First: homemade Natural Vapor Rub recipe, from Joy the Baker! After all, who doesn’t have a cold right now?? Hold up your hand if you don’t have a cold, and you’re the one who gets to make it for the rest of us poor slobs! Actually it looks like a fun little project, and I can just imagine how good that stuff will feel and smell. Little Mack woke up with a nasty cold this morning, and I’m hoping to mix this stuff up asap so I can rub it on his skinny little chest and hopefully clear up his stuffy nose. 🙁 This, of course, will be while watching Gilligan’s Island reruns. That’s his love language, after all.
What’s more pathetic than a sick little boy, after all? Not much.
Secondly: Decluttering. Which is it, do you think, that makes one so intensely aware of how cluttered one’s house is after Christmastime: the extra stuff that Christmas gift-giving brings, or winter and the tedious amount of time that is spent inside . . . or a combination of the two?
We (I know, kids, meaning I) always have a renewed push to declutter in January (and February, and March—and then I start fussing around in the garden and it abruptly stops. But never mind about that.) I really like what Rachel Jones of Nourishing Minimalism is doing to deal with clutter. Click on her Facebook page and join the party with me. She is issuing a challenge to get rid of 2015 items of clutter in 2015, and you can join and get free downloadable charts to put on your ‘fridge! (I don’t think it’ll be a trick for us to get rid of that many things at our house, *sigh* . . . ). Also, Rachel has lots of encouraging hints and tips and free videos for anybody who struggles with clutter. (guilty!)
Thirdly: My daughter has followed the lead of a blogger who is a favorite of us both: The Modern Mrs. Darcy. Amalia is doing a reading challenge that is fun and exciting, too. Here she blogs about it.
The gist of it is to pick a book in a certain category (for example, one category is a book that was published this year) for each month, and read it. Sound fun? I think so, too. I’m going to make my own list, too. But I’ve got to finish this book first:
To lost weight is consistently one of the top three New Year’s Resolutions made by Americans. It turns out that there’s no magic pill to accomplish this, but this post from Runnersworld.com has some really great suggestions. I’m trying to lose a few pounds (my annual Christmas pounds! Oiy!) this month, and these suggestions have really helped me focus on a healthy way to lose weight. Also, I keep a couple of quarts of fresh ice water in the ‘fridge, with lemon slices or cucumber slices in them, to encourage myself to drink LOTS of water is something that is very helpful. Oh, hey. I joined a gym, just for these next couple of months. I love it and consider myself quite blessed that there is a small gym only 5 minutes away from me that has classes in the early morning hours, when I can actually leave for a bit (I leave the sleeping house in charge of the hubby) and not be missed. Score!
Fifth: How many email lists are you on? Do you get so many things in your inbox every day that you regularly lose emails that you really do need–bills, or receipts, or notifications from business accounts? I had so many subscriptions myself that every time I opened my email, I felt fatigue wash over me. I didn’t try to open each email every day, but simply scanning down through all the new emails to pick out the ones that I did need to open, was tiring and a big time-waster. So a couple of weeks ago I began the process of unsubscribing from the lists that I never looked at or was no longer interested in (or, help me–didn’t even remember subscribing to!). I picked out 10 per day to click on and unsubscribe from: it took some time, you know. But I stuck with it. 🙁
Then at Christmastime, my son Andrew shared with me Unroll.me. In just a few clicks, I went from 488 subscriptions to the 40 that I really wanted to keep. Unroll.me will take these 40 subscriptions and roll them all into a daily digest, which is super handy and quick to deal with. Ta-daa! It seems like an impossible miracle now to have such a clean, uncluttered inbox. And let me tell you–any time something squeaks through that I don’t want in my inbox, I’m quick now to immediately unsubscribe to it, if I don’t want it. It takes me only a few minutes a day to keep up with my inbox now.
Sixth: wondering if the seed packets that you’ve got left over from last year (or the year before that, or–ahem–the one before that) are still good? Here’s something handy for you: a Seed Viability Chart. I think you’ll be surprised at how long most seeds will last! In any case, if you don’t want to plant an entire bed of kohlrabi with last year’s seeds and then find out that they aren’t viable, do this little trick: put just a few of the seeds in a damp paper towel for a day or two. If they don’t sprout, they probably won’t in your carefully prepared garden bed, either.
Seventh: Okay, I know that I’m just drowning you in lists, but here’s one more: from Entrepreneur magazine, a list of 8 books that every entrepreneur should read this year. Oh, and if you’re an artist or a writer or a blogger or a designer or a market baker, or a market gardener, you’re an entrepreneur! I’m going to pick out a couple of these to read this month. This one might be a good start, since I gave it to Bryan for Christmas:
Eighth: Here’s an idea whose time has come, Gentle Reader. A Reading Day. The kids and I are going to schedule one of these right now. Get all the prep work done the day before (grind the coffee, answer the mail, have something cooked for leftovers, do a quick home blessing, etc.) and then spend the day doing nothing but reading, heating up food, making cups of tea, and so on. Brilliant notion for a January pick-me-up, don’t you think? 🙂
Ninth: Usually my bookish son Matthew (the “Oracle” we call him here at home) lets me know when there’s a new Marilynne Robinson book, but I didn’t know about this one: So excited to get it and read it!
What’s the deal, Matthew? You’re holding out on me here!
Tenth: Do you know how easy it is to come up with these links and books that I want to share with you, Gentle Reader? Very easy indeed! I could easily write down 10 more, but it’s nearly breakfast time and all the critters (not to mention my family!) are waiting for me. Plus I have a whole bunch of things on my to-do list today: melodrama matters, some serious de-cluttering to get to, and a little boy who will need a bit of pampering (remember little Mack’s love language: watching Gilligan’s Island with him when he’s under the weather. If you will do that with him, his little cup is full. Thank goodness for that knitting project.)
But back to the tenth link: Guess what? My vomitingchicken.com Facebook page is so close to having 1,100 likes that I can taste it. Would you do me a favor and “like” it today, if you haven’t already? We have lots of fun over there. I constantly post links and hints and tips that I run across, and we have some pretty fun conversations, too. If you are already a fan, maybe you could invite your friends to like it? I’d owe ya!
Oh, one more thing: (this is 10 and a half) my homemade goat’s milk soap GIVEAWAY ends in two days: have you entered? Oh, you must! This soap sits next to every sink in our house. It’s just creamy and wonderful. Plus: you might win!
Thanks for checking in, Gentle Reader. I love ya, I do!
- Another happy list: Gene’s seed catalog list
- Book Report: The Nesting Place and a trio of fun stump tables to make