January Review

Well, folks, it’s over. We managed to get through January. As we usher in February, I am looking out my kitchen windows to heavy snow and wind, with several more inches to come. It’s a good day to stay in. As always, I have plenty to do!


Like most other people, in January I consider the year past, its successes and disappointments. And I look into the coming year for possible pleasures and challenges. But my vision is limited and my imagination for the future is weak. I can’t see much farther than a few days out, and like for meteorologists, even that level of prediction is poor.

Partly because of that, I never set many firm goals. Besides my intention to continue experimenting/exploring in many parts of my life, I only set two goals for 2015: 1) read more books; 2) create at least four donation quilts, or about one per quarter.

One thing I can do is review the past. That helps keep me on track in rewarding activities. So here is a little review of January.

1) Started and completed a Garden Maze quilt for donation.
2) Completed through quilting a large (75″ square) quilt. Binding made but needs to be attached. Photos once it is finished.
3) Completed the top of a special project (no photos allowed). Backing made. I intend to quilt it today. Binding will be hand-finished.
4) Center made for a VA Hospital donation quilt. Backing chosen and ripped to size. Still need borders, backing sewn, qulting, binding.

Garden Maze

Garden Maze

Readin’ and Writin’
1) Read The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green.
2) Read The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt.
3) Reading Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson. I’m about a third through it.
4) Wrote and published nine posts here, as well as one at Our View in Iowa.

1) Changed my studio layout to take advantage of better lighting in one of my two rooms. Now my cutting table is in a tight circle with sewing and pressing space. There are things I don’t love about it, but it is efficient and the light for cutting is much better.
2) I tried beading at my small group meeting.
3) I played with painting on fabric with stencils.
4) I made Mushroom Marsala Pasta Bake, using this recipe forwarded by my son. It was pretty good but I wasn’t crazy about the mozzarella wads in it. They’re not flavorful, just white and stringy. If I made it again I might use feta, and probably less pasta and more of other veggies like cauliflower or broccoli.

1) I’ve scheduled to teach my Medallion Improv! class again in April and early May.
2) We’ve kept up with physical activity, despite seasonal temperatures. We walk often, though less often in the winter, as sidewalks can be tricky. Besides walking, we both make sure we do stretching/toning and strength training.
3) I’m working on another project that is still a secret.
4) I had more RPT (Real People Time) than I often have this time of year. We hosted neighbors for dinner, had Son’s good friend David and David’s wife Bethany over, and we’ve been out to meet with others several times. RPT is good for me!

All in all it was a busy and fulfilling month. My life is plentiful and I am very blessed.


12 thoughts on “January Review

  1. snarkyquilter

    There’s something about getting one’s ducks in a row that gives such a feeling of accomplishment, and your ducks are in a row and all facing the same direction. And us folks who are dealing with lots of white stuff need all the good feelings we can get.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Amen. Right now I could use a few more good feelings. Have been fighting my long-arm for thread tension issues. Right now I’m taking a break, looking for some courage to go ahead…

  2. KerryCan

    Your ducks are in a row, facing the same direction, and quacking “God Bless America” in unison! Wow–you’ve done so much in one month! I think the exercise and RPT are especially important and impressive. I’m not good at either and am pushing myself, too, with magical results . . . .

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      It’s tempting to skip the RPT, I have to admit. I can do the exercise at home or just with Jim, out walking. But RPT takes more effort, especially to get out. Truly, I could just stay home almost all the time…

  3. Thread crazy

    Wow, I am exhausted just reading what you’ve accomplished a lot in a month’s time…way to go Melanie! There’s something to be said for the idea of having a new year ahead to accomplish so much! Don’t we just wish that same energy would last all year!!! While our weather has not been as COLD and snowy as up your way, it’s been COLD and rainy here, so we’ve also hibernated inside. Since hubby’s been laid up, well, let’s just say we’ve been taking it slow and easy! But the machines are calling and I must answer soon for fear they’ll die if I don’t give them a workout!


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