January Days of REST

Sunday, January 29, 2023

 As the month of January draws itself to a close, I feel a bit sad.  Why you may ask? It is because -  for me anyway - January is a time of rest and reflection.  

I enjoy hot cups of tea in the afternoon, 

snuggling under my cozy afghan with our sweet kitties, 

catching up on some overdue book reading, 

creating new videos with pictures I've taken throughout the year, 

and I've also been busy organizing, decluttering, and just... well... puttering! 

I like to putter in January.  {smiles}

It is such a restful month after the busyness of the holidays.  

How about you? Is January a month of rest for you? 

I've enjoyed the rosy evening light that graces 
distant mountains as seen from our property one afternoon. 

I also want to point out that January is one of the 2 months of the year without a major celebratory holiday.  

January - time to rest! 
February has Valentine's. 
March has St. Patrick's Day. 
April has Easter. 
May has Mother's Day and Memorial Day. 
June has Father's Day. 
July has July 4th.  
August - like January - must be a resting month! 
September - Labor Day.  
October - Halloween. 
November - Thanksgiving. 
December - Christmas.   

So you see... January and August are our two months to rest and just enjoy the season we are in.  
And I have!  I've enjoyed January very much :) 

The dogs and I, as well as my husband, enjoyed one of the rare sunny days
and went for a cross-country ski.  Oh, what fun we had! 

My husband and I took one Saturday this month and went for a drive up to Priest Lake to see the lake and the mountains in the snow. Oh, it was beautiful! 

Priest Lake in mid-January

We traveled around some well-maintained snowy roads
enjoying some beautiful views too! 

I've been enjoying my dear friend Cheryl's book - it's a book you can read - and re-read! If you haven't already, leave a comment on THIS POST before Tuesday, January 31 - and you have a chance to receive one for yourself. You can also order it online through Amazon. Oh, it will bless your heart! I have enjoyed it immensely! 

Now... I have a very funny story for you! 

Can any of you guess why there might be a McDonald's Big Mac box
way.... and I mean ... way up in the branches of a pine tree? 

It was a raven!  Now, I've seen ravens carrying a LOT of things in their beaks. Mostly, they've picked up yard eggs laid by my hens, or they've been scavenging in my compost pile or carrying pieces of dead things from the road. However, this raven was quite thrilled with its find. It flew low over the dogs and I as we walked. My dogs were going crazy! They wanted it too! When the raven finally landed way up in the pine tree, I still couldn't see what it was. I got out my phone camera and zoomed in... and there it was, high up in the tree, enjoying its trash-to-treasure find! Oh, what a chuckle it gave me to see this! 

Although I must admit after my chuckle, that I felt a bit ... frustrated .... with someone on our road who throws their fast-food trash out every single day. I am constantly picking up trash from local fast-food restaurants as we walk.  It makes me so sad.  But, at least this piece of trash was fully enjoyed by our 
local raven-ously hungry raven! 

So, I was thinking about Big Macs, and how yummy their sauce is.  I had seen a recipe pop up from Taste of Home about how to make your own at home.  Turns out, it is really easy to make! The link to make it is here.  I've posted the recipe below if you'd care to try it.  

McDonald’s Big Mac Special Sauce

1/4 cup real mayonnaise

1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons ketchup

1 tablespoon finely diced yellow onion

1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish

2 teaspoons yellow mustard

1/4 teaspoon white vinegar

Tiny pinch cayenne pepper

Mix the first three ingredients by stirring the mayonnaise, ketchup, and diced onion together in a small bowl. Mix in the pickle relish, squeezing the excess liquid from the sweet pickle relish, then add the relish to the bowl.  Stir and enjoy with your hamburger! This will last in the refrigerator for about a week and can be used as a condiment to other meats as well.

~ ~ ~ 

 I've had time to make another video using pictures I've taken. I think you will enjoy this one! It is called "Master of the Wind" sung by Becky Isaacs-Bowman from her new CD "Songs that Pulled Me Through"  So many wonderful songs on this CD. I highly recommend buying it! 

