January 2020 has come and gone. I truly hope the month is not a harbinger for the rest of the year. January 2020 has been a bit tough on a personal level, quite rough on a national level, and downright disastrous on a global level. But perhaps this numeric alliteration of a year will yet turn positive for all.
Delays in the Hobby Room
The newest quilt I am working on has been at the same stage for two weeks now. Multiple trips out of town combined with a tune up of my favorite sewing machine hampered my progress. So as the month ends, I plan to replace a concentration on fitness with the prioritization of quilt construction.
Although January temperatures have ranged from single digits to the 60’s, February tends to be more seasonal. Even if the month proves to be as mild as January 2020, my goal is to spend at least twenty hours a week quilting. This should be doable.
In the Kitchen
Most of my canning activities naturally take place during harvest. But in January 2020, I twice made Econogal’s Granola and dry canned the jars. There is a lot of concern over dry canning. My plans are not to use the process to store long term, but to increase the time my granola will stay fresh. On both occasions, the lids sealed nicely.
If you read the post on the granola, you will note that only six cups of oatmeal are involved. Thus, the output is not great. Since my family loves granola, I think this method will work for me. Of course I live in a very dry climate, so mold on food is almost non-existent.
In the Library
The month of January 2020 featured mystery and mayhem in the books read. Entertainment galore. My non-fiction reading was almost non-existent. So I need to strive for more balance. But sometimes a temporary escape from the stresses of life is best.
We continue to read the Ivy Malone series which I just recently discovered. I like finding books that appeal to different personalities. Book series are also favorites because I feel a familiarity to the characters from page one. Writers of good characterization are enviable. Plotting is relatively easy when compared to the challenges of bringing an imaginary character to life. Much less imaginary life forms.
Which brings to mind Nora Roberts 2019 release Of Blood And Bone. I am waiting for my turn to check-out the last in the series. I highly recommend the books in this series.
January 2020 National and Worldwide Events
Hopefully the sense of foreboding prevalent the first month of 2020 will be swept away by an upbeat second month. This can be the case if the impeachment process is properly conducted. The United States of America is a republic. The citizens elect representatives to govern. Currently, I have faith that the individuals representing me will make the right decisions. If not, there is the ballot box.
On the global front, this corona virus does concern me. While I personally am at low risk, I am apprehensive about the spread for both people and economies. The emerging markets are a prime target in both categories. Trust again comes into play.
But, individuals can also calmly get prepared. For starters, try to have a week to ten days of groceries on hand. This may seem impossible for families that are struggling and live week to week and paycheck to paycheck. But it is doable. Next time there is a two for one sale at the grocery store, put the second on a storage shelf saved for just-in-case.
Second, viruses can attack anybody. While not a medical professional, I have raised a passel of kids. I know sick days are inevitable. However, those who are run down fare worse. So, get plenty of sleep, exercise moderately, and drink plenty of fluids.
Most importantly of all, practice habits of good hygiene. Wash your hands often. Keep the kitchen clean and the linens fresh. Self-monitor your health. If you are feeling ill or unwell, keep your distance from others until you feel better.
Mental Health Practices
Many on social media are fretting about events beyond our control. Anyone extremely distressed should consider seeking professional help. We need to remember January 2020 is but a moment in time. So, I urge all of you to find a way to unwind from the stresses. The individuals in this house found it helpful to read. If you need some recommendations, scroll through the selections In The Library. I for one am looking forward to February 2020.