Santa is my kind of guy

December 7, 2007 at 8:10 pm | Posted in art, blogging, Christmas, country life, country living, domestic violence, faith, family, free knitting patterns, Holidays, knitting, love, marriage, photography, relationships, romance, Santa Claus, scarf patterns, yarn | 26 Comments

One of Fireflys Santas from her collectionI began my Santa Claus collection when my children were little, and as the children became teenagers they started buying a new Santa for me each year. Last year my Santa collection was 3,000 miles away in storage in Los Angeles while I enjoyed my first Christmas on the farm in Western New York.

This past weekend I unpacked my many Santas, refreshing my sweet memories of Christmases past as I looked at each one. My favorites are those the children gave me … I will try to share them with you as the month progresses. Pictured here is the Santa I bought for myself the last year I lived in L.A. I bought him in Santa Barbara that fall, took him back to L.A., and now he is living on a farm in New York … imagine that.

See the little boxes in the photo? My mother made those out of greeting cards. She makes these perfect, lovely little Christmas boxes from greeting cards and wrapping paper folded very carefully from a pattern she inherited from her older sister. She used to keep a big bowl full of her perfect, magic little boxes and we loved looking through them with an “Oooh!” and an “Aahhh!” at her choices of cards and placements of key design elements such as trees, snowflakes, birds, Santas, and so on.

Fireflys Snowglobe and some pretty little ornamentsIt has snowed here every day for the past several days, with strong winds blowing much of the time. Today there is neither snow, nor wind but it is cold and white outside. I am listening to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on iTunes at my computer as I write to you, and am enjoying the relaxing warmth I feel at the anticipation of holiday cheer.

Early on in my blogging days I wrote of my daughter giving me a necklace of pearls for my birthday (She Gave Me Pearls, August 24, 2006):

“My birthday was earlier this month, and she brought with her a beautiful pearl necklace and matching earrings she made for me. She designs and handcrafts exquisite gemstone and pearl jewelry. All of her findings are handmade, each piece is worked long and patiently with fine details which are her own trademarks.“I am not much for jewelry, but I must say I cherish each piece she has made for me 
 and I am fortunate enough to have quite a few. There is something about her jewelry that makes the person wearing it feel very fine and good.”

My daughter is in her late 20’s; she was my first of two children. I still remember her first Christmas, those memories are crystal clear and always will be, I am certain. So much of that first year of motherhood is crystal clear in my mind, poignantly etched indelibly in the deepest places where my love resides.

Out of respect for her privacy, I have withheld something from my readers for quite some time. The truth is, she lives here with us and has for much of the time we have been married. She is temporarily disabled, unable to work due to injuries she suffered from domestic violence. Harsh though that is to put into words, it is the truth and it is healthy not only for the individual, but also for society, for people to speak up and speak out where it has occurred.

She has chronic pain in her neck and lower back from her injuries, and unfortunately her condition worsens when she tries to work on her jewelry, or knit, or do much of anything productive. The past several months have been particularly difficult for her; I have lost count of the number of times we have been to the emergency room for horrific pain she is experiencing that no pain killers will abate. How many doctors have we visited, on how many occasions, how many tears have been shed, and momentary hopes dashed as a new episode of pain descends. Several months ago she was sent to physical therapy, and the physical therapist was very rough on her long slender, tender neck and only made matters far worse. Late in the summer she tried a chriopractor who at times was able to help, but at times the adjustments only seemed to exacerbate her problems.

Recently she has been going to a different physical therapist three times a week getting primarily massage therapy, which has helped at times. But still, the pain continues.

Honestly, it is tragic. It is tragic to see someone going through something like this at all, but when you witness your own loved one suffering and there is little you can do to be helpful, it rips through you like a tidal wave over, and over, and over again.

Yesterday we finally made out way to a pain center, a place that specializes in the kind of pain she suffers from. The information she was given, the diagnosis, the treatment suggestions made a whole new kind of sense … and we drove the one hour drive home feeling light of heart for the first time in a long time. She smiled and told me some very funny stories (she is a great story teller; comes from a long line of them).

When we got home, I felt swept over with a sense of starting over again, newly. I think perhaps this time she found a doctor who could actually say definitely what is going on with her body, what needs to be done to fix it, how much time it might take, and what to expect … what to do. Rather than the mystery of not knowing what was happening and not having any confidence that anyone knew what to truly do to create improvement … today there is hope.

