February teases a hint of spring. Here in Seattle we enjoyed a beautifully sunny, relatively warm day yesterday. I took advantage of it and brought my dogs to the dog park for an hour of play in the fields and river. I paid the price for taking off a couple hours in the afternoon, stretching my workday into Friday evening, but it was worth it.
QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:
- Need to buy any stamps? The rate just went up again, to 46 cents. Many of us are paying bills online now, but you still need paper stamps to mail Valentines, lovely handwritten letters and personalized notecards.
- Review this past January in your mind. How did you do on your New Year's resolutions (if you made any?) Have you been eating well, exercising, making time for friends and family, spending quality time with your partner, kids and pets? Made time for charity, stuck to your budget, read a book or two you enjoyed, kept up with the news? What will you do differently in February?
- Look over upcoming birthdays for the month of February. Write cards, and arrange to have gifts or flowers sent as applicable.
- Pay bills, mortgage/rent, etc.
- Make upcoming doctor, dentist, veterinarian, and salon/haircut appointments for the month for yourself and family members.
LOVELY HOLIDAYS, FESTIVALS AND FUN:
- Imbolc/St. Brighid's Day - February 1
- Candlemas - February 2
- Superbowl Sunday - February 3
- Mardi Gras - February 12
- Valentine's Day - February 14
- President's Day - February 18
- Easter - March 31
TODAY'S PROJECT: Fireplaces
Each winter finds me using my fireplaces quite often - just about every night. They don't heat my home, but they make it cozy and cheerful. My foster daughter and I study and eat dinner in our upstairs living room by a cheerful fire. Later in the evening, though the fire is dying by then, I enjoy a cup of chamomile tea in front of the fireplace, pets clustered around me snoozing! If we're watching TV in the chilly downstairs basement, the gas fireplace there helps us keep warm in our blankets. (No, we don't wear those horrible Snuggies!)
Sadly, my upstairs fireplace has a broken glass door, and the downstairs one is having trouble with the pilot light. So this week I need to prioritize making a repair appointment for both of them. Today my project is to make sure my fireplaces and surrounding area are in great condition, ready for our first wood fire and gas fire after the maintenance company leaves.
I'll clean out the ashes, vacuum the carpet around the fireplace, and wash the glass fireplace windows (at least the non-broken ones). Next I'll dust off the fireplace tools, and straighten my fire logs in their basket I keep next to the fireplace. I also keep a basket of small firestarters and kindling wood next to the fireplace as well, and that will need tidying and vacuuming underneath too. The tiles in front of the fireplace and surrounding the opening need to be wiped down.
I'll dust off both mantels, then replace the two burned out red candles on the mantel with two fresh new bright cheery red pillars, for the upcoming Valentine's Day. I had the chimney sweep visit us in the fall, so everything is ready to go other than the minor repairs needed.
Do you have a decorative fireplace screen that needs to be cleaned off as well? I use fireplace screens in the summer or when guests bring their small children over.
LOVELY BLOGS: Geeky Hostess
Here's a really fun blog by a woman named Tara. Like me, she lives in Seattle and well.. is geeky! She loves entertaining, and her blog is full of fun ideas for parties, geeky home decor, and serving related themed foods. Right now she's posting about some cute Dr. Who cookie cutters; some Valentine gift suggestions; and introduces some interesting cosmetic companies I'd never heard of. I can't wait to see what she finds next!
LOVELY TV: Dukes of Melrose
I'm looking forward to checking out this new show when it debuts on March 6. I don't have a lot of room in my life for TV, but I can't resist this show about boutique owners trying to find vintage couture treasures.