This song is such a beautiful song, and I hope you will enjoy the music and the pictures! Please visit my Youtube channel if you haven't already ~ I would love to have you as a subscribing follower. {smiles}

Some of you may remember when I shared the picture of the hand in the sky a few years ago.  You can read that post here.  It was in June 2020 when the c virus was making its rounds so apparent, and I was crying out to the Lord as I walked about it all.  I looked up to the sky as I reached my turning around point, and saw this incredible cloud formation in the sky.  Does God speak to us in signs? Oh yes, I would say, He does! He is the Master of the Skies, of this earth, and all that goes on. We can put our trust in His Hands! It is a comfort for me each day to know that He hears our heart's cry, and although things still seem so difficult in the world around us, I feel His peace in my heart, because He is the One who brings peace in the midst of every storm. I hope you will enjoy this video, and be blessed knowing He loves you so very much!


  1. Puttering is good! I've also been puttering, cleaning and doing a lot of organizing and it feels good. I never thought about January being a resting day, but you are right. After the busyness of December, it's just good to be home in January.
    It's sad that someone regularly throws trash out on your beautiful road. I'd glad that the raven got to enjoy this part of it.
    I remember your hand in the sky, and it's good to be reminded of it again.

    1. Puttering is nice to do sometimes! I try to stay very busy, and keep things checked off a to-do list, but sometimes it feels good to just not have a list, and enjoy being home :) It is so sad to us that someone thinks they should just chuck their food bag out the door when they're done with it. Hoping that they see me carrying home their trash, and feel convicted about it. Maybe, it's wishful thinking! Blessings to you dear friend!

  2. Enjoying those winter trails and skies make the time fly! Great photos.

    1. Thank you Marie... wintertime does offer up some beautiful scenery, in between clouds of course! Blessings to you :)

  3. No, I have not had as much fun in January as you have, though I certainly enjoy a puttery day. Glad that you've enjoyed a pleasant January. Beautiful pictures!

    1. Puttering is good, for the soul, I do believe! Most days, I have a list I work off of, but some days, I make no list, and just enjoy winter's quiet. Happy February to you!

  4. I've done my fair share of puttering this January, too, Marilyn. We all need times of sincere rest and relaxation to keep moving forward, don't we? I'm responding to your blog on my laptop at the moment, but when I close, I'll get on my regular computer so I can watch/listen to your video on my headphones.

    1. It does definitely feel good to putter, Martha! Thank you for listening to my video, I hope it is a blessing to you! Have a lovely weekend :)

  5. I hope you've gotten some much needed rest this month. As usual, your blog is lovely. For me, I am ready for the snow to melt. The needed removal of so much snow has not been restful here. I am looking forward to it melting away!

    1. I know, it's been a long winter for so many people! Our snow came in November, and is still here. Will be ready for it to be gone, soon! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  6. I have intentionally slowed down this past month. I will say, though, that last night it was 5 below, and today's a high of 1 degree. It's been snowing since Saturday evening, and I am ready for spring now. Your music video is beautiful. Nicely done. I subscribed to your channel. Thank you.

    1. I know Nancy... I am trying to content myself until spring comes! Puttering helps ;) Thank you for subscribing to my channel, I appreciate it so much! Blessings to you!

  7. Taking time to go through January slowly seems to be a common theme. Beautiful images. We all need times of rest and recuperation. Now I've starting some serious cleaning out of closets and things.

    1. I've done a lot of organizing too, Lorrie. It feels so good to take loads of things to the thrift store! Always appreciate your visit :) Blessings!

  8. You have found a wonderful way to spend your January. It is nice to be able to enjoy things as they come. Resting is good and enjoying nature with your husband is sweet!
    Funny how ravens seem to find things. Every so often I have found a raven's stash up in the trees...them and grey jays are quite the hoarders. :) Sorry you have to find so much trash along your road. Really a senseless act in my opinion.

