Monday, June 11, 2012

Meetup.com, because beauty often follows tragedy


The following is an excerpt from an article I read online on September 11, 2011, ten years after the terrorist attacks.  I was encouraged and reminded that beauty and growth often accompany tragedy.  Scott Heiferman, Co-Founder and CEO of Meetup.com tells the story of how Meetup got started.  
"Let me tell you the Meetup story. I was living a couple miles from the Twin Towers, and I was the kind of person who thought local community doesn’t matter much if we’ve got the internet and tv. The only time I thought about my neighbors was when I hoped they wouldn’t bother me.
When the towers fell, I found myself talking to more neighbors in the days after 9/11 than ever before. People said hello to neighbors (next-door and across the city) who they’d normally ignore. People were looking after each other, helping each other, and meeting up with each other. You know, being neighborly.
A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring people together in a lasting way. So the idea for Meetup was born: Could we use the internet to get off the internet – and grow local communities?
.....Meetups aren’t about 9/11, but they may not be happening if it weren’t for 9/11. 9/11 didn’t make us too scared to go outside or talk to strangers. 9/11 didn’t rip us apart. No, we’re building new community together!!!!
The towers fell, but we rise up. And we’re just getting started with these Meetups."
Scott Heiferman (on behalf of 80 people at Meetup HQ)
Co-Founder & CEO, Meetup
New York City
September 2011
Did you feel a greater sense of community after 9/11?  I know I did, but I admit that sense of unity is wearing off as the years go by.  Let's not forget those desires to belong and unite as a neighborhood, as a community, and as a nation.  We can be friendly and get together even if we have begun to get comfortable inside our houses again.  Organize, then get out, and do.

Are you part of a Meetup group?   I recently planned a nutrition event in Chicago where we had over 250 people in attendance with one-third of that attendance coming from 5 different nutrition-type Meetup groups in and around Chicago.  Meetups is a powerful networking tool to gather people in the community, or in other words to MEETUP.

Meetup groups are found all over the United States in every area of interest.  I've seen topics such as: new age spiritualism, raw foodism, chess, badminton, boot camp, biking, political affiliations.  Most are social groups where people socialize with people of similar backgrounds or interests.  There are moms groups, singles over 50, outdoorsy folks, athletic types, art and cultural types.   Meetup groups offer classes, potlucks, BBQs, seminars and workshops, speakers, monthly meetings,  nights out and more.

If you think you might like to join a group, get on the Meetup website, type in your city and what interests you, and join a Meetup.  You'll be asked to create a profile of yourself and add a picture.  Once a member of the group, you'll be notified via email of your group's upcoming meetings, classes, special events, potlucks, or seminars.  You can even suggest a meet up.  On the Meetup page you can mark if you are attending or not and bringing guests or not.  It's a great way to get a feel of who will be at the event.

Here is a list of some of the Meetups you'll see around the Treasure Valley.    Don't see what that interests you?  Why not start your own Meetup Group?  You'll get advice, help finding members, andy tools to make running a Meetup Group easier.  As I've had experience researching Meetup groups all over the US,  I can say that Boise has fewer Meetup groups than other cities of a similar population.  I'm not sure why that is, but we can change that.  So join or start a Meetup group and let's get busy!

Idaho Holistic Moms
Boise Active Moms
Moms Club of Nampa
Caldwell/Nampa  Moms and Babes
Boise Area Moms and Babes (BAM-B)
Idaho Moms Network
Meridian Good Afternoon Moms Group
Transitions; A Pregnancy and Postpartum Support Group
Boise Laid Back Lively Ladies
Treasure Valley Single Parents
Boise's Downtown First-time Dad's Group
Natural Families Treasure Valley
Boise Trailheads
Boise Area Runners (BAR)
Boise's Babies and Tots
Boise Active Singles
Boise Wine Meetup Group
Boise Mountain Biking and Gravity Adventures
Boise Baby Boomers
Boise Area Women in Transition
Boise Cyclists
Boise Web Technologies Group
Treasure Valley Backpackers
Boise Graphic Design Group
Go now to www.Meetup.com

Quote taken from article posted on 9/11/2011 in The Valley Voice written by George L. Tibbetts Jr.
http://thevalleyvoice.org/2011/09/11/a-message-from-the-ceo-of-meetup-on-the-history-of-meetup-groups-and-their-direct-connection-to-911/37163/


