What I’ve Learned: June & July 2016

Linking up with Emily P. Freeman & others, sharing the silly and sublime of what I’ve learned throughout the past two months of summer.

  1. After returning from a lovely getaway to Branson and finishing a wonderful book at the end of May/beginning of June, I was left feeling quite sad. The thought occurred to me, I don’t like things I love to be over or come to an end. My mom can attest to the fact I’ve had these tendencies since I was a little girl, and apparently, some things just don’t change over time.
  2. I am much more productive when I have some accountability in my life. It’s easy for my summer (work) routine to become a little lethargic, but when I know I have a deadline and people are coming in and out of my office more, it’s amazing how much more focused and productive I am. It leaves me with a sense of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment at the end of the work day.
  3. While I’ve been a knitter since 2003, I’m never above being challenged by a new combination of stitches in a pattern. This month I worked on/finished knitting the French Cancan shawl, which included a beautiful lace & French braid border. The instructions were intimidating for me at first, especially the yarn over (YO) that began a row. But after trying other methods, I realized I just needed to trust the pattern and it worked!
  4. I’ve finally hopped on the Hamilton bandwagon – what an amazing display of musical brilliance! The Optometrist and I downloaded the cast recording and listened to it on our road trip to Santa Fe. It was a perfect accompaniment to appreciate a founding father and a modern musical theatre visionary as we traveled across great American prairies, deserts, and mountains.
    What I did not know was that Lin-Manuel Miranda was one of the 2015 MacArthur Foundation recipients (a.k.a. genius grant). Of course he was.
  5. Each time I’ve been to the southwest, I’ve picked up a little piece of turquoise jewelry. During our recent travels to Santa Fe, I bought a lovely turquoise pendant to add to my collection. The gentleman at the jewelry store shared with me how turquoise differs in color throughout different regions in the southwest based on the amount of carbon in the earth. I found this science fascinating and fell in love with the lighter look of “dry creek” turquoise.
  6. A new recipe reminded me of the half-used bag of quinoa lurking in my pantry. This protein-packed grain ended up making more than I bargained for, and thus helpfully sustained several dishes a few weeks ago (1 cup of dry = over 5 cups cooked). It was convenient to have this rice alternative pre-cooked and in the fridge, just ready for a quick reheat/add/stir into dishes with chicken or shrimp and fresh summer veggies like corn on the cob, squash, and zucchini.
  7. The Optometrist and I are learning how to play violin! He’s a mandolinist, which has the same tuning structure as violin, and I last played violin my junior year of college during a semester-long string fundamentals course. We have a dear, talented friend from church who is teaching us how to play and we’re seeing improvement already!

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