January

Quotations for Gardeners, Walkers, and Lovers of the Green Way
Poems, Quotes, Folklore, Myths, Customs, Holidays, Traditions, Verses
Celebrations, Sayings, Poetry, Quips, Lore, Links, Recommended Reading
Gardening Chores for the Month of January in USDA Zone 9 


Compiled by Karen and Mike Garofalo
Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California 

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Quotes

The Month of January
Poetry, Quotations, Sayings, Information, Wisdom 

 

"January is here, with eyes that keenly glow,
A frost-mailed warrior
striding a shadowy steed of snow."
-  Edgar Fawcett

 

"Nature has undoubtedly mastered the art of winter gardening and even the most experienced gardener can learn from the unrestrained beauty around them."
-  Vincent A. Simeone  

 

"Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow." 
-  Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening 

 

"The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer.  Minute by minute they lengthen out.  It takes some weeks before we become aware of the change.  It is imperceptible even as the growth of a child, as you watch it day by day, until the moment comes when with a start of delighted surprise we realize that we can stay out of doors in a
twilight lasting for another quarter of a precious hour."
-  Vita Sackville-West

 

"January is the quietest month in the garden.  ...  But just because it looks quiet doesn't mean that nothing is happening.  The soil, open to the sky, absorbs the pure rainfall while microorganisms convert tilled-under fodder into usable nutrients for the next crop of plants.  The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come."
-  Rosalie Muller Wright, Editor of Sunset Magazine, 1/99

 

"There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter.  One is the January thaw.  The other is the seed catalogues."
-  Hal Borland

 

"Here's to thee, old apple tree
Whence thou mayest bud
Whence thou mayest blow
Whence thou mayest bear apples enow."
Wassailing Songs, England, January 5th

 

Designer Plant Combinations: 105 Stunning Gardens Using Six Plants or Fewer by Scott Calhoun
Flower by Christopher Beane
Flowers and Fables: A Welsh Herbal by Jocelyne Lawton
The Flower Gardener's Bible: Time-Tested Techniques, Creative Designs, and Perfect Plants for Colorful Gardens by Lewis and Nancy Hill.
The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Flowers from Seed to Bloom: 576 annuals, perennials, and bulbs in full color (Potting-Bench Reference Books) by Eileen Powell 

 

"It snowed and snowed, the whole world over,
Snow swept the world from end to end.
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned."
-  Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago  

 

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne."
-  Robert Burns, Auld Lang Syne 

 

"Bare branches of each tree
on this chilly January morn
look so cold so forlorn.
Gray skies dip ever so low
left from yesterday's dusting of snow.
Yet in the heart of each tree
waiting for each who wait to see
new life as warm sun and breeze will blow,
like magic, unlock springs sap to flow,
buds, new leaves, then blooms will grow."
-  Nelda Hartmann, January Morn  

 

"From Heaven I fall, though from earth I begin.
No lady alive can show such a skin.
I'm bright as an angel, and light as a feather,
But heavy and dark, when you squeeze me together.
Though candor and truth in my aspect I bear,
Yet many poor creatures I help to insnare.
Though so much of Heaven appears in my make,
The foulest impressions I easily take.
My parent and I produce one another,
The mother the daughter, the daughter the mother."
-  James Parton, A Riddle - On Snow 

 

Winter Poems Selected by Barbara Rogansky
A Mind of Winter: Poems for a Snowy Season Selected by Robert Atwan
Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season Edited by Gary Schmidt
Poetry for the Winter Season Selected by Christina Hardyment
In Celebration of Winter: A Book of Seasonal Indulgences by Helen Thompson 
The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice Selected by Carolyn Edwards
While the Bear Sleeps: Winter Tales and Traditions by Caitlin Matthews

 

Many cultures celebrate New Year's day on March 21st, the Spring Equinox. 

 

"There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you ..... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself."
-  Ruth Stout

 

"January, month of empty pockets! … let us endure this evil month, anxious as a theatrical producer's forehead."
-  Colette

 

"Little January
Tapped at my door today.
And said, "Put on your winter wraps,
And come outdoors to play."
Little January
Is always full of fun;
Until the set of sun.
Little January
Will stay a month with me
And we will have such jolly times -
Just come along and see."
-  Winifred C. Marshall, January

 

"To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June."
-  Jean-Paul Sartre

 

Slow as molasses in January.

 

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs (Cunningham's Encyclopedia Series) by Scott Cunningham
Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments by Andrew Chevallier
From Earth to Herbalist: An Earth-Conscious Guide to Medicinal Plants by Gregory L. Tilford
Growing & Using Herbs Successfully (Garden Way Book) by Betty E.M. Jacobs
Growing 101 Herbs That Heal: Gardening Techniques, Recipes, and Remedies by Tammi Hartung

 

"One of my current pet theories is that the winter is a kind of evangelist, more subtle than Billy Graham, of course, but of the same stuff." 
-  Shirley Ann Grau 

 

"Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November,
February has twenty-eight alone,
All the rest have thirty-one;
Excepting leap year, that 's the time
When February's days are twenty-nine."