Monday, June 4, 2012

Capitol City Public Market



 Has there ever been something that you've wanted to do and it's just never worked out?  Every since I found the Capital City Market online I've been dying to check it out and blog about it.  I think I tried every Saturday last summer but something always came up.  So this summer I told the husband that I am not going another summer without checking out the Market.  And guess what?  I made it.  And it was every bit as fabulous as I had anticipated.  I loved the sense of community, the mixing of people, the way people strolled along casually checking things out instead of the traditional, rush-grab-go that you see at the grocery store.  I soaked in the goodness radiating from the organic fruits, the shine coming from vegetables,  the love pouring from the artisan breads and homemade jellies, and the fragrant smells coming from the fresh cut flowers.  I was delighted to find meat that had been fed grass instead of corn, animals that had been raised in open-ranges instead of dark-overcrowded-cages, organic eggs that traveled dozens of miles instead of hundreds of miles, chickens that weren't pumped full of antiboditics and hormones, and fresh cheeses made from Jersey cows that are Rbst free.  I found varieties of meat that I haven't been able to find anywhere else.  Things like elk, bison, buffalo, lamb, meats that are healthy alternatives to what we find at the grocery store.  I've also searched the grocery stores unable to find nitrate and nitrite free sausages and bacons, but found a vendor at the market who had many nitrite-free meats.   I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THE MARKET.  Bring money, your own bags, and sunscreen.   Families are welcome, although I encourage you to go without young kids if you plan to do some real shopping.

Every Saturday morning from 9:30am to 2pm come out to the market. Park for free the first hour in any parking garage. The market is located on 8 Street from Bannock to the Grove and Idaho St between Capital Blvd and 9th street. 2012 Season Runs April 21st-December 22nd. There are vendors galore with arts and crafts, fresh farm produce, flowers, and more!  EBT cards accepted.  




























Have you been to the Capitol City Public Market?  What did you like there?  What did you buy?  What is your favorite?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Make a list of fun things to do this summer

Every summer our family makes a list of things we want to do before we have to head back to school in September.  A few weeks ago I shared that list with you and we've been busy trying to squeeze everything in.  I encourage you to make your own to-list with your family this summer.  To help you get started I'm going to throw out a few suggestions.  (These are my own ideas so don't laugh if you think they are funny or sigh if they sound boring.  They're only suggestions and I was at church while I thought of them.  My mind seems to be at its most creative when I'm supposed to be paying attention to something else.  Now where did I put that church program where I have all my ideas written down?)    


1.  Float the river
2.  Go to a movie
3.  Go geocaching, visit www.geocaching.com to learn how
4.  Paint pottery at Ceramica
5.  Bead at Need to Bead
6.  Take the kids to a class at Lowe's or Home Depot on a Saturday morning'
7.  Go to Wahooz Fun Zone
8.  Go to Roaring Springs Waterpark
9.  Go to the MK Nature Center
10.  Go to the Boise Depot--check their website for days they're open, I think it's only Sundays and Mondays after 12:30pm 
11.  Hike around Hull's Gulch in Boise
12.  Hike around Table Rock in Boise
13.  Hike around 
14.  Check out Hyde Park
15.  Check out Bown Crossing
16.  Picnic and play at any city park, see your city website for park info
17.  Chill at Sandy Point Beach, don't forget the inflatable raft
18.  Cool down at Eagle Island (although I've personally never been there, I know, weird, huh)
19.  Take a swim at Black Canyon Beach
20.  Swim at the Natatorium and slide down the hydrotube
21.  Swim at any city pool
22.  Rock climb, workout, swim at your local YMCA
23.  Rock climb at Boise Peak Fitness
24.  Walk or ride bikes on the Greenbelt
25.  See the animals at Zoo Boise
26.  Ride the paddle boats in Julia Davis Park
27.  And while you're there smell the roses in the Rose Garden at Julia Davis Park 
28.  Then head over to the Boise Art Museum
29.  Cross the street to the Idaho Historical Museum
30.  Check out a book from the Library!
31.  Get on the Boise Trolley Tour 
32.  Learn more from the Human Rights Memorial
33.  Go to the Black History Museum
34.  Dare step foot into the Idaho State Penitentiary 
35.  Learn stuff at the Idaho Geological Society


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Jump Creek Falls

Wow! I'm a guest blogger on Don't Get Bored! I'm just tickled by that for a few reasons. First, because last June when I moved to Kuna from North Idaho (where one does not need a great blog like this to find awesome outdoor things to do), Amanda and Don't Get Bored saved my children's summer. We haunted her blog for ideas, and then followed her footsteps all over Treasure Valley.

