Rx: Open the Windows and Breeze Through January!

Rx #1:  It may be January in the Rockies, and a bit nippish outside, but what is that to stuffiness and last night’s garlic odors permeating the inside?  Why not build a fire, put on a sweater and big socks, and open the windows?

Then get moving and start Spring Cleaning.  Morning till about 2:00, when it’s time for just a few more details under the belt, and a bit of a walk out of doors, before a nice cuppa.  Have I lost my mind?  Why, you may be asking, would I want to do Spring Cleaning in January?  Is it because it will be way too nice outside to be cleaning when Spring gets here?  Or because the house is getting a bit crusty, what with doing only surface cleaning over the holidays?  Maybe it’s just that I can’t stand to open my closet, or the pantry, or look very closely at anything.

It could be a bit of all the above, but for me, it’s mostly that January can be a bit long.  But still, you may be wondering, how could cleaning make it better?  Cleaning is, everyone knows, menial.,  Wrong.  Menial, the dictionary tells us, means “not requiring much skill and lacking prestige.”  The dictionary can be misleading, I say.  Done well, homemaking requires a great deal of skill, as evidenced by how few people can do it.  As to lacking prestige, there’s very little that makes me feel better about myself and life in general, more prestigious, than a clean and orderly home.

To clean and orderly, add happily and beautifully decorated (not “fashionable and politically correct” decorating), comfortable and comforting, relaxing and restoring, aromatic with both home-concocted essential oil sprays (see below) and no-bake cookies (those are coming later this evening because we don’t want to get carried away with all this weight-loss and fitness stuff), and all five CD trays filled and playing Mozart, and I feel more than prestigious.  I feel blessed.

So, give it a try.  Rather than more of the same (leftover holiday habits) – eating and drinking mindlessly, watching stupid stuff on the Net, and feeling like a big lump, try my prescription.  First, open the windows . . .

As for that essential oil spray:  I had an almost-empty bottle of “Balance” from “The Good Home” and I just added water and more oils.  I didn’t have all the oils in the original and might I add marvelous formula, so I added several citrus oils, some Cedarwood, and Cassia, and went through the house spraying anything and everything.  I just  realized I forgot the Clove! Clove is on the way as soon as I finish this post.

Speaking of Clove, add it to your evening drink, or whatever else you can think of, along with other very warm and marvelous oils and spices, such as caraway, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cinnamon, and you will be both physically and emotionally fed.

Rx#2:  This is for getting through long January evenings when you’re sure it must be bedtime and it’s not yet 7:00 p.m.  This is when I do my evening ablutions (such a lovely word), put on my pajamas, and settle in with a very good book (ideas coming right up).  If I get sleepy again before I want to turn in, I take a break and make a lovely evening drink, and here’s the recipe:

Warm milk, honey, vanilla extract, with cinnamon and nutmeg on top.  This must, of course, be imbibed from your very favorite mug.  You could try this, or your variation thereof, and call it your January bedtime story drink (we did this with goat milk when the kids were little and read aloud together – very fun and a way to get rid of the free goat milk our neighbors gave us).  This is a perfect time to concoct your own version of an Internet Chai recipe – I just look for what looks really spicy, then double the spice amounts.  Yay! for warmth in January.

Maybe in February (Valentine’s Day and Chocolates) add cocoa and almond flavoring to your drink and plenty of ORGANIC* heavy whipping cream.  Don’t think of this as fattening.  Rather, have only one reasonably sized mug of it and think of yourself as blessed.

And now for those books:  I started one the other night and had to tear some of the pages out lest anyone in my house see me reading such trash (OK, so you don’t do that, but do you hide the Jo Jo’s?).  Finally, this entire book went into the trash.  I went to the library the next day and came home with TREASURES:  Comstock Lode by Louis L’Amour and Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington.  I’m about 2/3 through Up From Slavery  and halfway through Comstock Lode.  Both are riveting.

It’s about time I had a cuppa (something) and did a bit of reading – Booker T. and me, and Louis as well, so swell (I know you’ll forgive my corny-ness).  Thanks for being with me, and I wish you a Happy, Blah-Free January.  Amen.

*I said ORGANIC because otherwise you may be drinking carageenan, which for me causes joint pain.  Not good, not what I want to be worrying with in my fun January.

 

Percolator Parties and Other Fall Bequeaths

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I’d been thinking I wanted an old time percolator for some time and just couldn’t find the very thing.  And when a dear friend spotted this one in an antique shop, she said she saw my name on it.  Yay for the Holy Spirit working through dear friends!

This same friend has given me a very fine and perfect old-time picnic basket, egg coddlers, and more.  But for today I want to talk about my percolator.

After brewing up a few fine pots of coffee and tea, it quit.  I was sad, to say the least.  Oh, well, I thought, it still looks lovely on my kitchen counter, and I’m all about making the kitchen beautiful.

But my dear husband fixed it!!!  It simply needed a new resistor in the cord, and it’s off to the races again (the sound and sight of the brew gurgling up into the glass cap is the sound of joy).  Actually, it’s been off to the balcony in the chilly Rocky Mountain mornings for what we now call Percolator Parties.

Monday’s coffee Percolator Party was simply a Welcome-the-Morning, and Glory-in-Fall party.  Tuesday dawned bright and chilly and my daughter Hannah and son Seth joined me for chicory coffee in heated mugs with heavy cream, and to solve the little conundrums that make up our world.

On Wednesday the day sneaked up without early morning Percolator Party time, so we were ready on Thursday and chose to try a specialty Chai-with-chocolate tea, about which I had reservations.  But there are those special times when the first sip of an excellent tea changes things, sets them aright.  As I sat in the early morning chill, wrapped in a quilt and watching the golden apricot aspen leaves quake, I took one of those rare and wonderful universe altering sips of tea.

One after another, members of our household came out onto the balcony to savor the morning, to partake of our new and beloved delight, Percolator Partying.

In the Fall.

How far is Heaven?  Some days, not that far.