We had plans for a cross-state day trip Friday. We probably should have canceled Thursday but we thought there was at least a 50/50 chance that the weather media was freaking out prematurely, and the bread shelves were barren needlessly.
Early Friday we decided that since there was ice on the ground and snow coming in, we wouldn't take the chance and rescheduled.
Once all the cancellations and rescheduling were finished, we had ourselves a snow day.
There's something cozy and comforting about a snow day. It feels as though you've been gifted a block of "free" time to spend however you want, within the boundary of your home or your farm.
I'm a new year's cliche -- back on Weight Watchers. After the act of slithering back in there, I quickly learned that WW embraces such creatures as myself and I'm back in the fold. This time, I was most pleasantly surprised to learn they recently rolled out a new program, and there are aspects that so far, are satisfying to my taste buds like no other program I've been on. Of course the test is if I feel that way writing here a year from now.
Around noon, we went to the grocery store with no problem, and came home with ingredients for WW-friendly mini pizzas, shown above. Not half bad. In fact, Brian liked them too! Boom! A new go-to recipe.
Along with cooking, I most enjoy cleaning on snow days. Yes, cleaning! I feel driven to make the house as cozy as I can and that begins with cleaning (at least on a snow day). So the kitchen got a good scrub, cabinets organized, 2017 papers to keep bundled up and put elsewhere, and more cooking: butternut squash sliced into spaghetti-like strips and flavored with spaghetti sauce. Crunchy, bulky, boom!
Next came straightening laundry-room shelves, bathroom storage and I even scrubbed under the kitchen sink.
Tonight, I'm grateful for a warm home, a cozy house and for a fresh start, and a pantry and fridge full of food. How did you spend your snow day or days?
There's a lot of flu and other illness going around these parts of central Indiana right now. And while I don't usually get sick too often, I'm one of those who when hit with the flu, it's lights out for a week. That said, guess what I didn't get in the fall and forgot about during the holidays?
So after work tonight, I stopped by the New Castle CVS and got my flu shot. Better late than never, right? Let's hope so. But it's not the injection I want to talk about. I want to speak of the pharmacist who administered it.
She is Molly Radford and I have known her since, well, since before she was born. The daughter of my former boss and forever friend, Darrel and his wife, Becky, Molly has never been without a broad smile. Of course I don't follow the Butler University grad around all the time to know that for a fact, but I can't think of a more perennially pleasant young woman than Molly Radford. I think Darrel would probably confirm that his girl came into the world smiling!
Through the years I've seen her in a variety of settings in real life and on Facebook. Always, that smile is present. And so it was today when she gave me a SHOT!
I'm happy not only that she is now a pharmacist, but is engaged to be married!
I remember the week she was due to be born. We were in a newsroom-staff meeting and somehow, Darrel's cup of water fell over, soaking the floor. I said, "Darrel! Your water broke!"
Well, it was funny at the time.
Earlier in the day, I had another similar moment to the Molly one. My boss, Katie Clontz, said something about her children. I said, "You know you're old when you remember when your boss was a little girl." Actually, Katie was a toddler when I showed up at The Courier-Times.
And now my boss and my pharmacist are all grown up and productive citizens and I can say I knew them when. I could feel sad that I'm old enough for such things or comment on time flying or some other cliche. The truth is, it's kind of exciting to see another generation serving as community leaders in a new way, in their hometown of New Castle, Indiana. Kind of like the world is in good hands and all that.
I wish both of them everything good. I know their parents. I know where they came from. They've done their folks and their community proud.
Homework! On the bottom is a planning notebook for her magazine articles and art; above the blue notebook are three composition books (including the green-covered one) to record sales and expenses for my books; above that is a pouch that holds a calendar, reporter's notebook and paperwork for upcoming stories, next is a book for Midlife Moms that we're reading and above that, a general notebook and mail and banking information for household bills.
Once when Ben was a kid, he said, "I'll be glad when I'm an adult and don't have homework." I laughed and told him that homework never ends, it only changes.
I'm reminded of that today as I stare down my own stack of must-dos on this brisk but sunny January Saturday morning.
You probably don't even want to ask what I have going this month. Unlike some fortunate folks who view this month as one of quiet and rest, easing into a new year after all the busyness of December, January is a hit-the-ground-running month in my world.
First up is calling hundreds of numbers for my share of verification of listings for social, service, governmental, church, and other services that will be listed in our newspaper's upcoming annual Answer Book. In addition, we have to round up a good number of photos fro
m the previous year that depict some of these community scenes and services. I've been working from home on this project because at work ...
I have to button up an early deadline for the winter issue of her magazine for women. The quarterly magazine started in summer 2011 by founder-publisher Tina West. Well, after five years away, Tina is back! And she'll contribute to the winter issue.
When Tina asked me to edit the magazine in 2011, it was a dream come true. I had always entertained the idea of working for a magazine, but with a home, family, lifestyle and no connections to speak of in national magazine publishing, it wasn't a realistic goal. I've done some freelancing through the years but with that, you are on an article-by-article basis with no promises of tomorrow.
Sometimes, though, a dream comes true through reframing it. A local women's magazine? Seriously! And here we are seven years later.
We have a special edition coming at the end of the month called HOPE. For one Sunday, there's only good news in the front section of the paper. (The bad news goes in the next section.) So that means some special feel-good stories and I have interviews for both under my January belt.
January also means my book Indiana Sales Tax is due. We're heading to our accountant next week to get that squared away.
There's the daily workload, the house, bill paying on today's agenda, and Monday night, Bible Study Fellowship resumes for 2018. A week from tomorrow, my church life group, the Midlife Moms, also resume and we're beginning a new study, the book Fervent, by Priscilla Shirer.
So a quiet January isn't part of my agenda. And today means delving into that stack of homework you see in the photo.
How about you? What kind of homework keeps you busy? Is January quiet and contemplative or do you have a lot going on too?
One of my favorite songs is that old John Denver tune, Back Home Again.
It's one of those songs that grabs me somewhere deep as only a beloved tune from our youth can do. It always reminds me of my childhood home, winter, and my mother's simple meals on the stove. I thought of it today as I had the day home alone.
The snow softly fell outside my window today adding maybe another inch to the solid covering we already have. Down came most remnants of Christmas around the house, and into the slow cooker went chili ingredients.
If something didn't get done for the holidays, it won't now. The page has turned and we're into a new year. I spent a couple more hours today on the phone and internet for a work project, proofed a column for her magazine that was so nicely written, I could do nothing as editor to improve it, even with an odd comma or a new paragraph.
I could have accomplished more today, but that would have meant getting out of my pajamas before 4 p.m. Now it's 6 p.m., Brian is eating supper, and I'm typing in my first blog post of 2018.
Night has fallen to cover the view out my window and I'm hoping to get to bed by 9:30. A good night's sleep is gold for the day ahead.
So there's little point to this post other than to wish you and yours a Happy 2018 and to remind you that when it comes to the simple joys of home, hearth, supper in the slow cooker, a hot bath in the works, and the lure of an early bedtime, hey, it's good. It's all good.