Second--I don't even blog! So I'm a guest blogger before I'm even a blogger blogger. Well, okay, I did keep a pretty invisible blog on Vox for a while, just logging all the sightings of twins we had after the babies were born. They'll be two in May 2011. Also with us on this trip were the Dad, Brett; my son Nate, 15; and daughter Anna, 11.

Finally--I found something really cool that Amanda didn't already know about. So I get to repay her a little bit.

And Jump Creek Falls is very, very cool.


We headed out toward Marsing on an unseasonably beautiful March day. The drive took us through Idaho's vineyard country, which will be even nicer a few weeks further into spring but was pretty even with the leafless vinyards and orchards laid out across the valley. It's a bit tricky to get to Jump Creek. Our GPS was utterly confused, and MapQuest kept telling us to turn right when our gut said we needed to be going left. We followed our gut and found ourselves at a fork in the road with two choices--left on a very rutted, dirt road; or right through a cattle guard marked with huge NO TRESPASSING signs. After a short discussion, we chose the cattle guard, and there was a brief Deliverance-like interlude before we realized that we were on the right track, on a public road, and the warnings to trespassers were aimed at foot traffic. Apparently, folks hiking BLM lands in the area don't always respect fences around adjacent private lands.

I found directions on the Internet, and was able to put together an accurate set from those and our experiences, which appear at the end of this entry.

It's interesting how quickly the drive goes from vinyards, to slightly rolling desert, to this sudden lava-rock crevice with a creek flowing through it. We pulled into the parking lot, unloaded, and headed up the trail into the canyon. The kids enjoyed finding caves, looking for lizards, and spotting small fish in the creek. The hike itself is short, not even a quarter mile, and mostly on a flat path with a bed of sand and small gravel. We had the backpackers for the boyos, who are 21 months old, but we never needed them. We just let them walk.

The only tricky bit was the creek crossing. The path drops down to the creekbed, where closely-set stepping stones cross the water about 12 feet wide and 8 inches deep. Nate went ahead and reported to Brett and me about the status of each rock, so that we knew to avoid wobbly ones while helping the boyos cross. It was dicey enough to knot my back a bit, but really, we were fine. Then a quick scramble upward, and we were back on the easy level trail.

I will note that I'm pretty intrepid; this crossing would not be suitable for all moms of toddlers. But we made it just fine and continued up the creek trail. Older kids--certainly 4 and up--will be fine.

The scenery was startling--not only the suddenness of the canyon itself, but the large caves and strange rock formations. This near-perfect pyramid looked like a carefully groomed Christmas tree, and was probably 30 feet tall.  With the layer of spring green on everything, the contrast between lava rock and growth bed was striking.

And at the end of the trail--this wonderful waterfall drops into a pool. There's a cave to clamber through for another view.

As early as it was in the year, we did see people; from the looks of it, there are always people here. There's some graffiti to overlook, and I've read that Jump Creek (not surprisingly) attracts the aimless among young people, who go there to drink a few beers and do other things they think will make them feel and seem mature. However, we saw only a family fishing with their dogs, another family hiking, and what looked to be a small private school group on an outing.

The kids can't wait to go back. We give it four and a half stars out of five (dang that graffiti!) and plan another outing a bit later in the spring.


Stuff to take: Sunscreen, water, good shoes, maybe an extra pair in the car in case you get wet on the crossing (Anna did), and a picnic. There's not much in the way of picnic facilities, but it's a 45-minute drive or so, so this is at least a half-day outing. Oh, and a camera! I'm not sure the fishing is worth much, but if you're an angler you might want to drop a line, so be prepared for that. Nate really wished he had his rod with him.



From Boise, take I-84 W toward Marsing, exiting onto ID 55 S at exit 33A. Stay on ID 55 S for about 16 miles (more or less), until you see Edison Rd; about a mile later you will turn left onto US 95. From there it's about 2.5 miles to Poison Creek Road on the right; follow Poison Creek Road about 3.5 miles to a 4-way intersection (you are on some very small roads here, so keep that in mind when you picture "intersection") and turn left onto the unnamed gravel road. About a half mile down that road, you will turn right through a scary-looking cattle guard; the threatening signs are for the private property only, not the road, which is public access to the canyon area. You will see the road turning left along the base of some hills; once you make that turn it won't be long before you see the Jump Creek sign directing you to the trailhead parking lot.

