As part of our mammoth end of the year letters, Angie, Mary Alice and I started including “Things I Learned”---some basic things everyone else knows, some esoteric things I’ll be re-learning for the rest of my life. They are my favorite part of our letters to re-read, because I often forget what I learn. Often as in always.
I recently re-discovered Emily Freeman’s blog, Chatting at the Sky, thanks to the Simple Mom podcast. Emily writes a Things I Learned post at the end of every month and invited others to participate this month. I love the idea of doing this monthly instead of annually.
1. If we want bigger strawberries, we need to thin our strawberry patch. (I learn this every June. Every October I feel like a murderer when it comes to thinning. Also, I’d rather do other things. But this year I will thin a complete side so a new patch can start. I will…)
2. If you want to make a dog happy, especially in the heat of a Moab summer, make bacon ice cubes. We used an IKEA kids cup and a bit of leftover bacon from a Sunday breakfast. Great entertainment on the deck as Duke did a happy dance over the ice cube.
3. I’m incredibly lucky to have a partner who can do/make/fix just about anything. Did I know this before June? Yes, but I have a new appreciation of his abilities as we’ve had workmen helping with the drywall in our basement this month. It is the first time Brian has really allowed someone else to work on our home---and I am grateful he did, because it pushed the timing of our basement forward. Yet, as great as these guys have been, I’ll be so happy when they are no longer here.
Maybe #3 should be read: It’s hard to have men you don’t really know working in your house during summer vacation with a dog who wants to lick them to death and run through all the white dust of drywall at any opportunity.
4. I learned there’s going to be LEGO Movie, which is going to make my boys extremely happy.
5. I learned the best thing about the movie “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” is its soundtrack.
6. I kept looking over at Brian during the movie when they played songs like “Air That I Breathe” by the Hollies and got a blank stare. Despite only being a year apart in age, our childhoods had completely different soundtracks.
7. According to David Pogue, if you hit the space bar twice when writing a text, it will add the period and capitalize the next letter automatically. You can also use the space bar to pause a video, and to scroll down the screen in any browser. You probably already knew all of that, but I didn’t.
8. All the time spent watching the Black Hawks win the Stanley Cup in one of the best series ever taught me…to appreciate baseball even more. No clock, no sudden death, no opponent trying to make a run while your team is at bat. Hockey is exciting, and the athleticism of its players is awe-inspiring, but I longed for the poetry and pace of baseball.
9. Teeball, however, has neither the pace nor the poetry of baseball. It does have adorable five-year-olds digging in the outfield wearing oversized t-shirts, though, so there’s that.
10. I wanted to end with something deep and meaningful, but really, the best thing I learned this month, possibly this year, is to prepare salads in jars. I had seen it on Pinterest but it didn’t look appealing. Then I read about it on Peppermint Granberg’s blog and ordered these pint and a half jars from Amazon (though I just saw them at Alco for the same price). Life changing. I follow her directions for rinsing the veggies in a vinegar/water bath and fill them up on Sundays after my weekly shopping. Life changing because I now use the cucumber I bought on Sunday and normally forgot about until Saturday, because I really do like salads but often don’t want to pull all those ingredients out and chop stuff up when I’m making Brian a grilled cheese anyway, and because when I need a quick veggie side, I split one of these jars between us for a dinner salad.
You can check out Emily’s post and join the link up there with your own lessons from June, or post one thing you learned this month in the comments. Thanks!