk away. It is just not worth it unless it has diamonds in the “it”. If you are a guy, only if it has super sentimental value sports-wise.
  4. Well, I changed my mind. Seriously??? But you promised! Well, when this happens, you just have to pull your big girl straps or your big boy suspenders and just let go of the attachment you have in your mind. I have come to learn that hanging on to broken promises will only hold you back in life and prolong your healing time period. Kind of lousy but in the long run, better for your mental health.
  5. I promise to call you. And, then you realize two weeks later that call never occurred. Guess what? Another rip and tear in to your heart to remind you some people don’t mean what they said to you and (yes, and) they never did. Do you really need these supposed friends? You need the tried and true and always there friends. I sure do!
  6. I promise X and X to you. Oh my gosh, how this one hurts your very core. You trust what this promise is and trust the promises made. Then what you consider super bad luck you realize that the promise does not come through and never will. Guess what? Because that promise had no real intention. This can be hurtful unless you take the time to admit it was said just to say “it” and “it” had no real intention. Shitty, eh?

Ok, you get the picture. Having a non-reaction is not caving in or compromising. It is taking the high road, the mature route and just releasing that heavy sigh. Well, maybe a half dozen heavy sighs but take it from me, it’s worth it.

#standupforyourself #friendship #dealingwithit #noregrets

Sleep on It

April 13, 2015

I have learned a great deal about myself through life lessons, and some of those lessons were very difficult. For one thing, I will not allow negativity to open a door and think it can just walk in and stay. I simply do not have time for such nonsense.something better

I will not give specifics for one reason: it does not matter. In the big picture of life, I choose awareness vs. suffering over situations. I am not going to compromise, but I am going to collaborate to get issues resolved.

It’s been five months since Paul died suddenly. I had a number of issues to work through in order to understand, let go and forgive. That process was the most healing part of my grief and grieving. It has not ended by any means, but I am better at looking at what is bothering me straight on.

In a grief group I attended, the advice was to tell your story. I learned that telling the story helps to relieve the haunting thoughts of what happened because eventually you can tell your story without pain. It’s true.

The same thing goes for life lessons. We all have friends or family that we can call when the going gets tough. There is someone, even if it is one person in our life that we can truly trust. Telling the story of what is causing pain helps to get a different perspective from that trusting person. That trusted source knows you well enough to give insight and advice. One thing for sure is that often times we are too emotional and may react poorly. We cannot take back some things in life, right?

One of my very best real estate brokers gave me advice years ago that I always use with my clients. He told me to sleep on it when I had to make a difficult decision. I cannot tell you how many times that has helped my clients as well as myself. Sleep on it.

Inevitably, the next morning will bring clarity to what is going on in that busy mind of ours. Guess what? Something came up last week that took more than one night of sleeping on it. But I feel so much better today.

Sleep on it!

#grief #lifelessons #friendship #sleeponit #awareness

Believe it or not, I found this, too:

Straw Bale for Sale!

April 6, 2015

Do you know about straw bale construction for an energy efficient home? For that matter, have you even heard of this building method?

BoiseAve Truth Window

Truth Window of a Straw Bale Home

Here in the West, we seem to have the right mindset for the uniqueness and acceptance of anything different. According to Sustainable Sources, located in Austin, Texas, “straw is the dry plant material or stalk left in the field after a plant has matured, been harvested for seed, and is no longer alive……The technique was practiced in the plains states in the latter 1800’s and early 1900’s. Many of the early structures are still standing and being used.”

Do you research if this may be of interest to you, it is fascinating and the energy savings are outstanding. Here’s the perk if you live in the Treasure Valley: we have a straw bale construction home for sale in Southeast Boise. Our Sellers are passionate about their sustainable home and we want to share a few FAQ’s with you:

What is a strawbale home?

A strawbale home is a home where the external walls are built with strawbales around a post and beam framework, and covered with a natural stucco finish.

Is this a common building technique?

Strawbales are being used to build homes, wineries, markets, schools, and lodges. Strawbale homes are found in 50 countries and 46 states

Why are strawbale homes becoming so popular?

  • Energy savings
  • Natural, non-toxic, recyclable building material with low carbon footprint
  • The thick natural walls have a beautiful and unique finish.
  • Year round indoor comfort
  • Noise reduction

Are strawbale homes a fire hazard?

In 2007, a stuccoed strawbale wall was officially tested by the American Society for Testing and Measurement (ASTM E119-05a) to be 3 times more fire resistant than a traditional wall.

404 Boise Ave

We could tell you much more, so give us a call for a personal tour!

Laurie Barrera, ABR, GREEN                        Tracy Sidell, Associate Broker

208.859.5660                                                                   Cell 208.841.8070

BoiseAve Lvg-Dine-Kitch

BoiseAve LoftBoiseAve GstHse

#green #strawbaleconstruction #sustainable #energyefficient #realestate

Your April Home Spring Check List

April 1, 2015

It occurred to me that I have been a bit lax in the real estate news department. We all know the market is solid and strong. How about some Spring advice for a change? Houzz always fills the gap! Click the link below the photo for a few fantastic ideas such as the one featured. Plant color outside your window!

