New Year, New Page

A quiet, family New Year’s around here, and again no big open house with friends and family. Hopefully next year things will be safe enough for a gathering.

We did go away for a week—rented a house again to be safe—and stayed in. It’s lovely to spend that kind of time with family, and just hang.

The view from the house.

Lots of play with the boy time, jigsaw puzzles, a little work, room service—and a Nana makes spaghetti night. Griffin’s a fan of my pasta!

Busy boy.

BW gave me a weird, fascinating, unstructured jigsaw of a moose for Christmas. This would never, ever, never have been done without Kat, the Queen of Chaos. I helped, but she did the heavy work.

The moose

Griffin really enjoys the vacation space. One morning, BW got up and went downstairs before I set up to work out. I went down to get my caffeine and water, and the lower level is quiet but for Griffin, sitting at the dining room table watching Sesame Street on his iPad. Normally Jason gets up with him in the morning as Kat is on any night duty. (The boy occasionally likes to party at 3 am!)

I had heard what I thought was the boy and his dad tromp up the stairs at about six, and thought nothing of it.

I say hi, get my stuff, wonder where Jason is. Hunt BW up who tells me the boy was playing with his trucks on the couch when he came down. Huh.

I realize he got up, didn’t wake his parents, just came up from the lower level where they all sleep, and entertained himself until someone joined him.

So I made him breakfast, then left him under BW’s watch and went up to work out.

Once home, it’s back to work, and the start of my annual full-house purge.

Making progress! All the Christmas stuff is put away, and that’s an accomplishment. Weekdays are for writing, and progress made there, too. Yay.

I found a jar of applesauce of the counter Fri. BW hunts and gathers, and I cook. If I’m around I help him put groceries away, but he got home with them Fri while I was working out. He left out the applesauce which I decoded as a hint. Applesauce Cake?

So Saturday, after workout, after the purge of the One More Room (and organizing Christmas stuff), my office, I made the cake. The purging’s moving right along since I did a serious job of it the last couple years. And the cake’s a nice reward for both of us.

Applesauce cake!

Today, after workout, it’s bake Italian bread to replenish the supply, and get a tortilla soup simmering. Purge dining room and library while soup is simmering and dough’s rising.

Italian bread stocked up.

Snow—expected—starting falling about the time I took the bread out of the oven. Since we’re going nowhere, it’s very pretty. Falling faster and harder now, but still going nowhere, Sunday chores are done, and the house smells of simmering soup and fresh baked bread.

Tortilla soup!

Please stay safe. If you’re not vaxxed and boosted, get vaxxed and boosted. Our Laura’s had her hip surgery postponed twice since hospitals in our area are overrun with Covid patients—over 90% of them unvaxxed.

Take care of yourselves and everyone else, and let’s make 2022 a lot better than 2021.

Oh, and if you want to watch something to pass the time, check out Brazen on Netflix, based on my Brazen Virtue from way back in 1988! They did some serious updating!

Nora’s view of opening credits.

Good deal!


I’ll share some Brazen content tomorrow. For now, here’s an off camera pic of the stars.~Laura

51 thoughts on “New Year, New Page”

  1. Love your update.. you know that Griffin is getting older when he amuses himself without waking anyone in the house…

    Hoping and praying that Laura gets her surgery soon and recovers well♥️♥️

  2. You’re completely right about vaxxed and boosted. A friend with cancer died in the er a week ago. No ICU beds available in the NW thanks to some selfish idiots.

  3. Snow here in southwest Virginia too, the most we’ve had in three years! Perfect day for bread and soup, and All Creatures Great and Small a little later. Happy to see you all were able to get away for a bit and spend some family time together. Griffin is getting BIG and independent, so adorable!!

  4. I love how you make us all feel a part of your life Nora, and from an Australian perspective that snow looks absolutely beautiful.
    Thank you for all the enjoyment you have given us, and will no doubt continue to give us with your writings.

  5. Nora, thanks for your blog, love the pics! I have six granddaughters (no boys) and I love hearing about yours. My oldest granddaughter just found out she has Covid and I was holding her at a volleyball tournament (I was masked and vaccinated and boosted) so I’m quarantined in the guest room reading (re-reading) Captivated and Entranced!


