Thursday, December 29, 2022

Thankful at year's end

Hello, my friends! I can't believe there are only two days left in 2022, can you? I can honestly say this past year has not been the best for our family, and yet, I continue to count my blessings. The sad times will fade to distant memories, but I have faith that the good times will continue to shine brightly in my mind. I am so thankful for my family and friends, my hobbies, my home, my health. I truly have been blessed in this life...

The view from my kitchen into my sunroom


I've also been blessed to be part of the stitching community here on my blog and on Instagram--what a wonderful bunch you are! I received some lovely Christmas presents from many of you and I'd like to publicly thank each gift-giver today. In no particular order, I received these lovelies in December...

From June: a  charming nativity stitched card, Madame La Fée chart, bookmark, and fabric. Thank you my friend!

From Vickie: a beautiful handmade scissor sheath in the prettiest floral fabric. Thank you, my friend!

From Stasi: a lovely ornament and a small kit with lots of pretty blue threads. Thank you, my friend!

From Cindy (cindyderosa on Instagram): a lovely Noel ornament and a yummy gingerbread dark chocolate bar. Thank you, my friend!

From Robin (robin_in_virginia on Instagram): a beautiful bird-themed ornament and a cut of one of my favorite linens. Thank you, my friend!

From Claire B. (blackberryhill1 on Instagram): one of her beautifully sewn wool strawberries in navy blue, and an adorable blue and white thread ring. Thank you, my friend!

From April (in Virginia): a sweet framed stitching of holly, a Christmas notepad, and some delicious chocolate-covered pecans. Thank you, my friend!

From Cindy C. (cindycstitches on Instagram): a lovely Christmas Joy ornament and the sweetest quilled card. Thank you, my friend!

Three darling stitched cards from my German friends.  Right to left from: Martina, Manuela, and Gabi

I sent out quite a few gifts, too, but I'll save them to share with you in my next post. Thank you also to those of you who sent cards in the mail--I do love to receive a good old-fashioned Christmas card. Many thanks to Sandy, Marilyn, Georgia, Barb R., Karen Y., Lee, Tricia, and Charlene... I truly enjoyed reading each one!

And, I would be remiss if I didn't offer two more thank yous--to those generous stitchers, Janet in Texas, and Linda in North Carolina, who so nicely passed on charts that I could use as giveaways on my blog from time to time. I truly appreciate your giving spirits, Janet and Linda--thank you again! And I know all of you folks who have won a chart this year through the giveaways, thank you, too.

Giveaway time... We haven't had a giveaway in a while, have we? Well, how about today? This cute chart (from Janet in Texas) will be a perfect winter stitch for one of you, don't you think? It is called "Winter Things" and is a design from Waxing Moon Designs. Who would like to win it? I'll pick the winner at random and announce the name in my first post for 2023...

If you would like to win this chart, please follow the guidelines below:

To be included in the drawing for the chart, please...

1) Specifically mention that you would like to win the chart in your comment 

2) Be a follower in my blog's sidebar (to the right)

3) Make sure to leave your email address in your comment (if I don't already have it).

4) Answer the "Getting to Know You" question below. 

Getting To Know You...  My question for today is: "Do you have a New Year's resolution or something you would really like to work on or change about yourself in the coming year?" My answer... I don't make New Year's resolutions, but I do have something I really want to change about myself...  I want to get up earlier! I've developed this very bad habit of laying in bed for a couple of hours each morning checking emails, scrolling through social media, reading the news, etc. when I could be up and doing something useful like reading a book, stitching (or even cleaning!) instead of wasting time. That is definitely something I want to work on to change in 2023. Time is so fleeting--I can't afford to be wasting it! How about you--is there anything you want to change about yourself?

Our Christmas was quiet and cold--the poor woodland creatures came in droves to our bird feeders during the zero degree temperatures. Thankfully, it has now warmed up to unseasonably warm days for a while and the snow has all melted. It sure was nice having a white Christmas, though. My middle son and his girlfriend were able to join us for Christmas Eve dinner (traditional manicotti and homemade multi-grain bread) and then also for a late brunch where we baked our once-a-year cinnamon buns (you can find a link to the recipe and a photo right here). After brunch we all sat in front of the toasty fire and worked on puzzles or stitched--a most relaxing day.

