Winter Routine

I’m finally into it!

I’m no Scrooge, so I love the holidays. I even–mostly–love all the work and prep that goes with them. The other night, I watched Bad Mom’s Christmas (laughing like a loon)–and it’s true, Christmas is the Super Bowl for moms–and nanas. But with that very merrily done, our annual New Year’s Open House happily done, we took our traditional January break at the spa.

This one turned into a work/spa deal for me, but that was all good. A morning workout, a few hours of work, a lovely massage, then family and friends to spend the evening with. A good kick off to a year for me.

But now, ahhh, winter routine.

After a solid writing week–another ahhh–I spent my Saturday as I like to spend January Saturdays. Even better, Bruce and Jason (after a considerable effort and tech know-how) set me up with a mirroring tablet in the gym. Now I can mirror, stream, whatever it is a boatload of workouts onto the big screen. So my day starts with some new to me routines–a good way to fool the mind and body that they’re having fun.

I’m a fan of the Beach Body gang, even though some of the trainers are sadists. Sometimes it takes a good sadist to whip you through a workout.

Prepped and ready to simmer. Photo by Nora

With that done–whew–it’s kitchen time. I promised BW a pot roast–makes him happy. Mine simmers for hours in a full bottle of red wine. Who wouldn’t be happy? With the potatoes and carrots pealed, onions and celery sliced, that big hunk ‘o meat simmers drunkenly while I shove up my sleeves and head up to the third floor.

It’s purge and organize time, another winter routine.

I hit the One More Room first because eek! This is where a lot of the holiday magic happens–the storing, the wrapping, the bagging and tagging. It’s also where we store bowls and platters and so on used primarily when entertaining.

OMG! Photo by Nora.

It needs help.

A couple hours later, voila! Magic. It looks like an actual adult lives here. 

Ta-Da! Photo by Nora

Move onto my closet. More purging. Be tough, Nora! You can do this. Maybe once or twice I pulled something out, waffled and put it back, but for the most part, I AM tough. And since post-signing next Saturday pals are coming over to go through all I purged here, they’ll be glad I was tough.

My closet now looks like a fairly sensible woman lives here. A woman who really, really, REALLY loves shoes and boots, but is reasonable.

Shooooes. Photo by Nora.

My office next, and there I’m very pleased that due to several years of very strict purges, it doesn’t take very long.

Adult work station. Sort of. Photo by Nora.

A top floor sweep in one day. Happy dance!

It gives my time to cull through my scarves–another big love–while the pot roast finishes off. Boy it smells good in here.

Yum. Photo by Nora.

Some well earned bubbly, which should, imo, be part of any routine, then pot roast.

Day’s done–but oops, four tubs of books waiting to be signed. Okay, this calls for more bubbly. And now, the day’s done. A very satisfying winter Saturday.

Today, more of the same, that’s routine, after all. It’s about time for that workout, then I’ll pick the next room, maybe rooms, to tackle. Plenty of leftovers, so no dinner to cook.

And tomorrow, it’s back to the book and the hope for another solid week of writing.

For somebody who doesn’t like the cold, can do without the bitter winds and snowy drives anywhere, indoor routines keep winter happy.


Cranky Publicist addition:  Nora wrote a post called The Road to Discovery in Feb 2016 in which she said, I cook pretty much as I write, which is why I not only don’t but can’t answer the calls for recipes after I post a blog on cooking. Please, please, don’t ask me!”

May I suggest the joys of Google for recipes?  BTW, I just found one for crock pot beef stew cooked in coffee .  Must go make!

45 thoughts on “Winter Routine”

  1. You don’t like cold and snow. Do those things ever interfere with your writing? You have such a wonderful vista from your desk, I’m curious if what you see makes it’s way into your stories? Especially with Eve. She doesn’t seem to be much of an outdoor person. Thanks for the sharing.

    1. No, not at all. I’m often writing about winter when it’s summer, summer when it’s winter. It’s all about the story, not about what I see out the window.

  2. Thanks for letting us know, that it is OK to stay indoors, when its cold. I absolutely hate the cold and starts to freeze from the inside, of my body, when I see 10 snowflakes! I finished taking away all decorations 10 days ago and they went into storage immidiately. Had to, because my darling husband is scheduled for a quadruple by-pass on January 31st, so I cant leave any of those kind of jobs for later. I’m so happy that your next “in death” book will be released on the 30th, so I will have something to read, when I’m sitting in the hospital, waiting! Best wishes from Sweden!

