sandlapper_rose

January FOTESS Activities - The Joy of January!

sandlapper_rose
last month
last modified: last month

Some can't imagine there being "joy" in January when it might be cold and snowy, not much happening in the garden, when most of the excitement of the holidays is over with; some of us might just coast through the month waiting for Valentine's Day to appear when we can get fresh flowers from our sweetie or one of those heart shaped boxes of candy, or a romantic card. But this year we are going to put JOY into January!

To get us started I have a game now that will continue until Jan. 3rd. Everyone who is a member of FOTESS can participate in the games. Later this week, I will post the idea for a swap and that part of the month will require members to sign up if they want to participate in the swap. There will be lots of activities and games since part of making this month joyful is to see all that we are accomplishing.

First of all, you must be a member of this group Friends of the Earth Simple Swaps (FOTESS) in order to participate. If you are interested in joining, check with me Jeanne (sandlapper_rose) about the requirements.

So what's the overall idea to making January joyful? We are going to clean up, clear out, plan, and organize. You'll earn points for doing certain activities relating to those concepts or even if you are already cleaned up, cleared out, planned and organized when it comes to certain themes. It's a new year and time to think ahead to what we want to see and do with this new opportunity.

You'll have a bit of a packrat (me) dealing with these ideas for the month so if you are in that category, it's fine. No one is going to tell you to throw away lots of what you have or to only have one picture in a room or nothing at at all on your end tables (or maybe to not even have end tables). We'll be sharing ideas and doing what is right for us.

I'll list the first game/activity in the following post. Watch towards the end of the first week in January for our monthly swap if you want to participate in it.

Happy New Year!

Comments (177)

  • Susan Nieves - Happy Ohio Gardener

    Annie, I love your comment on the throws...I collect them too, lol! They come in handy here with the chilly winter days and evenings. Have lots of toss pillows around as well. I think we recently got rid of the last cassette tapes when we moved a couple of years ago. My husband did not want to part with them..


    I have been feeling under the weather with a cough and sore throat that hit me yesterday, and I spent most of the day sleeping.Drinkingr lots of herbal teas, cough meds, Ricola throat drops, etc. I am on the mend I hope.


    I was so happy to have received my package today from Jeanne. It brightened my day.


    . She sent me a nice note with the cutest gingerbread cut out that slides in and out of the cup along with two packets of cocoa, yummy Land O Lakes', a pack of Almond Joy candy, one of my favorites, and my husband has already eaten one. The message pad will come in handy. I needed a new one for the fridge. The chapstick will come in very handy with the brutal winds we have been having lately. I adore the painted wooden snowman "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" magnet. How did you know I love snowmen and collect them?! So happy to add this one to my collection. And the icing on the cake, Jeanne sent me broom corn seeds that I can't wait to grow in the summer. What an amazing package! I am so grateful for everything. Thank you, thank you, thank you Jeanne!

  • sandlapper_rose

    Susan, I'm glad your package arrived safely and that you liked it. Hope you feel better soon.

    I had a minor surgical procedure done in the doctor's office yesterday and then sat at the doctor's office for several hours a bit later in the day when I took my husband in for an appointment. At least they finally took an x-ray of his back. Not sure what they will do to make it feel better - but he still has medication to take so we'll see how it goes.

    I'll be back with "cleaning" and "joy" and the scavenger hunt in a little while. Time for lunch!


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  • sandlapper_rose

    Still posting. Lots to catch up on. First of all swap packages. **THIS HAS BEEN UPDATED**

    Jeanne
    sends to Susan (Received)

    Susan
    sends to Annie (Received)

    Annie
    sends to Heidi (Received)

    Heidi
    sends to Margo (Received)

    Margo
    sends to Urooj (Received)

    Urooj
    sends to Jayeanne (Received)

    Jayeanne
    sends to Jeanne (Received)

    The swap packages have been fantastic! So many people found just the perfect things for Joy in January!

    GAMES: I am trying to get myself straight on this.

    Susan won what I'll call the Broom Game. I sent her prize along with her swap package so it has been received.

    Emily won what I'll call the Grapes Game. Will send your prize soon, Emily.