A trio of hungry deer visit on Christmas Eve

Even the Mourning Doves, who normally feed from the ground, couldn't stand the cold snow. It was so unusual to see them perched up high!


We do plan on having a late Christmas (in Maryland) with my grandson, Mister B, in just a week and I can't wait. I love seeing his joy as he opens gifts. I mailed a little Christmas card to him with some simple stickers in it and you would have thought I sent him the best toy ever! "Stickers!" he excitedly exclaimed as he pulled them out of the card. And then, prompted by his mom, he sweetly said, "Thank you, Nonna and Pompaw" and blew us a kiss through the camera. Sigh... he melts our hearts!

I began this post with a photo of our Christmas tree as seen from my kitchen into our sunroom. I'll leave you with a photo of our family room as reflected in the mirror over our sofa. I happened to glance at the mirror and thought it looked so pretty reflecting all the Christmas lights that I just had to take a photo.

Christmas Day 2022 (that's my blue stitching chair looking unusually tidy for a change :)

So another year is over... oh, how I wish they would slow down! At my age, I feel like things are rushing by way too quickly. Do any of the rest of you feel that way? We will usher in the new year in our usual quiet way--watch a movie on television, and maybe (just maybe!) stay up until midnight. More likely not... I wish you each a new year filled with good health and happy days. Thank you for all the love and support you've given me and my blog in 2022--each comment and email really does warm my heart. See you all in 2023! Bye for now... 

Wishing you every happiness in 2023!


Melisa- pinkernpunkinquilting said...

Carol , you received so many lovely gifts from your friends which is a testament of how well loved and thought of you are within the stitching community. I am so glad you was able to spend Christmas Eve with your middle son and his girlfriend. Wishing you a new year filled with blessings. Hugs.

GrammaGrits said...

Lovely gifts from your friends!!! I would love to be entered in to the giveaway. For 2023, I would love to worry less and trust more . . . need to memorize some special Bible verses. Blessings to you in the New Year.

Karen Y said...

I love your Christmas tree! It sounds like you had a nice Christmas & I hope that 2023 is kinder to you. I would love the Winter Things pattern since I already have 2 other seasons in my stash. I have quit making New Year's resolutions because I never follow through with them. Every year I say I am going to get my craft room organized & it doesn't seem to happen! Happy Stitching!
Karen Y

MartinaM said...

I am very happy about the magical gifts and cards you received.
No, I don't have any real New Year's resolutions, but I would like to lose some weight and that's my main focus in the new year. Maybe go for a walk more often.
I wish you a nice time with your grandson. How nice that he can be so happy about such simple things, that is not often to be found.
What a beautiful look in the mirror, it looks very cozy and inviting.
I wish you a happy new year. keep staying healthy
Hugs Martina

Isabel para ALROMASAR said...

How many beautiful gifts you have received from your friends, Carol!
Enjoy them because they are a treasure.
Beautiful images of your home decorated for Christmas.
I would like to participate in the draw: what I want to change this year is my laziness for sports. I'm turning 50 in June and I think it's a good age to think about the future and celebrate my birthday in the best possible way, so I've already resumed my Pilates classes.
I wish you lots of health and happiness for you and your beautiful family!!!!
Happy 2023!!
Hugs from Seville

Patty C. said...

Beautiful gifts - Here's to a better 2023 -

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
many beautiful gifts arrived.
Ich habe keine Vorsätze für 2023. Hauptsache Frieden auf Erden.
Gern hüpfe ich in den Lostopf. Ein süßes Giveaway.
Wir werden Silvester mit unseren Kindern verbringen. Raclette essen und den ganzen Abend Spiele spielen.
I wish you a health and happy New Year.
Hugs, Manuela

Marilyn said...

What cute gifts you've received.
I love the beautiful card you sent. :)
Actually, I would like the opposite of you, I would like to sleep better, I wake up way too much.
Glad you got to spend some time with one of your boys.
We also had quite a few Doves when I put some seed on the ground.
They ate, then sat up in our Birch tree in the sun to warm up.
Your house is so beautiful!
I always try to stay up om NYE, but I seldom make it anymore.
I used to always watch Dick Clark on NYE, it's not the same now.
Wishing you & your family a healthy, happy New Year!

