End of January Reflections

The end of the month is still a few days away. But I have other posts in mind between now and then, so I thought I’d do my end-of-month wrap-up now.

January is usual a rest month after the beloved busyness of December. It hasn’t quite worked out that way this year. But we’ve had a bit of down time in-between appointments and appliance repairs.

Covid hit my daughter-in-law and grandson, and we didn’t see them for three weeks–a record (and a hard one!) I’m thankful for FaceTime when we can’t see them in person. But they are finally doing better, and we got together for a couple of times the last few days.

Covid numbers are up again here, as they are in others places. Our church is meeting in person, but thankfully they keep the Zoom option open.

I mentioned in last week’s Friday’s Fave Five that my husband had been working on our leaking dishwasher. The parts he ordered didn’t fix the problem. After two weekends working on it, he posted this on Facebook:

There is one more thing he’ll try when the part comes in. If that doesn’t work—it’s dishwasher shopping time.

I was just telling a friend today that something about January makes me want to sort and organize. I don’t usually do a whole closet or cabinet at a time, but sometimes it will suddenly hit me that this item would work better there and this would be a better way to sort that. I had three areas (or more accurately four–two are in the kitchen, but they are separate spaces) that I was chafing to get to before Christmas. That didn’t happen, but I want to tackle them this month. I’ve done one—three to go.

A question about Feedly

Do any of you use Feedly as a blog aggregator? I like to put the blogs I read in there, and I can see when they have new posts instead of having to visit them individually. Feedly has been working fine for years, but lately it hasn’t been showing all of a site’s blog posts. There’s one that won’t update at all. Another only updates twice a week though they post five times a week. Another has posts on an irregular basis, but Feedly won’t show any posts from them for a while and then will show three all on the same day (not the way they were posted). Other blog posts show up like they are supposed to—at least, as far as I know.

I’ve tried to Google the problem but haven’t found a solution. When I click on Feedly’s support button, it takes me to a page that shows their paid plans—so I guess you get no support if you use the free plan?

It may be time to try a different service. Do you use something other than Feedly? I don’t need something with all kinds of features—I just want a blog aggregator.

I know I could subscribe to blogs via email, and some bloggers prefer that you follow them that way. But I really don’t want blog posts coming to my email. I like keeping blogs separate to read when I can get them. If they came through the mail, I’d either feel pressured to read them as soon as they come in, or they’d get buried and I’d miss them.


No cards this month–nice since December and February are big card-making months here.

I have another project in mind for the guest room, but I’ll share more about that when I get it started.

Watching and Listening

I mentioned earlier this week listening to a series on aging from Elisabeth Elliot’s old Gateway to Joy programs. BBN Radio is playing them this week, but they are also available on the EE web site.

I had not watched The Amazing Race for the last few years. But this year the Holderness Family is on it-–my son and d-i-l have shared with us several of their videos. I love that they treat each other with respect . . . unlike some other contestants. That’s one reason I stopped watching the show before—all the drama with people fighting. But I am looking forward to this year’s race.

We’ve been watching Around the World in 80 Days and All Creatures Great and Small on PBS Masterpiece Theatre. This is the second season of All Creatures, and even though it’s not entirely true to the books, the feel of the show and the characters are so cozy. 80 Days, however, is the kind of remake that riles me. It’s been a while since I read/listened to the book, but from what I can tell, only the characters’ names and the bare overview of the story are the same. It’s not just that they turned Detective Fix (who in the book mistook Fogg for a bank robber and was after him for much of the book) into a young female journalist. But they’ve changed nearly every scene, making it more fan fiction than a remake. And they are trying to infuse 21st century sentiments into a 19th century work. Argh! But . . . if I can just take it as it is and not compare it to the book, it’s enjoyable to watch.

We also watched Darkest Hour, about Winston Churchill’s appointment and early days as Prime Minister during WWII. It has been out for a while, but we had never heard of it. It was quite good, though some scenes and details are fictional. (Warning–one or two bad words.)


