1) A frisbee is a mess-free (and stress-free) way for a little girl to learn to paint her own toenails. It started out as laziness. Alaine grabbed a bottle of nail polish and I grabbed the closest thing I could reach without having to get up. It turned out to be genius.
2) I learned to make a frittata. I've never made a successful omelet in my life, but I don't need to learn now because this was better. I made ours with potato and bacon, but I want to experiment with other add-ins.
3) In the movie Felicity: an American Girl Adventure (which was released in 2005), Felicity is played by a very young, Shailene Woodley, who now stars in Divergent and The Truth in Our Stars.
4) The American way to pronounce Vincent Van Gogh's name is incorrect. Instead of saying it like "van go," it is pronounced "van gokh" with a gutteral, back-of-the-throat, kind of yucky sound.
5) I finally got around to starting my own batch of vanilla. Brian and I put it together on a Saturday morning and I left the bottle on the counter the next day when we hosted a small family birthday party for Maddie and Owen. It sparked a discussion on various varieties of alcohol so while the kids all played in the next room, the adults learned that vodka is made from potatoes, gin from juniper berries, rum from sugar cane, and whiskey from corn.
6) I learned more about the inner workings of an Apple iPod than I ever wanted to know...and all for naught. During a morning run, the volume up button stopped working on my iPod nano. In all the fiddling and experimenting I did to try to get it working again, I ended up with the volume all the way down with no sound at all. We don't have a local Apple store and no other shops in town will repair Apple products so Brian and I decided to do it ourselves.
I followed an online tutorial which had me melting the glue from the face and prying it up with a knife to get to the mechanisms. Then using the tiniest screwdriver imaginable, tweezers, and a set of needle nose pliers, Brian did a series tinkerings and repairs. Hunched over the iPod for several hours, he ended up with a headache and a kink in his neck before realizing that the problem was not repairable.
7) I've been experimenting with small batch canning. I started with dill pickles and moved on to peach jam and pear caramel sauce. In the process, I learned how to sterilize jars, what head space means, how to blanch peaches to remove the skin, and how to do a water bath to sterilize and seal the finished product.
8) After making a salad for a family party, I had about a cup of leftover kale so I decided to try my hand at a green smoothie. I used plain yogurt, milk, frozen bananas, peanut butter, and kale. All seven of us had a sample, but only the youngest two and I were converts.
What have you learned this month?