 

"The name, given to the month of 'January', is derived from the ancient Roman name 'Janus' who presided over the gate to the new year.  He was revered as the 'God of Gateways', 'of Doorways' and 'of the Journey.'  Janus protected the 'Gate of Heaven', known as the 'Lord of Beginnings', is associated with the 'Goddess Juno-Janus', and often symbolized by an image of a face that looks forwards and backwards at the same time.  This symbolism can easily be associated with the month known by many as the start of a new year which brings new opportunities.  We cast out the old and welcome in the new.  It is the time when many reflect on events of the previous year and often resolve to redress or improve some aspect of daily life or personal philosophy."
Mysitcal World Wide Web 

 

"January is named after the Roman god Janus, who was always shown as having two heads.  He looked back to
the last year and forward to the new one.  The Roman New Year festival was called the Calends, and people
decorated their homes and gave each other gifts."
New Year's Day

 

 

"Janus was invoked at the commencement of most actions; even in the worship of the other gods the votary began by offering wine and incense to Janus.  The first month in the year was named from him; and under the title of Matutinus he was regarded as the opener of the day.  Hence he had charge of the gates of Heaven, and hence, too, all gates, Januoe, were called after him, and supposed to be under his care.  Hence, perhaps, it was, that he was represented with a staff and key, and that he was named the Opener (Patulcius), and the Shutter (Clusius)."
-  Mary Ann Dwight, Grecian and Roman Mythology 

 

"Ruler of new beginnings, gates and doors, the first hour of the day, the first day of the month, and the first month of the year, the Roman god Janus gave January its name.  He was pictured as two-headed (both heads bearded) and situated so that one head looked forward into the new year while the other took a retrospective view.  Janus also presided over the temple of peace, where the doors were opened only during wartime.  It was a place of safety, where new beginnings and new resolutions could be forged, just as the New Year is a time for new objectives and renewed commitments to long-term goals."
How January Got Its Name  

 

"New Year ceremonies are designed to get rid of the past and to welcome the future. January is named after the Etruscan word janua which means door."
New Year's Customs    

 

Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being by Ester M. Sternberg
Home: A Short History of an Idea by Witold Rybczynski
House As a Mirror of Self: Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home by Clare Cooper Marcus  
The Power of Place: How Our Surroundings Shape Our Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions by Winnifred Gallagher
Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winnifred Gallagher
The Inward Garden: Creating a Place of Beauty and Meaning by Julie Messervy

 

"In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1st to be the beginning of the new year.  During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Year's Day.  January 1st has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years."
New Year's Day   

 

"You'd be so lean, that blast of January
Would blow you through and through.  Now, my fair'st friend,
I would I had some flowers o' the spring that might
Become your time of day."
-  William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, Act IV Scene 4 

 

"The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me
And I cannot, cannot go.
The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed with snow.
And the storm is fast descending,
And yet I cannot go.
Clouds beyond clouds above me,
Wastes beyond wastes below;
But nothing dear can move me;
I will not, cannot go."
-  Emily Bronte, Spellbound  

 

"O Winter! frozen pulse and heart of fire,
What loss is theirs who from thy kingdom turn
Dismayed, and think thy snow a sculptured urn
Of death! Far sooner in midsummer tire
The streams than under ice. June could not hire
Her roses to forego the strength they learn
In sleeping on thy breast."
-  Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnets: January

 

"It is deep January.  The sky is hard.  The stalks are firmly rooted in ice."
-  Wallace Stevens,  No Possum, No Sop, No Taters

 

"The hiss was now becoming a roar - the whole world was a vast moving screen of snow - but even now it said peace, it said remoteness, it said cold, it said sleep."
-  Conrad Aiken  

 

Celebrate the Earth: A Year of Holidays by Laurie Cabot 
Complete Seasons Cookbook by Joanne Weir.  Delicious recipes and party ideas for seasonal celebrations. 
Paths in the Valley Blog   Follow the seasons in the California garden of Karen and Mike with poetry, notes, resources, links, and photos.
Llewellyn's Magical Almanac: Practical Magic for Everyday  Detailed annual calendar and engaging short essays. 
The Best of Holidays and Seasonal Celebrations Magazine for Children, Grades 1-3   Great craft ideas. 

 

"Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year.   Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols."
-  Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain  

 

"Dead of winter.
Cold hands warm heart.
As pure as snow.
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.
Now is the winter of our discontent.
Left out in the cold."
Clichés for Gardeners  

 

"The door was shut, as doors should be,
Before you went to bed last night;
Yet Jack Frost has got in, you see,
And left your window silver white.

He must have waited till you slept;
And not a single word he spoke,
But pencilled o'er the panes and crept
Away again before you woke.

And now you cannot see the hills
Nor fields that stretch beyond the lane;
But there are fairer things than these
His fingers traced on every pane."
-  Gabriel Setoun, Jack Frost 

 

"The birds are gone, The ground is white,
The winds are wild, They chill and bite;  
The ground is thick with slush and sleet,  
And I barely feel my feet."
Winter Poems    

 

"The Snow-drop, Winter's timid child,
Awakes to life, bedew'd with tears."
-  Mary Robinson  

 

"The trees down the boulevard stand naked in thought,
Their abundant summery wordage silenced, caught
In the grim undertow; naked the trees confront
Implacable winter's long, cross-questioning brunt."
-  D. H. Lawrence, Winter in the Boulevard, 1916  

 

"For this beauty,
beauty without strength,
chokes out life.
I want wind to break,
scatter these pink-stalks,
snap off their spiced heads,
fling them about with dead leaves --
spread the paths with twigs,
limbs broken off,
trail great pine branches,
hurled from some far wood
right across the melon-patch,
break pear and quince --
leave half-trees, torn, twisted
but showing the fight was valiant.

