1. I haven’t shared What I Learned in since December. I couldn’t keep up or remember, but then Emily Freeman, the author of Chatting at the Sky and the host of “Let’s Share What We Learned in …” wrote a post about how she keeps track of things she learned. Inspired, I started keeping an old-fashioned journal in my purse and writing down all kinds of things in it, just as she suggested. I love what I call my messy journal–messy because it is the one journal where I don’t worry if all the ink is the same color, or what my handwriting looks like. It isn’t at all organized, except I date each time I jot something down. And I use it for all kinds of things: market lists, gifts for my Joy Journal, things I learn, anything I want to think about again. It’s almost like a junk-drawer in my purse. Things I collect and am not sure what to do with, or things I don’t have time to deal with immediately. When I’m ready, I take it out, flip through it, and can find what I need. Thank you, Emily!

Messy Journal 1Messy Journal 2


  1. Since I’m on the topic of low-tech, this is the time of year when I teach my seventh graders how to write a research report. After several lessons and demonstrations using the SmartBoard, some still couldn’t put the pieces together. Even though I demonstrated, they practiced, and I thought they should be ready to fly. So I put together a low tech poster they could see and touch. It helped. All they have left to do now is write the final draft.

low tech research poster

  1. In my constant looking for God everywhere and counting His innumerable gifts, I wanted to know the name of this flowering bush I saw all along the side of the freeway between my home and work. I couldn’t find it online, but a friend who is in a gardening club searched for it for me and it is a Rose of Sharon Shrub Rose.

Rose of Sharon

This one is a native of California, a Rock Rose

Rock Rose

  1. While at the beach last week, I noticed the wings of this bird, I assumed was a Sand Piper, but when I looked it up on my trusty Merlin Bird App, discovered it’s called a Western Willet. They put on quite a show gobbling as many sand crabs as they could find while trying to avoid the pounding surf.Willet feeding
photo by John C. Avise

photo by John C. Avise


  1. Last year I regretted not going swimming in the ocean with my granddaughter, Katie. This year, even though the water was colder than I like it, I kept my promise to myself and joined Katie. Pure joy.

Ventura Beach

  1. Gophers do not hibernate. I thought they did since we battled gophers in our yard last spring and summer, but saw no sign of them again until this spring. However, when I checked the University of California Agriculture Site, I discovered they do not hibernate. When my husband turned off the sprinklers for the winter, there wasn’t enough irrigation for them to dig. Like a camel has specialized features to thrive in the desert, a gopher has specialized features to live underground like whiskers that help them navigate in the dark and lips that let them close their lips over their giant teeth so they don’t get dirt in their mouths. Gopher mounds

Tomorrow is April 1. A new month full of new things to learn. Thank you again, Emily Freeman, for sharing how to record what I learn and for making a place for me to record and share. Even if you don’t blog, I recommend three things: 1. Head over to Chatting at the Sky to see what others have learned. You’ll be inspired! 2. [inlinetweet prefix=”Tweet this” tweeter=”” suffix=”null”]Take time to do things with your family. Make memories together.[/inlinetweet] 3. [inlinetweet prefix=”Tweet this” tweeter=”” suffix=”null”]

Keep a “messy journal.” It’s fun to look back and remember things you would otherwise forget.







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