    1. Indeed, we have seen the ravens carry off all kinds of things, but this one was definitely unique! They do love to make stashes in trees, really quite amazing creatures, all things considered. They like to taunt and tease our dogs, and will fly from tree to tree, with the dogs chasing them. Indeed, it is nice to rest in January. Now that we are in February, I am starting to plan my garden this year. Won't be long and spring will be here!

  9. Good for you for taking January at it's best which includes some rest and puttering. When we lived on the Seattle side of Washington the crows would always find MacDonald's and other treats to eat on our property. That was the city and you kind of expect trash along the roads. Now we are enjoying the ravens which are larger than the crows. Thanks for that recipe. Enjoy the last day and a half of January!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Ellen! Those ravens are really smart, and we've seen them taunt the dogs, and keep them running from tree to tree. I hope you enjoy the recipe. I will be glad to share some more recipes from this no-sugar journey as we find ones that we like. Blessings!

  10. Yes January is usually a slower month for me, I don't enjoy the cold much anymore so I don't get out as often as I should though. Gorgeous pictures of your outings though, so lovely to enjoy them from my warm chair :). I agree with you, it hurts me to see how people think it is ok to throw there trash out their car doors, it is the same in our neighborhood, I just can't wrap my head around why they would want to dirty up the beauty out there like that.

    1. It is very hard to understand why someone would just throw things out their window too. So very saddening to me. I appreciate your visit, and comment so much! I understand how hard it is with the cold, I find getting out in the wintertime to walk every day really helps me though. Many blessings to you dear friend!

  11. Dear, sweet friend, your kind words are so deeply appreciated! I am so thankful you are enjoying our latest book! That blesses my heart so much. Your beautiful photos are so lovely accompanying the music on your videos. They are such a blessing! When I saw how that raven brought that food to the top of that tree to eat, you know where my mind went immediately—to Elijah and how God commanded the raven to bring him food morning and evening! Oh, this visual of this raven doing this just brought that story to life for me! I am sorry the person litters on the road, but this one time, I am glad they did so we could get this wonderful image to remind us of Elijah and how God sustained him! It comforts me knowing He will always sustain His trusting children. The sustenance may not always come in ways we would expect them to, but He has been dealing with my heart about being willing to accept His gifts through whatever channel HE chooses. Praise His holy name! It was so wonderful to visit with you today. Sending much love, gratitude, and many hugs your way!

    1. Oh Cheryl, what a beautiful picture you painted of this raven! It may seem to bring things that we wouldn't eat, but God knew how to get that raven to bring the prophet just what he needed to eat. It is amazing, ravens are very smart birds. I love how you brought out that analogy! Its so true, God may not always provide "how" we want, but He always does take care of us, and yes, may we be willing to see that sometimes His gifts come through unusual circumstances, but are truly the best for us. Thank you for that encouraging word! Blessings to you dear friend!

  12. Hello,
    I enjoyed January this 2023 as well, and for many of the same reasons.
    I did start a T-shirt quilt for our son who is deployed. I enjoy working on it and praying for him while I do. It is a cozy project, just right for January. :-)

    Goodness, what a fun and frustrating story. Raven's are such amazing birds. Having someone toss trash out daily would annoy me as well.
    Sending February Hugs!
    Love, Carla

    1. A T-shirt quilt sounds wonderful Carla, what a blessing it will be for your son to enjoy! Lots of prayers to cover him both physically and spiritually! Yes, ravens are very smart birds. We have quite a few around here. I'm hoping the trash-thrower will be convicted of his ways, and change. I posted the picture of the raven eating the McD's on a local very large FB page. I haven't seen much trash thrown out since, so... maybe they took notice! One can only hope! Blessings to you sweet friend :)

  13. I too love puttering in the off months when there is not quite so much to do. Those holidays kind of take up too much time sometimes, and I wish there were more months to just slow down and putter. Your photos are beautiful of the lake.. I've been to Priest Lake twice and it is one of my most favorite places of all in the United States! You always make me yearn for the mountains, green majestic trees and water! I think August, though no holidays, there is always so much to do as far as yardwork and gardening, or it's the month to take a trip as the weather usually cooperates!