To blot out this garden
to forget, to find a new beauty
in some terrible
wind-tortured place."
-  H. D. (Hilda Doolittle), Sheltered Garden, 1916  

 

"An absolute
patience.
Trees stand
up to their knees in
fog. The fog
slowly flows
uphill.
White
cobwebs, the grass
leaning where deer
have looked for apples.
The woods
from brook to where
the top of the hill looks
over the fog, send up
not one bird.
So absolute, it is
no other than
happiness itself, a breathing
too quiet to hear."
-  Denise Levertov, The Breathing  

 

Winter: Recipes Inspired by Nature's Bounty (Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration) 
Complete Seasons Cookbook by Joanne Weir.  Delicious recipes and party ideas for seasonal celebrations. 
Crafts to Make in the Winter by Kathy Ross  
Spring: Recipes Inspired by Nature's Bounty (Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration) by Joanne Weir
In Celebration of Winter: A Book of Seasonal Indulgences by Helen Thompson 
Stonewall Kitchen Winter Celebrations: Special Recipes for Family and Friends 
Celebrate the Earth: A Year of Holidays by Laurie Cabot 
Winter Day Play!: Activities, Crafts, and Games for Indoors and Out by Nancy Castaldo 

 

"Leaves like rusty tin
for the desolate mind that has seen the end—
the barest glimmerings.
Leaves aswirl with gulls
made wild by winter."
-  George Seferis, On a Ray of Winter Light

 

"Then sing, young hearts that are full of cheer,
With never a thought of sorrow;
The old goes out, but the glad young year
Comes merrily in tomorrow."
-  Emily Miller

 

 

"May the pot of prosperity boil over
May the Pongal that we cook,
the fragrance of turmeric
the taste of sugarcane, ginger and honey
Bring the joy of Pongal into our homes
May the blessings of the Sun God flood our lives."
Bawarchi: Indian Festivals: Pongal

 

"The twelve months...
Snowy, Flowy, Blowy,
Showery, Flowery, Bowery,
Hoppy, Croppy, Droppy,
Breeze, Sneezy, Freezy."
-  George Ellis  

 

"Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  Start with a fresh page.  Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first day of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past."
-  Henry Ward Beecher  

 

"The Old Year has gone.  Let the dead past bury its own dead.  The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time.  All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months!"  
-  Edward Payson Powell

 

"The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help.
Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else?
There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…"
-  Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Times Are Nightfall, Look, Their Light Grows Less

 

"That grand old poem called Winter"
-  Henry David Thoreaqu

 

"January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow."
-  Sara Coleridge, Pretty Lessons in Verse

 

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home." 
-  Edith Sitwell  

 

"In the sniffed and poured snow on the tip of the tongue of the year
That clouts the spittle like bubbles with broken rooms,
An enamoured man alone by the twigs of his eyes, two fires,
Camped in the drug-white shower of nerves and food,
Savours the lick of the times through a deadly wood of hair
In a wind that plucked a goose,
Nor ever, as the wild tongue breaks its tombs,
Rounds to look at the red, wagged root."
-  Dylan Thomas, January, 1939

 

"Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour." 
-  John Boswell

 

For the Lakota Sioux (Eastern U.S.) the month of January was the period of  "The Hardship Moon."

 

"Antisthenes says that in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered,
and after some time then thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer."
-  Plutarch, Moralia   

 

"We stand watching the yellow leaves go queer,
flapping in the winter rain,
falling flat and washed. ...
I tell you what you’ll never really know:
all the medical hypothesis
that explained my brain will never be as true as these
stuck leaves letting go."
-  Anne Sexton, The Double Image

 

"New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights."  
-  Hamilton Wright Mabie

 

"Catch, then, oh catch the transient hour;
Improve each moment as it flies!
Life's a short summer, man a flower;
He dies, alas! how soon he dies!"
-  Samuel Johnson, Winter - An Ode 

 

"Look into the garden,
Where the grass was green;
Covered by the snowflakes,
Not a blade is seen.

Now the bare black bushes
All look soft and white.
Every twig is laden-
What a pretty sight!"

"Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm !
Sing : Goddam."
-  Ezra Pound, Ancient Music  

 

"Brew me a cup for a winter's night.
For the wind howls loud and the furies fight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care,
And I'll toast our bright eyes,
my sweetheart fair."
-  Minna Thomas Antrim 

 

 

  
Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores
Compiled by Mike Garofalo
 
Winter Spring Summer Fall
January April July October
February May August November
March June September December 

 

 

"Ice
on the earth, bitter
black frost, and a winding sheet of snow
upon her withered breast, and
deep within me, dread
and ice."
-  Jessica MacBeth, Winter Poems

 

"Long yellow rushes bending
above the white snow patches;
purple and gold ribbon
of the distant wood:
what an angle
you make with each other as
you lie there in contemplation."
-  William Carlos Williams, January Morning - XII

 

"Rain and wind, and wind and rain.
Will the Summer come again?
Rain on houses, on the street,
Wetting all the people's feet,
Though they run with might and main.
Rain and wind, and wind and rain.

Snow and sleet, and sleet and snow.
Will the Winter never go?
What do beggar children do
With no fire to cuddle to,
Perhaps with nowhere warm to go?
Snow and sleet, and sleet and snow.

