I sent my January newsletter to subscribers the day before New Year’s Eve. It featured a Llama naming contest, survey contest, a list of my favorite 2022 books, and a few other features. Although only subscribers can enter the contests, you can read the January newsletter here: https://mailchi.mp/e62b71e1c70d/january-news-llama-naming-contest-new-years-survey-and-more
New Year’s Eve was quiet. We toasted 2023 with sparkling cider and ate from a cheese and sausage tray. Even my cat, Hermione, got in the holiday mood.
I enjoyed the virtual exercise classes I took this week. I started with Stay Active, a Nassau Library System health share program on Wednesday, January 4. The class was a mix of aerobics and strength training. The instructor used weights in the second part of the class but said we didn’t have to use them and would still get some benefits. Since I’m not used to working with weights, I chose not to use them. The class wasn’t hard to follow, and I liked the oldies music. That night, I took a Body Sculpting class given by Seaford Library. The instructor, Kristen, was excellent. When she did floor work, I typed into the chat that I have difficulty getting on the floor because of my knees, and she showed me how to moderate those exercises sitting or standing by a chair. She also provided her email if any of the participants had questions for her. I thought that was very nice and look forward to the next class. Her music was also great.
On Thursday, the only virtual exercise class I took was Simply Stronger, given by my library. The instructor, Mindy Vasta, welcomed me and introduced me to the class as the retired librarian who used to organize the exercise programs. It was great to attend the class after having monitored it in the past. I was also happy to hear that a participant has been reading my books. Mindy does a very energetic class with good tunes and lots of strength training. She also used weights in the second half but was careful to instruct people in the proper safety protocols and said I could use weights when I felt I was ready and to start with light ones. Tomorrow, I’ll be taking Tai Chi with Linda Cafiero. I’ve known Linda a long time and look forward to her relaxing class.
Although I haven’t yet started writing the third book of my series as I’d planned, I viewed a Writers’ Digest University publishing webinar given by Jane Friedman that had been a Christmas gift from my husband. The webinar was informative, and I can view the replay and answers to all the questions typed in the chat.
Besides putting away all the Christmas decorations after New Year’s, I’ve also been organizing and decluttering each day. Again, I’m sorry that I don’t have a “before” shot of the coat rack, but it was really a mess before I straightened it out. I even found my husband’s lost hat.
I also decluttered my bedroom wardrobe, removing clothes that are out of season and straightening out the shelves. I also hang my cats’ long toys in there.
In between exercising, cleaning, and housework, I’ve been reading two books on my Kindle app: Cowboys and Chaos, the 3rd book of Elizabeth Pantley’s Magical Mystery Book Club cozy mystery series. Elizabeth is one of my favorite authors, and I featured one of the other books in this series as a 2022 favorite in my January newsletter. In The Magical Mystery Book Club stories members of a book club travel into the cozy mystery books they read. In Cowboys and Chaos, that’s the Wild West! To return to the present, they need to solve the mystery in the book, which is the disappearance of a saloon girl.
I’m also reading The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz. I’m reviewing this unpublished book through NetGalley. It can be preordered now and will be published on February 21. So far, I’m enjoying it. It’s a mix of horror and psychological fiction about a woman whose been invited by her favorite dark fiction author to attend a writing retreat at her reclusive, and rumored to be haunted, estate along with four other authors, one of whom used to be her best friend until an angry break up.
On Wednesday, I learned that my brother’s daughter gave birth to twin sons. Welcome, Jackson and Maxwell! Congratulations to my niece, her husband, and my brother and sister-in-law on their double blessings.
I didn’t go out much this week except for a walk on Wednesday when the temperatures reached over 60 degrees. I’m planning to have my nails done today and attend a light show with my friend this evening (more on that next week with photos, I promise). Thanks for reading about my retirement adventures.