You know it’s not going to be a good day when, at 7:30 in the morning you fill the humidifier and a gallon of water spills all over the living room floor. Be sure that bottom is on tight.

There are lots of good days for Claudia Mandile lately. Daughter Dawn gave mom a black and white kitten, Ozzie, for Christmas. They are trying to learn to live together. Keeping Ozzie off the bed seems to be a problem, however.

Speaking of problems, Marion Mullin had a knee problem earlier this winter. One morning after throwing in a load of clothes in the basement, Marion saw a pair of winter boots she hadn’t worn in a few years. She decided to try them on and see if they were still usable. Marion momentarily forgot her prosthetic knee goes in only two directions, back and forth, not on pivot. She unfortunately pivoted and wound up in pain on the basement floor unable to get up. (It is impossible to get up without using two knees). Fast forward, Marion and the paramedics got her to the hospital and she was in a sorry state for a few weeks. But she’s back at her post at the River Forest Jewel, good as new.

January is the cruelest month, not April. So if winter’s gray has you down, take a stroll along Madison and see all there is to do to brighten up the winter. Howie the dog will welcome you to Chix with Stix at 7316 Madison St. Owners Dana Smith, Beth Clarkson and Renee Jones will brighten up your evenings with irresistible yarn colors and instructions on what to do with them. Boot camp begins Jan. 27. There are many classes for beginners and advanced knitters. Wednesday nights are open knit night when the chix will be available to answer questions. Assisting student Lynn Granzak are instructors Kelly Kubicz, and Katie Schmidt.

Another suggestion for brightening the winter evenings is to sign up for a three day workshop at Painted Board at 7418 West Madison St. Jennifer Taylor’s amazing, wonderful dog, Rosie, will delight and entertain you with tricks, love and a little tap dance. You can bring in any piece of furniture you’ve been meaning to “do something” with. You choose the three consecutive days you’d like to work, and Jennifer will supply everything else. Call Jennifer at (708) 771-7246 for more information.

Olivia Mott enjoyed the Children’s Concert at the Oak Park Symphony Jan. 14. She was surprised to see her old friend Julia Xia playing an ancient Chinese instrument, the gu zeng, as audience members entered the lobby.

Apologies all over the place to Joan Dioguardi. She is very much involved with the Women’s Exchange at 839 South Oak Park Ave. This not for profit organization is dedicated to people who want to improve themselves and the community. It provides a marketplace for artists and craftspeople to sell their handmade items. They are always looking for new crafters, call (708) 848-4693 for more information.

Remember the date: Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. at Saint Peter’s, on the corner of Hannah and Adams streets. Citizens United in Forest Park will hold a candidates night and you are all invited to come and ask questions. Refreshments will be served.

The Mozart “Requiem” rehearsals will begin Sunday, Jan. 28 at First United Church of Oak Park, 848 Lake St., 2p.m. until 4 p.m. The “Requiem” will be performed at the regular symphony concert on March 18.

Birthday times now: April 24 is the birthday of Mayor Richard M. Daley and Kathy Doss; the 25th, Connor Baffetti, Ken Oliver, Natalie Frank and Kelly Rosen; 27th, Tracey Doss, Orian Javier, Leela Itze; Jan. 28, Marlene Quandt, Matt Walsh, Sharon Andrews; Jan. 30, Lisa Pardun, Rickie Beam.