Hail and ice, and ice and hail,
Water frozen in the pail.
See the robins, brown and red,
They are waiting to be fed.
Poor dears, battling in the gale!
Hail and ice, and ice and hail."
-  Katherine Mansfield, Winter Song 

 

"No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference.  It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left.  It is the nativity of our common Adam." 
-  Charles Lamb   

 

"There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow.  It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance."
-  William Sharp  

 

"The New Year, like an Infant Heir to the whole world, was waited for, with welcomes, presents, and rejoicings."   
-  Charles Dickens, The Chimes

 

"Of winter's lifeless world each tree
Now seems a perfect part;
Yet each one holds summer's secret
Deep down within its heart."
-  Charles G. Stater

 

"We meet today
To thank Thee for the era done,
And Thee for the opening one."
-  John Greenleaf Whittier

 

"The first of January rolls around
Like clockwork it appears
I find it’s timing most profound
As it brings us each new year

Right on time, It’s never late
Has never ever blown it
Apparently this wise old date
Refuses to postpone it

Drink a toast to January one
For annual consistence
It’s coming means the old year’s done
Let’s drink to it’s persistence."
-  Stanley Cooper, Happy New Year, 1926

 

"Clouded with snow
The cold winds blow,
And shrill on leafless bough
The robin with its burning breast
Alone sings now.

The rayless sun,
Day's journey done,
Sheds its last ebbing light
On fields in leagues of beauty spread
Unearthly white.

Thick draws the dark,
And spark by spark,
The frost-fires kindle, and soon
Over that sea of frozen foam
Floats the white moon."
-  Walter de La Mare, Winter  

 

"When the bold branches
Bid farewell to rainbow leaves -
Welcome wool sweaters."
-  B. Cybrill

 

"This bright new year is given me To live each day with zest eloped in winter; the fleshy, in summer.  I should say winter had given the bone and sinew to literature, summer the tissues and the blood." 
-  John Burroughs

 

"In January
it's so nice
while slipping
on the sliding ice
to sip hot chicken soup with rice.
Sipping once
Sipping twice."
-  Maurice Sendak, In January

 

"Frozen puddles--
the crack of axes
from four directions.
January sun--
puddle after puddle
becomes mud."  
-  Michael P. Garofalo, Cuttings - January  

 

 

 

 

"The cold was our pride, the snow was our beauty.   It fell and fell, lacing day and night together in a milky haze, making everything quieter as it fell, so that winter seemed to partake of religion in a way no other season did, hushed, solemn."
-  Patricia Hampl  

 

"Farewell, thy destiny is done,
Thy ebbing sands we tell,
Blended and set with centuries gone -
Thou dying year, farewell.
Gifts from thy hand - Spring's joyous leaves,
And Summer's breathing flowers,
Autumn's bright fruit and bursting sheaves -
These blessings have been ours.
They pass with thee and now they seem
Like gifts from fairy spells
Or like some sweet remembered dream -
We bid those gifts farewell."
-  Mrs. Jones, Thou Dying Year, Farewell
   Montreal Vindicator, January 6, 1829

 

"drinking tea
the morning fog
drifts away"
-  Robert Gibson  

 

"The sun came out,
And the snowman cried.
His tears ran down
on every side.
His tears ran down
Till the spot was cleared.
He cried so hard
That he disappeared."
-  Margaret Hillert, January Thaw

 

"January gray is here,
Like a sexton by her grave;
February bears the bier,
March with grief doth howl and rave,
And April weeps-but, O ye hours!
Follow with May's fairest flowers."
-  Percy Bysshe Shelley, Dirge for the Year

 

"Reeds, snake-like, coiled in the mist
Where the low fog drives:
The muddy cough of the stream that strives
To free its throat from the clot of reed,
As they fight it out the water and the weed--
While the fog, above, takes turn and twist:
Men, these are your lives!

Wild geese across the moon:
As some hand that unrolls
And scratches black names upon blood-red scrolls;
So seem these shadows, dipping, dying,
Black shapes on the red moon, screaming, flying,
Till the fog blots out, or late or soon:
Men, these are your souls!"
-  Muriel Stuart, Wild Geese Across the Moon 

 

 

Seeds and Cuttings
Hydrofarm Hot House Seed Starter 11-by-22-Inch   
Secrets of Plant Propagation: Starting Your Own Flowers, Vegetables, Fruits, Shrubs, and Trees 
Hydrofarm Jump Start Indoor Grow Light System 
Plant Propagation A to Z: Growing Plants for Free  
Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners  
Hydrofarm Germination Station with Heat Mat  
American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation: The Fully Illustrated Plant-by-Plant Manual    
Burpee Seed Starter: A Guide to Growing Flower, Vegetable, and Herb Seeds Indoors and Outdoors
Plant Propagator's Bible
The New Seed Starter's Handbook
RION MLT3 Mini Lean-To Greenhouse
Seed Sowing and Saving: Step-by-Step Techniques for Collecting and Growing  
Saving Seeds: The Gardener's Guide to Growing and Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds
Seed Sowing and Saving: Step-by-Step Techniques for Collecting and Growing More Than 100 Vegetables, Flowers, and Herbs

 

                                    

 

 

"Every winter,
When the great sun has turned his face away,
The earth goes down into a vale of grief,
And fasts, and weeps, and shrouds herself in sables,
Leaving her wedding-garlands to decay -
Then leaps in spring to his returning kisses."
-  Charles Kingsley  

 

"New Year's Day is everyman's birthday."
-  Charles Lamb

 

"The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on."
-  Carl Sandburg, The Fog  

 

"In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long ago."
-  Christina Rossetti

 

"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true."
-  Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

"Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake."
-  Robert Louis Stevenson, Winter Time

 

"It's not the case, though some might wish it so
Who from a window watch the blizzard blow

White riot through their branches vague and stark,
That they keep snug beneath their pelted bark.

