So many gifts have been extolled on me in the past year.  I don't have to look very far to see blessings all around me, in so many shapes and sizes. A fun, interesting, and very busy season.  We had so many great guests this year, and spent so much time laughing and talking.  I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for adding another dimension to this adventure we started seven years ago.  The conversations, the philosophizing, the copious bottles of wine poured at was a pleasure to have the privilege to host you during your days in this indescribably beautiful country.

Lots of pots.   I made and sold more pots this year than ever before.  They flew out as soon as they came out of the kiln, making me feel very good about the direction of my work. Thank you for making me feel that my work is worth owning and having in your homes.  I'll be getting busy shortly, stocking the coffers for the new season and to re-stock my on-line shop, which went down to empty as a result of guests buying up my inventory.

The gift of writing.  I am so happy I had the chance, in 2012, to complete the first, second and twentith draft of my first novel.  It's now out to a few choice readers for some direct critique before I dedicate myself to getting it published.  I've been soaking up all kind of information about publishing, such as listening to this conversation between Leo Babauta and Seth Godin, reading everything I can by Noah Lukeman, and in general making sure that by the last day of 2012, this book is solid, print worthy and something that people will enjoy reading.  Disciplining myself to write a novel from start to finish was one of the best things I've ever done for so many reasons.  Now I really look forward to getting it out there.

You, you, and you.  My beloved blog followers and readers.  It is with both arms that I hug each and every one of you.  I am sorry that I am inconsistent at responding to comments, because each one means so much to me.  You've given me so much more than I could ever give you.  All I can say is thank you for taking time and for being exactly who you are, a diverse, warm, open-hearted group of people with dreams and desires and creativity at such a deep level.  It's my firm desire to take this blog to a new level in 2012, to make it shine and shimmer and give each of you more inspiration every single time it lands in your inbox.

The health of my family and friends.  My mother and my brother-in-law have remained cancer free this year.  My friend Gina DePalma fought back ovarian cancer once again and has been declared cancer free. Micha walked away uninjured from a serious head-on collision in June.  All in all, not a bad record.  I stopped eating gluten in July, lost weight and picked up some much needed energy.  Life, indeed, is good.

To my circle of friends: thank you for listening, caring, and being my strength, for your endless empathy, understanding and love.

Und Micha, ohne Dich geht es ├╝berhaupt nicht. Du bist mein ein und alles.

I join, a little too late, a group of wonderful bloggers in Italy in expressing gratitude for the gifts we've received:Letizia from   Madonna del Piatto, Rebecca at Brigolante, Gloria from At Home in Tuscany, Melanie of Italophile and Jessica from Why Go Italy.  These bloggers make up a group called the Italy Blogging Roundtable. Sorry that I'm so late with this, ladies, but better late than never when it comes to gifts!

For this, my last post of 2011, I want to wish each of you a beautiful holiday, celebrated just the way you want to, quiet days with friends and loved ones, and joy, joy, joy.  I'll see you back here in the first week of 2012 with more inspiration, more simplicity, and more creativity! Be well.