12 Things I Learned in July

by | Jul 26, 2013 | Uncategorized

Picture 174

I would like to start this post with a couple admissions.

My kids have taught me most of what I learned in July, with the exception of #1. Dinner time conversations are quickly becoming my favorite time of the day. We gather to eat and my teenagers slowly squeeze out all the random facts they’ve absorbed over the course of one day.

This list is only from the first 15 days of month, before we left on our vacation. And I had to narrow it down people.


So here you have it, the twelve things I learned in July, in no particular order:

1) If your husband is teetering on the fence about crawling out of bed to go to the beach with you, put on your bikini and walk around in the room looking for your shoes. He’ll drive you there in twenty minutes. At least that’s what I hear. *wink*

2) If you wash and dry clothes with a pack of gum in your pants (hypothetically speaking) wet a fabric softener sheet to wipe away gum evidence off the barrel of the washer and dryer. Don’t you wonder what is in those gauzy sheets of paper?

3) An artist date, doing something fun out of your routine by yourself, does indeed inspire creativity. You might make a new friend at the art gallery you decide to visit and forget the fresh flowers you just bought are laying in the passenger’s seat baking in the sun.

4) Consigning your clothes, after you spend hours cleaning out all your closets, turns out to be a good return on your investment. Either people like your taste or they don’t know any better.

5) When making dinner, don’t scurry to answer the phone. You’ll drop your new Droid S4 for a Verizon sales call and crack your brand spankin’ new screen. And find out it costs $350 to replace it.

6) Tape fixes a lot of things and saves you money.

7) According to all the smart people who responded to my Facebook question, a bowl of cider vinegar on the counter tricks fruit flies into swimming to their death. Cover with cellophane and poke with small holes.

8) Start a sentence at dinner like this: “You know, it would would really be awesome if . . .,” and then pause. Your family just might fill in the blank with phrases you didn’t expect like: we won the lottery, bought a new cottage or penthouse suite, or we drove a G wagon or a Gumpert Apollo (they had to Google that one for me . . . and spell it).  You’ll realize what you were going to say doesn’t really matter anymore because you learned your kids are smart dreamers.

9) Did you know that drawing pictures of junk food when you are on a diet actually alters your mood and diminishes cravings more than let’s say, drawing vegetables? Here’s the article my doctor told me about during my routine visit. We talked about Sabbath too, but that’s #12.

10) What do Graceland and Les Miserable have in common? Aaron Tveit. Surprised? I’m pretty good at recognizing people but I was clueless about this one.


11) The oldest breed of dog in the world is  . . . . drumroll . . . . the Canaan Dog, dating back to biblical times.

12)When you read a friend’s book, it may inspire you enough to start something that impacts more than just your closest friends and you’ll become known as the Sabbath lady. And then said author will guest post on your blog in July and it’ll be epic.


I’m joining Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky to take note of what I learn every month, posting on the last Friday. It makes me realize how much we learn in a short time. If we’re paying attention.


Subscribe for Shelly’s stories and free resources here: https://shellymillerwriter.com/free-resources/


  1. Nancy Franson

    Wait. So you and Margaret Feinberg are friends in real life? Man. I really wish you were going on the hike.

    Good tip on the fruit flies. No way this granny is ever going to see a bikini again. Might scare the beloved Swede.

    • Shelly Miller

      We haven’t met in real life but she and my husband have many times Nancy. We talk through email and snail mail but I’m looking forward to our paths crossing at some point soon. Have so much fun. I’m jealous.

  2. Lynn Morrissey

    Great post, Shelly. You learned a LOT! Bikini?! Really?! Wow. Gum? What about what do you do when you leave tissue in a pair of slacks and put the lot into a dark load? Ugh! And re: phones, might I add that it’s best not to talk on your cell in the jon. Just ask my friend: All she heard from me was glub, glub, glub! According to blogger Floyd Samons (of http://www.theregoi.com), apple-cider vinegar is great for the immune system and the gums!). Les Mis was great, and I wouldn’t have guessed it about Tveit either! Amazing. And it never hurts to ask! I loved Margaret’s post and her book, and now you and she have everybody “Sabbathing”! I’ve learned that I have Shelly withdrawals when you are on vacation and not posting as much. I so appreciate you and all you have to share–so beautifully, I might add!
    Hope you are having a wonderful and restful time!

