What I'm Into: January 2017

Thursday, February 02, 2017

The beginning of January found me eager and ready for everything that was ahead. Christmas and New Years gave me just the amount of time that I needed to recharge, regroup, and prepare for the new schedule that would begin with the new year. The main change that came with January was the fact that my brother and sister would be rehearsing for three different shows. In addition to the regular events of daily life, rehearsal schedules have a way of filling up the corners. 

We've stayed afloat! God has been good to grant us health and the ability to sleep well. There have been plenty of home cooked meals. We've even had time for the occasional movie night. For the first time in my life, I'm actually sad to see January go. Yes, it is COLD. Yes, we are still covered in snow and ice. Yes, we probably have months of winter ahead of us. Somehow, I finally have what Wallace Stevens calls "a mind for winter" and I'm praising God for that mind and the joy that this winter has brought to me! 

You ready to hear about what I've been into?

What I'm Watching

We watched several movies: Wildflower, Fannie's Last Supper, A Song for the Season, The Finest Hours, Nancy Drew, South Pacific (Harry Connick Jr. version), and the old Witness For the Prosecution.

We got started on several TV series: the latest Sherlock, Series of Unfortunate Events, and Love Bird. 

As far as I know, they're all on Netflix (with the exception of Sherlock). I'm most excited about Love Bird, which happens to be a foreign show my friend Erin recommended to me. It's Turkish and also features a fair amount of French. 

From My Reading Chair

I'll have a post coming up with reviews of each of the books that I read in January, but for now, I'll tell you that I finished four books, made progress on two, and abandoned two. 

Two of the books that I read featured a man named "Teddy Hennessy" ("The Season of Second Chances" by Diane Meier and "A Week in Winter" by Maeve Binchy). Weird, huh? The men were both early to mid thirties and were Momma's boys. One was Irish and one was from New England. 

The last book that I finished was Louisa May Alcott's "The Inheritance". If you need a good, quick book, grab it. 

I'm currently reading the 5th Harry Potter book. I took a break from Harry Potter because my sister wasn't in a reading mood. She's back in the game now. Since we're reading them together, I plan to finish this one before picking up whatever comes next on my to-read stack. 

In the Kitchen

My favorite thing about our January schedule was that I was able to cook MOST nights. I've realized that cooking dinner is pretty much THE thing that makes me feel centered. I know that's silly, but if I can't cook or haven't cooked in a while, things just feel "off". I'm not sure if that's part of what God used to help me get through this month, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to keep people fed. 

We ate lots of soup and bread this month. I've been in a baking mood too, so I there were cinnamon rolls and cake just because. Pizza and salad also made a regular appearance. If it was up to me, chili and cornbread would take its place in February. 

Some of the dinners were quick: sloppy joes with tater tots and fruit, biscuits and gravy with fruit, tacos, black bean "taco" salad, and the chicken and dumplings I'm about to tell you about below. 

Some of them took a little more effort: enchiladas with all the fixings, spaghetti, steak and gravy, breakfast casserole, and waikiki meatballs. 

The newest gadget is our Instant Pot. I was super skeptical. But then, Marra and Terri told me about the chicken and pork chops they made in 15 and 20 minutes. Plus, Tracy got one and got rid of her crockpot. So....My Mom was right. Again. So far, we've made a pork roast, a beef roast, "baked" potatoes, and Chicken and Dumplings. The potatoes took 25 minutes. I love baking a whole bunch of potatoes because you can do so much with them: hashbrowns, baked potato soup, twice baked potatoes, add them to breakfast casseroles, and you could probably do potato salad too. What should we make in this contraption next? 

I'm trying my hand at making meat go further and repurposing roast leftovers (my latest success was mock-philly cheese steaks with that roast beef we had left over). 

What I'm Listening To

This month, I've been listening to the BBC's Radio 4 Extra while I cook dinner. At first, I was listening to whatever was live. Then, I got hooked on the audio drama of Dorothy Sayers's "Busman's Honeymoon". I think it has expired, but you can listen to "Little Women" as well as "Poirot"

I've also been listening to "From the Front Porch" which is my current favorite book podcast. 

Lately I can't seem to stop recommending Piper's sermon series on the book of Ruth. Several of my friends are listening to it and I've been listening to it again too. I've been recommending it for six years now, so you know it's good! 

And...Lecrae's old album "Rebel" when I'm out and about.

It's the beginning of another month and we've got a good thing going. Our routine is predictable and yet flexible. It should be good!

I'm linking up with Leigh who is the genius behind these What I'm Into posts.

What have you been watching, reading, cooking, and listening to? 


  1. Man, EVERYONE is raving about those instant pots! I guess I'll have to get one, one of these days.
    We started watching A Series of Unfortunate Events last weekend and probably made our way at least halfway through the series so far. It's really well done!

  2. Sherlock!! I want to know what you think. This season was a doozy.

  3. I feel better when I cook too. While I don't love cleaning up the kitchen, it feels like a good way to end the day and I really like knowing exactly what my kids are eating.

    I hope you have a great February!


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