  3. After seeing the photo of your closet. My first thought was you and Eve Dallas could never be friends. She would take one look at your closet and be totally dismayed

  4. Happy New Year Nora,
    Thanks for sharing. I second the recipe share. Looks “mag” have a wonderful day.

    1. From Nora’s post titled The Road to Discovery ( in Feb. 2016:
      “I cook pretty much as I write, which is why I not only don’t but can’t answer the calls for recipes after I post a blog on cooking. Please, please, don’t ask me!”


  5. Wow! I love ❤️ your command center lol. I think you’d rival Roarke with the 👠 shoes. That pot roast looked👀 delicious, made my stomach growl as I was looking at it. 👅
    I hope one of the tubs of books 📚 had mine in it. Probably so, since I try to order from TTP and get it autographed by you. Makes it a little more special. I always go to the signed page first so I can read what you’ve personally wrote first.
    It is nice here in SC today. It supposed to get into the 70’s today. ( who hoo)
    Thanks for all you do for us eager fans and again, I admire your work ethic! Nora, you ROCK!

    Edited by Laura who knows Dana knows the correct spelling. 🙂

  6. That pot roast looks AMAZING! Makes me hungry and I just ate breakfast! I need to be more like you, Nora and learn how to purge! How fortunate are your lovely friends to benefit from your wardrobe purges. Thank you for being the most diligent and prolific writer- we readers are so spoiled. Stay warm!

  7. I admire your discipline and routine. Your pot roast sounds delicious; I will have to see what I can concoct. I love taking a little from different recipes and creating my own. I love your work space. It must be relaxing and enjoyable when you take a pause to be able to look out the window. Sigh! Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to Dark in Death.

  8. Love it! I was writing performance reviews and took a quick break to scan Facebook. Nora’s blog popped up so I opened it right away. OMG the quantity of shoes and I love that they are all in clear tubs! Thank you so much for posting today 🙂

  9. I’m glad that you are so organized and focused..that’s why we get 4 amazing books from you each year. I love it when you share your home and family with us makes me feel like I know you. You are the one author I’ve continued to read all my life that I’ve never been disappointed by any of your books. I look forward with eager anticipation whenever its time for a new book. Thank you again for all the enjoyment you give us from all you books and the parts of your life you’re willing to share with us…friends you have never met. Love the food pictures too. Stay safe and warm !

  10. Hmm. Just how many pairs of shoes are in that closet? Do you keep count or prefer not to know?

    1. There’s actually another wall of shoes—and then there’s the boots. No, I don’t know how many.

      1. Sometimes it’s wise not to know such things; and that wall amazed me! And there’s more??? Yeesh! I barely have any shoes, as I hate shoes; I’m happiest barefooting! Now earrings; there’s my passion! I really need to figure out how to organize them! And my books, and threads, and fabrics. Not being as disciplined as you are, Nora (I turned my eyes away on the workout section!); I think I may not get those organized until after I retire; and after my binge reading session after I retire and after…. I go with the attitude that as long as I can find it; I’m organized!

        Very much looking forward to Dark In Death, and about ready to go reread Year One. Needed to let it percolate between readings! Thanks Much, Nora!

  11. It is so not pot roast weather here in Brisbane – going to be about 86F but come June/July I will remember pot roast. I too am very grateful for your work routine, Nora, that results in four books a year – book release dates are marked in red on my calendar!

  12. Love the pictures! Wish I could get into “purging” here. Snow is finally gone here but now we have fog): Love all of your books.!!!

  13. I’m thinking Parker’s shoe closet resembles yours 😊. I am actually currently re-reading the Brides. Probably one of my favorites. Which makes me wonder if your One More Room is like Parker’s gift wrapping room? Thanks for sharing part of your days.

  14. IF I had half your purging qualities I’d be happy. It isn’t clothes and shoes for me. I have one pair of shoes I wear all the time. Along with being the jeans and t-shirt (decorative) person. I own zero dress up clothes. Oh wait, I don’t go anywhere to dress up.
    Thanks for the four books a year. I’ve been reading Year One slower than I usually read your books. Such a fascinating book. I had to make myself put it down this morning. I love your organization. I’m the queen of disorganization. Stay warm the cold weather we had here this past week complete with snow in Texas (OMG!) is heading that way. We’re warming 70s yesterday and today and 60s the rest of the week. Chilly at night but no teens and lots of sunshine. We could use a good dose of rain, though.

  15. I wonder, considering Nora’s love of scarves, if she has one of the scarves from litographs-dot-com showing Naked in Death? I love mine!