    That story of the Raven and McDonald's is so funny! How could anyone litter your gorgeous area? I think I would wait and watch, and if I saw them, hold up a big sign to NOT litter your beautiful area!

    Your video is so nice.. the photos stunning as always, and loved the song and words.

    I've done some puttering in January and hope to do more in February!
    xoxoxo Marilyn

    1. I'm still in "puttering mode" too, Marilyn! It has been quite a gray January, and now February too. So much rain. I much prefer the snow! But anyway, I've had more time to visit blog friends, and get some projects done around the house, which is really a blessing. Soon, the busy season will be here, and I'm looking forward to it, but still enjoying the quiet days now. I hope you can come this way sometime this year and camp! We would love that! Blessings to you dear friend!

  14. Yes, I know what you mean, Marilyn....January is a month of rest. It's always a month of de-cluttering and organizing for me as well. I just gave a couple things to the antique shop. Your dogs must have had a blast going cross country skiing with you. And these are beautiful pictures at the lake. Well, I know the crows always hang out at fast food parking lots to get bits of leftovers, but this Raven picked up the bag and was on his way. What a funny story. That's too bad that your neighbor throws his trash outside quite often. It's so good of you to be picking it up. By the way, I LOVE Big Macs, and you'll sometimes find me going through the drive-thru for a Big Mac and coke when I'm craving it.

    Happy February days to you, Marilyn.


    1. I love Big Mac's too, Sheri! They are a treat I don't often indulge in, and I don't feel great afterwards, but I sure enjoy it while I'm eating it, lol! We love to cross country ski here, and this winter, we've not had a whole lot of nice snow to do it in. Hoping we get another nice snowfall before it all melts. I'm hoping the trash-thrower will be convicted of his ways, and change. I posted the picture of the raven eating the McD's on a local very large FB page. I haven't seen much trash thrown out since, so... maybe they took notice! One can only hope! Many blessings to you dear friend, I hope you are staying warm and cozy :)

  15. Beautiful post and beautiful pictures! I love to putter around when it's really cold outside! Right now here its pretty cold but the sun is shining so it's not too bad! Funny about the raven and the McDonalds box!

    1. Thank you for your visit Jeanette... yes the puttering has continued into February, we've had so many gray days. However, spring is surely not far away, so I'm enjoying them! I'm hoping the trash-thrower will be convicted of his ways, and change. I posted the picture of the raven eating the McD's on a local very large FB page. I haven't seen much trash thrown out since, so... maybe they took notice! One can only hope! Blessings to you dear friend!

  16. I'm glad you enjoy puttering too, Teri, it seems I do get quite a bit accomplished, even without a list! Many blessings to you Teri!

  17. Dearest Marilyn,
    What an interesting post—almost like reading a book!
    For us January was a hectic month this year. We came back from our 7 free nights for points at Hyatt Resort in Orlando and Hyatt Regency in Sarasota and had to do laundry and cleaning. Catching up on things.
    Making the rounds to Atlanta for stocking up our freezer and fridge in a healthy way. We also had to prepare for the placing of our Renewal by Andersen bay windows in our kitchen on January 17th.
    Starting February 1 I had help from my new cleaning lady. She works for years for a friend, the wife of our former primary care doctor. That's how I got to know her due to our friend asking if she could take one more home on.
    So happy with that! It was getting too much—don't have the energy for it.
    Thanks for your visit and comment and here I am before I reply to that...
    Did ad your blog to my sideline so I know when you publish.
    Oh, I came very close to your state Idaho when in July I started on my Now or Never — Travel WEST with us post. We stayed at Jenny Lake Lodge for 2 nights before driving to Colorado. What a journey and so glad I've done it as I felt it really was Now or Never. My husband no longer can drive Interstate speed, he only drives around town as also his eyesight is not up for such high speed. But he enjoyed it! This is my final post and from there you will find the others, also via my Blog archive below posts: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2022/08/driving-from-tennessee-through.html


Your comments are blessings to me, and I appreciate each and every one, they are precious to me! I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog... this is what makes blogging worthwhile! Have a blessed day!


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