Wednesday, February 2, 2022

January 2022

I really enjoy watching this old oak in our backyard change with the seasons each month. January always makes me long for spring!

So maybe if I attempt to recap each month, it will help me commit to writing more?

Spoiler alert - probably not, but I am willing to give it a try!

My goal for this blog has always been to have an outlet, but I don't think I have the most remarkable memory. I enjoy going back to see what was happening. I have friends who can recall specific years/dates/what they were doing, etc., and I am in awe of them; I will never be that person. :-)

So here's what was happening in January 2022!

Reading

I wrapped up 41 books in 2021 (not bad and hoping to beat that in '22!), and my fave this month was The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. I've been a huge fan of Elizabeth Gilbert since I heard her do an interview years ago on NPR. She was promoting her book Eat, Pray, Love (ever heard of it? :-), and I was hooked (and then, of course, read it!). Last year I read her book City of Girls and enjoyed it too, and I think Big Magic should be on everyone's bookshelf or digital bookshelf.

And for the record, I think an unknown or up-and-coming actress should have been cast in the movie version of EPL - the book is SO much better!

Streaming

Speaking of books - Station Eleven! My husband and I read this when it came out (we both loved it), and HBO has done a fantastic job recreating it into a series. It's worth watching whether you're familiar with the book or not.  

The Tender Bar. Ben Affleck stars, and George Clooney directs, so you do the math. Loved this, and it's one of those films you'll remember and think about (in a good way). The soundtrack is so much fun too.

And Just Like That...  How could I not check this out? I don't think it's as good as SATC (I think it's trying too hard to be a lot of things), but I looked forward to watching it every week.

Love Life. I watched the second season this month and loved it as much as I did the first. William Jackson Harper is great, and I love that it brings in Anna Kenrick's character (in a small way).

Queer Eye. It's always a fave; it never disappoints but oh, the tears!

And in my sitcom universe, I've been enjoying Abbott Elementry, American Auto, Call Me Kate, and reruns of 3rd Rock from the Sun - a fun sitcom always balances things out.

Random

No Screen Wednesdays

If you think there's a lot of TV/movie watching in our home, you're right! But we're also guilty of being on our phones way too much. Starting in January, we limited TV (off!) and screen access once a week. Kindles are OK, but phones or iPads are not. It's weird how quiet the house feels, which is probably a colossal sign we needed to cut back. I don't know if we'll do this every week going forward, but it will help us both knock out more books (or go for more walks), and I do think it's a worthwhile goal.

We got a new washing machine! It's a shame because ours was not that old (eight years), but the damn thing would constantly get off balance, which in turn would waste a lot of time, water, and energy. We tried different load sizes, different settings, YouTube hacks - the fact that there are YouTube hacks is never a good sign - but eventually, we just gave up. Eight years is a long time to get something to work, and so far, I am thrilled with the new machine. It's already saved us so much time because it just works as it's supposed to. Go fig?!? File this under signs you are getting old! :-)

And speaking of getting old, it's my last whole month in my 40's! So crazy, but I'm so lucky too! If I'm supposed to be wiser, I'm not sure that's the case, but here are some random "words of wisdom" - (asked no one ever :-).

  • Use sunscreen every day - rain/shine.
  • Nerds age well/better. :-)
  • Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself often. This goes for others too, but it has to start with you.
  • Don't take yourself or many, many things in life too seriously. Being able to laugh at yourself and all the stupid things you do (and continue to do) is essential. I'm not advocating stupidity/not caring about important things by any means, but we're human and yep...
  • Just start whatever you want to do and learn as you go."Perfect is the enemy of good" (Voltaire?) is one of my favorite quotes.
  • Read! Listen to podcasts, do what works for you but keep learning.
  • And if someone ever leaves you a voicemail - an actual dinosaur of a voicemail! (ha!) without detail (such as "this is John at xxx-xxx-xxxx, give me a call."), it's never good news - test this theory; most people who have good/positive/neutral information tell you something. I know it's random, but it almost always rings true for me.   :-) 

I made these cookies (brown sugar maple ginger) in January, too - will make them again for sure. They were gone within a couple of days!

I also made this Lemon Chai Cake - so bright and delicious!

And, the biggest thing that happened in January was SNOW! Yea-hah! LOOK at all that snow - ha!



We did get more, and it was so pretty, but even a little in the South is a big deal. :-)

This is not a great pic, but these blackbirds hit our yard in the hundreds every year as they migrate South. It's always crazy/is the world ending? to see them, and it's so impressive how they all fly up and out simultaneously. I think they are yellow-winged blackbirds (and a bit of snow left a few days later).


Hope you are staying safe and warm (it's currently 34 degrees F here as I finish up this post - yowza!!!), and happy 2022!
















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