Tuesday, January 31, 2023

January at Home, Mostly

January is a fresh start kind of month. Holiday decorations are packed away, there's no garden to care for, and plenty of time to pursue my hobbies. The weather has been very mild and rainy, with very little snow, despite what my photos below have to say. Others are pleased at the mild temperatures, but I prefer snow in the winter. Wet gloom isn't as pretty as fresh snow. 

We don't see the sun very often in winter, so I find it necessary to keep fresh flowers around the house. It's not the same as having a garden full of summer flowers, but it will have to do for now. They do bring me smiles! 

January is also a good month to stick close to home, when the weather is unpleasant. Of course I tend to work on my craft projects, but sometimes I actually cook. I finally figured out how to make a tasty batch of non dairy creamy potato soup. It was such a pleasure to have this kind of treat again! I made up this recipe, but I thought I'd share a similar recipe in case you'd like to try it. I'm a fan of using NutPods brand non dairy creamer as a dairy substitute in soups. Be sure that you use the plain flavor! Non Dairy Potato Soup recipe

I often show off my little tiered tray with its seasonal decorations. This month I did a generic non seasonal set first, then recently changed over to Valentine's Day. I have the most fun decorating this small spot in my house. It allows me to be festive, but keeps it low key while not spending much money. 

On a rare sunny day, we went out to see what looked like greenery in the veggie garden. Imagine our surprise when we found viable carrots, and a small patch of fresh spinach and lettuce. The amazing part is that we recently suffered a polar vortex, when temperatures dropped below zero. But it just so happens that snow drifts from that storm piled up right on our vegetable garden, protecting it from the bitter cold. The carrots are just slightly more tender after being out in the cold, but still tasty. I haven't harvested the greens yet, but will likely make myself a nice salad soon. And I have to admit that it was fun finding a few dandelions in bloom! 

Crafts are always a big part of my life, but I do them more frequently in the winter. I tried a couple of new painting techniques, which were fun, but I'm not really thrilled with the results. I also finished up a crochet pillow, and started a new blanket. If you think that I must have an awful lot of crocheted blankets in the house, you would be correct. Sometimes I make a new one just because I see pretty yarn that cries out to be made into a blanket. 

Recently, it snowed all afternoon, and it made me giddy with delight. First, I ran out to snap a few photos in the yard. 

But I wanted more snow photos, so it was off to Blacklick Woods Metro Park. It's absolutely my favorite spot to watch the snow fall. I find softly falling to snow to be a magical experience, because it makes me feel childlike wonder again. 

Unfortunately, the snow melted away soon afterwards, and we went right back to gloomy gray days. That's the perfect reason to go visit Franklin Park Conservatory. It was quiet there this time, and lightly attended compared to my Christmas visit. I went to see the annual orchid display, and to have fun in the gift shop. Mission accomplished! 

And so January goes quietly by. I've also spent time practicing my piano, doing yoga, and catching up on my reading, although those activities don't often get photographed. And whenever there's a visible sunset, I do like to end the day that way. Sometimes I just look out the back door, but it's even better to pop down to Pickerington Ponds for a better view. 

I do appreciate those of you who come to see what's happening in Robin's Nest each month. I often think I won't have anything to post about in the winter, while my garden is sleeping. Yet life goes on, and there are plenty of other activities to keep me busy in the winter. All that being said, I still miss my garden, and anxiously await its return!