They take affliction in until it jells
To crystal ice between their frozen cells ..."
-  Richard Wilbur, Orchard Trees - January 

 

"To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring."
-  W.J. Vogel

 

How to Support this Website

 

"Come, ye cold winds, at January's call,
On whistling wings, and with white flakes bestrew
The earth."
-  John Ruskin

 

"Someone painted pictures on my
Windowpane last night --
Willow trees with trailing boughs
And flowers, frosty white,

And lovely crystal butterflies;
But when the morning sun
Touched them with its golden beams,
They vanished one by one."
-  Helen Bayley Davis, Jack Frost  

 

"winter landscape--
nothing
but cold" 
-  Issa

 

"To leave the old with a burst of song,
To recall the right and forgive the wrong;
To forget the thing that blinds you fast
To the vain regrets of the year that's past."
-  Robert B. Beattie, A Way to a Happy New Year 

 

"Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past.  Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go."
-  Brooks Atkinson

 

"Winter dawn is the color of metal,
The trees stiffen into place like burnt nerves."
-  Sylvia Plath, Waking in Winter

 

"One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
An, nothing himslef, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is."
-  Wallace Stevens, The Snow Man, 1923 

 

 

The Dry Gardening Handbook: Plants and Practices for a Changing Climate by Oliver Flippi
Drought Resistant Planting by Beth Chatto 
Xeriscape Handbook: A How-to Guide to Natural Resource-Wise Gardening by Gale Weinstein
The Low-Water Flower Gardener by Eric Johnson
Western Landscaping Book by Kathleen Bresnel
All About Dry Climate Gardening by Ortho 
Plants For Dry Climates: How To Select, Grow, And Enjoy  by Mary Duffield 
Landscape Plants For Dry Regions: More Than 600 Species From Around The World by Warren Jones 
Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates of the San Francisco Bay Region  

 

                             

 

"Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours,
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze,
And cups o’erflow with wine;
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey love,
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
Sleep’s leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense
With lovers’ long discourse;
Much speech hath some defence,
Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well;
Some measures comely tread,
Some knotted riddles tell,
Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
They shorten tedious nights."
-  Thomas Champion, 1617, Now Winter Nights Enlarge  

 

Earth Bound: Daily Meditations for All Seasons by Brian Nelson
Holidays and Holy Nights: Celebrating Twelve Seasonal Festivals of the Christian Year by Christopher Hill
Sacred Fire, Holy Well: A Druid's Grimoire by Ian Corrigan.  Thoughtful poems and rituals for seasonal holidays by a lively and wise Druid Bard.  
Time and the Art of Living by Robert Grudin.  An inspiring study of the meaning of time in our lives. 
A Druid's Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year by Ellen Evert Hopman 

 

"January opens
The box of the year
And brings out days
That are bright and clear
And brings out days
That are cold and grey
And shouts, "Come see
What I brought today!"
-  Leland B. Jacobs, January  

 

"January is named for Janus (Ianuarius), the god of the doorway; the name has its beginnings in Roman mythology, where the Latin word for door (ianua) comes from - January is the door to the year.  Traditionally, the original Roman calendar consisted of 10 months, totalling 304 days, winter being considered a monthless period. Around 713 BC, the semi-mythical successor of Romulus, King Numa Pompilius, is supposed to have added the months of January and February, allowing the calendar to equal a standard lunar year (355 days). The first day of the month is known as New Year's Day. Although March was originally the first month in the old Roman Calendar, January assumed that position beginning in 153 BC when the two consuls, for whom the years were named, began to be chosen on January 1. The reason for this shift of the new year into the dead of winter was to allow the new consuls to complete the elections and ceremonies upon becoming consuls, and still reach their respective consular armies by the start of the campaigning.  Various Christian feast dates were used for the New Year in Europe in the Middle Ages, including March 25 and December 25. However, medieval calendars were displayed in the Roman fashion of twelve columns from January to December. Beginning in the 16th century, European countries began officially making January 1 the start of the New Year once again — sometimes called Circumcision Style because this was the date of the Feast of the Circumcision, being the 8th day from December 25."
January - Wikipedia  

 

"And ye, who have met with Adversity's blast,
And been bow'd to the earth by its fury;
To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass'd
Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury -
Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,
The regrets of remembrance to cozen,
And having obtained a New Trial of Time,
Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen."
-  Thomas Hood  

 

 

"Have you ever noticed a tree standing naked against the sky, 
How beautiful it is?  
All its branches are outlined, and in its nakedness 
There is a poem, there is a song.  
Every leaf is gone and it is waiting for the spring.  
When the spring comes, it again fills the tree with 
The music of many leaves, 
Which in due season fall and are blown away. 
And this is the way of life."
-  Krishnamurti  

 

"See the pretty snowflakes
Falling from the sky;
On the wall and housetops
Soft and thick they lie.

On the window ledges,
On the branches bare;
Now how fast they gather,
Filling all the air.

