Monday, January 3, 2022

snowy new year's day, reading pile, and a couple of recipes to keep you warm

I mentioned in my last post that we were wanted to get in our traditional New Year's Day hike in the State Park before the snow hit. We did it! It was only in the 20's, but we bundled up and went about two miles. It was actually invigorating. The snow started right as we were leaving, so perfect timing.

The great thing about walking in the State Park on New Year's day is that we have the whole park to ourselves ~ except for the animals, of course. No humans in sight the entire time as the park is closed on New Year's day. The main gates to drive into the park are closed, but you're allowed to walk in through the side walk-in only entrances. 

I don't always love where I live, but when I walk in the State Park, I feel very grateful to live here.

"I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees." (Henry David Thoreau)

So now that it's officially January and we're experiencing true winter weather; i.e., cold, and the omicron variant has a lot of people sick with Covid, I'm doing more staying indoors. I did go to the library today (only three other people in there besides the few employees) to return some books and pick up a few others. This is my January reading pile. I've been reading Simple Abundance every year for many years. January is my favorite month of her writings. I've always been curious about A Course in Miracles but it's quite lengthy and involved, so I thought I'd try what I call the Cliff Notes version ("Made Easy").

No Time to Spare by Ursula K. LeGuin is a collection of her blog posts which she began writing in her 80's. (She passed away in 2018.) From what I've read, she's a wonderful writer and this book is a gem of her deepest thoughts.


This past weekend, I made a couple of dishes that were yummy, healthy, warming, and easy to make, so I thought I'd share them with you. The first is from Half Baked Harvest ~ my newest favorite for dinner ideas and recipes. Every recipe I've tried has turned out wonderful. If you like Indian food with a little heat, you have to try this Crockpot Butter Chicken. I didn't have any red curry paste on-hand and this dish still turned out great. Serve over brown rice with garlic naan bread and a side of steamed broccoli. Although, in my post-menopausal foggy brained state (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it), I forgot to make the broccoli. 🙄

I apologize for this non-appealing photo (bad lighting, steam coming from the bowl, melting cheese swirling throughout), but believe me, this One Pot Red Lentil Chili was delicious. I used a poblano chili instead of a jalapeno and I only used one can of beans (black) instead of two, as I don't digest beans too well. I had leftovers for lunch today and it was even better after sitting in the refrigerator overnight.

Have a good week ~ stay warm and healthy!


  1. Your reading stack looks interesting. Looks like you tend toward a lot of nonfiction - like I do. Your meals looks so delicious. I love that you got to do your hike at the state park. It was far to snowy and icy to hike here on New Year's Day, although we did often do New Year's Day hikes when we lived in sunny Arizona. Hope you are having a good week. I am so glad you are back in blogland more! :-)

  2. The park looks like a wonderful place to walk. Your books sound interesting!

  3. I attempted a Course in felt like a college text book. :)
    I love the forest preserves this time of year. We also went for a walk on New Years Day before the storm hit. It was much than we anticipated, but as you said, invigorating.

    Stay warm! XOXO

  4. You are putting me to shame, I really need to get my rear in gear and start walking again! It's fun peeking at your pile of books. I like the mix of fiction and non-fiction. Simple Abundance was a favorite of mine for years, and Marianne Williamson's first book (can't think of the title) was life changing. I'm curious about Course in Miracles, you'll have to share what you think of it.

  5. I love Half Baked Harvest and leftovers! Walking was a very healthy way to start the year.

  6. So nice that you got out for that invigorating walk. A great way to start the new year.
    Your book stack looks interesting. My mom and sister were big fans of a Course in Miracles in the 90s. They seemed to love it. I am intrigued by the book written by the blogger. May need to look into that one.
    Your meals both look delicious. I have only just learned about red lentils. I have always bought the brown ones. I have been looking for a use for that bag of red ones that is sitting in my pantry. This may be just the one. Thanks for sharing.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a kind comment - I read and appreciate each one!