January 29, 2023

January: A difficult month

2023 Begonia cuttings
I've always found January a difficult month to navigate. So much of my time is spent waiting, waiting, waiting on the days to lengthen and the outside temperatures to moderate. As a gardener, I'm eager to get seeds planted. As the caretaker of this particular plot of land, I'm eager to begin the yearly task of picking up sticks. As a canner, I'm eager to get a variety of soups and such into jars. And yet, I struggle with being motivated in January. I'm eager to do something simple such as take my poor bored dog for a walk in the woods, but the forecast is for rain, and that would be cold rain in January. 

No. I'm not going to reach for chemical aids. Being impatient has only one cure and that is to find a better use of my time every day, make a plan, and stick to it. 

If only it were that easy.

There are any number of things that need doing, but I burn to get outside into the fresh air. I know better. Being out in the drizzle won't make me sick with a cold, but it won't help my achy, aging joints at all. It would be even worse for my seven-year-old dog whose bare paws contact the wet ground. 

Whether or not it's too early for it, I did another round of begonia cuttings. I now have eighteen red and eighteen white starts. I want to add color to my vegetable garden this year and the begonias are a good way to do that. I also have a pack of marigold seeds here (somewhere in this house!) and I'm very tempted to start those as well. Marigold seeds can be started in trays six weeks before the last frost. Well, I have a greenhouse now. I think I'll start them inside and transfer them to the greenhouse around April 1. I'll only be out $1 if it doesn't turn out well. I think that's an acceptable risk. 

I recently reorganized the freezer, as much out of boredom than necessity, and I need to make a few breakfast items and tuck them away. I make a French toast casserole that freezes well. A 13x9-inch cake pan yields portions for five breakfasts. It's been a while since I made scones, and one batch provides four breakfasts. We recently purchased an air fryer and we want to try our hand at making donuts. It wouldn't take much to do some baking and get a few breakfasts ahead. All I have to do is to go do it. 

The view out my sunroom office windows is rather drab, but even that opinion needs to change. The earth needs the rain and a break from the sun. I can almost hear the trees slurping up water. They'll need it soon. Loki the Cat took a stroll through the backyard. He didn't stay out long. He found a good spot for his "outside activities" and made a beeline for the door. Now I have a lapful of damp cat. It's of no matter. I'm finished blogging for now.

It's time to go make myself useful to myself. I guess I'll add a bag of flour to my shopping list. In this day and age, it wouldn't do to allow the pantry to get low. 

The Lady of the Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, baking, January, gardening, rural living, country lifestyle, home food preservation, a writer's life, begonias, cuttings, marigold seeds, country cats, black Labrador Retriever

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