A 2020 and 2021 Review and Check Out The Coco Canary Newsletter To Keep Up With What I am Up To

Hi all, long time no talk! I hope you are all well on this 2021 New Year’s Eve. It has been on my to-do list for a long time to write a blog post with life updates. Well here it is and I will keep it brief.

The Coco Canary Consulting Logo. The logo is an artistic rendition of a purple bird within a black circle.
We Don’t Post As Often Here, But We Post Monthly At Coco Canary Consulting!

In 2020, I started an evaluation firm called Coco Canary Consulting (yes, it was after a COVID layoff!). We offer creative evaluation and equity services. If you have no idea what that means, then head on over to the Coco Canary website to learn more. Also, we publish a monthly newsletter, talking about business updates, personal updates, social justice calls to action, and more. As you can see, I don’t write here as often. My hope is to get back into it (since I have videos and stories to share from adventures local and afar), but my focus is on my business and social justice work at the moment.

A Photo Summary of 2020 – 2021

As everyone knows, the last 2 years have been COVID-19. Which means I have been laying low. To be honest, and acknowledging my privilege, the stillness was good for me—as I had recently been laid off from a toxic job where I was burnt out and I was still healing from the impacts of graduate school. I’ll share some choice photos from the last couple of years that highlight big life updates and the few adventures I took.

A mesh bag full of Morel Mushrooms.
1. Morel Mushroom Hunting is Super COVID friendly! (Spring 2020)

My partner Mike and I still go Morel Mushroom hunting each spring (and foraging the rest of the summer). We actually took video because I have been meaning to make an informational video about Morel Mushroom hunting—since my Morel Mushroom Hunting In The Twin Cities article is one of my most top-read (still getting hundreds of views a year). I’ll get to it eventually! Until then, enjoy a photo of our bounty from one of our 2020 trips.

And, if you haven’t already, read about the George Floyd Demonstrations that occurred in Spring 2020 as well.

An image of Molly and her partner Mike holding a "sold" sign in front of a house.
2. We Bought a House?!? (Fall 2020)

My partner Mike and I also bought a house in September 2020. This was VERY unexpected. Without the encouragement from family, some savings we had (thanks to COVID unemployment checks), LOW-interest rates, and having friends who wanted to rent from us, it likely wouldn’t have happened. Every day I feel thankful to live in an intentional living community in a cozy house in St. Paul, MN (the stolen lands of the Dakota people).

An image of trees in winter. There is a ski trail weaving between the trees, disappearing into the distance.
3. The Annual Winter Hike To Louisville Swamp (Winter 2020)

It seems every year I take a hike or snowshoe to Louisville Swamp with my friend Jim. This year was no different. There is something special about walking across the frozen lake, having lunch on the island, weaving through floodplain forests, and watching the sunset over the terraces of the Minnesota River Valley. To read more about our past trips, check out this post (a winter backcountry snowshoe in 2016) or this post (a summer walk in 2014).

An image of people in the streets at a George Floyd Protest. Cup Foods is in the background, as well as a mural of George Floyd. People's fists are up in solidarity and nearly everyone is wearing masks.
4. The Police Officer that Murdered George Floyd Was Found Guilty (Spring 2021)

April 2021 was a month of holding breath and sighing with relief. Even if the relief was brief because there is so much more that needs to be done, the guilty verdict for ex-officer Chauvin was a shining light that spring.

A cardboard sign made by Molly that says "guilt on all charges = accountability. Abolition = Justice."
Allison standing standing next to a wooden post with the words "Northern Terminus - Superior Hiking Trail." She has a backbacking backpack on and hiking poles in hand.
5. Finally Seeing the Northern Most Terminus of the Superior Hiking Trail (Fall 2021)

One of our friends and housemates, Allison, made it a goal to through-hike the Superior Hiking Trail. I was lucky enough to be the person to drop her off at the northern terminus and even camped with her for a little bit. The views from the northern terminus are AMAZING. I highly recommend taking the jaunt to see it. You look into the wilderness of Canada. There were a lot of lovely outdoor adventures I took this summer (and I found my first ever Lobster Mushroom!). But will have to save those stories for another time.

To read more about my past experiences on the Superior Hiking Trail, check out Hammock Camping on the SHT (one of my most viewed posts every year) and Hiking the SHT and Visiting Gooseberry Falls.

An image of a hand drawn card by Molly. In this card, Molly is walking with a friend holding sleds. In the background there is a sledding hill, distant pine trees, and a cabin with three yard signs in front: Stop Line 3, Black Likes Matter, and De Dakota Makoce (this is Dakota land)
6. An Annual Holiday Cartoon Sent To Dozens of Friends and Family (Winter 2021)

Every year I draw a cartoon that depicts a memory or feeling (real yet fictionalized). This year, I drew an image of my friend Franco and me walking with sleds, likely talking about food or something “TMI” or both. Each year, the card builds off the card prior (and even the landscape stays the same. For example, the hill in the back was in a previous card where I was stargazing on it). Perhaps one of these days, I’ll get them organized somewhere so folks can look at them. Until then, enjoy this piece of art.

Thanks for reading and I wish you all good health and light for the next year. If you are interested in getting in touch, it is best to contact me at my business email: moconnor (at) cococanary.com

Much love,

-Molly

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