Thursday Thirteen – January’s gifts and chores

Every month has something special about it. Today I’m highlighting January’s gifts and chores…oh and remember, I’m in Southern California. There are things on this list that others in snowbound places can’t even contemplate until Spring.

  1. First hangover of the year on January 1st! (That’s if you drink. Or eat waaay too much at the party the night before.)
  2. If you haven’t yet, it’s time to prune the rosebushes. No pain, no roses.
  3. Clean out summer’s vegetable garden and prep the soil for this year’s garden.
  4. Enjoy the rain. Likewise, if it’s been raining and you get a cloud-free day, enjoy the sun!
  5. Chop up the Christmas tree for firewood. Place in big garden bags so the branches stay dry.
  6. Go hiking. Especially a couple of days after a rainstorm. The hills will be green, everything will be cool, and it’s a different hiking world than it is in summer.
  7. Hit up the beach. Wear your heavy duty sweats and watch the waves (wind depending, of course).  Make sure you stop at one of those tiny roadside places and pick up some New England clam chowder to go. Enjoy while snuggling with loved one. Best part of the beach in winter? No one expects you to get into a bikini.
  8. If you must, plan out your yearly goals. Feel free to adjust them – remember, they’re more like guidelines for your year, rather than strict rules.
  9. Reach out to folks you didn’t get to talk to during the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season. Drop them a line or give them a call – you’ll be surprised at how relaxed people are at this time of year.
  10. Pare down your living space. Get rid of stuff you haven’t looked at properly in over a year. If you’re not seeing it anymore, it doesn’t belong in your life. Or maybe it just needs to be moved to a different room. This is aimed mostly at art, any and all collectibles gathering dust, and family photos.
  11. Have a portrait taken of yourself. Just you. No family. Either get a talented friend to take it, or go to the mall and get it done, but do invest. Everyone needs at least one good portrait taken each decade of their lives.
  12. Nurture yourself. Whether by regular meditation sessions, reading poetry or other thought-expanding literature, or purchasing a really good skin cream, take this time while the world has slowed down to be good to yourself. If you aren’t, who will be?
  13. Count your blessings. Keep an attitude of gratitude, and be open to the wonders that are sure to come your way.

I’m sure there are more gifts and chores available in January – what are the things that you do this month that you don’t tend to do in any other month? I’d love to know!

And if you’re interested in playing, go here to Thursday Thirteen and get the scoop! Let me know if you are, so I can track back to you.


Thursday Thirteen – The last 13 books I read in 2010

I read some amazing books in November/December 2010, and am half-through some others. Here’s a partial list!

  1. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (a MUST READ! Tons of twists!)
  2. The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber (I admit, I don’t have a clue as to what this book is about. But I think I’m enjoying it.)
  3. Memory Boy by Will Weaver (The. Best. YA. Book. I’ve. Read. Period.)
  4. Hollywood by Charles Bukowski (just because.)
  5. The Lost Art of Real Cooking by Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger (If you’ve ever wanted to make your own cheese, ketchup, yogurt, or preserved lemons, this is your book!)
  6. The Complete Riddlemaster Trilogy (Riddlemaster of Hed) by Patricia A. McKillip (A masterpiece. I’ve been re-reading it for almost 30 years now.)
  7. Coming Home by Rosamund Pilcher (another favorite re-read)
  8. How to Cook a Wolf by MFK Fisher (I adore reading cook books when they’re written like this one and like #5.)
  9. The Mummy by Anne Rice (A classic. What the movie should have been.)
  10. Poemcrazy by Susan Goldsmith Woolridge (I’ve had this for awhile. Dipping in is remarkably refreshing.)
  11. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (Fabulous. Just…fabulous.)
  12. These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer (My all-time favorite Regency romance author)
  13. A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh (Another Regency, but one with twists, turns, and a wonderful ending that makes complete sense.)

There you have it. What have you been reading lately?

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Thursday Thirteen

Because it looked like a good thing to do – plus it’ll give this blog some shape – below are 13 things that happened in 2010 that I am grateful for.

  1. I quit my day job. (However, I do NOT advocate this for everyone!)
  2. I turned 50.
  3. Hubby and I spent a week in a rental house in Cambria, California, and loved every second of it.
  4. I took classes on how to write query letters, and proceeded to bombard agents with said query letters.
  5. I did not land an agent.
  6. I finally joined the FF&P chapter of RWA. Finally!
  7. I worked a music teacher’s convention by LAX over the July 4th holiday weekend.
  8. Spent nine days camping at Mammoth Mountain, joined up with my brother and his gal.
  9. Diagnosed with an Acoustic Neuroma in August.
  10. Finished a damn fine play in September; had a reading of it that excited good friends of mine.
  11. Went to Colorado to see my best friend for a week.
  12. SOLD! A two book contract to Crescent Moon Press!
  13. Had surgery, am on the downhill side and doing really well.

And…that’s my year in review, lol!