    The Scavenger Hunt Game(s) will have 2 winners. One will be for the person with the most photos posted from all 3 scavenger hunt games this month. For the other one, I will draw a name from all the names of the weekly winners. So there's no prize winner to announce yet but it's time to announce our winner from Scavenger Hunt List #2. Yes, we have a tie: All 10 items were posted by JAYEANNE, ANNIE and MARGO. All 3 will get a slip of paper in their name for this part of the game and I will draw one after week 3. Thanks to everyone for participating. There were some very pretty items posted.

    And one more section I'll be posting for the new scavenger hunt list and our joy and cleaning tip.

  • sandlapper_rose

    And now our list for Scavenger Hunt - Part 3.

    You can post photos through to the end of the day Tues.

    Shovel (snow, sand, garden, toy - any kind)

    Vase

    Watering can

    Woven basket

    Bar of soap (not the pump kind of soap)

    2020 United States penny

    Decorative item with a heart

    Garden catalog

    Mail Box

    Dictionary (Must be a book)

    I tried to find out online if there were 2020 pennies in circulation
    and couldn't find information about that so we'll see if anyone
    notices one. Since I don't know if they exist, I hope no one is
    really set on finding one. The others shouldn't be too hard.

    JOY:

    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it
    would be a merrier world. - J.RR. Tolkien

    CLEAN - Window Dressings (DRAPES, CURTAINS, BLINDS, etc.)

    Some curtains are washable, but you'll want to check. I also read to check any
    decorative trims to make sure they are secure and appear washable if
    you want to wash them. If that's not a good option, you can take them
    down and shake them out (outdoors I would think) and I've also seen a
    suggestion to vacuum curtains or drapes, but anything really
    lightweight and lacy, you certainly want to use a special attachment
    so your vacuum doesn't damage them. (I got a steam mop with options
    to attach and I remember it talking about drapes/curtains, but I
    haven't tried that.) Blinds – oh I hate dealing with dust on blinds
    and we have lots of them. I've read about the microfiber dust cloths
    for that and they do sell special devices for cleaning blinds, and I
    also read about taking old socks and doing it with those on your
    hands. Anyone with other hints to add? I remember years ago, my great
    aunt would take her blinds down at least once a year and take them
    outside to wash in soapy water. Does anyone do that any more? Not
    sure if today's blinds would hold up to that.


  • pinkiris

    Jeanne ... your package is on the way

  • canyonwind

    decorative heart and vase


  • canyonwind

    woven basket


  • canyonwind

    dictionary book


  • canyonwind

    garden catalog and bar soap


  • canyonwind

    watering can....seen better days.....but can not part with it!!


  • canyonwind

    shovel


  • pinkiris

    Decorative item with a heart




  • pinkiris

    Garden catalog



  • pinkiris

    Bar of soap (not the pump kind of soap)



  • pinkiris

    Dictionary (Must be a book)



  • pinkiris

    Vase (the mama bird and baby bird salt n pepper holders were given to me from our dear friend Annie many years ago .... love them!)



  • pinkiris

    Shovel (snow, sand, garden, toy - any kind)



  • pinkiris

    Woven basket



  • sandlapper_rose

    I hope everyone had a good day. I'll keep it short this evening since I went on and on yesterday. Love the pictures that have been posted so far!

    JOY

    “A flower blossoms for its own joy.”
    ― Oscar Wilde

    CLEAN

    De-grit doormats regularly. Interior doormats (and those on a porch, attached garage, etc.) can only stop dirt from being tracked inside if they're clean. If the care tag allows, toss mats into the washing machine on the gentle cycle on warm, and tumble-dry low or air dry. If you're short on time, vacuum the front and back of the mat to loosen any embedded dirt, even if it's rubber or plastic. Then flip the mat over, and vacuum up the grit that came out. For a quick refresh, take the mat outside for a good shake.

    (My doormats are always hard at work and need to be cleaned frequently! Unfortunately some have had to be washed too many times and started to fall apart. Then out they go! My first try is always shaking the mat outside to remove as much dirt as I can. Here it's mostly sand so it shakes out pretty well.)