  6. You are right about the vaccination. My friend died a week ago in the ER because there were no bed in the ICU in the NW. She had cancer and had been vaccinated.

  7. That cake looks DELICIOUS 🤤 Always enjoy these updated. I loved the movie also!

  8. I watched Brazen yesterday and it was great! Read the book a long time ago.

  9. I am in awe of your annual purging and organizing! That and your bread baking. Reading Becoming now. Love this series!!

  10. Thank you for sharing. Love the cake, bread and the soup. You encourage me to do some purging myself get rid of stuff not being used and taking up space. I can’t wait for the new book in February. Enjoy the snow from inside.

  11. So true! We are completely vaccinated and boosted. With my husband’s health issues, we have to be so careful. I watched Brazen- I thought it was well done. Now I need to read the book again. I hope you get to have your surgery soon Laura. I hope you’re not in too much pain. Sending blessings to all, and hopes that everyone stays healthy!

  12. Been wondering every year about this time… what exactly is the “One More Room”?


    1. Years ago I told BW I needed one more room, one with genereous closets and shelves to store the platters, bowls, serving dishes and so on we use mostly when we have a big party. A room where I could keep wrapping paper, etc organized, with a counter for all the wrapping I do at Christmas.

      We built it over the car port, so I have the One More Room.

  13. I’m on the East side of the storm and its raining now. Hopefully no ice in the morning! I watched Brazen tonight, loved it. think I will go look for the book now. Cheers, stay warm.

  14. Enjoying the update, I am going back to work tomorrow after a 30 days vacation! Since I work from home I am thankful that I will be warm and toasty in my home office! Funny about your purge, after a nightmare move 2 years ago where I found stuff you would not believe, I have started my own purge tradition! Almost fully done with mine! And yes people get vaccinated and boosted!

  15. The soup and bread look and sound delicious. Yes COVID is up again. My grandson has it for second time, also vaxed and boosted. Friends and friends of friends have it, some vaxed, some not. It also took a year for my son to have his surgery. Me, I’m in lockup! Just so tired of all of it.

  16. Stay safe with the snow. Definitely everyone should get vaccinated. Watched Brazen snd enjoyed it. Read the book when it came out so a long time ago and bringing it current they did a good job. Hope they do more!

  17. Nora I hope your snow turns into rain like it did here in NYC. It’s great that Griffin can entertain himself now. How very thoughtful of him.
    Laura. I was thinking of you yesterday. I read an article by a woman who needed hip surgery a few months ago. It was pushed off for the same reason yours is. To alleviate the pain she started talking Turmeric which is a strong anti inflammatory. It worked so well that she has pushed off her surgery . It pays to look into it.
    It’s just criminal what the anti Vaxers are causing. If they want to harm themselves then fine. But they are causing great harm to others who are pushed out of the health care system.

  18. Always great to peek inside Nora’s world and the new Facebook page is a bonus. Really enjoyed Brazen and have hoped some wise entertainment mogul will pick up the ‘In Death’ series! Praying 2022 will be the one to end this plague (vaccinate and mask people) and restore a more carefree and kinder world. Always wish Laura and her crew and Nora and her crew love, kindness and health.

    1. I would never watch a movie or series of the In Death series. I love these books too much and do not believe that any director could do justice to them!

  19. Your house must smell heavenly. All my favorite authors cook and bake the most beautiful meals. I love Griffen stories, there are no grands in our life. We’re all vaxxed, boosted and have a flu shot so we’re taking a short vacation to Hawaii, leaving tomorrow. My anxiety has been through the roof all week but I’m ready now. I have a new N95 for each day and all the bar codes it takes to fly. We have a house also so we can cook and distance. Looking forward to watching Brazen and to reading Nora’s 2022 Books!

  20. I stayed up until like 3:00 AM central time to watch it. I loved it. Great updates to the book. When you told us about the movie to be made I bought the book to read. I kept wondering how it would translate through time.