Alhana said...

Glad to know you had a pleasant Christmas time and will repeat soon again! The gifts and cards you received are very beautiful, and you're very generous to give away one of your charts. I don't usually make New Year's resolutions. My only wish is getting rid of as much yarn as possible, but it's always a fail as more come in than go out. ;-)
Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year!

Robin in Virginia said...

Carol, I love the pictures of your views into your sunroom along with the bird and deer pictures. What a lovely assortment of gifts/cards you received! This year seemed to pass by too quickly, so I guess my Gram was right when she said the older you get the faster time goes. Wishing you relaxation during these remaining days of 2022 and a blessed beginning to the new year.

Stasi said...

Carol, your gifts are all so lovely, as I know the ones you sent out will be. Yes, time is passing WAY to quickly and I sure wish it would slow down. I try not to make New Year resolutions as I rarely keep them for long...I have NO will power!!! I need to focus on taking one day at a time and not anticipating what may come.
I love your window seat...what a great place to curl up with a book...I have secretly wanted one since I was a child.
Happy New Year to you and yours!!!

Tgrdina said...

WHAT A GREAT chart!! I would love to win it and make it part of my TO STITCH winter collection!! I don't usually make new year's resolutions either. But this year, my husband and I have vowed to get healthier...our middle daughter announced she is having a baby - our first grandchild. We want to be around to see him grow up! We want to be an active part of his life. Therefore, our goal is just to GET HEALTHY. Happy New Year!!!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

You did receive some lovely gifts this year. I got a lot fewer actual cards but postage is so expensive now I can understand why.
I don’t really make resolutions but I do make stitching plans! I guess that counts. I also intend to keep blogging on a regular schedule and run my blog hops for as long as there are people willing to take part.

Sandy said...

Such pretties you received. I love the photos of your tree and your stitching chair looks very inviting. I do get up early because the keeping the grands. I am not necessarily a morning person, but you do get a bit more done when you get up early. I haven't arrived at my thoughts for the new year just yet, but I am already feeling that little creep of not wasting any time with age. Time is fleeting and I want to make the most of it. There is nothing like watching little ones at Christmas. I know you are looking forward to that.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your lovely post and sharing with us.
Yes, I would like to win the giveaway. I lived in western NY for many years and survived the blizzard of ‘77. My hearts go out to all who endured the recent storm and now rain.
My intention for 2023 is “to just do it” and not wait for a better idea or tomorrow. I have lost dear friends this past year - they lived full lives but sadly won’t continue. Life is short so I just need to do it.
My email address is Howland no space quilt at g no space mail dot com.
I hope I answered the questions.
May you have a joyous time with your grandson.

Pam in IL said...

You received some great gifts from special friends. Isn't getting phone calls and video calls from your grandson just the best? I don't make resolutions because I tend to think about and re-assess things throughout the year. Interesting reading about you laying in bed for a couple hours each morning. I worked a job that required me getting up at 3:30 every morning for many years. I no longer have to get up that early, but I find myself awake and ready to get up almost every morning at that time. Love seeing photos of your beautiful tree.

Kim said...

Carol, wishing you and your family a healthy, happy 2023. Enjoy your visit with your grandson. Kim

butterfly said...

Happy New Year my friend.
Thank you for all your beautiful blogs over the year.
It's a real treat, to see your stitching and your home, sharing with others your family to, I think we are one big family in blog land is a wonderful.
Oh boy I really need to stop the clock , 2022 went quicker than ever .
I always take an hour in the afternoon for myself, 2023 I am going to take two
I need it. ha. Big Hugs June.

Kgirl said...

What a beautiful home and wonderful gifts! We've had an unusual and still wonderful holiday. My second got married 12/23 so it was a different routine. Then my son was stranded here due to Southwest issues which was the best gift for his dad and I. We loved our bonus time. My plans are to be intentional with my time....less scrolling and more of what I want to do....stitch, craft, cook, clean. (Ok I don't want to clean, but I do like a tidy house). I would love to be considered for the pattern.