  • canyonwind

    mailbox


  • pinkiris

    Urooj .... OH MY ... we are going to JAPAN folks! yay! I just opened your awesome JAPANESE package from a LONG day and WOW ... absolutely perfect and OH so FUN!! THANK YOU! Urooj says ... in a very sweet note ... she is sending me on a visit to JAPAN, and to relax with the floral bath salts and bath fizzlers and to enjoy the JAPANESE snacks and tea! while reading about JAPANESE culture, and have fun with the origami crafts! ............ I dont know how in the world you got all these things in that envelope and was able to seal it closed! LOL ......Urooj shared a very intriguing 'Memoirs of a GEISHA' novel by Arthur Golden ... Kasugai Roasted Hot Green Peas .. product of JAPAN ... these look delish! JAPANESE tetra bag ... must be the tea as I dont speak Japanese ... but this looks AMAZING! (I have the tea kettle on now!, LOL) JAPANESE style noodles! wow! have never tried these and looking forward to making these! Origami crafts! LOVE these things! absolutely beautiful garden floral style trio emery boards (so needed these!, stuck one in my handbag already!) the most amazing garden delights luxury bath soak salts 'lavender bud' - this is where Im headed to next with a tea! and bath bliss balls infused with 'lavender bud' ...WOW! youve spoiled me rotten, Urooj! Thank you so much Urooj! (hugs!) this was such a FUN and very interesting travel to JAPAN ... LOVE everything! Thank YOU!




  • sandlapper_rose

    Great swap package received by Jayeanne!

    Lots of pain with my leg today so I am glad I called during the week and have a doctor's appointment on Monday. Hopefully they can figure this out.

    While I'm online I will post JOY and CLEAN.

    CLEAN: I'm attempting the clean up the bar which is between the family room and kitchen (our "catch all place" and it really overflows at times!!!) Do you have a catch all place at your house? This spot is just so convenient to set down mail that typically doesn't get sorted, decorative items when we just switched seasons, dust rags, and so much else. The whole house looks cleaner once I get it cleared off.

    JOY:

    Surprised by joy - impatient as the wind. - Wordsworth




  • pinkiris

    Mail Box



  • pinkiris

    Watering can



  • smitties

    Received my package from Heidi yesterday.

    She made my package a “fairy-rabbit-tea-drinking-girlie-imagination anticipation of spring.“ I get it Heidi as this is just my thinking. I actually picked up some decorative grass like platforms made for fairy garden set ups. I love putting these little fairy garden items in my pots and garden. These items do take me to a Peter Rabbit warmer spot. Heidi sent fairy garden items, basil and alyssum seeds, seed baggies, the cute little book, and some of her wonderful cards. Thank you Heidi. I hope you are showered with sunshine soon.

  • jdmom78_8a

    jayeanne, the card was made by heidi!!!


    whenever i use a prepaid envelope, i try to fill it as much as possible. I sent my sister something last week and was about to add some rocks in there just because I used a prepaid. everyone should use them, but they are only available through the online order form on the post office website. they don't have them at the post office! they are free, but you have to order them and the postman will drop them off at your house.


    i turned on my alert and im still not getting the messaged. must be an issue with my email. i wonder if they are headed to my junk mail!

  • xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska

    Margo I'm glad you liked it!
    Annie I found the glue from the package! I must have missed it. My cat found it and played with it. I had to piece together the note. yes I love glue! once the note came off my cat lost interest! supposed to be 50 tomorrow!!! oh and i had a marvelous day at work Friday. it's been a long time since I had a good work day so I'm yippy skippy happy. Heidi

  • smitties


    Dictionary.

  • smitties


    Vase, heart item, basket, catalog, and bar of soap

  • smitties


    Mailbox, watering can, and shovel.

  • sandlapper_rose

    I started this and then lost what I had typed. Hate when that happens.

    Of course I was happy to log on and see more pictures!

    Margo, you received a lovely package!

