Happy New Year and this is the first Saturday Meanderings of 2023. It is nice to be back with you after a reprieve from blogging the last week or so. Our holidays were full and abundant and I can honestly say, I am enjoying a mostly slow and relaxing first week of January. So let’s get started chatting about all good things that are happening.
Slowly Taking Down the Decorations
Since we don’t start taking down our holiday decorations until January 6th, the Epiphany, I’ve been enjoying them every day without all the company and holiday hustle. Just to sit and look at our tree with a cup of tea is so fulfilling and peaceful. It does make me a bit sad to take them down, as the house looks so magical with all the twinkly lights. The tree and the cedar garland is still fresh and smelling so good. We never know what the next Christmas will bring so this time between Christmas and the Epiphany is one I cherish.
This year, instead of rushing through the decoration removal, I am doing it one room at a time. It’s all part of a greater plan to be more intentional this year (more on that below).
New Books and a Podcast to Recommend
Finally, I have a few books that I can recommend. I truly enjoyed The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. Little did I know that there was a network of female spies during WW1 called The Alice Network. Kate Quinn does an excellent job of weaving fact and fiction into a compelling novel. Definitely worth reading.
If you like adventure, a treasure hunt and a love story, you will enjoy Something Wilder by Christina Lauren. This is the first book I have read from these two authors (Christina Hobbs and Laura Billings) and I did enjoy their writing style. Just downloaded another one of their books, The Unhoneymooners. Will let you know what I think about that one too.
For longer car trips, we love listening to books on tape through Audible. For me, the narrator has to be articulate, clear and entertaining. Nathaniel Parker is the narrator for the Mydworth Mysteries (written by Neil Richards and Matthew Costello). These fun murder mysteries take place in the 1920s and are just delightful to listen to during long car rides. There are 13 books in the Mydworth Mysteries series and you can get the books on Amazon too.
Though I am relatively new at listening to podcasts, the listening time tends to be short (much shorter than novels) and can cover a variety of topics. Recently, I listened to Archive Unknown (there are only 4 podcasts to date) on Audible. Archive Unknown reveals secrets, crimes, conspiracies, and unbelievable true stories that are tucked away in archives across the country. Host Lara Zielin finds fascinating objects from history and tells you the mysterious stories behind them. They are 12 to 16 minutes long and I hope Lara Zielin drops more episodes. Really well done.
If you have any book or podcast recommendations, please let me know.
The Best $9.75 You will Spend
This week I helped move my daughter out of town to start her Master’s Program. As you may know, she has been living in our guest cottage for the last few years. What started out as a place to stay after college graduation while she worked nearby, turned into a few more years due to the pandemic.
While helping her pack, I came across her pots and pans and they were not in great condition. Actually, every pot and pan looks similar to the photo above. In good conscience, I could not pack them knowing as is.
Introduce Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser. Cleans and polishes and is a bleach-free product. This cleanser is a stainless steel cleaner and can easily remove rust, tarnish, mineral deposits, and tough stains from most surfaces. Trust me, this stuff is fabulous. Her pots and pans literally look brand new. You can purchase 2 containers from Amazon for $9.75 here.
Plus you can use it in other places in your home~kitchen, bathroom, and outdoors (on your grill, tools, hardware, sporting equipment). I highly recommend you wear gloves as it can be very hard on your skin. Love this stuff!
Gorgeous Sunrises and Sunsets
The sunsets and sunrises are in the spectacular phase lately. The tall palm trees in our front yard almost look like they are on fire after a late afternoon rain shower. You can barely see the rainbow in the moody sky above.
This is the same view to the east and check out this gorgeous sunrise. Every day Mother Nature is providing works of art in the sky. It’s just amazing.
A Different Approach to the New Year
Typically, I start every new year with a bang~renewed energy, resolutions and excitement for a new chapter. However, this new year is not the same. When I reflect on 2022, most of it is a blur. I think after being restricted during the pandemic, 2022 was the year to move fast, tackle lots of things and feel alive again. But instead of feeling satisfied, my life last year equates to a movie on fast forward. I am asking myself, where did the year go? What was meaningful about it? With no easy answers to these questions, I find it all a bit unsettling.
Is anyone else experiencing this? Well, I’ve decided 2022 is not the way I want to live my life. The hope and goal this year is to slow down and live with more intention. Instead of thinking of all the things I need to do while brushing my teeth, I am trying to just think about brushing my teeth.
As a result, I’ve decided to not adhere to my blogging schedule of posting Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday each week. Instead, I will post when I have something to share that I think you will love. Saturday Meanderings will continue because I really enjoy writing this post. Not that I don’t enjoy writing the other two, but they do feel more like work with a deadline.
I want to paint more and give myself permission to put my feet up and read a book. Having a very strong work ethic can be a blessing and a curse. This year, I want to work hard but also slow down and enjoy life. Often we are expected to do it all but if it is not fulfilling, then we must let go.
That’s the plan for 2023 and I believe a shift to a more intentional life is a worthy goal. Do you have any goals or resolutions for the new year?
Thank you so much for being so supportive. I truly appreciate the time you take to read my posts and provide your wonderful comments. Learning from you is really the highlight of this blogging adventure!
Happy New Year, friends!