Less is So Much More

Today I learned a little Chinese brush painting, at the Kimball-Jenkins School of Art, from teacher Linda Johanson.  I loved it!

Anyone who’s known my painting journey, especially my long-time teacher, Sylvia (who was also a student in the class!) knows that my struggle has been to not struggle: to do less, to fuss less, to overwork and overthink it less.  This method is all about that!  Get in, get out, call it good!  I look forward to learning much more.

Here are the results from the first few hours of this medium:



Plum blossoms:

out of about a thousand attempted


And a little bird!


Subscribe and Thrive

Dear BlogReaders,

If you are reading this via email, you already learned this lesson (and just received all the lessons I had saved up on little scraps of paper!  Thanks for your patience!), so this is for anyone who has come across this post on the blog webpage.

So for those of you on the web page, it’s time to subscribe!   There are new posts sprinkled here and the only way to know that you see all the lessons, even back-dated ones, is to be a Treasured Subscriber.  Just go to the box that says “Follow JanesLessonsLearned via Email” and sign up!

At some point in 2012, there is going to be a freebie give-away for subscribers.  Be one!


New Adventures in Rice

After a lifetime of making rice the same old way, I learned a new way: You can make rice in lots of water, like you make pasta!  This is from Carolina Rice – and it worked great!  Did we lose some nutrients in the water?  Maybe.  Hey – did you already know this???


Cooking Directions – On the Stove

30 Minute Cooking Method:  To prepare up to 2 cups of brown rice bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Stir in rice. Return to a boil. Cook, uncovered for 30 minutes. If desired, 1 tablespoon tub margarine and 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of rice can be added to the water while cooking. Drain water. Serve.

Return to IKEA: Do the Math

I thought I had IKEA all learned up, in a previous lesson, but on this day I learned to ADD!

Lesson 1: Do the Math

There was a promotion running: spend $100 and your lunch is free.  What we should have done, but didn’t, was add up our joint purchases as we went, so see what to combine.  In this case, one of the “should I buy this or not?” could have been included for less than free!  They would have paid us to buy it – if we had spent $10 more they would give us $26 back.   Unfortunately, we figured this our right after ringing up.  Which brings us to…

Lesson 2: Do the Math

If it takes 20 minutes to go through the checkout line the first time, then it’s going to take at least 20 minutes to go through the checkout line the second time.  If you don’t have another 20 minutes, cut your losses and leave.

And a bonus lesson: Anything that is fun (and we happen to find IKEA to be fun) is even more fun if you add Baby Lillian!  Here she is checking out an IKEA high chair in a demo kitchen:

Lessons Needing Photo Evidence

I asked my friends for Lessons they have learned:

Susan said: “Never move a baby grande across a hard wood floor.”

and I asked for some photos to illustrate this.

Leslie said: “Few men can wear a pair of jeans like Bruce Springsteen and Tommy Lee Jones.”

and Kathy asked for some photos to illustrate this.

Send me YOUR lessons – and your photos!


First ASK Lessons of 2012

Yet again, the lesson is ASK!

First I learned a lesson the last time we forgot to put the parking pass in the car window at Sally’s apartment and it cost us $50, and we have never forgotten since.

Then Carolyn told me that her friend just told the town she had a pass and forgot to use it, and they waived the fine!   I swear I could have learned just as well if I had known to do this!

Also this week, I asked Shutterfly for a good deal on a replacement photo calendar for a relative who lost hers due to an odd string of misfortunes, and they gave it to me, and shipped it, for FREE!

Natural Rhythms

A Friend* learned that she could return to the natural rhythms of her body, get more sleep, and be much more productive, by giving up large amounts of caffeine.

She traded a pattern of very late nights for one of earlier mornings, and is getting more done, while feeling much better.

* I almost didn’t get this lesson to share.  Unlike me, my friend does not want to publicize every detail of her life, by name.  If you will share something valuable and don’t want me to use even your first name, just let me know – I can do that!  Learning through others is what this is all about!

Resolve… or not

Today I learned, from the blog of my wonderful yoga studio*, these alternatives to resolutions, quoted and paraphrased here

1. Instead of focusing on change, place focus on what is already feeling right and working well in your life.

2. “Instead of having specific goals … try the idea of a theme.  One theme could be healthy living or another could be compassion. “

and described much better and discussed in more detail in the blog here:  Alternatives to The New Year’s Resolution

What are your themes?

* Mandala Yoga  has integrated with Full Spectrum Wellness in Manchester NH