Celebrating

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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…

The leaves have all dropped in a drab and wildly skittering heap, but oh, how lovely in their jeweled glory days. And the frost, too, magic swirls painted into a dazzling hood ornament. Nature is the first and best artist in the land.

On to Thanksgiving, our usual quiet duo doing the cook up a storm kitchen dance. We speak little and accomplish volumes. Zucchini-parsnip eggy bake, with just a touch of cheese, for the green bit; sweet potatoes, mashed; dressing, which I always call stuffing, though it never sees the dark interior of a bird; Pillsbury crescent rolls; a very fibrous cranberry sauce mistakenly purchased thinking it was jellied and two sad faces joyously rectified upon our next trip to the grocery; hot smoked chicken, not turkey; a little fizzy rose; oh, and puppy dog tails and pecan pie with crazy-good crust, of course, always, with coffee – piping hot, and cinnamon tea. Yes, that is how we do it.

I ate so very much and used days and days of points but will be back on track with the morrow. Oh, my distended belly!

At the moment, Greg plays a game on his computer while I type and photo shop, and Todd Rundgren sings cheerfully in the background. All this in between puzzle bouts, where we are working our way through a world map according to the Empire of the British, date unknown. It does not match the picture. Extra bits stamped on, vintage style, a lesson of the world is not as it seems order. Still fun, though. Again, yes.

And now, for some recommendations! This is so not in my wheelhouse, so forgive me if it feels a bit clunky. I should also note that I get nothing , save my own pleasure from this. No one is paying me. I only want to share my excitement about talented makers and kindly people aiming to do right by the world.

First off – if you like the Frida Kahlo mug up yonder, I bought that on our trip to North Carolina, in 2019, I think? Anyway, Liz Kelly made it and may still make the very same. She changes it up a bit. I’ve bought Prince & Beastie Boys mugs for my favorite fans, a Daddy mug for my very own Daddy, and a super neat tray with cacti on it. They are lovely, tank-like sturdy, and made with ever so much love.

The kindly Kelly Hsiao of Block Island Organics Sunscreen has a 25% off promo code good until November 29th: BFCM21. Use it on select products and make your beautiful skin glad!

More wonderful products for your skin and lips, made with wild harvested plants and heady with the scent of New Mexico, can be found at Dryland Wilds. I love everything they make, truly!

ABLE, out of Nashville, fashions jewelry and rather stylish clothes and shoes around the world. The best part? They work to empower women and help overcome generational poverty by giving workers a living wage and a share in the profits. Everything is 25% off right now!

If you’d like to keep it local to Colorado Springs (or buy online and ship anywhere!), head over to Yobel. They also have ethically made clothing and accessories for men and women, and some of the nicest people, too.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t recommend Erica Bello, Fox and the Fawn, Jonesing for Jewelry, Ahlazua and Quench Metalworks. Each is run by a lovely and very talented metalworking woman, making beauty of every stripe to adorn some lucky person, you or maybe someone you know?

For a little bit of everything, also made with love and curated with an expert’s eye for the delightful, head to The Artisan’s Bench.

Happy Saturday! Happy day! Happy life to you!

A Grandma Cracker (seriously what she calls her!) made yummy lemon cake full of Frozen goodness!

This photo shows the moment we started singing Happy Birthday! What JOY in knowing it was just for HER. The best!

T H R E E

Oh my goodness, in a high flying time moment, my cousin Ryan’s wee babe is now THREE. She is, among many other things, adorable and thoughtful and playful, and ever so loved.

I was the only person to old-school wrap her present after forgetting to buy a gift bag large or sturdy enough. What an ill-used muscle I have for this, dear reader. It took ages! She was a very careful unwrapper, slowly peeling off each piece of tape, before going delicately at the paper, which delighted me. I am a lover of precision and care, too, yup. She liked her necklace and magna-tiles, which also delighted me. I do not ever wish to be a lame gift giver!

We ate well and enjoyed many a conversation with parents and friends, aunts and uncles (there I am with mine!), grandmothers and grandfathers. The kids ran circles around us, eating and playing and squealing and splashing. A wonderful day to be THREE, indeed.

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