Hello again. It seems at the start of every year I start up this blog again only for it to die off again in a few months. But, this time I’ve devised a different plan. Since I post fairly regularly on Instagram and Twitter but rarely on Facebook, I thought I would do a monthly update to keep me on schedule and share with those who are only on Facebook.
It was a rough start to the new year. Let’s just say I was at a pretty low point due to some personal situations I had no control over. But I’m glad to say by the middle of the month I started feeling like myself again. I had wanted a sparkly, fun new year, but was curled up on the couch alone instead. Certainly an Instagram vs. reality situation.
On December 15, the Bills hosted a playoff game against the hated Patriots. It was a Saturday night game in below freezing temperatures - and I went and it was AMAZING! I was about 12 rows up on an endzone, great seats with some big plays happening right in front of us. I was so bundled up and yelling and dancing that I never got cold. It was one of the most perfect games you could ever see a team play and, as a lifelong fan, it is something I will never forget and am SO happy that I was there in true Bills Mafia style to witness it live.
Although it was a cold and snowy January, I enjoyed some time outdoors. Clear, cold days are sometimes the most beautiful. Thankfully we’ve had some snow so I’ve been able to hunt a few times. The day the Bills played in the division playoffs in Kansas City, I took a walk along the canal to get some energy out. The snow was supposed to stop in the afternoon, but clearly by the photos you can see it was snowing and blowing quite intensely. I still enjoyed getting out for a bit and getting a little cardio in. Unfortunately, the football game was one I’d like to forget…
After I finally got settled into my new place, I had my parents over for dinner and made two delicious Half Baked Harvest recipes. For dinner, I made her French onion pasta without the prosciutto. I had made this before and was craving it, so I made it again and decided to share. So good!! Those fresh herbs in there with the onion and creamy cheese is perfect. For dessert, I made maple cookie pie. It is basically a pecan pie-like filling with ooey, gooey chocolate. The maple taste seemed to get overpowered by the chocolate, so when I make it again I will probably leave the chocolate out. So easy to make and very yummy. Everything was so good that I forgot to take pictures before it was devoured!
I wound out the month by taking a day to myself in Rochester. First, I did a thing I’ve never done before: ate at a restaurant by myself. I had brunch at the Brown Hound inside the Memorial Art Gallery. I don’t know what I was so afraid of. I sat at the bar and chatted with the staff and really enjoyed myself. I had a cider mimosa and a breakfast poutine, which was a special that day. I can never say no to poutine! Everything was delicious and the staff was really great. Definitely worth a return trip.
I then walked around the MAG. It was my first time here. I hope more people in the area visit the museum. It’s crazy to think I’ve driven by the MAG so many times without ever knowing that it contained Monet, Warhol, Rockwell, Rubens, Matisse and so many amazing artists. They had a cool little room for kids that was themed with activities for their main gallery. I like that they include that space to keep kids interested and involved.
After the MAG I went right down the road to the Eastman House and Museum, another first that I had passed by plenty of times. They had two fantastic exhibitions on display. The first was From an Untouched Landscape by James Taylor that focused on the removal of Aboriginal culture from Australia. The main exhibition was I Believe I’ll Run by Joshua Rashaad McFadden. It comprises seven different series that explore various genres such as social documentary, reportage and fine art. I really enjoyed McFadden’s work. I particularly liked Evidence, Unrest in America, After Selma and A Lynching’s Long Shadow. I believe the exhibition is at Eastman until June. Now, during Black History Month, would be a great time to get out to see the work while taking time to reflect on its meanings.
I love old houses so I loved to see the Eastman house meticulously kept as it was in all its grandeur. The library was one of my dreams! A beautiful space. I plan on going back in the spring/summer when the grounds are all in bloom.
Speaking of libraries, one of my favorite parts about my new apartment is that all my books are unpacked and on display! I bought an old settee at an estate sale this summer and it completes the perfect little corner of my apartment.
For book club in January we read Verity by Colleen Hoover. Don’t hate me, but I am not the biggest Colleen Hoover fan. The book wasn’t bad, but I just can’t really seem to adore her books like so many do. I then read The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow is probably in my top ten of favorite books, or up there close. His writing is magnificent. I enjoyed this novel, but I almost had to put it aside early on because it contains one of the most hated characters I’ve ever encountered! I loathed this character. Even when narrative was added to gain sympathy for his actions, I just couldn’t forgive or feel anything for him. I hated him! It took a bit to get over that. Alka Joshi’s The Henna Artist was very good. I will most likely read her follow-up novel down the road. It’s always nice to step into a culture and world outside of the United States, and this novel deeply immersed you in India. Paula Hawkins has written some great stories, but A Slow Fire Burning was perhaps the most forgettable, even though I still enjoyed it! I closed out the month with The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I love anything that touches on historical fiction, and love anything close to Ancient Rome. I was torn on my thoughts on this one. The writing was superb, but sometimes it’s hard to get through a fictionalized historical story when it’s different from how your mind has always believed it to be. I look forward to reading Circe at some point to see how it compares.
That wraps up my January. February is already off to a great start. I’ll be back to share in another month.
"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." --Anatole France