New Year, Lots of Possibilities

I don't make New Year resolutions any more; I only break them and get frustrated. I do think of goals for the new year, though. Most of the time they come true with some resemblance of the original thought. This year I have a goal to get through this unusually cold and wet winter by making a table-top greenhouse out of old windows. I've wanted one for years. I already have the windows collecting cobwebs in the barn.
I plan to make it to fit into my little red wagon so I can wheel it into the sunshine on warm spring days, or back to the barn with plant lights and insulating blankets when days are cold and dreary. I started my garden seedlings a tad late last year, so this year I am happily going to start them in February and give them plenty of light and room in their new greenhouse. I hope.
For now, I'm waiting out the cold ice and snow reading all sorts of seed catalogs. Most of my seed has been saved from the heirlooms we grow, but I do love to see the pretty pictures and think of how our garden will look in a few short months. 
Yes, there are other goals, too, like more time actually spent in the garden, along with time for picnics and family visits and afternoons in our Christmas tree grove with a cold drink on warm summer days. ahhh...sounds good, doesn't it? Looks like my main goal for 2017 is to balance my work with pleasure a little more. If only my work wasn't so dog-gone enjoyable! I hope you have some goals that make 2017 a fun year to look forward to, also. Here's wishing you a...

Merry Christmas

Christmas in my home is usually delayed. My husband's relatives live in Indiana and California, so shopping, baking, wrapping and mailing gifts for them has to be done first so they have plenty of time to enjoy cookies and fudge tucked away in their boxes. They don't celebrate Christmas so I'm hoping it adds a little touch of cheer to their home. It's nice to give something to someone without anything expected in return.
Triple batch of my great-grandmother's "Merry Cookies"
getting ready to go to my in-laws
Meanwhile, it was hard to see everyone's trees lit up all around me while I still had pumpkins and dried leaves. A couple of days ago, though, our tree took its rightful place.
 The tree was decorated as the first snowflakes of winter fell. Then, it just kept snowing. It looks like it will be a snowy winter here in the Northwest. We're to have some snow on Christmas Eve, too! 

My parents adorned anything that didn't move with Christmas attire; the property was lit with twinkling lights, a toy train chugged around a snow village that grew in population each year and there was always a very fat, fresh fir tree filled with ornaments and stacks of presents underneath. Large family gatherings were (and still are) important and fun. The sights, smells and tastes around Christmas at our home were what carols are written about. My mom still continues to deck the halls from top to bottom and visits with as much family as possible, even though my dad is in heaven now.
This can be a very lonely time of year for many people. Expectations and longings for what Christmas was, or should be but isn't, leaves many empty inside. You don't have to live alone to be alone. But, thankfully there is the manger to help us realize that Christ wasn't born in a place that was decorated to the nines and filled with family and friends to celebrate the birth. He was not born into much of a warm, welcoming place at all. 
So, whether a chill has crept into your holiday or you're warmed with the company of loved ones around a glittering tree, may your heart be filled with a joy that can not be taken away by anyone or anything...the joy of the birth of our Christ.
I sincerely wish you all a very