Look into the garden,
Where the grass was green;
Covered by the snowflakes,
Not a blade is seen."
-  Author Unknown, Falling Snow

 

"I am a little snowman.
I am so fat and round.
I started from a snowflake
    that fell upon the ground.

I have two buttons for my eyes,
    a great big scarf of red,
I have a carrot for a nose,
    a hat upon my head.

Watch
    me
      as
        I
          melt
            to
              the
                ground."
-  Can Teach Songs, The Snowman Song

 

"new year's eve-
in the echo of fog horns
another voyage starts"
-  Keiko Izawa

 

"An important part in the winter landscape is played by the dead grasses and other herbaceous plants, especially by various members of the composite family, such as the asters, golden rods, and sunflowers.  Wreathed in snow or encased in ice, they present a singularly graceful and fantastic appearance.  Or perhaps, the slender stalks and branches armed with naked seed pods trace intricate and delicate shadows on the smooth snow."
-  Mrs. William Starr Dana 

 

"Pale January lay
In its cradle day by day
Dead or living, hard to say."
-  Alfred Austin, Primroses 

 

"What shall I wish thee?
Treasures of earth? 
Songs in the springtime,
Pleasure and mirth?
Flowers on thy pathway,
Skies ever clear?
Would this ensure thee
A Happy New Year?

What shall I wish thee?
What can be found
Bringing thee sunshine
All the year round?
Lasting and dear,
That shall ensure thee
A Happy New Year.

Faith that increaseth,
Walking in light;
Hope that aboundeth,
Happy and bright;
Love that is perfect,
Casting out fear;
These shall insure thee
A Happy New Year." 
-  Frances Ridley Havergal, A Happy New Year 

 

"O thou whose face hath felt the Winter's wind,
       Whose eye has seen the snow-clouds hung in mist
       And the black elm tops 'mong the freezing stars
        To thee the spring will be harvest-time.
O thou, whose only book has been the light
       Of supreme darkness which thou feddest on
       Night after night when Phœbus was away,
       To thee the Spring shall be a triple morn.
O fret not after knowledge - I have none,
       And yet my song comes native with the warmth.
O fret not after knowledge - I have none,
       And yet the Evening listens. He who saddens
At thought of idleness cannot be idle,
And he's awake who thinks himself asleep."
-  John Keats, O Thou Whose Face Hath Felt the Winter's Wind  

 

"People hit the sauce in a big way all winter. Amidst blizzards they wrestle unsuccessfully with the dark comedy of their lives, laughter trapped in their frigid gizzards. Meanwhile, the mercury just plummets, like a migrating duck blasted out of the sky by some hunter in a cap with fur earflaps."
-  Amy Gerstler, A Severe Lack of Holiday Spirit 

 

"January cold and desolate;
February dripping wet;
March wind ranges;
April changes;
Birds sing in tune
To flowers of May,
And sunny June
Brings longest day;
In scorched July
The storm-clouds fly,
Lightning-torn;
August bears corn,
September fruit;
In rough October
Earth must disrobe her;
Stars fall and shoot
In keen November;
And night is long
And cold is strong
In bleak December."
-  Christina Giorgina Rossetti, The Months

 

"morning pond
the fog drifts into
a pair of swans"
-  Rebecca Lilly  

 

Astrological Signs:  Capricorn,  December 22 - January 19

Astrological Signs:  Aquarius,  January 20 - February 18

January Birthstones:  Garnet

By her who in this month is born,
No gems save Garnets should be worn;
They will insure her constancy,
True friendship and fidelity.

Whatever you do on New Year's Day, you'll do often in the coming year!

For continued good fortune in love, kiss and hug your lover in the first minute of the New Year.

 

"Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly! This life is most jolly.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remembered not.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly! This life is most jolly."
-  William Shakespeare, Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind 

 

"Around the house flakes fly faster,
And all the berries are now gone
From holly and cotoneaster
Around the house.
The flakes fly! - faster
Shutting indoors that crumb-outcaster
We use to see upon the lawn
Around the house.
Flakes fly faster
And all the berries are gone now."
-  Thomas Hardy

 

"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.  A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves."  
-  Bill Vaughan  

 

"An acre of ground contains 43,560 square feet. Consequently, a rainfall of 1 inch over 1 acre of ground could mean a total of 6,272,640 cubic inches of water. This is the equivalent of 3,630 cubic feet.  As a cubic foot of pure water weighs about 62.4 pounds, it follows that the weight of a uniform coating of 1 inch of rain over 1 acre of surface would be 226,512 pounds or about 113 short tons.The weight of 1 U.S. gallon of pure water is about 8.345 pounds. Consequently, a rainfall of 1 inch over 1 acre of ground would mean 27,143 gallons of water."
Farmers' Almanac  

 

"JAN-U-ARY,
I love January.
Oh, JAN-U-ARY!
I can spell it, too.
With a J–A here,
And a N–U there.
Here an A, there an R,
Everywhere a Y,
Oh, JAN-U-ARY!
I love January!"
-  Sung to the tune of "Old McDonald Had a Farm."

