Thursday, January 13, 2022

Chill Out

January is a funny month, it's long but it's not my least favorite month in the year. The month of March often feels like ten Januarys and consequently is the month I most want a little getaway. Back to January... I think there's pressure to be productive this month. To look at the blank page before us and feel a surge of enthusiasm for cleaning, organizing, and embracing that out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new mentality in every area of one's life.  

Impossible to maintain for the next eleven months, but in January we are ever hopeful. 

Since I'm mid-office redo I've been forced to go through all my files and accumulated stacks and do some shredding and re-organizing. It feels good to thin the paper piles and start fresh. Hubs doesn't understand why there are still so many piles (there aren't!) but everything has to be looked at before it can be discarded. 

Because our project here required carpentry, painting, construction, and sanding there is mucho dust on every wall and surface. What better time for a whole house vacuum than January? Hubs likes to vacuum so even better. 

Painters left yesterday and their piece of the project is done. Next up is the electrician who will install lights in the stairs. Hopefully. We finally have the lights in hand and now just need to know where we land on his calendar. 

The lights probably should have gone in first,  but we weren’t sure we were ever going to get them so plan B. He thinks we can make it work this way too, 'since there's access'

Whatever that means? I'm more of a call me when it's all done kind of home improvement person, which works for us because hubs is the opposite and likes to drill down to the nth detail. Somebody needs to, right? 

Let's talk books.

I read more in January. Well in regular-ordinary years I read more in January. I don't know about you but I feel like my sense of concentration suffered during the 'Covid years' and it's just now getting back to what it was last century. 

My neighborhood book club just finished this month's selection-The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan. A mostly pleasant read in spite of its WW2 setting. The plot centers around a cooking show that taught British homemakers how to make the most of their rations.That part of the storyline is true, but the contest added to the novel is complete fiction. 

There were lots of recipes sprinkled throughout the book and I made two of them for our get together on Tuesday-fruit scones and an apple honey cake. I did not make the sheep's head pie or the sardine rolls mentioned, and I also skipped the spam and game pie for reasons I don't need to explain. 

A friend loaned me my current read, The Winemaker's Wife, a novel by Kristen Harmel, plus I've started next month's book club book- Becoming Mrs. Lewis, a fictional account of the relationship between  C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman.

Lots of books to make January feel less January. 

I've also signed up for the Lifetime of Reading Challenge on Facebook (you'll find it on the Book Girl's Guide page), with a theme this year of different decades. This means we'll read a wide range of books featuring main characters of different age ranges. Sounds interesting and you can choose your own book or read one of their suggestions. 

I've chosen one of theirs for January, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith, which is actually a re-read for me. This was one of my favorite books as a young girl and I've wanted to re-read it for ages. January seems like a good time. 

If books aren't your thing, how about puzzles? I was given three puzzles for Christmas and hubs is helping with the first one. It's the University of Tennessee stadium on football Saturday, and you know what that means? It means the whole puzzle is orange and white. Yikes! I told hubs he has to help because his sister gave it to us. We're making progress and if we ever get it together we might frame this one to hang in the pool room. 

If books aren't your thing and puzzles aren't your thing how about TV? We might be the last people to the party, but we're finally watching The Sopranos. We're only in to Season 2, and it's definitely gritty so not for everyone, but we're hooked. I grew up in NJ and hubs and I lived there twice during our married life so we're loving the backdrop. 

Books, puzzles, TV binging, home improvement and icy temps. That about sums up January. We have snow in the weekend forecast which seems ridiculous because we rarely get snow, but apparently we are getting a little snow. Hubs would be happy to never see another flake, but I miss an occasional snowfall so hoping the weather forecaster is correct. They're wrong sometimes ya know-ha! 

Happy Januarying to you all! 


  1. We just watched the Sopranos a few months ago and really enjoyed it a lot-- even if it is a bit intense at times. I find January to be a long cold month too but absolutely feel like March is the longest winter month. I tend to do a lot of reading, puzzle making, crafting, and TV watching all 3 months.

  2. January can definitely seem very long and cold. I don't mind March so much as it's heading towards the clocks going forward and longer days. I'm hoping to get my reading mojo back this year. I've been reading a lot but mostly what I refer to as comfort reading. I'm currently reading American Dirt and that is definitely out of my comfort zone. Hope your lights get installed ok.

  3. Joe and I loved the Sopranos. Might be time for me to revisit it since I'm finishing up a few of the things I've been watching. My church small group is reading C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters. A first for me. We haven't met yet to get into discussions but I'm looking forward to it. As always, I enjoyed my visit here with you! Can't wait to see photos of the finished projects! xo

  4. You definitely don't have to explain about the recipes you didn't make!! Glad your work is getting done. I want books to be my thing. I'm hope to start reading one next week on my Kindle app when we are staying at Adam and Gabby's while they go to Mexico for a wedding. I do love puzzles yet I haven't done any in a long time. I have a friend who has been doing a lot of them lately. I do need to work on my Lego sets but I feel the need to get my projects done first although that could take all year! Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. I agree, January is a long month. I always have organization plans but they usually peter out before I get them all done. It's not a chore I enjoy. Your book reads look interesting, I'm going to add a couple to my to read list. We never watched The Sopranos. Our kids did and told me to skip it... "Mom, don't, just don't. You won't be able to get past the language or the violence and gore." They loved it so I trusted their judgement and skipped it. I did mention that I had watched the Godfather back in the day... they just laughed! Have a great weekend!

  6. I'm putting The Kitchen Front on my list; I think the Winemaker's Wife is already on it!

  7. Seeing January through your eyes was so interesting. I realized, not for the first time, that I may be wasting more time and being productive. I have read a little bit, watched mostly night-time TV (old PBS series), no puzzle, and not much else to really show for it. My HOA duties do take up a good bit of time, and my volunteering at the Pregnancy Center takes a day a week. I may need to reevaluate.