January 2012: Looking Back, Looking Forward

In thinking about January 2012, a new month and a new year, I decided to check out the Roman God Janus, with his face looking forward and back and found this information printed below the photo:

The first of January was dedicated by the Romans to their God of Gates and Doors, Janus. A very old Italian God, Janus has a distinctive artistic appearance in that he is commonly depicted with two faces…one regarding what is behind and the other looking toward what lies ahead. Thus, Janus is representative of contemplation on the happenings of an old year while looking forward to the new. Some sources claim that Janus was characterized in such a peculiar fashion due to the notion that doors and gates look in two directions. Therefore, this God could look both backward and forward at the same time. Originally, Janus was portrayed with one bearded face and the other clean-shaven, which may have symbolized the moon and the sun, or age and youth. Later, he is most often shown with beards on both faces and frequently holds a key in his right hand. Very early statues of Janus (around the Second Century B.C.) depict him with four faces. http://www.novareinna.com/festive/janus.html

If you are making resolutions or new goals, you might want to look back at 2011 and see what you accomplished and what you did not accomplish and decide if 2012 is the year to complete unfinished projects. My “pet project” for 2012 is to put all my rhymes and poems on the computer, then print them out and put them in a notebook.

In the meantime, January is a perfect time to contemplate goals for the new year, since all the hype of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah/Christmas, etc. are over and you can get back to “normal” living, whatever that may be. (Or at least, next to normal, which happens to be the name of a play that we saw and loved!)

My plans for January include posting a few 2011 leftovers (looking back) and several new articles (looking forward). One of these is a call for participants in my research on a book on menopause and weight gain before, during and after this major rite of passage for midlife women. I am working with my D.O., who also practices alternative medicine. More on that in a day or two. The idea came from the book I am reading and reviewing on Nobody Eats like Me. I hope you will consider helping me with my research.

Speaking of reviews, I will be continuing my review of diet books and food plans, including a look back at the notes I am taking on The Perfect 10 Diet, which I reviewed in December. I will also review some other books, one of which is pictured below, written by a young mother with two highly allergic children. Very focused recipes!

As for recipes, January is a good month to post some cold weather foods such as soups, stews and casseroles. OF course, if you live in the tropics, these recipes many not be of interest. But this is the time of the year when my raw foods diet bows to my cooked foods diet. I still eat lots of salads & raw veggies, but nothing warms me better at the end of a cold day than a bowl of soup! And since January 6th is Bean Day (See below), I will include some recipes with beans.

I Googled soup recipes & chose this one, because it looks somewhat similar to the one I am making tonight, but wanted to post the Home Page earlier, so I don’t have my soup photo yet!

Other topics to consider are the holidays or special days in January. (Source: http://www.holidayinsights.com Go to this site for the full listing. I don’t know who is responsible for these special days, but they are fun to celebrate.)  One of them is Bean Day, January 6th, so I will post a recipe around that time using beans. Here’s what the Internet says about ways to celebrate Bean Day, other than cooking with beans:

  • Gardeners can enjoy this day surfing through seed catalogs to select beans to grow in the spring.
  • Read the story “Jack and the Beanstalk” to your pre-schooler.
  • Teachers can use bean seeds for learning exercises in course material.
  • Others, can bone up on the history of beans….doesn’t that sound like fun!?

January 10th is also Houseplant Appreciation Day, and if you live in cold climates, houseplants can be a pleasant addition to your home, since most of the trees and plants outdoors are not in bloom. My husband has the green thumb, so maybe I will post some photos of our house plants for you to appreciate!

January 15th is National Hat Day, an easy one for me, since I wear hats every day, winter & summer. So don a special hat to wear on that day. I am knitting a new one, so maybe I will wear that one!


Other days you may celebrate in January, if you wish, are: National Popcorn Day (Jan. 19th), Penguin Awareness Day (Jan. 20th), National Pie Day & National Handwriting Day (Both on Jan. 23rd), National Puzzle Day & National Cornchip Day (both on Jan. 29th: Eat chips while building a puzzle!), and Inspire Your Heart with Art Day (Jan. 31st). For this last day of January I have a perfect poem written by my classmate Mary Lou that was inspired by a painting by Monet.

Note: A very special, serious day to remember is January 16th, Dr. Martin Luther King Day. There will probably be TV and newspaper articles to help us remember this historical person.

Finally, in anticipation of my January Home Page and the picture of Janus (photo at top), I took two photos from our patio looking toward Center City Philadelphia, one at dusk on December 31st, the last day of 2011 and another this morning on January 1st, 2012, the first morning of the new year. Both pictures look peaceful and calm, which I hope 2011 was for you and also will be in 2012.

Dusk, December 31st, 2011


Early Morn, January 2st, 2012

A Happy, Healthy, Green Living New Year!

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