    Griffin is so cute and growing so big. My great nephew will be 6 in March. It’s like wait how did he get to be 6? They grow so fast.

  21. Nora, your description of snow, soup, bread and puzzles just sounds so cozy! I would love to see a picture of the moose puzzle, as I am not sure what you mean by “unstructured.” Also, re: the annual purge: I am assuming that you mean getting rid of (donating or etc.) items that you have not used in the past year? I am a pretty organized person who likes to think “lean” re: possessions and would love a couple of examples. Thanks for the many, many hours of contentment that you have provided re: your wonderful books and characters!

    1. I forgot to send Laura a photo of the completed moose puzzle, so now that I have she can hopefully get it up.

      Yes, we donate things I purge annually. Say old florist’s vases I thought were interesting but never used. Books we’re just not going to read again, dust-catchers that got put away for later, and later never came, and so on. It adds up!

  22. Griffin is getting so big and very responsible to get up alone and entertain himself.

    It sounds like you had a perfect, cozy day. The soup, bread and cake look great.

    Laura, I hope you have your surgery soon and that you aren’t in any pain.

    As usual, thanks for sharing your life with us.
    Mickey Merritt

  23. Nora, the applesauce cake reminds me of Becoming. So now I have to reread Awakening, so I can reread Becoming. Happy New Year!

  24. Right now th snow is falling, and falling, and falling! So the idea of soup simmering and bread baking is specially appealing!!!

    And thank you, thank you thank you for the shout out about being safe and vaccinated! If one does not trust the science about vaccines, it boggles my mind that they then trust the hospital!

    Good luck to Laura…cannot imagine the discomfort!!!

    And thank you for the mini getaway your provided by a glimpse into what is happening in your corner of the world! Griffin is a day brightener!

  25. Stay safe with the snow. Up here in Upstate NY expecting about 6-8″. It’s still snowing though si we might get more. How much did you get? Griffin seems to be growing like a weed.

  26. Thanks again and again for your sharing of your life experience. Glad “Brazen” was so well received, but I prefer reading your story (even set more than 30 years in the past) than an “adaptation” that leaves out your excellent characters and story development. Those are the reasons I’m not sorry In Death rights have not been sold. Only a few more weeks until the next jolt of E&R. Thanks and Happy New Year.

    Note to Laura: My surgery was not postponed! I just passed the one month post-op milestone! It’s no walk-in-the-park, but I’m so lucky I had the best surgeon and incredible medical insurance. I put hip replacement off as long as I could stand it. Big mistake! All I did was make more work for my surgeon and a harder recovery for me. I hope you get to your surgery soon. Here’s to PT and Tylenol! Thanks again for your good work.

  27. I’m single, and have promised my niece and nephews I will clean and purge my basement and attic yearly. Can’t imagine what they will do with all the stuff in the rest of the house when I die, but the basement and attic will be a breeze!

  28. Loved Brazen on TV. I guess I didn’t notice the updates in the movie, but I would have if they filmed it like 1988!

  29. I always love to hear how you and your family are doing and how nice it is to have a break. I watched Brazen the other night. I loved it. Alyssa Milano has always been one of my favorite Actresses.

    Thanks for Sharing!

  30. Thank you for the vaccine plug, Nora. As someone immune compromised, I don’t know when I’ll be able to be out and about again. I’ve even been yelled at in the hospital parking lot by an anti-vaxxer. People are scary, these days. The picture of Griffin is adorable! I think my g-niece was about the same age when she got a hankering for a popsicle and took the entire box back to bed with her even though she only wanted one. They eventually got the mattress dried out, but it never lost its rainbow coloring – lol. Your bread and soup sounds marvelous, though I’ll probably get the bread from the store. My one and only attempt at bread-making was pretty disastrous! Stay safe and warm. Fingers crossed things get better soon, Laura.

  31. Watched Brazen and enjoyed it but nothing like the original. Am currently looking for my old copy of Brazen Virtue for an updtate. Looking forward for a new year and new Nora Roberts books!