A pretty red ornament at Fireflys placeHope. Hope is one of the most valuable assets of life.

Hope, faith, love, gratitude. They are the jewels that make life sparkle.

She makes life sparkle with her beautiful jewels, now maybe she has a shot at enjoying some sparkle in her own life again.

I added the pattern for her hand knit scarf this week, and a few auctions of some of the jewelry she made before the pain began.

Have a warm, beautiful pre-holiday weekend. We will.



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  1. a gentle virtual hug to your DD. i too have residual pain from spousal abuse, although ive been blessed in that it is not as intense as hers. she has my good thoughts going out to her.

  2. a hug to you both from me as well. you are an amazing woman to cherish your daughter so closely. the abuse i suffered as a young lady at the hands of a selfish and hurtful man was emotional, not physical, but it was still abuse. when the relationship ended in a broken heart, a belly full with his child, and him nowhere to be found, my mother stood firm against those that said that i should be let alone to deal with the consequences of my actions and welcomed me into her heart and home. you are (whether facing opposition for your choice to allow your daughter to live with you or not) brave and courageous to love her so tenderly. may peace abound for you all in this time of new hope within your home!

  3. Oh my. My best wishes to you and your daughter. I’m a survivor, too. … My heart goes out to you both. I am so happy to read that you have found hope and solution. Good healing.

  4. What a beautiful post, and what hope and love that it conveys. I adore my mother, and she in turn would turn the world upside down for me. It’s good to know that there are others out there. Her creativity doesn’t fall far from the tree 🙂 Hugs and heart felt prayers your direction.

  5. In honor of you love for Santa’s may I direct you to read the lyrics to a S.C. song I wrote years ago for my own daughter. Should you be interested in the melody being sent to you just email me at Oh…did I mention the title to the song IS Santa Claus is my Kinda Guy? 🙂

  6. Hugs to you and your daughter, I hope she finds relief from her pain soon.

  7. Wishing the best for your daughter’s recovery. You are a wonderful mom. The card boxes that were made by your family are beautiful, would you be willing to share the instructions? Thanks so much for sharing so much in your wonderful blog.

  8. Thank you for trusting us with this tender part of your lives… it is a brave step that I hope will shed light for your family and for others… I pray that her pain ceases, that she can regain her freedom and strength. A warm and heartfelt hug to you and her.

  9. You are so wise to know just when the right time is to share the personal side of your life. I have noticed that you have a sixth sense about when to share. I pray that this doctor is in fact the right one, with the right diagnosis and the right plan of action. Your talented and creative daughter sounds so brave, telling you funny stories.
    Praying for hope to continue and become even stronger.

  10. I have been reading your blog since first you began writing. I thought you and your new husband to be special people and now I know that you are truly special. The love you have for your courageous daughter makes my heart swell with affection for all three of you.

    I will keep you all in my prayers for you are surely an amazing family.

  11. I will ad your daughter to our prayer list. I know the Lord does work miracles every day! What name is here jewelery listed under? I went to the site, but didn’t know what to look for.

  12. My heart goes out to you and your lovely daughter. Please tell her that she will be in my thoughts and prayers. I have read that survivors of abuse often have physical pain which is the result of mental trauma as well as physical injury – as she heals emotionally the physical pain may also lessen. I can think of few better places in the world to experience physical and emotional healing than your beautiful farm with you and your husband to take care of her.

  13. Though it must be hard to see her suffer like that, it is wonderful that you are able to be there with her and for her. I hope that the new center will be exactly what she needs to help ease her pain. Big hugs to both of you!!!

  14. With tears in eyes I send prayers your way. I pray that you have found the answer to your daughter’s pain. Thank you for sharing such a personal, private part of your life.

  15. I’m so sorry to hear that. I’m so glad you’ve found a place that is able to help now, and that your daughter has a peaceful place to heal at your farm with you.

  16. Thank you for sharing. My prayers will include your daughter. This year for me has been difficult dealing with my mother’s journey to the next life. May your daughter find peace and I’m glad you have her close to you.