Since last time I have finished:

I’m currently reading:

  • 100 Best Bible Verses to Overcome Worry and Anxiety
  • Be Successful (1 Samuel): Attaining Wealth That Money Can’t Buy by Warren W. Wiersbe
  • The Middle Matters: Why That (Extra)Ordinary Life Looks Really Good on You by Lisa-Jo Baker
  • IBS for Dummies by Carolyn Dean and L. Christine Wheeler
  • Framley Parsonage (fiction) by Anthony Trollope (audiobook)
  • Half-Finished (fiction) by Lauraine Snelling


Besides book reviews, Friday Fave Fives, and Laudable Linkage, I had these posts on the blog this month:

  • When God Changes Your Plans. “God’s highest blessing may not be having my plans and dreams turn out like I want.”
  • Books Shape Our Thinking. “We observed over the course of years a definite shift in thinking and beliefs in each of these cases. The speaker or writer didn’t come to their new views from their Bible reading, but from the books they read. Those books then colored their view of Scripture.”
  • Blameless? “Sometimes the word ‘blameless’ caused me the same kind of frustration as a white shirt. My flesh fails daily. How can I ever be blameless?”
  • God Is Not Going to Slap the Cookie From Your Hand. “Our standing before God and His love for us are totally dependent on His grace, not our actions. My ups and downs, stumblings, faults, and failures don’t threaten His love for me or my salvation. But Jesus did say, ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments’ (John 14:15).”
  • An Old Poem for a New Year. Part of a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier about his birthday seemed applicable to the start of a new year.

Looking Ahead

On the plus side, we make much about Valentine’s Day, plus my daughter-in-law’s birthday is this month. A friend and I are trying to get together for lunch one day, an event that has been postponed due to the holidays and illnesses. On the downside, I have a medical test I am not looking forward to. But getting it over with will be a plus.

And each day is one day closer to spring, warmer days, more sunlight, and growing things!

How was your January? What are you looking forward to in February?

(I often link up with some of these bloggers.)

12 thoughts on “End of January Reflections

  1. This “long” month does seem to have passed pretty quickly. Earlier this week I was amazed to realize it had been just one month since Christmas, though. It seems ages ago! I never started watching “Around the World,” and reading your thoughts, I’m glad (I haven’t read the book either, though). I am watching “All Creatures” and it’s such a nice, gentle escape each Sunday. I don’t have any blog aggregator advice. I share many of your thoughts though; I don’t like getting blog posts in my email either, and if I did, like you, I would feel compelled to right away read them 🙂 I’ll be praying for you with the medical test. As you said, it will be nice to have it in the rear view mirror. Happy February!

  2. Your husband can probably have a side hustle fixing dishwashers with what he’s learned from tinkering with yours. Sorry things aren’t looking like an easy win.

    I remembering watching Darkest Hour when it came out and thinking that it left me dissatisfied, like the film oversimplified the issues for the movie’s sake.

    For a reader, I had not tried Feedly when Google Reader was decommissioned. I tried two others: Miniflux and The Old Reader. Neither were perfect, but Miniflux (kind of a free minimalist reader) changed over the years and I reverted to The Old Reader (originally free, now $20/yr). It works pretty well though posts get duplicated over the course of the day and that is a bit annoying. I’m planning to stick with TOR for the time being.

    Love All Creatures (esp Mrs Hall) even with its diversions from the originals. I had great hopes for 80 Days but think I will read the book instead….

    • I mentioned dishwasher fixing as a possible retirement option. I don’t think he’ll be taking that route. 🙂

      Yes, The Darkest Hour did seem a little oversimplified, as if Churchill was the only legislator who wanted to stand up against the Nazis. I don’t know if it was truly weighted that way. But it was enlightening to realize that Britain faced such opposition. I knew the US resisted getting into the war for a long time, but I had not known there was much reluctance in Britain as well.

      Thanks for the info on blog aggregators!

  3. Hmm…I use Feedly too but wasn’t aware of this problem. Yikes. I wonder if it’s happening to blogs I follow but I just haven’t noticed yet. This is my favorite way to read the blogs I follow too.

  4. Pingback: February Reflections | Stray Thoughts

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