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11 things I learned in 2011

Written By: Jenn - Jan• 05•12

2011 wasn’t the greatest year for me, as we have discussed before. It wasn’t horrible for the most part, but I wasn’t unhappy to see it pass into history, either.

I was thinking a little bit about the past year, and about the things that happened that changed things for me, for better or for worse.

    So here are 11 things (in honour of 2011) that I learned that had an impact on me:

    1. Whether a child is 7 or 17 (I have both), there are some battles that do NOT need to be waged. Sometimes letting them fall flat on their face is the only way they will learn. Just be supportive and listen as you help them up and dust them off.

    2. Vegetables, even ones that people claim they hate, taste different/amazing when roasted @ 375°F for 25-30 mins with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Take that, fussy family! (p.s. we agree that we’ll never go back to steamed or microwaved, as this is the best thing EVER, and it means we all eat more veggies!) Try sweet potatoes (which are NOT yams) with regular potatoes and brussel sprouts (denser veggies like potatoes and brussel sprouts could be pre-cooked for a couple minutes in the microwave), whole garlic cloves, broccoli, cauliflower, big chunks of red onion, baby bok choy… anything! YUM!

    3. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. If you don’t point out something that is wrong, it won’t get fixed. If you don’t like something, no one knows unless you tell them. Use your voice, and grow a backbone! (this is not new to me, but seems I repeated it ad nauseum this past year, so it needed to be said!)

    4. The laundry (a.k.a. “Mount Washmore”) will still be there tomorrow, and the kids are growing older every day. Choose spending time with them whenever possible… as long as you have clean underwear.

    5. If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will either. Taking a few minutes every day to look after your skin, center yourself/remove yourself from the chaos, and eat properly, etc. is the best thing you can do for yourself. And if you’re ok, chances are the people around you will be the better for it too.

    6. No matter how hard I try to hold a group of individuals together (Main Street), sometimes it just doesn’t work out. When that happens, I need to realize that I did my level best, and ultimately it was not meant to be. Nor was it my fault. Still grieving.

    7. Marriages need to be nurtured, and it takes effort. No effort will most likely result, eventually, in no marriage. It’s worth spending quality time with your mate to strengthen the bonds and reaffirm the love.

    8. Cerama bryte (ceramic/glass top oven cleaner) works AMAZINGLY on chrome, china, and all kinds of other surfaces! My gross looking old toaster with the discoloured metal and dull shell got the treatment on both the chrome and the black outer shell, and suddenly it looked brand new again! So did all the french white (and black) Corning Ware dishes and my beloved crock pot, all of which had metal scrape marks and dull surfaces on them – they’re all like new and sparkling again! Who knew? Amazing stuff.

    9. Life is too short to put up with people you can’t stand, and I have no intention of doing it anymore. It’s not worth the aggravation and stress. From now on my family unit and our happiness together come first, and relatives and other certain people who want to cause trouble can think again. Look out, world!

    10. Don’t start something you have no intention of continuing! (Refer to #3, and “grow a backbone”/learn to say NO) That can apply to many things, from personal to professional. What an empowering thought…

    11. Kids need to learn how to do things, and they need chores. If they can reach the dials, they are capable of doing laundry! If they are taller than ME (hello, TEEN!) they can do anything I can do. Learning how to cook is #1 on the agenda for both my kids this year; I’ve been woefully neglecting their life skill training. Mwahahahaha…. >:)

My friends, I’d love to hear what you learned last year… care to share?


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  1. Mama Zen says:

    I’m trying those vegetables!

    • Jenn says:

      You will LOVE them! Tonight I will be roasting Savoy Cabbage, to go with the Kielbasa sausage and pierogies my family wants to have. It will be a “rooting tooting” evening, I’m sure ;)

  2. Broot says:

    Excellent things to learn. I’ve learned heaps this year. I think I blogged them all. LOL ;)

  3. K9-CRAZY says:

    I will vouch for #2! Yummy!!!!

  4. Fawn says:

    I love your suggestion about the veggies. About the Cerabryte, I’ve been looking for something for our stovetop. We have a new one that’s electric (and white) and it gets so beat up every time we cook something on it. It’s actually quite ridiculous because it’s like it wasn’t meant to be cooked on. Nonetheless, I’ve been looking for a product and wondered what your thoughts might be. thanks!

    • Jenn says:

      Hi Fawn! Nice to see you here :) I don’t mind Cerama Bryte for the stove top, but it doesn’t always work on the really nasty brown marks (ours is white) after a boil-over. I use a nylon scrub brush with this even though they say just to rub at it with a clean cloth.

  5. Melissa B. says:

    #9 certainly rings true for me. You go, girl! Hope 2012 holds all you wish for, and more…