*(an occasional (mostly monthly) meme, alternating from time to time with "The Current"). (Explanation of how this started & my inspirations in my first "Right now" post, here. Also my first "The Current" post, here.)
January was the first month of the new year (goodbye 2020 and good riddance...!!), and Full Month #10 (going on #11!) of life in the age of COVID-19 (sigh...). The area we live in has been under lockdown (again!) since Dec. 14th -- initially scheduled for four weeks, which was extended to Jan. 23rd, and then extended further by a state of emergency declaration, including a mandatory stay-at-home order that began on Jan. 14th and will run for (at least) 28 days (= mid-February, at the earliest). This was implemented after case rates continued to rise post-Christmas, with some truly alarming projections forecasted. All non-essential retail businesses are closed -- curbside pickup or delivery only -- and any non-essential workers who can work from home must do so. Hair salons are closed again too (nooooooo....!!!). Our last haircuts were Dec. 4th and we were due for our next ones on Jan. 15th... At least I have a good supply of hairbands this time around, bought during last summer's lockdown...!
On top of dh's usual weekly trips to the supermarket for groceries and for takeout dinners on Saturday nights, we ventured out together to the dentist (unfortunately, I'll be back in February -- twice!!), to the bank to see our investment advisor and (briefly) to the supermarket, en route home from that appointment.
Dh also went out with BIL for a few hours a few weekends ago (at BIL's instigation -- taking a drive-by look at some houses for Older Nephew). Needless to say, we are NOT supposed to be interacting with others outside our own households right now, but he was bored silly and they both wore masks in the car. (Not that I'm worried about BIL getting anything from us, more the opposite...!) I told him if he got caught & fined not to come crying to me. ;)
Otherwise, we've continued to stay close to home.
Between COVID-19 and the frigid weather we've had lately, I have not been out of the house/condo since my birthday, Jan. 12th.
We did not get to see Little Great-Nephew at all in January. :( :( :( (Last visit: a few minutes, masked, on New Year's Eve/Dec. 31st.)
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Reading: I read 5 books in January (reviewed on this blog, as well as Goodreads, & tagged "2021 books"):
This brings me to 14% of my 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 36 books. I am (for the moment, anyway...!) 2 books ahead of schedule. :)
- "The Child Catchers" by Kathryn Joyce (another interesting adoption-related read).
- "The Blue Castle" by L.M. Montgomery. (Read & reviewed on my own in August, now reading along & discussing with my L.M. Montgomery Readathon group on Facebook)(and enjoying it hugely!).
- "The Young Clementina" by D.E. Stevenson. (I read it through for myself late last year, and am now re-reading chapter by chapter and discussing with my DES online group.)
(Also) Coming up next?:
- "Sourdough" by Robin Sloan (the February pick for the Gateway Women book club).
- "Belgravia" by Julian Fellowes. (CBC is showing the TV adaptation, starting on Valentine's Day! -- a deadline, eeeekkkkkkk....!) ;)
- My sister also provided me with the first "Bridgerton" novel, "The Duke & I" by Julia Quinn, in case I ever get around to watching the Netflix series everyone is talking about... ;)
A few recently purchased titles (these were all in digital format, mostly on deep discount or with accumulated points):
- "Trumpocalypse" by David Frum
- "The Woman Who Smashed Codes" by Jason Fagone. (We recently saw a documentary on PBS about this woman, Elizebeth Smith Friedman... really interesting!)
- "So You Want to Talk About Race" and "Mediocre" by Ijeoma Oluo
- "A Generation of Sociopaths" by Bruce Cannon Gibney
- "Twilight of Democracy" by Anne Applebaum
- "The Thursday Murder Club" by Richard Osman
- "Entitled" by Kate Manne
- "Untamed" by Glennon Doyle
Watching: A whole lot less CNN since the inauguration, lol. So nice to have a return to some semblance of normalcy!!
After several weeks of holiday programming in its usual timeslot, "Downton Abbey" reruns resumed on Jan. 4th, picking up where they left off just before Christmas with season 2. Yay! (We're currently at the end of season 4 -- it goes by quickly when you're watching new episodes five days a week, lol.)
