Do you have UFOs? Not what you sci-fi fans think, but UnFinished Objects. Think not? Let me help you. Quilt tops, not all cut out, not pieced or sandwiched, or in need of quilting. Knitting, stocking cap that probably won't be done this winter, a sweater with all the pieces done, but never sewn together that you aren't sure where it is, or the Grinch-green socks that have never gotten beyond the heel. And what about the cross-stitch baby sampler? The baby is now 16.
There's more, depending on your handiwork of choice. How about the slip covers you were going to make for the couch, pattern and material just waiting for the scissors? Think about the baskets, boxes, cupboards, drawers and bins that are full of stuff that you have started and never finished, or planned to start and never did.
We need to get realistic. Don't get it all out. That's overwhelming, and all you will do is stuff it back in and forget it again. Repeat after me. "I am going to finish some of my UFOs this year."
Take one box and open it up. You might be surprised what is there. Take everything out. Look at each item carefully. Now, decision time. That baby sampler, realistically, will you finish it? If yes, put it in an open basket next to your chair so you see it every time you sit down to watch TV. Go thought all the items in the box in the same way.
Teenagers don't want Disney princesses. A needle worker who has young granddaughters would like to have them. Hand it off to someone else. If no one wants them, put them in a rummage sale -- trash if not sold -- or trash them yourself. The idea is to winnow, to whittle your UFO to a manageable and doable number. When these items are finished, find another box and do the same.
If you get sick and tired of looking at this basket of things you really don't want to do, trash the whole lot and be proud that you have finished an object! It doesn't have to be finished to be finished. This is not out of sight, out of mind, but out of the house never to be seen again. Think how happy you will be.
I hate dark. I hate cold. I hate snow. I hate winter. While I'm at it, I hate exercise.
Take your pick. On Jan. 23, the moon, entering its mild second quarter, increases the chances of a significant thaw. The cold front, due near Jan. 25, often puts an abrupt end to chances for a January thaw. Sort of like depending on the groundhog -- just wait and see. The first large waves of robins and bluebirds cross the Ohio River by the week's end. Jan. 26 is the first day of the season of late winter. Although this period can be one of the coldest of the year in the North, its thaws accelerate the swelling of buds and blooming of early bulbs. Throughout the country, average temperatures, which had remained stable from the middle of January, climb one degree. Along the Gulf Coast, elderberries and azaleas bloom; new calves are in the fields and turtles hatch. It is spring somewhere. (Countryside)
A 3-year old of my acquaintance has been busy making snow angels. She doesn't do it according to the rules. It's a bit blurry, with hand and feet prints, but anyone can tell what she has been about, and she has had a great time in the snow. Ah, to be 3.
A couple of young boys knocked on the door wanting to know if I wanted my walk and driveway shoveled. It has been such a long time since anyone wanted to do so that I paid them to shovel the front walk and a path from the backdoor to the car. They did a good job.
We know that grass-raised beef is the in thing. I was a bit taken back to read that one store was selling beer-raised seasoned stew meat. Second reading, beer-BRAISED stew meat. Took away the picture of happy steers staggering around the pasture.
If you look hard enough, you can find a study for anything. The Splash Lab at Utah State University recently determined the optimal length of time to submerge an Oreo in milk. According to the findings, an Oreo reaches maximum milk absorption at four seconds, so it's best to eat the cookie after three seconds in milk. I have never understood the fascination with milk-soaked cookies. Oreos should be crisp. It's like putting Vanilla Wafers in banana pudding. Mushy, soggy, a texture akin to liver, one that doesn't belong in the mouth.
"No one can be sad when they have a balloon!" (A.A. Milne)
• ELIZABETH WOODWORTH is a weekly columnist based in Saline County.