Carol in Texas said...

Carol, it is New Year’s Eve and warmer in central Texas, and I am grateful for that. My husband and I tested positive for Covid yesterday so we’ll stay quarantined for 5 days, not hard for us. We are homebodies. I’ll watch the ball fall in NY tonight at 11 and listen to Frank Sinatra sing New York, New York, he’s my favorite after all these years. I’ve done that for several years.. The year has flown. I’m 84 now and they fly by in a wink. I would like to find time each day to stitch. Crossstitch has become a renewed passion and I enjoy your blog so very much. I love seeing all you are working on and you tell me about your materials you choose. I especially loved the photo of Robin’s gifts and the mention it was one of your favorite fabrics. Her card was gorgeous! And I loved the little ornament she stitched and finished so beautifully. I look forward to the coming year and reading your blog entries. Thank you for taking the time to share your life and your beautiful home with your followers. Have a blessed 2023!

Christel said...

Vous avez reçu de beaux cadeaux de la part de vos amies. C'est bien mérité.
Je ne prends jamais de nouvelles résolutions lors de la nouvelle année. Comme cela aucune déception cela m'évite de culpabiliser.
Belle soirée et bon réveillon à tout le monde.
Amitiés de France,

Carlie said...

What wonderful gifts you were given! It show that you are appreciated for all the inspiration you give us. I would rally love to win the Winter Things chart, it would be great to work on this winter. I don't do resolutions either but what I would like to work on this year is finishing projects before I start another one. But I want to spend January doing the finishing on project that I have done the stitching on!
Have a blessed New Years!

Eva H. said...

Carol,have a wonderfull year 2023.BEST HEALTH TO YOU,YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR FRIENDS.
Hugs Eva

Jackie's Stitches said...

Happy new year Carol! I love seeing your holiday decor. You have a beautiful home! You know the snow photos are especially loved by me!

I don't generally do resolutions or specific things. I do hope to become a better person, who takes better care of herself and others and to use time more wisely. I mostly don't improve dramatically but progress not perfection is an adage for a good reason!

Enjoy your time with Mr. B!!!

Shelly said...

Wonderful gifts from friends, Carol! I don't do resolutions but there are a couple of things I want to work on and they would be: quit spending too much money and cook at home more often! I'll expound on those in more detail on a future blog post. Couple of posts back on my blog, you paid me a compliment on my finishing. Well, coming from you that's a huge compliment! Thank you, Carol.

Happy New Year!

Faith... said...

That is a very positive way to look at the past and future days, I think we should all have that much positivity. You received some very nice gifts from your friends, you are a lucky lady.

I don't make resolutions either. I would just like to do things that will make me happy in addition to trying to keep up with my chores and things I have to do around the house.

We also had manicotti and home made bread for Christmas dinner! How much cream cheese do you add to the frosting for the rolls?

I hope you have fun with Mr. B during his Christmas celebration. Hope your 2023 year will be wonderful and full of happiness.

Kathy H. said...

Happy New Year Carol!
Thank you for your end of year post, the pictures in your home are lovely. I smiled at your comment about your tidy stitching chair area as my ottoman usually has whatever I am sitiching on it, threads, chart, etc. When I vacuumed the other day I found a needle I didn't know I was missing. I'm sure it happens to all of us!

Thank you for sharing the sweet gifts and cards you received from fellow stitchers, they are all lovely.

I do not make resolutions typically, basically try to start the new year off by getting back into a healthier routine of eating, bed time and exercise as that all gets a little out of control during the holiday period. When I take down my decorations after Epiphany I tend to go on a cleaning frenzy for a while in January, but then I just tend to hunker down and keep cozy during the winter. A goal I do have is to reach out more regularly to my five siblings as we are scattered all over the place and do not come together very often at all. I tend to talk to two of my sisters fairly often, but one other sister and my brothers think a chat every 6 months or so is enough. I thought I'd check up on them and their families more often.

I would love to be considered for the sweet winter chart you are offering, it would be perfect to display during our long winter. So far we are kind of gray here...we had a little snow before Christmas, but there is nothing but blah out there right now. I enjoyed the warmer temperatures after Christmas for getting outside for some fresh air, but right now I would love nothing more than a snowfall to enjoy as well as to get out and snowshoe.