Listening: I've been catching up on a few CNBC-related podcasts & podcast episodes, including the latest episode of "The Full Stop," the second episode of "Happy and Childless," with Katy of Chasing Creation, and an episode of "A Single Serving," featuring Jody Day of Gateway Women.
I also listened to a New York Times Book Review podcast episode, about a new book on the history and ethics of adoption in America, filtered through the story of one birth mother and her son: "American Baby" by Gabrielle Glaser -- which I bought/downloaded to my e-reader as soon as it was available. (see above!) Amazing read! (Here's the NYT's review and here's mine!)
Following: After reading "The Midnight Library" by Matt Haig in late December (review here), I started following him on Instagram. He's starting a podcast! (Isn't everyone these days??)
Eating/Drinking: Even though I gave away most of the Christmas cookies I'd baked in December (to BIL & SIL and the nephews), what we had leftover for ourselves lasted until just before my birthday! (Dh isn't a big shortbread fan -- and I'd made two kinds -- so it was allllll mine!! lol).
Our favourite pizza restaurant closed over the Christmas holidays and didn't reopen (for takeout/delivery only) until the first week of January. We were very happy to order takeout on the first Saturday night they were open! (and had it again later in the month too, lol)
Likewise, our favourite (& closest) Italian restaurant closed after Christmas/New Year's for some kitchen repairs that took longer than expected. They didn't reopen until Jan. 14th -- which meant we weren't able to order takeout from there as planned for my birthday on Jan. 12th. :( My second choice was a chain restaurant outlet that makes great chicken madeira rigatoni. (We ordered from the Italian place the following Saturday night. :) )
Buying (besides books, lol): I indulged in a bit of online shopping recently: I ordered some of my favourite lip balm from Sephora, which I was running low on (and added my free birthday gift to cart too -- since I won't be going into one of their stores anytime soon...); my favourite foot cream from L'Occitane (ditto); and a couple of sweaters from Old Navy (which I didn't really need, but it's been SO LONG since I indulged in anything new & pretty to wear...!). All three packages were delivered less than a week after I ordered them, which was nice.
Wearing: The usual...! (i.e., yoga pants, long-sleeved T-shirts, socks AND slippers)(while dh goes around the house in shorts & BARE FEET. Go figure? I'm sure the floors beneath the laminate are concrete, and they are COLD in the winter!!)
Sleeping: Much better lately! (Coincidence??).
Trying: To be patient as we wait (and wait... and wait...) for our turns to get the COVID-19 vaccine... The federal government is still committed to having everyone vaccinated by the end of September -- but unfortunately, the available quantities of the vaccine and the pace of the current rollout suggests that's not going to happen. The current estimated time frame for dh & me to get the vaccine, as per this calculator is late September 2021 to early April 2022. (!!!) (When I consulted the calculator earlier, it said early July to mid-September...) :( :( :( Last week, we ranked a dismal 20th in the world in terms of vaccines administered to date. As Andrew Coyne wrote in a recent Globe & Mail column, "If the U.S. vaccination program is a disaster, what are we to call Canada’s?" :p
(Remembering: Andrew was the editor of the student newspaper when I was at university. One of my best friends/dorm neighbours there (later one of my bridesmaids) had a huge crush on him, which I always think about every time I see him on the weekly "At Issue" panel on The National on CBC, lol.)
Wanting: To get out of the house!! (But it's too damned cold right now...!)
Loving: Aside from the usual suspects (dh, Little Great-Nephew...) I will admit I'm finding it hard to come up with something for this category this month. Hard to muster up much enthusiasm for anything at the moment... :(
Feeling: More than a little stir crazy/frustrated/sluggish after TEN+ MONTHS of mostly sitting around the house (and no end to the pandemic yet in sight, despite the advent of several effective vaccines...). The weather right now is not helping...! (-9C, -16C windchill at 9 a.m. this morning -- that's 16F & 3F -- albeit we are not getting any of the snowstorm that is hitting the east coast right now...!)
On to February... (my least favourite month!). :p