7 Things I Learned This Winter

My City in Winter

I can’t believe that winter is almost over, as we’ve had the mildest, mostly snow-less, New England winter I can remember since living here. But it’s already time to join my favorite link-up and share what I’ve learned. I hope you enjoy this little list.

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1. There are fewer things that really matter to me about Christmas than I realized.

And I don’t mean the important, real-meaning-of-Christmas things. Those ARE important!

I love traditions and believe they are fun and meaningful, but I’ve been learning and am beginning to accept that they can change over time or fluctuate depending on life seasons, and it’s OK.

This year brought a desire for us to keep our Christmas tree smaller and more simply decorated, adorn the house with only our favorite ornaments, and keep the baking to a minimum. I’ve been paring down our ornaments to those we really use and love, and I discovered that in reality there are fewer that really mean something to me and that I truly enjoy. And this is still new to one who is rather sentimental, especially when it comes to the holidays.

We had conversations as a family about these changes and I’m not sure we won’t do things differently again next year, but it felt more peaceful and less stressful. And this is closer to what Christmas is really about.

2. Wooden cutting boards need to be maintained with mineral (or other food-grade oil).

Who knew? Now I do.

I wondered why my nice wooden cutting boards were beginning to look dry and cruddy and decided to look it up. I never realized (although now it seems obvious) that they need to be maintained with a food-grade oil every once in awhile. This can be done monthly (or anywhere from weekly to at least a couple of times a year).

You simply rub the wooden boards with mineral oil (or other appropriate food-grade oil or mixture) and let sit for a few hours or overnight, then wipe off the excess. This should become a quick and easy part of our kitchen routine.

So why have I waited so long? Here’s to giving our wooden cutting boards a little TLC.

3. Are scented candles (and cleaner, etc.) really dangerous?

Oh how I love the ambiance of beautiful scented candles!

But like so many things, I began to hear fearful ideas about the dangers of burning them, so I decided I needed to look into it.

Well, after some research, I don’t think I’ll worry about it. But perhaps those with compromised health should do their own research. It’s best not to assume almost anything.

4. Tipping your head forward helps while swallowing pills.

How much do you enjoy swallowing large capsules or pills? Apparently we’re not alone.

Recently I read or heard this unique method of swallowing pills, and it really works! It’s especially effective for capsules to actually take a sip of water with the capsule in your mouth and then tip your head forward to swallow. The water pushes the light capsule to the top of your throat and down it goes. I’ve tried it will some rather large calcium tablets and it still seems more effective than my usual efforts at swallowing.

There is also another technique called the “soda bottle” (or “pop bottle”, probably depending on where you’re from), which we can try as well.

5. When Calls the Heart has a spin-off !?!

It’s called When Hope Calls. Now here’s hoping I can find a way to watch it.

6. “Stop, Drop & Roll” is outdated.

It may still be useful information, but there are better first steps to save yourself in a fire.

7. It’s probably better to call 911 from a land-line (you’ll usually get through to local help faster).

I recently heard this from the police officers who were at my staff training for my library job. Cell phones will work, but it depends upon how calls are routed as to how efficient the call is.

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