What I Liked About January

No Candy

What I Didn’t Like About January

  • Not light until 7:30 a.m.
  • No evenings out – concerts or movies – nothing compelling to see
  • Being cold in my office every day (very drafty and unfixable)
  • Painful cracks in my thumbs from dry skin
  • Having to dispute a credit card charge – the merchant would not admit they made an error
  • iTunes crashed and I had to reinstall my music from a backup
  • Forgot to watch Grammy Awards
  • Withdrawal pangs from not eating candy

^^ surprisingly short list ^^

Canada Heart

What I Liked About January

Big news! Rom got his notice to write the Canadian citizenship test! After two weeks of feverish studying, he aced the test and will be taking his oath of citizenship in March or April. He will become a dual Canada/UK citizen. The process will have taken less than 4.5 years from the time he moved here to become a permanent resident. We were expecting 6 years. I can’t wait to see him sworn in!

Snow Days! The library closes maybe once a year when we have a really bad snow storm. This month, the library and most other businesses closed down THREE TIMES due to blizzards! I had two full days off work, and another day was sent home at 3 o’clock. I felt just like a kid being let off school. Rom struggled more because he had to go to work all those days, but he was dismissed early too, and had to make his way home in the storms. I definitely got the better deal.

Not Buying Stuff – I spend very little in January and February, and this year has been no exception. I adjusted my automatic savings upwards. I went to the mall twice with Rom and didn’t buy anything! And had 11 No Spend Days. I suppose the blizzards helped with that.

Buying Stuff – When I did spend money, I was happy about it. I bought new workout sneakers, a helmet for skating, and a very warm winter scarf. I found a substitute for the lanolin I had been using as a hair gel – I have switched to 100% shea butter (so far, so good). And I bought my mom her first flash drive!

Being Outdoors – I’ve already posted about my daily walks, and I have loved being outside in the winter sunshine.

Photo: rochestermedia.com

Photo: rochestermedia.com

Ice Time – It was fun to lace up again and get back on the ice! I have some flexibility in my work schedule so I can go during the day. In January there were never more than 20 people at the rink, and one day there were only two of us! I learned to skate on figure skates and now use recreational skates so I’ve been working on doing a proper “hockey stop” – the one in which you send up a spray of shaved ice! – and how to corner lower and faster.

List Mania – I love year-end when the music sites post their top albums of the year. I caught up on new releases by some of my favourite bands like Cults, Sleigh Bells, Franz Ferdinand, Washed Out, and Janelle Monae. I bought about 10 albums last year. My favourites were Comedown Machine by The Strokes, and Acknowledge, Acknowledge by local band The Motorleague.

Good Viewing – This month I watched Season 2 of Downton Abbey, the heart-warming music documentary Searching for Sugarman, and the rather tragic film Albert Nobbs.

And despite the lack of concerts and movie nights, I got out for one lunch, one book club meeting, the annual opening festivities for African Heritage Month, and a lecture on climate change 🙂

How was your January?


  1. EcoCatLady

    “Sugarman… won’t you hurry, ’cause I’m tired of these scenes… ” Wasn’t that a wonderful story? I could have done without all the strange scenes of him walking around in the snow, but other than that I loved it.

    I’ve had terrible troubles with cracked skin on my thumbs too. The only thing that has EVER worked for me is something called Theraplex Emollient. It’s a total petro-product, but it’s the only thing that has brought me relief.

    As you can probably guess, my January sucked. Although my Denver Broncos did win the AFC championship and are playing in the Superbowl on Sunday, so hopefully February will be better.

    • Ha ha, the “solitary man in the snow” motif was definitely overdone! Thanks for the thumbs tip 🙂 And I certainly hope things start to go better for you in February.

