Celebrating

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Happy Wednesday dear reader! How are you? Are you feeling refreshed this new year? Greg and I are knee-deep in our diet reset and feeling quite good.

The first three photos are evidence of our year-end dietary wonders. First is a seafood lasagna, recipe from Inspired by Charm (Hello Pittsburgh!), which served as our fabulous Christmas dinner. We swapped the noodles with thin sliced butternut squash, and it still felt quite indulgent. It also made for spectacular leftovers! I hadn’t made pumpkin bread for ages and did a fine job of it. Pizza on a very cold day when the indoor oven would not stifle the house was the tops. Absolutely!

The weather is winter-still, icy cold. Dog walks are bundled in the thin warmth of afternoon or not at all, poor Juniper. Though she minds less when we are prompt with morning and afternoon snacks. Our girl remains food motivated.

The dazzle of moonlight was New Year’s Eve. 100 years of AdAmAn meant our sleepy souls didn’t have to wait until midnight for Pike’s Peak fireworks, but got a little preview at nine p.m. Yay! It was a bit too cloudy for much of a show, but we enjoyed a neighborly chat with a woman and her grandchildren in the church lot while we watched and waited. Hooray for childhood and human connection.

Happy Christmas Eve! Here is hoping you are safe and warm and surrounded by those you love. What a literal shit storm of a week it has been across these United States. I am grateful for electricity and heated spaces, boy howdy.

This cute tree is the invention of Michael and Mary. We enjoyed a most wonderful time of the year sleepover at their house last Friday, complete with epic meals made by Michael and cookies made by Mary, as well as cider sipping, coffee guzzling, puzzling, and gaming. All of our usual with a nice surprise, too.

Dear Jesus the dog dearly departed this past summer after fourteen magical years. This is the newest addition, Leo. He is a 100% sweet and 1000% energetic puppers. Seriously. So much energy! He and Juniper ran around the yard for literally hours, which was wonderful for us humans as the temperatures were not terribly walk-friendly. They exercised themselves good and proper!

In advance of our visit, Michael and Mary said they had a surprise for us, one requiring sturdy shoes and warm garments. Greg guessed a snowball fight, while I came up mostly blank. This Chatfield branch of the Denver Botanic Garden stroll was it, and boy was it delightful! At 19 degrees, we walked swiftly through the magical affair. It took ages to heat up afterward, with mulled wine and hot beverages and the warmest of conversation. Worth it!

Michael’s not world famous but probably ought to be canelĂ© for breakfast. So good!!

A moment of stillness…

After our Michael and Mary sleepover, it was time for another with my parents! Daddy is the best napper I know, even beating out the hubster.

Game time! Greg and I reigned supreme at Sequence this time round, but there were no hard feelings. We also did some binge watching – Nine Perfect Strangers, continued to eat like kings, more delicious homemade treats along with a whole host of store bought. The best.

Juniper sings the praises of a new sweater while also wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Always excited to see each other, even just to share our morning coffee. Truth.

That time I bought a hammock-y bed for Juniper, so she didn’t have to be so hot and bothered on the cement of the porch, and she trembled in fear when sitting on it. No Mommy, you cannot make me like it or use it!

Latest jewelry creations. I am pleased as punch with how they turned out. That being said, the turquoise at left and silver & brass at right are examples of multiple failures finally gotten right. Each is probably the fourth iteration of the same or similar combination of beads not looking right for literally years. I’d string them, think they looked good, bring them home and decide otherwise. The message is to keep at it. Edit, edit, edit. Try, try, try.

The garden is off to the races, ladies and gents!

These are two of about one hundred nectarines! If they aren’t ravaged by birds, squirrels, raccoons, or hail by the time they ripen, it’s going to be one heck of a harvest!

Jeff came for a visit! We celebrated my birthday with a nice morning hike; pizza in our wood fired oven – that’s a Thai style, with my peanut sauce, chicken, peanuts and green onion up yonder; homemade ice cream – peanut butter with Reese’s cups and banana cheesecake with walnut polvorones, both STELLAR; AND, last but not least, a very fun evening of Terraforming Mars. Always the best of times. ALWAYS.

Five Years!

Cute
And cuter…
Sleeping
Questioning
Coffee mug licking…
who might be unwilling to admit it – dog.

J U N I P E R ! ! She’s our everything super-pooch pal. We’ve now had her in our lives for FIVE years. How lucky we all are to have found her adorable face on the internet, driven to the PetCo in Littleton to meet her live and in-person, and brought her into our hearts and home.

Without question, she is the best dog we know. Full of her own gumption and sweet silly joy, I cannot imagine a better four-legger for the Cooper-Sohn household. Keep on keeping-on Juni B!

I’ve never seen a goose poop mid-flight, but can you imagine?

How about that for a beginning to mark the end of 2021? All told, it was a pretty great year for us, thank goodness. Not that shitty things didn’t happen. Nearly six hundred family homes are mere ashes after burning rapid-fire near my childhood home. People we care about died (one from COVID) and got brain cancer, while others got married and had beautiful, healthy babies. Two had successful surgeries! Relationships ended and others flourished. Good and bad, how life always is. There’s probably a more eloquent saying for that, but I’m too lazy to look at the moment.

Two of my favorite people, hanging out for Christmas! We spent three nights at my parents, where Greg and my dad laughed and played ample pool while sipping adult beverages. I did not document my mom and I making tamales, some of the best ever, or us eating them, but I assure you it happened. We also listened to holiday songs, watched movies, admired the glow of Christmas lights, and played Farkle with my Aunt Mari. All the good things. Y-E-S, yes!

Juniper played and played in the yard of my childhood, and, as always, how fun it was to see the place of my burgeoning imagination run riot with her joy.

Shuttling about, we spent a grand evening at Michael and Mary’s, and another under the twinkle of holiday lights and the roar of laughter with our dear, dear, Andie Card. On the afternoon we went home, we stopped by my cousin Stephanie’s for treats and conversation and to see Stella grow stronger and stronger. An abundance of riches.

Yesterday, before the snow. Last night, after first noticing the arrival, I dashed onto the porch in my bare feet and shouted with glee. We awoke to several inches and it continues to fall. My word, how long in coming that was. Here’s hoping we get heaps and tons more this 2022.

And finally, the last of the 2021 food photos. For our holiday treats, I made: biscochitos (and created my best iteration, yet), peanut butter fudge (also my own recipe, which tastes like a PayDay!), toasted walnut fudge, cherry mashers (thank you, Joanna Gaines, though I used butter), red chile pecan brittle, butterscotch potato chip shortbread, peppermint slice, and brownie cups (peppermint chip and not-so-plain).

Our New Year’s Eve meal was zoodles with a fabulous Italian sausage and mushroom red sauce (homemade, duh!) and extra cheesy garlic bread. We live large!!

Here’s hoping this is the year we really bust through COVID and make every sweet dream come true! HUGS…

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