    • floyd

      Smart girl… Tape… I’m gonna add that to my list of “must have” tools where my hammer is still king…

      The ACV of course has to be natural and have the mother in it… Kinda fitting for this post. Nice job to all the moms and wives. You girls really do rule the world!

      Thanks for the heads up, Lynn. Shelly never disappoints. Gotta start listening to the kids…

      • Lynn Morrissey

        Oh yes, the “mother” in the cider. It looks cloudy, but it’s excellent. Maybe we should tell readers that we are talking about Paul Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) method. And you never disapoint either, Floyd. You’re the best!

      • Shelly Miller

        Aw, thanks Floyd. Love seeing you in these parts from time to time.

    • Shelly Miller

      Oh you crack me up Lynn. Can just see you trying to get a conversation in while on the jon. Miss you and look forward to catch up phone call after I get back!

      • Lynn Morrissey

        Oh, yeah, Shelly, I have some great bathroom stories, like once my secretary asked me if I were dictating in the tub! Wow, I was shocked. But apparently she could actually hear me (on tape) swishing around for a comfortable position in our old clawfoot tub! And don’t get me started on my Big M stories! =] Granted, I write in serous and/or poetic veins, but I love dry humor. I really had fun with Rachel St. John-Gilbert and her wacko books. She asked me to edit parts of them, and we really bounce off each other well. I’m the “Lynn” and the “Kimberlyn” she refers to in them. How’d I get off on that?! Anyway, I surely miss you, and we must catch up and compare Anglophile findings. And do look for a longwinded epistle in your inbox!
        Love you, Miss Shelly, and can’t wait to talk and to actually *see* you in October! Do have a great vacation and safe travels home. YOu’re in my prayers–always!

  3. debra elramey

    Shelley, your talents never cease to amaze me; I so love
    your exquisite photos.

    I need to have myself another artist date. My daughter and I used to go on these, but now that she’s almost 18, she’s gravitated toward her friends more – as can be expected at that age.

    I’m working on a writing project and currently seeking contributions on the topic of forgiveness. Let me know you have an experience or thoughts to share. Swing on by and check it out.

    One more thing: Could you help me spread the word by posting
    this announcement on your FB wall, etc.

    Stories Needed

    Theme: Forgiveness


    • debra elramey

      Oh Shelley, I forgot to mention, if you’ve already written a
      blog post on anything pertaining to the theme of forgiveness, just drop that in the comments.

      • Shelly Miller

        Hi Debra, what a treat to see you here friend. I’ll check it out, I’m sure I have something I can post. Last year forgiveness seemed like it was the theme of my life. I’m on vacation where I don’t have access to the internet regularly so it may be two weeks, hope that might work.

  4. Deidra

    Bikini…or not. 🙂 If only I lived near a beach.

    • Shelly Miller

      You have an open invitation at my house. We need to have a retreat with the THC gals.

  5. Jillie

    One question, Shelly. “What’s a bikini?”

    • Shelly Miller

      Laughing Jillie. I know, I’m getting too old.

      • Lynn D. Morrissey

        I think my bikini is too old! =] I love the spiritual conversations which you generate, Shelly! =] =]
        love you!

  6. Lyli Dunbar

    #5 ouch…

    (Thanks for this reminder that I need to get my act together for Emily’s link up.)

    • Shelly Miller

      Yep. Thought she would have it up today, guess I’m early Lyli.

  7. Deb Anderson Weaver

    I love the idea of an artist date!

    Deb Weaver

  8. Amy L. Sullivan

    AWESOME #1. Good for you.

  9. smoothstones

    Shelly Miller, I’m visiting from Emily’s, and this is one of the most entertaining lists I’ve read. I’m impressed that you wear a bikini, for one thing. Heavens. I wouldn’t be caught dead. #9 is very helpful. Maybe I could wear a bikini if…

    On another note, we’re fellow couch rebels. Congrats to you!

  10. Ashley Tolins Larkin

    Shelly, you never cease to amaze me — the way you convey such depth and spunk in the very same post. You’re inspiring me, too. Maybe I’ll pull out the bikini again someday (or not). And tape — my oldest has a deep and abiding love for duct tape. Is that what you used to repair the ol’ phone? Sending love, friend.

Pin It on Pinterest