    CLEANING

    This information is for the drip style coffee maker where you make several cups of coffee at a time. I'm not sure if the same rules apply if you have the style coffee maker that brews one cup at a time. I'm sure they need to be cleaned as well.
    The site where I looked at these hints said chances are you don't clean your coffee maker as often as you should. In fact, 50% of these household machines contain yeast and mold according to one survey.
    1. Wash removable parts with dish soap after every use. This is important because it helps remove coffee, grinds, and oil that are left behind. You can hand wash at the sink with warm and soapy water, but usually the pieces are dishwasher-safe. And don't forget to wipe down the outside and the warming plate where spills can burn on. It's also a good idea to leave the reservoir's lid open so it can dry out completely after each use — germs love moisture!

    2. Most likely your machine needs periodic cleaning with vinegar. Over time, hard water minerals can build up in your machine's inner workings, and you may notice that your coffee takes longer to drip. The directions for your coffee maker probably recommend you clean with vinegar but check the instructions for your machine. Mine also has a filter I need to replace from time to time.

    JOY

    I couldn't resist adding this one. How many have the old Joy of Cooking cookbook? I use mine pretty often. I didn't even know there was a revised addition until my son-in-law told me. He is an excellent cook!

  • Susan Nieves - Happy Ohio Gardener

    Great tips again, don't think about the coffeemaker that often. We have a Keurig and it's about time for a filter replacement and thorough cleaning, thanks for the reminder!


    I had the Red and White Better Homes and Garden cookbook but I gave it to my daughter. I used it alot. I don't cook as much as I used to when the kids were at home and my husband cooks most days. I am fortunate he is retired..and a great cook.


    Speaking of cooking, I am gearing up to host our FOTESS Herbs and Spice and Everything Nice. I will be posting by Friday. I hope you all can join us. It will be lots of fun.

  • sandlapper_rose

    Just a short post for this evening but I wanted to let Jayeanne know that her fantastic package arrived today. I'll take a picture in the daylight. Perfect package. Tomorrow I'll "double the joy" and "double the cleaning tips" and report on the Scavenger Hunt Game. It sure seems like January has rushed past us!

    Looking forward to Herbs and Spice and Everything Nice, Susan!

  • sandlapper_rose

    And now for a picture of my package from Jayeanne. I love, love, love daffodils and Jayeanne sent me some daffodil bulbs! The name is "Ice King" and they look so pretty. Also, her note card has the Daffodil Fairy on it and she included some seeds for winter sowing. I just planted 6 jugs the other day so it is time for that fun part of gardening. She also sent some information about the history of daffodils. And there's more ... a bag of fudge (my husband and I already had a piece of it - yum), a 2-year calendar with a horse design (seriously thinking of using it to keep track of my Round Robin Swaps, I could be more organized for sure), and some wax cubes with the fragrance Lilac Breeze. Thanks so much for everything, Jayeanne!



    I realized I can't count up our Scavenger Hunt numbers until tomorrow because you have all day today to add more if you wish so on to JOY and CLEANING.


  • sandlapper_rose

    JOY

    My double dose of joy for today is to mention books about joy. Yes, there was the Joy of Cooking, but we can go beyond just cooking. I looked at some book titles on joy and here are a few. I plan to check at least one out of my library for a follow up to this month of Joy and Cleaning.

    Choosing Joy by Angela Thomas

    Choose Joy Devotional Kay Warren

    How Happiness Happens Max Lucado

    The Fundamental Theory of Happiness: How to Find Your Purpose and Be More Joyful Dominick Albano

    I haven't read any of these so the titles I listed are just some examples.

    And for children:

    How Full is Your Bucket Tom Rath (I did buy this for my grandchildren)

    Joy by Corrinne Averiss

    CLEANING

    Two points to consider: can you reuse or recycle things as you clean/clean out? I know these days more people may recycle rather than simply send things to the landfill. Let's be kind to the environment and think of that. On the reuse consideration, donations to charitable causes allow someone to reuse something that no longer fits your needs. Also, there are creative things we may not even have heard of yet. About a year or so ago I heard about plarn. Plarn comes about from cutting and reusing plastic bags. In some cases, this allows for crocheting bedding for homeless people. Here are two links that tell about plarn for bedding and using it to create other useful items.

    https://vickiehowell.com/2018/03/plarn/

    https://www.allfreecrochet.com/Basics/What-is-Plarn-How-to-Make-Plarn

  • xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska

    My mother has crocheted several dozen plarn mats and the Salvation Army gladly accepted them. They are plastic so they dry easily. They keep people off the ground-concrete, alley, floor, whatever. They tie on a couple ties so it can be rolled up and easily carried with them.