  

"Soon will set in the fitful weather, with fierce gales and sullen skies and frosty air, and it will be time to tuck up safely my roses and lillies and the rest for their winter sleep beneath the snow, where I never forget them, but ever dream of their wakening in happy summers yet to be."
-  Celia Thaxter  

 

"Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on in the blueback cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?"
-  Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays

 

In Celebration of Winter: A Book of Seasonal Indulgences by Helen Thompson
The Green Man (Personification of the Powers of Spring and Summer): Lore, Quotes, Bibliography, Customs, Poetry. 
The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess by Starhawk.  A Classic! 
Seasonal Gifts & Festive Celebrations (Gifts from Nature) by Sarah Ainley.  Some good suggestions for beautiful gifts. 

 

"When the ice of winter holds the house in its rigid grip, when curtains are drawn against that vast frozen waste of landscape, almost like a hibernating hedgehog I relish the security of being withdrawn from all that summer ferment that is long since past.  Then is the time for reappraisal: to spread out, limp and receptive, and let garden thoughts rise to the surface.  They emerge from some deep source of stillness which the very fact of winter has released."
-  Mirabel Osler

 

"Raindrops Raindrops
Are such funny things.
They haven't feet or haven't wings.
Yet they sail through the air
With the greatest of ease,
And dance on the street
Wherever they please."   
-  Author Unknown 

 

"Moonless winter night—
a billow of rising fog
hides the distant pines"
-  Lenard D. Moore

 

"Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition." 
-   Mignon McLaughlin  

 

Writing and Being: Embracing Your Life Through Creative Journaling   
Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You
Journal to the Self: Twenty-Two Paths to Personal Growth    
How to Keep a Naturalist's Notebook  
Visual Journaling: Going Deeper than Words  
Nature Journaling: Learning to Observe and Connect with the World Around You
Writing Down Your Soul: How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within  
Mixed-Media Nature Journals: New Techniques for Exploring Nature, Life, and Memories
Creative Wildfire: An Introduction to Art Journaling - Basics and Beyond  
Inner Journeying Through Art-Journaling: Learning to See And Record Your Life As a Work of Art  
  

"You think I am dead,"
The apple tree said,
"Because I have never a leaf to show-
Because I stoop,
And my branches droop,
And the dull gray mosses over me grow!

But I'm still alive in trunk and shoot;
The buds of next May
I fold away-
But I pity the withered grass at my root."

"You think I am dead,"
The quick grass said,
"Because I have parted with stem and blade!
But under the ground,
I am safe and sound
With the snow's thick blanket over me laid.

I'm all alive, and ready to shoot,
Should the spring of the year
Come dancing here-
But I pity the flower without branch or root."

"You think I am dead,"
A soft voice said,
"Because not a branch or root I own.
I never have died, but close I hide
In a plumy seed that the wind has sown.

Patient I wait through the long winter hours;
You will see me again-
I shall laugh at you then,
Out of the eyes of a hundred flowers."
-  Edith M. Thomas

 

"I like these cold, gray winter days.  Days like these let you savor a bad mood." 
-  Bill Watterson

 

"light rain -
the open beak
of the bird"
-  Yoav J. Tenembaum

 



January
Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry
French Medieval Book of Hours, 1412  

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January

Recommended Reading and Links

 

Above the Fog    Taoist and Zen Poems.  By Michael P. Garofalo.  

Ancient Origins of the Holidays

Anne's New Year   Christian and Jewish customs.  

Celtic Mid-Winter Poetry

Children's Songs for January

Chinese New Year Links from Yahoo 

Cloud Hands Blog  By Michael Garofalo. 

Cuttings - January   Haiku and short Poems by Michael P. Garofalo.  

First Grade Winter Poetry 

January - Ancient Folklore

January Holidays - Pagan Pathways

January Links from Yahoo   

January - Quotes, Poems, Folklore, Links, Chores

January Poems

January - Poems

January - Mystical WWW   

January Songs and Poems  

January - Wikipedia 

February: Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Links, Garden Chores.

German and German-American Customs, Traditions, and Origins of Holidays   

Happy New Year     Facts, Links, Poems, Songs.  By Jeanne Pasero.

Holiday Insights

Kwanzaa Festival Information Center   African-American Cultural Holiday Celebrations

Months - Brain Candy  

Mrs. Bee's Busy Classroom - Weather Poems

New Year's Day

New Year's Day - History, Traditions, Customs

New Year's Page by Christina O'Keeffe     

New Year Quotes   

New Year's Quotes, Stories and Prayers

Mystical World Wide Web - January  

Poems and Feathers - Winter Poetry

Poems for a Long Winter's Night

Poems for Winter

Quotes for Gardeners.   A collection of over 3,800 quotes arranged by 250 topics.

Seasons - Quotes for Gardeners      

Songs and Poems for the Seasons

Snow and Snowman Links   

Snow and Winter Poetry

Traditional Customs and Folktales of January in England  

Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, French Medieval Book of Hours, 1412

Winter Activities for Kids

Winter and Fall Poetry for Children

Winter and January Resources by Viki Blackwell

Winter and Snow Theme Page for Teachers

Winter - Books for Children

Winter Customs and Folklore in Austria

Winter Customs and Folklore in Germany  

Winter Quotations

Winter - Quotes for Gardeners  

Winter Poems for Children  

Winter Poetry  

Winter Poetry at the Holiday Zone 

Winter Songs

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January Weather Lore


Typical (Average/Normal) Seasonal Weather for Our Area, USDA Zone 9   Normally, in January, we have high daytime temperatures of 54ºF, low nighttime temperatures of 37ºF, and get 4.2 inches of rain.

