Posted by: beattieblog | April 24, 2008

It’s The Free Lessons That Count

Many of you (like me) have coughed up a lot of money to sit in classes, attend trainings and ‘continuing education’ courses all in the name of getting smarter and more qualified for…whatever. But have you noticed all the things you learn just going through everyday existence here on the 3rd planet from the sun? That brings up a good example! A friend, who shall remain nameless, and I were sitting on a beach and I said something about how amazing it was that the sun was a star and one day would burn out. This person got a funny look on their face and said, “The sun is a star? I thought it was a planet.” Now, eventually I stopped laughing, changed my wet pants and dried my tear-streaked cheeks, and found out they were serious. Ok, this is a smart person who has an advanced degree and a high-paying job that requires some good brain-power. But somehow, they’d made it to that point in life thinking the sun was a planet. And it was just an everyday moment that rescued them from their ‘astronomical’ error.

I’m convinced that the best lessons in life happen in the normal flow of things – and for free! Hence every-so-often, let’s devote time to sharing these little lessons. Think of it as a course / seminar / continuing ed.  in the school of not-so-hard-knocks. What simple yet important thing did you learn today? I’ll get us started with a few that have stuck with me:

1.    It doesn’t take much to attach the toilet tank to the toilet base. So did you know if you over-tighten the bolt on the underside of the toilet base where the tank attaches, the tank will just crack somewhere and spew water? Yeah, I learned this one the hard way. I now know you just need to tighten it a bit – gravity and compression do the hard work. This is related to another lesson I learned – a 14 volt drill is over-kill when installing one of those simple ceramic light fixtures in your attic. Oh yeah, it cracks fast. The funniest part is you hear the ceramic start to fissure about 2 seconds before it POPS! And you can’t do anything about it – except go back to the hardware store.

2.    That Krusteaz pancake mix is pronounced crust-eeze! Yes, for years I innocently made it gourmet and called it “Croos-T-Oz”. My college roommates, Ben and Josh, loved it the morning I asked, “Has anyone seen my “Croos-T-Oz” mix?

3.    I don’t care what your friends, doctors and nurses tell you ahead of time. Infant poop stinks really bad.

4.    If you take a car out of ‘park’ while on a hill – even for a moment to clean around the shifter – it will take off like a shot. And you can’t do much about it if you’re sitting in the passenger seat. I really dented the snot out of my dad’s new Buick that day…

Your turn!



  1. Here’s one: Plastic cutting boards don’t make good cookie sheets; in fact, if you place them in the oven at 425 degrees, the melt!

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