  2. What a great monthly summary – though I was thrown for six at the title, and then you starting dislikes!

    January is always a good month for me – it’s summer, and believe it or not, I much prefer to work than have the long summer holidays I had as a student. I like routine, but there’s still a more relaxed vibe at work. It’s my birthday month too! I also was much better moderated with my moods – less cranky/bad days, so that’s good for all I come in contact with! I also started eating a lot healthier, adding more vegies, tracking my food intake, and aiming for exercise most days, as well as push ups etc every second day. I’m pleased we got to see a movie, as I’ve really been light on those of late.

    I didn’t like how sweaty I am, and how many showers it’s resulted in. I didn’t like breaking my healthy eating with far too many brownies, seems my self control is not that strong! Generally nothing to complain about though.

    Congrats on converting Rom to part Canadian – there’s so many ‘pretend’ quizzes to test Australianism, I’d love to see what the Canadians offer! Snow days just sound wonderful, something magical that I’ve yet to experience. Congrats on the no spend days too, I did alright, though I’m not sure I have the stamina for daily tracking.

  3. Fiona

    Congratulations to Rom (and you) on the pending citizenship! The ice time just sounds like so much fun and a really motivating way to work on muscle strength with all those bends and dips. It would be awesome to do a proper “hockey stop”! That ‘kid out of school’ feeling when you get a sudden gap in word is worth remembering!

    Our January was really terrific. I looove having summer holidays with J.!

  4. Oh, can’t skate! Looks so graceful. But I look awkward.

    I liked the quality of production (and especially the fashion) of Downton, but a bit melodramatic for me. I am about to watch new episodes of Doc Martin and Poirot, TV non -ratings period having ended with the end of holidays. TV heaven! (Poirot: motive, there is always a motive. One of my top three favourite detectives along with Miss Marple and Miss Fisher. Just can’t get enough, just can’t get enough [credit to Depeche Mode].

    • I really liked the first season of Downton, but I found the second season’s “plot turn a minute” was a bit much. Will keep watching though! I am still number 87 on the wait list for Miss Fisher at the library. Now needing to go listen to some Depeche Mode!

  5. Juhli

    I envy your access to the ice rink as I loved to skate when a child in Illinois. By the way, my DH has the same kind of office situation and we found a small electric “personal” vortex heater at Target that he now has on his desk. When he gets to cold he switches it on. He can’t keep it on because the thermostat for his floor is in his office and then others really freeze. Don’t know why they can’t fix it at his office but perhaps a similar heater would help you.

  6. Congratulations to Rom!

    It sounds like you have a fun month despite the cold and your not so great list.How long did it take you to recover everything on itunes?

    I used to love ice skating, perhaps this is something I should try again one day!

    • Thanks, I will pass that along! I gave up on the iTunes and started over today. It took me 3.5 hours. I was proud that I did the trouble shooting myself and didn’t get Rom (the IT guy) to do it for me. When it was resolved, it found my files, but I was still glad I had a backup. If you have iTunes, I wouldn’t recommend installing 11.1.4 yet!

  7. Angela

    Hate cracked thumbs as they take ages to heal and they catch all the time. I have found that cracked heel cream rubbed in overnight works on healing them fast for me. I also wear gloves when I am washing the dishes.

    • Hi Angela, I have been wearing gloves for dishes this week too. I think I will buy some cotton gloves so I can slather on moisturizer before bed and wear the gloves (although that will feel weird!)

  8. Congratulations to Rom. We are still awaiting the snow here- if it is coming I hope it comes sooner rather than later. I am not keen on snow in April anyway and this year we have a roof to have redone at the cottage. Sounds pretty cold over there. Keep warm x

  9. Sounds like a great month! We also don’t spend much in January and February because we don’t go out much. I’ve only been ice skating once and I was sore the next day in so many places. Keeping my balance was the toughest part. (I’m a little on the clumsy side so I wasn’t too surprised.)

    And big Congrats to Rom! 🙂

  10. Yeah Rom!! For really dry, cracking skin I put on a heavy cream/coconut oil, then a plastic bag/gloves then cotton socks/gloves overnight. Usually a lot better in the morning and by night 3 I’m back to normal.

  11. AMAZING news about the citizenship – just amazing! I hope to be able to get there one day too!!

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