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Jack Frost left some magic on Fireflys windows this morningAnother holiday season has swept through, leaving in its wake warm and loving memories and a sweet lingering feeling of relaxation. Each year I learn new lessons in keeping the holidays in simpler and more humble manners. This is my personal effort to help keep the true spirit of the holidays alive for myself, my loved ones, and anyone whose life I might happen to touch in some way or other. I find I succeed in some ways, and fail in others but always my quest is to get it better than I have before, learn from my mistakes, discard regrets, and move on toward a future of increased goodwill and peace to whatever degree I, one single individual spirit, can contribute to that motion. The beauty and magic of snow on fireflys farm in Western New YorkMy beautiful, large family, which has gone through various stages of fragmentation since the death of my oldest brother two years ago, is finding and knitting its way back together. My son and daughter, my husband, and I spent Christmas alone here on our farm just the four of us ... and of course our dear sweet Blu and a couple of magic cats that showed up lately on our porch. We enjoyed a beautiful snow storm on Christmas eve, the day my son flew in from California. After that, for several days, the four of us stayed at home pretty much the entire time. My son and I enjoyed cooking together on Christmas eve and Christmas day ... treasured memory. The four of us visited together peacefully, gently, with love and regard for one another. We enjoyed laughter, gifts, naps, the "Christmas Story" marathon on television, tasty baked goods, and pretty scenes outside our the many windows of our home. Pretty touching snow outside of fireflys farm in Western New YorkI managed not to cry when we drove him to the airport and dropped him off for his flight home. The inevitable tears did not begin stinging their way into and out of my eyes until we pulled away from the curb and he and I shared a last wave of "goodbye, see you soon". I have promised myself he will never see me crying as he leaves, nor feel any sense of sadness coming from me. We are both doing quite well in life, and though our separate paths have dictated 3,000 miles between us we stay in such close contact via the many conveniences afforded by modern technology that I am able to keep my perspective which help keep feelings of sadness at bay. Magic awaits us all in 2008This year we sent holiday care packages to each of the families within my family containing apple preserves I made this fall, ginger snap cookies my daughter and I made just in time for shipping, pumpkin bread from Grandma Johnson's recipe, and other items or treats according to what I had on hand and who the recipient might be. The ginger snap cookies were the biggest hit of all ... my goodness (I use the recipe straight out of The Joy of Cooking). They became our favorite Christmas cookie last year, my first Christmas on the farm, and now we have decided they will be our traditional Christmas cookie from here on out. So, family, get ready for more of that crispy goodness next year. Meanwhile, we have a year of living to get on with and I am ready to begin. I am well underway on the large painting I am making for our favorite local restaurant. In a few days I should have a photo ready to share. A pretty view of snow outside at fireflys farm in Western New YorkMy daughter gave me beautiful yarns for three hand knit projects (a hat, a shawl, and a pair of warm and cozy house socks) for Christmas. I have completed the hat (will share a photo in the next posting) and am well on my way with the shawl. I plan to create printed versions of this year's patterns which will be carried in my local yarn shop and on my website. If the patterns do well in sales in the yarn shop, I hope to start distributing them in other yarn shops around. Of course, I will still offer free patterns online ... so don't worry, I won't be cutting you off. However, it is the prudent thing to do to make some of what I do here generate income and knitting patterns seems to be a good way to go. Over the past months I have settled in more to my new life on a farm in Western New York, so this coming year will be simpler and less stressful than the last, and it will be more productive and satisfying ... and even more magical. Ah, I breath a sigh of relief and restful anticipation just thinking of the days, weeks, and months to come. Heres a toast to magic waiting around every cornerThis is the way to begin a new year: peaceful, relaxed, rested, happy. Jack Frost, a treasured visitor and friend, left a handful of beautiful drawings in ice crystal on the windows of our sun porch this morning. His little touch of magic drew me and the camera out of our restful dreams with a glimpse of a view of the year ahead. Will you join me in heralding in a new a magical year with happinesses yet to discover, successes yet to unfold, and pleasant surprises glistening on our horizons? Wonderful! Let's get going ... ~firefly


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