Enjoy your belated Christmas with your family and dear grandson. Just being together I am sure will be a beautiful gift.

Kathy Horohoe

Katie said...

Please enter me into the adorable Winter chart. I love all things seasonal. My resolutions are to heal and learn who I am. I want to focus on my health and also stitch in my free time. Be happier.

diamondc said...

Happy Blessed New Year: Such a beautiful post, thank-you for sharing your beautiful Christmas decorations with us.
WE feed the deer, we live on a golf course number two fairway, it's fun to see them come in and feed, we also feed the birds, so many cardinals live in the pine trees, it's fun to see the babies in the spring.
I make no resolutions but want to get all my stitching projects constructed many have been stitched in the past years.
I hope you have a Blessed and healthy New Year


Leonore Winterer said...

I agree with you - 2022 was a challenging year for many of us (especially following right after 2020 and 2021), but the bad memories will fade in time, the happy ones are what will remain and what we should choose to focus on. I, too, have so many things to be grateful for, not least of all my stitching friends! You received such wonderful gifts and cards, and you deserve every one of them.
As for New Year's resolutions, apparently it has been shown that habits started on New Year's are much more likely to be kept as to those started on any other day, so I'm back to making them! My two big ones are health (going to try and exercise more...and eventually maybe eat less as well!) and consume less. For me, the latter is not about money as much as my footprint in the world - so buying digital is fine, buying used is fine, but I want to buy as little as possible new (except for things that get used up, like food, soap and floss, of course!).
Hope you made it into the new year safely and that I will read from you soon!

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol -i was wondering if the deer in your backyard are Santa’s reindeer that stayed behind because your yard is so pretty? 😊
Ha! Ha! I’m kind of catching up on blog reading since before the holidays and yours is so special and fun to read. The gifts you received from so many stitching friends are so beautiful. Thank you for showing and sharing them with your readers. I think all of us love your postings and are so lucky to see all the beautiful pieces that you stitch and display and share with us. It seems that you had a very happy holiday season with part of your family, and I hope you now get to enjoy more with your adorable grandson and his mom and dad - more fun and love to share! Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family!

Barb R. ❤️

Maggie said...

Happy New Year Carol, I hope that you had a lovely time when you all managed to get together. The years just seem to go by so quickly don't they, it's quite scary how fast when you stop and think about it.
I don't make any resolutions, but like you I would like to bread the habit of scrolling through my phone, in my case it' before I go to sleep, which i know isn't good!
Looking forward to seeing all your lovely stitching and finishing through 2023 xx

Irene said...

Buon anno Carol! Sai, io quando vado a lavorare mi alzo presto, alle 5 del mattino, ma quando sono in ferie divento pigra, soprattutto in inverno quando si sta bene sotto le coperte, invece si potrebbero fare tante cose, concordo con te che sia un ottimo proposito!

Chris said...

Just discovered your blog and am slowly taking it all in. So lovely! I must ask, do you know the name of the pattern of the picture shown on the right in the view of your sunroom--the one that says Peace on Earth? I love it!

Thank you for sharing all your wonderful work. I'm inspired!

Cathy H. said...

Somehow I missed this end-of-the-year post! I always love a peek into your beautiful home and enjoyed seeing the beautiful gifts you received.

As far as New Year's resolutions, I don't make any, but like you I do think of ways to improve or change things in my life. This year I'm focusing on quiet adventures to restore me after three pretty tough years! Part of that is being outside every day and searching for some small piece of nature that intriques me and taking a picture. That is such a relaxing thing to do and nature has lots of things to share with me!

Wishing you a very belated Happy New Year!!

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful set of gifts from stitching friends - it is such a great community and for me, you are a big part of that Carol! The views of your home are so pretty and it looks like such a welcoming and cozy place. I don’t do big resolutions but try to change small things - one year my resolution was to wear earrings and another year to read magazines. This year, my big goal is to work on finishing some of the 50 finished stitched pieces I have. So far, so good - four done in January and only one new finish so far, so the total number is moving in the right direction!