    My local thrift store also loves plastic bags. They go through many. Do any of you use a plastic bag holder? It's a crocheted tube (think of a sock with the toe cut off). You bunch up a single plastic bag and stick it in the top. Then another. Then another. When you need one you grab the one at the bottom. That way they aren't a big mess in your closet or wherever you try to corral your bags. Heidi

  • sandlapper_rose

    Thanks for posting more about plarn, Heidi. When I heard about it, I thought "Someone had a great idea". Along the lines of reusing things, so few stores now continue to have paper bags, but I always find a use for those. The newspapers fit perfectly in them so they can be easily taken for recycling and I use them to cover packages for mailing when they need it. For example, I got some boxes from a craft store and they were labeled that they contained batteries so I wrapped the box in paper from a grocery store bag before mailing --- and, no, my package didn't have any batteries in it.

    Sorry to be so late posting today. I had to take my husband for some medical tests and then I went grocery shopping and tried to catch up on some things here at home. Really have been getting worn out lately. Yesterday I drove out to check on my horse. It's only the second time I've been out there by myself so I sure hope they can get my husband feeling better soon.

    In a few minutes I'll post the results on the Scavenger Hunt game. I want to look through it carefully so I don't make a mistake. All of the swap packages have been received and they were all wonderful. Thanks for joining in.

  • sandlapper_rose

    First, I'll add a bit of JOY and for today I looked up a definition of the word.

    Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. It is something or someone that provides a source of happiness.


    Now for the Scavenger Hunt Game. Three members played a lot and the scores were tied so much that I'm going to name all 3 winners and will send each of you a small prize.

    Congratulations to Annie, Jayeanne, and Margo as winners for the Scavenger Hunt Games. I really enjoyed seeing the pictures. I confess - I didn't draw names. Margo and Jayeanne tied for the most pictures posted but Annie tied with them for the number of pictures in part 2 and 3 of the game so you each get a prize! I still need to mail the "grapes game" prize to Emily also so I'm going to plan to get those together tomorrow for mailing and I will post two more times to round out the month. Susan was our other winner and I mailed her prize along with her package. Lots of winners! Lots of Joy!

    No telling where I will go with the next 2 posts. Maybe I can be inspired by my own cleaning. Today I started cleaning out some of my attic. No fun at all, but I sure don't want to be up there working in the attic once the hot weather begins. The garage is yet to be cleaned and it will be an even bigger project.. I also want to complete that before summer and last evening I was watching a local gardening TV show and they were talking about how it's just about time for Spring pruning. We do lots of our pruning in mid-February. Arg! I still have rose bushes in containers that need to go into the ground before some fresh growth starts on them and it won't be long. It would be so nice if I could turn into 3 people for a month or so! Any hints on how to do that?

    Have a great evening.


  • sandlapper_rose

    CLEAN

    I have removed some of the old cardboard boxes from the attic. If I can make it to the solid waste site when it's open and it's not raining, off they go to be recycled. I keep some boxes on hand to mail things, but they tend to accumulate to way more than what I need. I'll see if I can get farther back into the attic tomorrow. I also took care of replacing our TV so that should show up tomorrow. It will be so nice to have that done. Other than dishes, washing clothes, and things like that, I found time to plant the daffodil bulbs from Jayeanne. They look like really nice bubs and I should have flowers soon. All of my daffodils bloomed before the end of February last year.

    JOY

    O the engineer’s joys! to go with a locomotive!
    To hear the hiss of steam, the merry shriek, the steam-whistle, the
    laughing locomotive!
    To push with resistless way and speed off in the distance

    - Walt Whitman

    I didn't get the prizes packed up today and not sure I'll be able to get them mailed tomorrow because of the TV appointment - but for sure on Saturday!

  • Susan Nieves - Happy Ohio Gardener

    Wow Jeanne, I wish I had half of your energy. I am fortunate not to have an attic anymore, but I do have a basement and a stoarge shed. I love all the cleaning tips and joyful inspiration, and have learned a lot.