My Best Friend is Sort of My Dog

March 30, 2015

Clarification: My sister, Marianne, is really my bestest bestie. And, I have a number of very good friends I can count on and always call any time and that have the “best” role. However, my dog Zeke is really my best bud and every day companion. I must tell you that I have learned a thing or two about friendship from my furry boy. Let me explain!

dog-paw-printHe doesn’t always listen to me but it doesn’t mean he isn’t listening. Have you ever noticed sometimes when you are talking your friend isn’t listening? I have learned to stop and change the conversation and ask about them. I often realize that they needed to talk more than I did.

dog-paw-printHe does enjoy a good piece of bacon from Bacon. Ok, what dog wouldn’t!? I love my good friends that go out to dinner with me or have a dinner party with a group! Speaking of that, I recall one friend telling me he would coordinate a monthly dinner meet up. Dude, where is my invite!?

dog-paw-printWhen he does listen I have his undivided attention. This is something I am constantly working on. My brain must have 20 gears and all on high. I think too much. I do try to stop myself to listen more mindfully to my friends. If I drop off the interrupt wagon, please do call me on it. Sometimes I just get too excited. {sheepish grin}

dog-paw-printHe loves to get out and play. Zeke and I jog or hike every day in the Boise Foothills. This is how we both maintain our inner child. I have to admit, it would be fun to have a human friend for company. You just have to be ready by 8am. Then you would learn about the beauty of the early morning stillness. Exercising with friends is a great way to just catch up.

dog-paw-printJust as much as he likes to cavort, he likes to rest and do nothing. I was supposed to go bowling with a few friends on Sunday and we all more or less dropped the ball. But we all took care of ourselves doing something else. We appreciated not only our own time but glad the others found something healing to do. Good friends let their friends be slackers once in awhile.

dog-paw-printHe drinks a lot of water which reminds me to do the same. A good friend always watches out for what you eat and drink. Not too much of this or too much of that. And drink lots of water! The only excessive calories allowed between friends are desserts at fine restaurants. The kind that none of us at the table would ever attempt to make at home. But always lots of water and stay hydrated.

dog-paw-printHe barks when he wants attention. Call your friends whenever they pop up in your mind. I call to touch base when I know my friends are having a tough time. Because they do the same for me. That is a true blue friend.

So, you see, you really can learn something from your dog. Oh wait, one more thing: when they come and sit next to you or curl up next to you and the next thing you hear is that “heavy sigh”, do you know what they are really saying? They are saying “I love you”. Simply I love You.

DISCLAIMER: Cats are an entirely different category of lessons. My allergies prevent me from exploring these lessons, so I read books titled, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From My Cat”. Whatever.

#friends #friendship #dogfriendship







Emotional Weekend

March 23, 2015

This weekend I participated in a residential retreat with the sangha I belong to for meditating and practicing Zen Buddhism in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. Just in case you are wondering, I consider myself a Christian Buddhist. Christianity is a religion, Buddhism is a practice.

At any rate, the past two full days and two half days were remarkable and ran the gamut of emotions for myself as well as the others that were in attendance. This was a residential retreat, so that meant noble silence (yes, me, silent as I could be), eating mindfully (not fast as usual) and listening to thought provoking dharma talks by Dharmacharya Michael Ciborski.

When one learns age old lessons brought to the present by venerable teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Michael Ciborski, it is striking at how simple life can be.  Yet we make our lives so difficult by so many different ways. Why do we permit negative circumstances to open our door and enter? You know what? It really is difficult to not open that door or to just say no unless you have the right tools. Old habit energies take a great deal of work to rid yourself of. I have learned to use the tools that help me look at circumstances with understanding the situation. Those tools have truly helped me overcome the negativity that made an attempt to enter that door. It still was not easy but each time, the feeling was liberating.

raining tears

The past four months have been a roller coaster for me after Paul died. I realized this weekend I have a great deal more tears to shed. This retreat was one that Paul and I had planned to attend together; we were looking forward to it. I was nervous to show up, but overcame my fear because I was looking forward to the retreat. In the long run, the teachings I listened to and others I listened to in discussion groups opened up my heart in ways I had no yet found until now. At one point, I went in to the zendo room and picked up a framed photo of Paul that we had at our “ancestor” table. As I sat down, I held it and wept silently to the point of almost falling over. I had not cried like that in months.

Where I am going with this? For one thing, this retreat was just like medicine for me. I acknowledged that I do need my sangha community for my practice and for their brotherhood and sisterhood. I have been in a shell in my space and not really, truly come out as of late. I need to practice my readings because they give me joy and peace, and that is Buddhist teachings as well as Christian teachings. They both hold comfort for me at the present.

Grief cannot be put in a box and defined. But I sure can tell you that it takes a village, a community, your family and friends to help you heal. Open the door to those folks. Close the door on those that do not give back. I will take those long, loving hugs any day of any week.

#grief #learning #healing

I See Opportunities

March 16, 2015

It occurred to me that I have been in circumstances that seemed to be not so much out of control but in nobody’s control. Each time this happened, I gave it a great deal of thought and found a solution that worked for me. Believe me, some of these situations seemed dismal. By working through these, I learned life lessons. Opportunities in learning!IMG_2589

When Paul died, you can say that I suffered the trauma of being the first responder, then the trauma of witnessing his death, then the trauma of being treated cruelly by a family member. I was truly living in a bad movie. Somehow I managed to pick myself up and ask for help.  Through the help I received, I learned to understand perspective of the situation. I have to say, it was not easy and some of what was presented to me I did not want to hear. However, the lesson was that the understanding led to the path of forgiveness, which I thought was not possible. I was able to free myself of the anger I had inside that I needed to shed. Opportunity in healing.

Last month at a fundraiser I was responsible for, it seemed that most of the guests arrived all at once. Typical, right? The line was long at the check-in point. I took the opportunity to walk along the line and greet my friends, introduce myself to those I did not know, and thank everyone for supporting us. I was grateful friends were present, met others I wanted to get to know and use my wit to get a few smiles. It was fun for me! Opportunity in networking for a cause.

I think by now you get the point. When confronted by a situation you find troubling, ask yourself, “is there an opportunity?”

#lifelesson #opportunity #solution


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