Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Learn Something New Every Day project: January 2018

My Learn Something New Every Day of 2018 project went well during its first month. As I explained in my last post, my goal is to recognize and record one thing I've learned at the end of each day. I'm sharing my lessons here, with the hope that you'll find some of them interesting or helpful too. 

Some days the information gleaned was useful and on others quite trivial, but for each day of January, I recorded a tidbit of knowledge I didn't have during the previous 24 hours. 

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Perhaps the lesson that amazed me most and was reinforced to me repeatedly this month, is how very quickly puppies grow up! 

8 week and 17 week photos of a german shepherd X puppy

Ours has already tripled in weight and grown exponentially since we adopted her.

My List of January Lessons: 

For more in-depth information about some of these topics, more details can be found in my previous post about Week 1 of this project and in future posts (soon to be published on this blog). 


Week 1.

  •  1. Puppy toys can come unstuffed.
  •  2. How to unclog a vacuum. 
  •  3. It’s a small world. Well, sort of. 
  •  4. Use vinegar to poach an egg.
  •  5. The best place to do a puzzle. 
  •  6. The aloe vera plant is useful for more than just first aid for burns.
  •  7. An interesting political idea.

Week 2.

  •  8. It's easy to make excellent artisan bread with a lovely crunchy crust.
I will be posting full details on how to bake bread like this soon, in an upcoming post.
Homemade crusty artesian bread
This is the bread recipe I have always wanted!

  •  9. Puppies grow quickly. 
The photos above already prove this point, but I can't resist sharing two more. We think she's cute.
      Puppies grow so fast!
      I've lost track of how many times we've been told, "Wow, she's going to be a big dog!"

  • 10. There's an easy way to get a dog to take a pill without spitting it out.
  • 11. I found a few new ways to use the "Notes" feature on my iPhone and MacBook efficiently. 
  • 12. California just can’t seem to get a break. Fires, floods, and mudslides.
  • 13. I keep thinking I've seen and heard it all regarding our American politics, and then something even more unbelievable is reported.
Whether or not the alleged vulgar language by our president is true, diplomacy has been non-existent. Former Vice President Joe Biden's comment sums it up best:
"It’s not how a president should speak. It’s not how a president should behave. Most of all, it’s not what a president should believe. We’re better than this."  (From a tweet by Joe Biden) 

  • 14. Learning knife skills can be dangerous. 
Gordon Ramsey warned me about using a big chef knife the wrong way but his method of slicing with it safely was harder than it seemed. 
I've already learned a lot from this MasterClass cooking class (including how to get my knives really sharp), but maybe I should stick to cutting sweet potatoes with a paring knife, the way I always have.

Week 3

  • 15. Puppies know lots of ways to make you laugh - a lot.
  • 16. There's some technique involved in making a good cup of pour-over coffee
  • 17. In his new book, Origin: A Novel, Dan Brown shows how to combine fact and fiction to create an entertaining novel. 
  • 18. Everyone has some artistic creativity in them. (More on this later!)

Snow on a bridge under a starry sky acrylic painting

  • 19. A badly injured fingernail can be repaired by a manicure.
  • 20. I always over-pack (even when I just take a carry-on.)
  • 21. I figured out how to get library e-book loans delivered to my Kindle.                    

Week 4

  • 22. Restaurants sometimes serve caffeinated coffee when you ask for decaf.
  • 23. There is not always enough room on board for everyone's carry-on luggage.
  • 25. Watch out for falling debris when sitting under a palm tree!

I'm glad it was just bark and not a coconut that fell off this palm tree

  • 26. There's a secret to making brown bread in a can. 
  • 27. An Unconditional Surrender statue is located in Sarasota, Florida and I learned why. (More about this later!)

  • 28. Sarasota, Florida is a very far away from Helena, Montana. 
It took 13 hours of flight time and layovers for us to get home. That's longer than it could take us to travel to Europe! Thank heavens for good books!                                                                                                                                               

Week 5

  • 29. I read Imagine Me Gone and gained some insight into how depression can affect families.

I found one fact in this article more interesting than the content of the address itself: until the words in the transcript are counted we won't know if this length was due to the number of words or the speed of delivery. 

Which of these 31 things most interests you? 
Have you considered doing a Learn Something New Every Day project of your own?


  1. This is so much fun Susan - and I look forward to reading more about what you've learned. Animals grow so fast - I've always wondered if they get growing pains! Hope you have a great weekend.

    1. I had to moderate my comments as I've been getting too much spam, and am just now remembering to publish the ones I have received! Sorry for the delayed response, Lana. I hadn't thought about growing pains being a problem, but I wonder if dogs do get them?!

  2. Hi Susan - long time no see (how did I lose your blog???) Anyway, what a great challenge - I'll be checking in to see how you're going - and to learn a few more new things myself :) Lovely to see you're still blogging away and writing interesting topics x

    1. HI Leanne. I don't think you really lost my blog - I've just been "missing in action" due to other life challenges. I'm hoping to begin to post more regularly, and to get in a habit of visiting my favorite blogs (yours included) once again.

  3. Can't wait for you Artisan bread recipe! :) Love your painting, and your puppy!

    1. Thanks Sally. We love our puppy too :) And hopefully I will have a post about the bread posted sometime soon.

  4. The growth of a puppy is impressive. Our puppy is actually 9 years old now, so she'll only get fatter (if we let her) not bigger :-) Everyday I like to think what it is about that day that makes it different/significant or just should be appreciated, just a bit of mindfulness. One should always be learning though.

    1. I like your habit of mindfulness Lisa. Remembering to think about what I have learned each evening has helped me to really appreciate each day.


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