    Congratulations to all the scavenger hunt winners as well. I have loved viewing all the pictures. I meant to post more but January is a rough month at work with lots of extra work hours. I did want to share my husband's recent installation of our very country mailbox. Please don't laugh too hard at the picture below...lol.





    I know it's still January, but since I will have 3 of my grandchildren starting tomorrow for the entire weekend, I thought I should post the Feburary activity which is now active. I hope everyone can join us for our February Activity - Herbs and Spice and Everything Nice. It will be lots of fun.



  • Susan Nieves - Happy Ohio Gardener

    Good morning. Speaking of January Joy I wanted to let you all know that Brecks.com is having a sale with lots of great plants at low prices and today only free shipping with no minimum order. I just purchased a couple of hardy hibiscus and peony.

  • canyonwind

    Jeanne, thanks for a January month of JOY.....very much enjoyed it. Loved your reminders and hints. I had never heard of Plarn.....interesting read.


    Happy Super Bowl weekend!!

    Annie


  • sandlapper_rose

    Thanks so much, everyone. It has been rainy and chilly here today. Apparently farther north in SC they even got snow. I had expected to get the prizes mailed today, but I've just switched our TV service and they came out today to do the installation so I didn't get out the door except for here in the yard. The prizes will go out on Monday - and maybe tomorrow. There's a meeting I have been planning to attend, but we'll see if I get up and get myself moving early enough. If I don't go to the meeting, the little "post office store" I use most of the time is open until 1 p.m. Otherwise I'll head out with them on Monday.

    JOY is having such special friends here at FOTESS.

    Happy last day of January!

    CLEAN: Yes, one more. This is about books, especially paperback books. I read that most books cannot be recycled with paper recycling because of the glue used in the binding. I never tried to recycle any, but I probably would not have thought about that. If you are a book lover, you may do like I do and keep them for a long time. Guess what, some of the pages (especially
    paperbacks) get yellowed and brittle over time. Books that are in better condition can be donated to our local library and then they are sold to raise a bit of money for the library. If you are a reader you will know of other places that accept donated books.

    My report is that for the most part old paperbacks (and I still had a few from my days in college) are not fit for anything unless that specific book has a special meaning for you or is a rare collectible. I decided at some point that I would rather buy a book again or better yet borrow it from the library than read an old musty book that makes me sneeze. (Okay after that talk, I will need to go through my bookshelves again!)

    I've had fun with this theme and am glad you did, too. I certainly didn't get all of my cleaning projects completed, but the information did a lot to keep me motivated.

  • smitties

    Jeanne, thank you for a month of fun. You were super hostess.

  • Susan Nieves - Happy Ohio Gardener

    Jeanne, I second Margo's sentiments. You were a great hostess and I learned alot and even got around to cleaning and organizaing my kitchen cabinets thanks to your motivation.

  • smitties

    Jeanne, received my prize package today so cutely wrapped. Thank you so much as everything is great. Yum on the little candy bars. Lol. Thanks again for the wonderful hostess job. Margo

  • gardengirl37232

    Hi, Jeanne! I got my prize today. Such a nice surprise in my mailbox. It really brightened my day! Thank you so much for the prize and for the fun and tips.

  • pinkiris

    Thank you Jeanne for the prize win, love the notepad, and the candy bars are gone, lol. Had a great time with all the JOY you shared with us throughout the month. ... even got to get some spring cleaning things done with some of your cleaning tips/reminders!

  • canyonwind

    Jeanne, I received my prize.....love these....fridge shelf liners and almond joys. I really did not deserve a prize but I must say, given the theme of the month, so very appropriate....LOL! I have not used these liners before but I have friends that sware by them. Thank you so much!! You made me get of my tail on a few cleaning things in January.....thank goodness. And yes, I really did dump out over 200 cassettes.....I kept 10 of them just because.......I could not part with them!! Great January month of Joy!!


    Annie

  • sandlapper_rose

    Glad the prizes are arriving. I had fun with this theme also and like you, got a few things cleaned since it was on my mind more than usual. I'm going to drop off some donations today.

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