Three Things I Learned Yesterday

Happy New Year everyone! I am going to admit right now that I love the New Year; I love the idea of fresh starts and new pages and YES, we can start a fresh page of our lives every single day and YES, we can (and I do) make changes and goals any time during the year, but still, there is something about New Year’s. Last year I resolved to focus more, and uni-task rather than multi-task more, and I think that I did improve on that front. I also resolved to read more and – inspired by my dear friend Allison (HI ALLISON) – I kept a record of all the books I read in 2017. I ended up reading 82 books, which I thought was pretty good. Simon and Schuster sent me a bunch of books to read and review and those reviews will be coming in the next little while. Suffice it to say they sent me some excellent titles, and some titles that I would say would be nice, light reads for the beach or holiday.

So what’s up for 2018? Are you making any resolutions, or goals, or words of intention? I have a hard time NOT resolving to do everything – in addition to multiple health, fitness, parenting, reading, and piano playing goals, I’ve also found myself resolving to be more like the mindfulness guru Dr. Saamdu Chetri who starts every day being thankful for the gift of twenty-four hours. Every day! Thank you for these twenty-four hours I have been given! I told my husband about that and he thought it seemed maybe a bit unbalanced. Maybe that’s true, but the principle is still a good one.

It’s a fine line, I think, between self-love and acceptance, celebrating the fabulous people that we are and the wonderful, blessed lives that we have, and also wanting to remake everything entirely on New Year’s. There is always room for improvement, though, and meanwhile, I’ll be over here practicing gratitude and patience and getting extra cardio.

The kids have been off school this week and my husband has been off work, which has been lovely and strange. I still have a modified class schedule, but yesterday I had nothing at all – so I decided I would get all my groceries in one go. That meant a trip to Costco in the morning and a trip to Superstore in the afternoon and suffice it to say that wasn’t the best idea I’ve had. Actually, now that I think of it, it WAS the best idea in terms of a cardio workout – I checked my “steps” on my phone and it turned out I walked 4.2 kilometres – although that did include a 2 kilometre dog walk. There’s a fitness hack for you – go grocery shopping! Especially when it comes to pushing heavy carts through snowy parking lots! Although I did take someone with me for each trip and made them push the cart but next time, it will be just me. I should patent this idea: get fit by grocery shopping, plus buy your veggies! It’s a win-win!

I often resolve to spend less time on the internet and social media, because sometimes it feels that no good can come of it. But then I am proven wrong, for if I wasn’t on the internet I would not have learned these three amazing things:

Pumping Gas

I had no idea that all this time that I have been choosing the “self-serve” lane at the gas station that I was doing something NOT ALLOWED in Oregon. At least, until recently, when Oregon mandated that people can pump their own gas in rural areas which has caused a bit of a kerfluffle in that state. Who knew? I mean really, WHO KNEW. Not me. Opponents to this ruling have many objections: transient people can steal their children while they are waiting in the car as the gas is being pumped, everyone’s hands will smell like gasoline, and – this is my favourite – people don’t KNOW how to pump their own gas. I am the first to admit I am a total idiot when it comes to my car – I don’t even know how to open the hood – but even I can pump my own gas. It’s really not hard. Suffice it to say that if I can do something, vehicle-wise, than it’s pretty much a guarantee even the village idiot can. Just don’t go all Zoolander at the gas station and you’ll be fine, people of Oregon.

Plinko Record SMASHED

Anyone who has watched The Price Is Right is well aware of two things: the commercials during the breaks are awesome, and Plinko is the very best game there is. This fellow from Cleveland SMASHED the previous Plinko record and went home with $39,200!

That’s enough to buy a NEW CAR.

Raw Water is a Thing Now

Years ago I remember talking to someone about iodine tablets to put in drinking water, while on a trip to Nepal. Iodine, she said, might not be the best thing but it’s better than explosive diarrhea on the hiking trail. Truer words were never spoken. But now, apparently, drinking unfiltered, untreated water is a Thing. Tap water – or even filtered bottled water – is for suckers. I live in close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, and while spring water may SEEM pristine and fresh, there’s a little thing called Beaver Fever. Or cholera. Although…if your New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight, there would be nothing more effective than contracting dysentery, so maybe this Raw Water Thing is really going to catch on!


  1. You can’t pump your own gas in New Jersey, either, or at least that used to be true and I think it still is.

  2. I keep an online booklist on It’s a cool website that allows you to track your books read over the year and set reading challenges and see reviews. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

  3. We’re moving into a house with well water and got it tested–the previous owners just drank it untreated. Part of why we haven’t moved in yet is because while the water won’t give you a disease, it’s not safe to drink. It has elevated levels of things that could cause heart problems or cancer. The water test people called us early when the heart-related results came in and told us that no one under the age of 1 or with an existing heart condition should drink it. Until we install a good water system, we can’t even use the water to water a garden if we want to eat the produce.

    One of the terrible things about this discovery is that the reason the previous owners were moving is that the wife had a heart attack and they felt that the property’s upkeep would be too much for them going forward. They didn’t know that the water may have caused or exacerbated what was going on with her.

    …which is a long way to say that I will not be jumping on the raw water bandwagon, even though it would be extremely easy for me to do so.

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