  16. I feel the need to purge, organise and so on before the holidays 😉 it’s, actually, a part of advent for me.
    In a month or so I’ll feel the urge again, before Easter.
    I love – absolutely love – your office view. So glad mine at work face other offices or I wouldn’t achieve much work woth such view.
    Happy New Year, Nora and Laura. Keep having a wonderful Life living and enjoying the small and big things.

  17. I feel I owe Nora an apology for doubting her. When she first talked about “Year One”, I was a little doubtful that even Nora could really pull me in to a dystopian novel, but she did, of course. After years of reading Nora’s books one would think I would know better. 🙂

    I had to wait six weeks to get the book from the library, due to holidays, but I finished it in three days. (I was working one of those days then was home with back issues which limited my time seating and reading or it would have been one!) 😀

    Thank you, Nora, for another wonderful read. I look forward to the next book in the trilogy/series and can’t wait for my Eve and Roarke fix. Happy New Year to you and Laura and your families.

  18. When I saw the pot roast with one bottle of Red Wine, I thought 1 roast, one bottle of red wine in crock pot for 6-8hrs. I can do that. We have a lot of red wine thats turning to vinegar, so I’m looking for ideas. And add carrots/potatoes/onions to taste. I can handle that. Sounds easy.

  19. Sorry for such a retro question, but I just read Naked in Death for the first time (I have pretty much memorized the Nora books but I am just venturing into JD).

    Did you always plan for Eve and Roarke to be together, or did they decide that as you wrote?

  20. Anytime you show a picture of your desk, I look for the orange dragon glass. That’s always been a favorite, as I love splashes of color, especially in our winters. I’m going to a seminar given by the local gardeners about indoor seed starting, just to have a bit more living green in the house. As usual, the rosemary I tried to save has croaked. Oh well. Thanks always for sharing your life! Just read the excerpt from Shelter In Place and had to smile, thinking you’ve benefitted from having teen grands – you had just the right tone for the ‘tudes going on – lol. And of course, at the end, I kept wanting to scroll down for more – sounds like another great mystery! Thanks in advance!

  21. So… do you have a recipe on the roast you made.., granted I don’t cook, but there is always a first time …

  22. Nora, I totally love your house. Wish I had one like it and your office is just gorgeous. I don’t have much room anymore but I love it when it is all purged.
    I made a huge beef stew in my slow cooker a few days before that, the cold weather called for a big pot of chili.
    I just found and awesome food blog. Going to cook up some of those delicious recipes.
    Have a great work week. Beth

  23. I can actually hear Eve (in the interpretation of Susan Eriksen) exclaim, “Why, just why, does someone need so many shoes?!?!??!”

  24. Rourke would hate Cape Town, South Africa now. 101 degrees is normal this time of the year and we have the worst drought in 100 years. Love the friends, cops and ‘family’ in the In Death series. They’ve become like my family. Long may they continue to keep us enthralled. Thank you for your brilliant stories.

  25. The pot roast looks divine – another Nora masterpiece.

    Question, for you or Laura: on one of your (I think) vacation blogs, you mentioned you use a certain type of word processing program, and that every time there is a change of technology, one of your sons always updates it for you so that you have it ready to use, no bumps in the road. I’m curious – if it’s not Word, WP or Pages, what word processing system do you use? Been wondering for a while . . .

    Have a great week. Thanks for signing all those tubs ‘o books. We really appreciate it. And you. Peace, Jul

    1. Nora uses DOS based WordPerfect. Because it has a nice blue screen and white letters (easy on the eyes) and commands that make sense.

      Or at least that’s what she tells me (and Jason). 😉 I just think she’s a woman of strong habits.


      1. Thanks, Laura. I didn’t even know if there were any DOS systems around anymore. But, I say: Hail to the Queen! Whatever she needs to use, thank the goddess it still exists.

        Have a good week, dear lady.

      2. I agree that Nora is a woman of strong habits. I like MS Word – warts and all, since it is the word processing program I prefer since it is the one with which I am most familiar. I started using it at version 1.0. We stick with what we do best. As long as Nora writes such wonderful books using WordPerfect, may she continue to do so.

  26. My mom kept her vast array of shoes in plastic bins. She would also include the bag and jewelry that went with the shoes and marked them with a sharpie on the outside of the box. When we were cleaning out her house after she died, we were amazed at the sheer numbers of pairs of shoes with matching accessories so neatly stacked!!

    1. What a wonderful idea! I have to admit, I like the “shoes in the clear bin” idea, but adding the accessories too is so smart. Thanks for the tip!

  27. Next time my husband tells me I have too many pairs of shoes, I’m showing him the picture of your closet!

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