What I Learned this Summer

fields with cows and Adirondack chairs

My sister’s cow pasture and garden at Laird Family Farm. 🙂

It’s time again to write about What We Learned and link up with Emily P. Freeman‘s post to share what we learned this summer. This is one of my favorite times to reflect back on the important, fun or even meaningless things I have learned over the past quarter of the year.

1 Tom Longboat is recognized as “Canada’s greatest long-distance runner”.

Being a Canadian (who just happens to live happily in the US) who has never been into sports, I had never heard of Tom Longboat.

But one day Google alerted me to the facts that he was a long-distance runner who used innovative training, became the first member of a First Nations community to win the Boston Marathon, and was even inducted into Canada’s Hall of Fame.

2.  I have mostly decided that using Borax is safe.

Many people use Borax to make their own home cleaning and other “natural” products.

In the ongoing debate about whether or not Borax is a safe product to use, I think I agree with this blog post. The author clearly and thoroughly lays out many facts and arguments to think about when deciding if you wish to use this product.

If you have questions, give it a read and decide for yourself.

3. The official Bullet Journal website offers their own journal for purchase, as well as a bullet journal app.

I’ve been using my bullet journal off and on now (and trying to get back to using it regularly again!) for a couple of years. It’s my best solution to the quest for a method of planning that allows for both practical record-keeping as well as inspirational thought and creativity. Basically, it can be whatever the owner wants and needs it to be.

While there are many variations and embellishments to this planning format, the original bullet journal is where many of us started.

Now they have their own journal available for purchase as well as a companion app, if that’s your cup of tea.

4. I looked up the difference between naturopathic & integrative medicine.

In the quest to learn more about more “natural” methods of caring for ourselves and our loved ones it’s good to have an understanding of the different methods and ideologies out there.

I wanted to learn more about two of these ideas, namely naturopathy and
Integrative Medicine. Rather than attempt to reword their definitions (or risk plagiarism!), I thought it most helpful to include these quotes and links to more information from the professionals:

Natural medicine can also be referred to as naturopathy; it is a form of alternative medicine which involves homeopathy, herbalism, acupuncture, diet and lifestyle counselling, and more…

The ideology behind natural medicine revolves around vitalism and self-healing, meaning naturopaths will tend to advise their patients to avoid modern medicines, pharmacological drugs, vaccinations and medical operations.

Integrative Medicine (IM) is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies.

5. Here’s the real, scientific explanation for how to best cook rice in a pressure cooker.

If you own a modern pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot, most likely one of the first foods you learned to cook is rice. As simple as it seems, I’ve found as many different ideas as there are varieties of rice.

The following article is really helpful to give you some practical tips and explain the science behind how cooking rice in a slow cooker actually works:

https://instantpot.com/how-to-cook-perfect-rice-in-an-electric-pressure-cooker/

6. I looked up the meaning of the word catharsis.

My Dad recently bought a small sailboat whose given name was Catharis. Naturally, we were curious to find out it’s meaning. Vocabulary.com suggests:

Use the noun catharsis to refer to the experience a person can have of releasing emotional tension and feeling refreshed afterwards. 

Perfect name for a sailboat!

7. You can not only eat broccoli stems, but also the leaves.

According to this article, not only can you eat your broccoli leaves, but they are as nutritious as kale.

8. MyJoe is a great little gem!

Some time back, we had to replace our dying Kuerig coffee maker. We were not sure we wanted to continue to go the k-cup route, especially because I wasn’t particularly thrilled with some newer models forcing you to either use affiliated brands or resort to the hack. (Who did they think they were fooling?)

After doing our due diligence and asking around, we decided on a coffee making system that allows one to brew different sizes of cups or caraffes, as well as brew over ice or make specialty drinks.

While it’s a lot of fun and overall we love it, I missed the variety of specially flavored coffees I had previously enjoyed in k-cups. So I found and purchased this little hand brewer, which has proven to be a cheap but effective solution to my flavored coffee fetish.

What’s more, MyJoe is small and only requires hot water to brew, so it can be used in powerless situations such as enjoying camping or enduring a power outage.

9. Southern Florida or the Everglades is the only place in the world where one can find both crocs and gators.

You can read more on that scary fact here, or review the differences between crocodiles and alligators here.

Personally, I’m just staying away from anything bigger than my cats with that many sharp teeth.

10. There may not be an ideal substitution for cilantro.

But many of us are still looking for one.

The herb cilantro seems to be either loved or hated. Many even claim it tastes like soap. (Which may be a matter of genes?)

While I don’t think it tastes anything like soap, I myself and my family members do not really care for it’s flavor.

Some acceptable common substitutions are basil, celery leaves or dill, or even mint leaf. Other more exotic ideas are Thai basil or Mexican papalo (although I wouldn’t know what they looked like or where to find them). Flat leaf or Italian parsley can be used in a pinch, but some say it’s not appropriate, as it has quite a different flavor.

11. Shreddies, the popular Canadian breakfast cereal, was first produced by Nabisco in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 1939.

That’s within twenty minutes from where I grew up, so no wonder it’s one of the few cereals we almost always had in the house. At that time, there was only the original flavor, but now it is available in several special variations, such as honey or banana bread.

It was later produced in the UK, and apparently there has been some controversy in Australia, where it has been both sold privately “on a kind of breakfast cereal black market” and smuggled from the UK in people’s suitcases.

12. I really enjoy whooping it up with the young people at a good Christian concert.

We recently attended SoulFest, a popular Christian music festival held in nearby New Hampshire. My family has always loved music and my parents have kept their love of all kinds of music into their senior years, including rock and other louder, more rhythmic genres.

I noticed we weren’t the only (or the oldest) people in the crowd, but I also observed that most of the others in the “revival pit” (up front, right near the stage) were significantly younger.

 

 

I must admit, I had a blast, kept myself moving or clapping, and even jumped around a bit.

 

 

 

 

13. I’ve made peace with the idea that I don’t have to go on scary roller coasters anymore.

When I was a teenager, I learned the frightening fun of riding roller coasters. We would go to our favorite Canada’s Wonderland theme park at least once every summer. There were the smooth metal ones that looped around or traveled in a corkscrew and the old wooden coasters that throttled us down high slopes like a freight train.

The last and most challenging coaster I rode was a stand-up version, and I must say, that was scary enough for me at that youthful age.

My sister told of a time in recent years (now that we are both middle aged adults), where she rode as a partner to a young person when she was helping to supervise the youth group. She realized as they climbed higher that it was not as fun as it used to be. What made things worse, when she looked up she discovered that they hadn’t even made it half way up the climb!

Later, she would find out that the roller coasters of today are much taller than the ones we thought were high. You can read about the new heights and even experience the ride through videos, but I think my roller coaster days are done, even though they say the rides are also more safe as well.

After starting to experience some vertigo a few years ago and admittedly finding the idea of riding coasters more terrifying than fun anymore, I think I’m OK with being done with scary and physically demanding rides.

I no longer have anything to prove.

I’ve been in labor twice, watched my husband go through heart bypass surgery, and generally seen life for over 52 years…so I think I’m good.


So what have you been learning lately???

 

 

 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *