Monday, June 11, 2012, 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 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

Quote taken from article posted on 9/11/2011 in The Valley Voice written by George L. Tibbetts Jr.

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 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