Michelle Johnson, of Manchester, searches through the cookbooks at the Day of Knowledge Book Fair at the Millers United Methodist Church in 2015. This year's event is set for Jan. 19.
Michelle Johnson, of Manchester, searches through the cookbooks at the Day of Knowledge Book Fair at the Millers United Methodist Church in 2015. This year's event is set for Jan. 19. (Photo by Nancy McKenzie)

Happy New Year to all my readers and contributors. I have greatly appreciated the information that is submitted for consideration for the column, and the wonderful feedback from my readers as well.

It’s that time of the year when things slow a bit as we all hunker down during the winter blues — the cold, chilly evenings and the windy days. We all usually take this time in our lives to reflect and decide on some changes personally — financial, employment, health and physical fitness, mental well-being, etc. Sometimes we are too eager to make these changes all too quickly and set unrealistic goals for ourselves.


We need to remember that we all didn’t get to these points in our lives overnight and the changes and improvements we’re looking forward to won’t be done overnight as well. Keep the goals small and simple and after you’ve achieved them, start another. The satisfaction of setting and keeping and achieving multiple realistic goals will outweigh the letdown of failing a large, impossible goal.

Look toward family and friends for support and if you fall during your journey, get back up and start from where you left off. It’s not a point where you must return back at the start and go from there — you made it this far, right?

Personally, I am looking at several small changes to health issues that, hopefully, culminate into a healthier, and thinner, me. Over the last 30 years there have been ups and downs, I’ve achieved goals and then fell back, but instead of keeping the motivation, I allowed myself to fall further backward than I needed to. Excuses for everything — there are some medical things that may have contributed to where I am today but the main issues lie within me — laziness, overeating, projecting and feeling like the world is out to get me.

This is hard for me to admit all the above, but in one way or another, to one degree or another, it’s all true. For moments earlier today, I thought about saying goodbye to this column. Just one more thing I was making excuses for, but I am definitely not. I enjoy it too much and working with all of you in the community. I love sharing life events, successes, news, etc. and writing is a passion of mine I need to expand on more soon.

So, as you all are mulling over your list of resolutions, I am going to put mine out there. It’s a long and mighty one but even if I get a good chunk accomplished (mainly my health), then I will be happy.

Resolutions are: To lose weight and get healthier; read more (thanks to my full-time employer and a bookshelf overflowing with titles, that is feasible); write more — and not just my column; be more in tune with my artistic side — try painting, crafts and in turn, changing our house into a home (10 years and I need to work on improvements, purging and décor); work on finances and planning better for my family’s future; vacations and experiences — trying to teach our daughter the value of memories and experiences over that of materialistic objects; organization; family togetherness — both immediate and extended (we only have one family and we need to make the time with them count); and overall peace. No, I am not going to try conquering world peace on my own. However, I will be working on peace in my soul — trying to not let the little things get to me so much, trying to find joy in each day and not focus on the negative and with all of that, hope that structure, organization and self-discipline help me become the person deep down I know I am. My daughter watches me and sees how I react to life’s curveballs and I don’t want her to see those negative reactions and think of them as the norm.

Hmm, I could go on and on with my thoughts. Maybe I need a blog ...

Book fair

From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, join Millers United Methodist Church in Manchester for their January Book Fair.

The snow date is Jan. 26 and the event will feature authors selling their books; and the remaining books are free. Hot dogs and drinks, for free, will be provided as well. If you’d like to donate books, paperback or hardcover, and magazines, you may donate from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17.

The event will be held in the Picnic Woods Building, 4224 Millers Station Road, Manchester. For information, call Laura Geiwitz at 410-239-8935.

Bull and Oyster Roast/Dance

The Lineboro Volunteer Fire Department is hosting their Bull and Oyster Roast and Dance from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23.

Music, by the Dixie Wind Band, will play from 7 to 11 p.m. Admission is $40 per ticket and includes admission and dinner.

The menu consists of oysters (fried, raw and steamed), pit beef and pit turkey, sides, beer, wine and soda are also included. There is no BYOB per the Carroll County Liquor Board. There will be games of chance available.

If you’re interested in tickets, call Joe at 410-977-4735 or the LVFD at 410-374-2197.


Little Free Pantry

At the end of December, I shared information regarding the Free Little Pantry having the Westminster Rescue Mission on site once a month. After publication, I was informed that due to the holiday (New Year’s Day), this month it will be held at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 15.

They will be there with a refrigerated box truck that is stocked with meat, produce and other perishables for those in need in the community.

The pantry is located behind the Prayer Chapel at St. John’s United Methodist Church, 1205 N. Main St., Hampstead. Those in need can just stop by, open the door and take the food that they need — there is no paperwork to fill out.

If you’d like to donate, donations of nonperishable foods can be left at any time in the food pantry. For more information, visit www.nccpumc.com/little-free-pantry.html or call 443-956-0877.

Submission reminder

Don’t forget to send me news of your group’s upcoming events, new officers and more to me for consideration of publication. You can call me at 410-412-6787 if you’re not sure your news is something I can share; or feel free to email me as well. This is a great venue to get events of free events, nonprofit events, or events/happenings that benefit a nonprofit. It appears in print every Wednesday in the Carroll County Times and on their website as well.