Jump Creek Falls, Idaho, USA in Idaho

Saturday, April 9, 2011

You're in for a special treat

It is my pleasure to announce that Don't Get Bored in Idaho will feature a report from guest blogger, Janna M.H., who has recently to Kuna from North Idaho.  Impressively, she found something to do with her family that I did not even know existed.  She has written up a very thorough report (including pictures) of their outing.  Stay tuned tomorrow to read about where they went and what they did and how you can have the same adventure.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Trey McIntyre Project

I had the absolute delight of watching a performance of the Trey McIntyre Project this afternoon.  How do I convey to you how incredible this experience was without sounding cliche?  I'm not sure I'll succeed because all those words you've heard before come to mind.  Breathtaking.  Amazing.  Awesome. 

I have never been to a Trey McIntryre Project performance before although I've wanted to see them perform since they opened their company here two years ago.  I can tell you that the dancers are skilled.  They are fluid.  And they are the best trained I've ever seen.  Boise is indeed lucky to have them call this city their home.  They perform around the country and internationally and act as ambassadors to our city as they travel world wide.  What an honor to be the home town of such a renown company.  Trey McIntyre could have gone to any city and I for one am grateful he has brought his talent and fame to our town and has worked to build relationships in the city.  It was neat to see the mayor of Boise and his family in the audience this afternoon. 


The Trey McIntyre Project, also known as TMP, does many things to engage with the people of Boise including donating performances for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign and Make-A-Wish annual gala, offering adult beginning classes, bringing dance into area schools, performing Spontaneous Urban Performances throughout the city, and partnering with Boise State University to provide affordable tickets for students.  (Information taken from TMP Mardi Gras program March 2011). 

If you want to read more about today's TMP Mardi Gras performance, let me direct you to an excellent article written by Boise Weekly writer James Ady. Boise Weekly article.

If you missed the show this weekend, that's okay, there are more coming up.  In fact, season tickets for TMP go on sale tonight.  A season pass gives you discount pricing, priority seating, and VIP parking.  Upcoming performances are on October 15, 2011 and February 11, 2012.  Call the Morrison Center for ticket information 426-1609.

And if you want even more information on Trey McIntyre check out their webpage.  You can also watch the PBS NewsHour special on YouTube about Trey McIntyre coming to the "small western city" of Boise, Idaho (their words, not mine).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Free day at the zoo this Saturday

I received this email from Amy Stahl over at Boise Parks and Recreation today.  It's an invitation to "Claus N Paws."  We've never been to this event before but I think it would be loads of fun.  I especially like that admission is free for everyone. 

"Join all of your favorite animals on Saturday, Dec. 4, for Claus N Paws, a fun-filled holiday gathering at Zoo Boise. Admission is free.  Enjoy musical entertainment throughout the day and watch some of the zoo's residents receive special holiday treats. Finish your holiday shopping with great discounts at the Zootique gift shop or Zoo Boise passes. Oh, and don't forget to have your picture taken with Santa Claus with a $3donation to the zoo! Santa will be here from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

"The City of Boise offers free admission to Claus N Paws as a thank you for all the support Zoo Boise has received this year from the community," said Liz Littman, Marketing & Development Associate.

Zoo Boise is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a national organization that supports excellence in animal care, conservation, education and science. Located in Julia Davis Park, Zoo Boise is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily year round. For more information, please see www.zooboise.org. Or call (208) 384-4260.

There are many great events going on this weekend.  What are your plans?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Capital Tree Lighting Monday night

I don't know about you, but I'm scratching my head about what to do with my kids this week.  Typically we don't have the entire week of Thanksgiving off of school, so I can't go off of what we've done in the past.  We don't usually do anything this week but go to school and the eat like crazy on Thanksgiving day.  Now I have to figure out something to do for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.  

Here's what I have planned for Monday evening,  a night at the Capital building for the Christmas tree lighting.  We've never done that before and it's free so I think we'll give it a try.  Of course, we'll have to bundle up because the weather is supposed to be cold that night.  We might wimp out if the wind is blowing.  We'll see.  What are you doing this week?

Warning:  Rafiki is temporarily closed.  Do not attempt a visit to Rafiki because you'll find everything gone.  Like everything.  We were totally bummed to drive all the way there last Friday and find them closed.  Since the place was completely empty of everything I assumed they had went out of business.  There wasn't a "we are moving" sign on the door or anything to indicate a change of venue.  We nearly shed tears on the way home.  However, when we got home I looked closely at their website and realized that they aren't out of business, they are just moving locations.  They will soon be located just a few miles from my house.  So we're cool with that.