Clean out the pantry to donate food to the church food pantry. — Accomplished!
Go through all my clothes again for donations. —- Accomplished!
Clean off the couch in my office, and keep it clean. —- Did not accomplish yet.
Prepare for our taxes. — Accomplished!
Fully fund my Roth IRA for the year when I meet with my financial advisor for my annual review. — Accomplished!
Publish at least one Book Review. — Accomplished!
Publish at least one Commentary post. — Accomplished!
Publish at least one Writing Prompt post. —- Accomplished!
I felt a lot more productive this month. I wrote and published more blog posts this month than I have in quite a while. And I have several more new ones in the works!
The Super Bowl was pretty disappointing in terms of the game. Even the commercials weren’t super impressive. However, I did make amazing food for Al and I to eat!
Valentine’s Day was a bit of an adventure this year, since I got my second COVID vaccine on Thursday the 11th. The immune response was fast, faster than I had anticipated. I got the shot at 8:00 a.m., and around 3:00 p.m., my energy went from 100 to zero. I finished working from home, and then attempted to eat dinner. I started having chills, a slight headache, and a low fever. I drank a ton of water and managed to finish one of the small/mini bottles of Gatorade. I’m really glad several people encouraged me to take the next day off from work, because I needed it. I had already slept around 10 hours between Thursday night and Friday morning. I took a long shower on Friday morning, and then slept off and on for another three hours. My dad was nice to bring over Panera chicken soup. I ate about half of it with more water and Gatorade. The only time I got really concerned was when I took my temperature on Friday afternoon. It has risen to 103.1. I looked up the definition of a high fever for my age. I was already considering taking some medicine, and I took an Aleve. My fever started coming down, and broke later that night. By Saturday, I was feeling much better. Valentine’s Day was a bit subdued (because the pandemic is still happening), but I was back to 100 percent. We got takeout. All this to say – I’m grateful I was able to get the vaccine so quickly. I may have felt like I had the flu for 36 hours, but that’s far better than having COVID and being on a ventilator, or worse.
I went through all my clothes in my IKEA drawers and closet, including the three under-bed storage bins that I reorganized last summer. I filled a large leftover shipping box for Darby’s Dresses consignment. The rest is being picked up by the Vietnam Veterans of America tomorrow.
Publish at least two Book Reviews. — Did not accomplish yet.
Publish my latest TBR Recap post. — Accomplished!
Spend at least two hours every weekend on my office. — Did not accomplish yet.
Look up at least five new recipes to use in meal planning. — Accomplished!
Celebrate Al’s birthday! — Accomplished!
Celebrate P.E.O. Founders Day. — Accomplished!
Complete the filing project with the filing cabinet in my office. — Did not accomplish yet.
I didn’t have the energy to write the Book Reviews in January, but I’m hoping February will be a different story! Al and I were just talking about getting up 15 minutes earlier in the mornings, to shift back to our “traditional” schedule/routine, so I’m hoping those extra 15 minutes will help me blog a bit more in the mornings before starting work. We’re determined to start it on Monday. He remarked that it was a possible “unpopular opinion,” but I think it’s a good idea. I’m eventually going back into the office full-time, so doing this now will help ease that transition for me. It’s supposed to happen at the end of June / early July, but we shall see.
Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce (See photo below) – This was easily as good, maybe better, than Olive Garden’s. Super easy to make! I poured it over rotini pasta, and it fed us for four nights.
Chicken with Curried Mango Sauce (Haven’t made this yet, but it’s on the list)
Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos (Haven’t made this yet, but it’s on the list)
Crispy Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings (Haven’t made this yet, but it’s on the list)
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork) – Haven’t made this yet, but it’s on the list.
Best Chicken Alfredo Roll-Ups (Planning to do this one next week!)
Honey Garlic Steak Bites (I think I made this once last year, but I can’t remember, so I’m counting it as new)
Hawaiian Roll Ham Sliders – I made this for Al and I and they did not last long. Yummy. I’m making them again this weekend when we watch the Super Bowl.
Crispy Baked Shrimp Scampi (Haven’t made this yet, but it’s on the list)
I also watched Baby Driver (2017) for the first time! It was an excellent movie. Edgar Wright is a master.
Al’s birthday was on a Monday this year. We both worked, and then we had steak, shrimp with cocktail sauce, and crab puppies. My mom made amazing key lime cake for him, and I bought a cookie cake. I’ll post the Crab Puppies recipe below. I’ve substituted the Ritz crackers for bread crumbs both times I’ve made it, and I don’t think I’ll change that. My college roommate, Amanda, made that suggestion when I shared the recipe on Facebook.
We had a wonderful P.E.O. Tidewater Reciprocity Founders Day event – Our first virtual one! We had over 50 women join us via Zoom.
I was able to sell several American Girl items that were duplicates through the big doll board/group on Facebook, so that was exciting! I’m slowly reducing that volume, piece by piece.
Publish at least one Book Review. — Did not accomplish.
Publish my annual “Favorite Things” post. — Accomplished!
Make progress with laundry. — Accomplished!
Make progress with my office. — Accomplished!
Celebrate Christmas! — Accomplished!
Finally send my second draft of my novel to my readers. — Accomplished!
Celebrate New Year’s! — Accomplished!
I wasn’t able to donate blood because I had icky sinus/congestion issues for the entire week before the blood drive. It also took me out of my normal volunteering role. But, I’m glad I stayed home and wasn’t spreading any germs. It was a great drive though – 78 units collected and four first-time donors!
I spent the better part of two hours a couple weekends ago devoted to laundry. I finally emptied the ridiculous basket of clean clothes in front of my side of the bed, went through everything in the smaller basket that was parked in front of my closet for months that Al kept tripping over, and have kept my closet doors closed and clear! Podcasts are my friend, especially the long episodes of Dateline NBC.
One of my big goals for my office was to clear the floor space between my desk and the floor lamp. I did that the weekend before Christmas, and I’ve kept it clean! I gave Al a huge pile of ancient paperwork to shred, filled a trash bag of other discarded things, and recycled two empty copy paper boxes. Al was also nice to clean off one of the filing cabinets that his dad brought down last year, and hauled it from the detached garage into my office. The printer is now far more stable on top of it. The next item to tackle is filling the filing cabinet with hanging folders and paperwork that’s been overflowing between our fireproof box and the dining room buffet drawers.
I sent the second draft of my novel, now with proper chapter distinctions, page numbers, double-spacing, and a lot of wonderful feedback closely noted and appreciated, via email to my amazing readers.
Although Christmas and New Year’s have definitely been different this year, it’s also been a bit more relaxed, if that’s the right word. Al grilled some delicious steaks for Christmas dinner, and I made amazing crab puppies. Al’s already requested them again for his birthday in late January. We had a Zoom call with Al’s parents and his brother’s family. We called my parents and talked to them for a while on Christmas morning. We exchanged gifts socially distanced on our porch on Christmas Eve, and that was such a boost to my spirits! We ate bacon-wrapped scallops and had a meat/cheese tray for New Year’s Eve tonight. I need to finish this post so I can go hang out with Al and the dogs, watch a movie, and then watch the ball drop on TV. We’re excited to ring in 2021 with feeling thankful that we have remained healthy throughout this pandemic, an overflow of gratitude for the essential workers and many other helpers, and good thoughts for the year to come.