  17. Thanks for sharing. You are wonderful mother and I know your daughter appreciates you very much.

    Has anyone suggested a hot tub as therapy? The hot water and jet massage are great for soothing away pain.

    Best wishes for a full recovery.

  18. I’ve suffered chronic pain since a near-fatal car accident in ’03. I’ve had surgeries to try and correct the damage that was done, but they’ve mostly turned out to be too little, too late and haven’t provided me with much, if any, relief. I started seeing a pain management specialist 2 years ago and within 6 months of seeing him my pain was under control. I’m not saying that I’m pain free all the time because that’s not true and will probably never be true – but I DO have my pain under control and am incredibly grateful for it. I know how depressing it is to wake up every day (if I was lucky enough to get any sleep, that is) and be faced with the prospect of pain, pain and more pain for the rest of that day – and then the rest of your life. I also know how it is to be regarded as a drug seeking junkie by those who didn’t know any better (and some that did) when I went to them, desperate to find something that would abate my suffering. Chronic pain and it’s treatment is not an easy road to walk, but it’s always, always worth it. I’m currently in my second semester of nursing school and eventually hope to specialise in pallative care and pain management. There IS hope for your daughter, and if she ever needs someone to talk to, I’m available (

    May your holiday season bring you all peace and joy – and be a particularly pain-free one for your daughter.

  19. What sorrow for a mother to not be able to help her daughter ease her pain. My prayers will be with your daughter that healing will begin for her and that you can continue to be there for her. It has to bring your daughter comfort knowing that she has a mother that loves her so much. I know that by sharing you have touched many lives that know domestic violence first hand.

    Your daughters jewelry is beautiful. And I love the scarf pattern…I think I’ll pass it on to my daughter to give a try. She is still a fairly new knitter and I believe this is a project she can do.

    I love that so many of your readers are sending hugs your way…you can add one more.

    Blessings today! Let the healing begin.
    Your Friend, Ann

  20. My hugs, prayers to you and your daughter – I also went through some horrific moments with my first husband – I’m so very sorry for her pain.

  21. Your sweet daughter will be in my prayers. I also have a daughter who was in an abusive relationship in her 20’s. Getting her out of it required us moving with her more than 1,000 miles away from him. She is now married to a loving man and has two beautiful children. My wish is that your daughter will have the same good fortune in the future, and be happy, healthy and without pain!

  22. hugs for your daughter
    and even bigger hugs for her mom
    have you considered acupuncture?

  23. I am so moved by this post. Speaking out is brave and yet it enables people to pray for you and your household and your daughter. I know I will be adding you to my prayers…maybe even while I knit.

  24. I have added your family to my prayer list. While I did not suffer physical abuse, the emotional and verbal abuse in my marriage was what made me get out. I hope that the future becomes brighter every day for all of you and I inow your love for each other will carry you through. Blessings on your Christmas together.

  25. Hi I’m the UPS freight truck driver that delivered your personal items to you from CA.this last summer.
    You gave me your web site when I was ready to leave,and was telling you my hobby was drawing cartoons.
    I’m off for two days burning up the remainder of my vacation.
    I can’t carry any days over to the next year.

    I read about your daughter and hre condition.
    And I rememeberd I delivered a Chiropractic couch,or bed to a Chiroprator at 3912 Oak Orchard RD.which is also route 98.
    They are husband,and wife.
    Both Chiropractic doctors,the only thing I know about them is that they were busy when I made the delivery,and the husband told me people came very far to have them take care of their body pains.
    Their phone number is 585-589-9344 if you interested,if not,I was just trying to help you.

    I’m glad your doing well here with all of your projects,enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones,and may the Lord direct your path it works for me,Perry

  26. I was so touched by the story of your daughter’s struggles. What a fortunate girl she is to have you and your husband to help her through this time.
    I was in the opposite position with my daughter. When I was nearly killed by domestic violence, my daughter is the one who helped to “bring me back” and realize I was a worthy woman again.
    I had pain for a long time and finally found relief with massage and PT. My shoulder will always be a bit compromised but it is not painful anymore. It happened in 2004 and now I am in a fabulous loving relationship where I can comfortably sleep in the arms of a man who is tender and never threatening, only loving.
    I know your daughter will come through this….love prevails. Thank you for sharing this story….you wrote it so lovingly.

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