  32. I enjoyed watching Brazen and it was a good adaption of the book that I read so long ago. I did not think that the lead actress would be a good choice, but she did a very good job in this role. Makes me want to re-watch some of the other movies based on your books. Stay warm and safe from covid

  33. Sounds as if Griffin is becoming self-sufficient. Nice of him to let his parents sleep. Tortilla soup and Italian bread followed by Applesauce cake sounds warm and satisfying. I admire your ability to purge as I am so very bad at it. I hope COVID settles down so Laura can get her hip surgery as I can attest to how painful a hip that needs to be replaced can be. Everyone in my family and immediate circle of friends are vaxxed and boosted. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy. May 2022 be the year that ends the pandemic.

  34. Christmas and New Year in Australia has been very similar for our family with the exception of the weather. Having spent the last four and a half years working away in one of the most remote outback towns in Australia it was wonderful to be home by the beach and unpacking the house. We have done a huge purge too as in that time ours have grown in to kidults. Absolutely loved ‘Brazen’ and your books certainly did their bit in providing me with some down during what was a very busy time away, working as a teaching principal. Funny how we innately know the secret messages in the little things they do but don’t necessarily say. Love your work Nora.

  35. 100% agree with the vaccination. Here in the UK, companies are starting to refuse to pay sick pay to unvaccinated staff. I enjoyed Brazen. I thought the story was adapted really well for the 21st century. Weird to realise it was written in the last one!!!

  36. Your vacancy sounds lovely! My Christmas was postponed due to me having covid. I’m not gonna lie i got very upset about not seeing my family but we made up for it new year. I loved the film Brazen! The actors were amazing and I still remember the details of the kitchen Ed was building. Laura I’m so sorry your surgery has been postponed many times, it’s just frustrating the whole covid is. Griffin is growing like a weed as we say in my neighbourhood!xx

  37. It all sounds lovely. I wish I could do my annual purge, but our recycling and trash services have been disrupted or completely discontinued due to Covid complications. Just one of the many trickle effects. Our hospitals are also full. My mother in law broke her foot three weeks ago, and we couldn’t get into a urgent care or ER. We made do with a boot and crutches borrowed from a friend. Thankfully it helped.
    I’m doing an In Death re-read, and am finishing up now before I start it again before the next book. I noticed this time around how many characters there are with the name Quirk. Is there a funny reason for this you can share?

  38. My mom did that type of free form puzzle—it was super hard and took half a year. One of the snafus occurred when mom went to get something out of the oven and all of a sudden, a puzzle piece was on the oven floor on fire! The piece apparently stuck on her arm or shirt when she stood up and then fell off of her when she opened the oven. It’s one of our favorite stories that always brings a laugh!

  39. I’m looking forward to watching Brazen!
    Every January I pick a reread of a favorite book before I begin any new TBR on my list. The Witness has been on my mind for a while, so I decided this would be the one to reread! I loved it when it first came out, and love it just as much today. It would make a great movie, imho! So much happening in the first part, intriguing & suspenseful; Abigail’s smarts vs heart in the second part; tension as her smarts outwit the bad guys! Of course, lots of love & romance with Brooks. What’s not to love, there? Anyway, just my opinion! Now, who would play Abigail and Brooks? Oh, and Bert, too!!! Need to think on that one. Thanks Nora for all the great books over the years. Happy 2022. Stay safe & healthy, Nora & Laura!!

  40. Love reading your comments. Our summer has been different lots of rain which we haven’t had for few years it has kept out temps down.But today has climbed up to 36 deg so air con is getting a work out. Can’t wait for the 8th to pick up your new J D Robb book. I will have to watch Brazen. Just love your photos of your family Nora. Stay safe and well with this Covid hanging around.
    Pam sunny Queensland

  41. Many, many years ago I had a three yr. old daughter Layla and was pregnant with Austin. Layla and I would nap at the same time and whoever woke first would go wake the other. One afternoon I woke and couldn’t find Layla. Panicked I searched the apartment and ran downstairs to see if the neighbors had seen her. A slight, sweet polynesian woman answered and motioned me into her apartment where I found Layla having cookies 🍪 and milk! The neighbor told me Layla came down everyday and afterwards they would send her back upstairs to wake me.

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