Cloud Hands Blog   Follow the seasons in the Northern California garden of Karen and Mike with their notes, links, resources, quotes, poems, and photos.

Red Bluff, California, Gardening Notebooks of Karen and Mike Garofalo

Clichés for Gardeners

Weather Lore    More Weather Lore     Naturalist's Almanac

Weather Lore and Superstitions


Weather Sayings:

A wet January, a wet Spring.

A warm January, a cold May.  (Welsh Proverb) 

On New Year's Eve, 
wrap a large rock with some rope and hang it from a branch.
One New Year's Morning:

If the rock is dry, good weather will come to stay.
If the rock is wet, rain is on the way.
If the rock is moving, high winds will come at night.
If the rock is white, snow will fall tonight.
If the stone is gone, time for moving on.

The blackest month in all the year
Is the month of Janiveer. 

A favorable January brings us a good year. 

In Janiveer if the sun appear
March and April pay full dear. 

If grain grows in January, there will be a year of great need. 

January blossoms fill no man's cellar. 

If birds begin to sing in January, frosts will come. 

If January kalends be summerly gay,
'Twill be winterly weather to the kalends of May.

Jack Frost in Janiveer, Nips the nose of the nascent year.

If January has never a drop, the barn will need an open prop
If in February there be no rain, it is neither good for hay nor grain.
March damp and warm, will do the farmer much harm.
April cold and wet, fills the barns best yet.
Cold May and windy, barn filleth up finely.

If Saint Paul's Day (1/25) be faire and cleare,
It doth betide a happy yeare;
But if by chance it then should rain,
It will make deare all kinds of graine;
And if ye clouds make dark ye skie,
Then neats and fowles this year shall die;
If blustering winds do blow aloft,
Then wars shall trouble ye realm full oft.

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January Gardening Chores

Red Bluff, North Sacramento Valley, California, USA

USDA Zone 9


Typical (Average/Normal) Seasonal Weather for Our Area   Normally, in January, we have high daytime temperatures of 54ºF, low nighttime temperatures of 37ºF, and get 4.2 inches of rain.

Red Bluff Gardening Notebooks of Karen and Mike Garofalo

Cloud Hands Blog   Follow the seasons in the Northern California garden of Karen and Mike with their notes, links, resources, quotes, poems, and photos.


January Gardening Activities and Chores in Red Bluff
USDA Zone 9

Pruning leafless trees and shrubs.
Adding compost, ashes and fertilizer to the vegetable and flower gardens.
Taking cuttings from dormant figs, grapes, and other shrubs.
Spraying dormant fruit and other trees.
Weeding and mowing where needed.
Burning piles of gardening cuttings.  
Fixing wood and metal fences.
Placing cold sensitive potted plants in protected areas outdoors or indoors.
Sharpening and oiling garden tools.
Protect tender plants from frosts.  
Checking for and repairing any leaks in sheds.
Putting bare root trees into the ground.
Indoor activities: sorting seeds, planning, reading, writing, etc.
Caring for indoor plants.
Weeding the winter garden.
Digging up dormant shrubs or trees you want to move. 
Watering potted and ground plants as needed.   
Adding Ironite and other soil supplements.   
Fertilizing under trees and shrubs.  I use a 16-16-16 mix. 
Keeping tools and equipment out of the rain and moisture. 
Browsing seed and garden catalogs.
Reading gardening, botany, and agricultural books.
Planning garden improvements for the new year.  
Fixing any leaking roofs or rain gutters.
Putting any potted plants into the ground.   
Keeping a journal.  Writing a poem.  Improving webpages.  Adding to your blog.  
Taking a slow walk in the garden.  
Taking photographs of your yard and gardens and outdoor scenes. 
Removing dead and fallen branches and trees. 
Doing Internet searching and reading. 

 

January Gardening Chores and Tips for Other U.S.A. Zones


Oak Hill January Tips - Georgia

Oregon State University January Tips

Earth Wise Creations January Tips - Zone 9

Seasonal Garden Chores - Links

Top Garden Projects for January by Ed Hume in the Pacific Northwest

52 Weeks in the California Garden by Richard Smaus

The Gay Gardener - Monthly Chores

Monthly Gardening January Tips from Ortho 

Monthly Garden Tasks in an English County Garden

Winter Rose Care

The Garden Helper Tips for January - Northern U.S.

Fruits and Nuts - January Tips - Virginia

Gardening Tips - January - New York Botanical Garden

Master Gardeners Tips 

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Photographs in January


Karen and Mike Garofalo
Red Bluff, Rural Northern California

Red Bluff Gardens -  Comparison from 1998 - 2007

Red Bluff Gardening Notebooks of Karen and Mike Garofalo

Cloud Hands Blog   Follow the seasons in the Northern California garden of Karen and Mike with their notes, links, resources, quotes, poems, and photos.

Photographs Taken in January by Karen and Michael Garofalo

 

               

 

                         

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The Spirit of Gardening Website

Over 3,800 Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Quips, One-Liners, Clichés, Quotes, and Insights
Arranged by Over 250 Topics
Over 15 Megabytes of Text
Over 21 Million Webpages (excluding graphics) Served to Readers Around the World
       From January 1, 1999 through March 1, 2011
This webpage has been online since January 1999
Compiled by Karen Garofalo and Mike Garofalo from Red Bluff, California
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Information for Advertisers and Affiliate Marketers 

Last Updated: January 27, 2012 

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