Count Your Blessings While You May

Last week, in the late evening quiet of Wednesday night, I finished the final print run of our 2024 Copperman’s Day print. This year’s print is inspired by a lovely concert recorded for the CBC on December 2, 1993, at the Glenn Gould Theatre in Toronto, featuring vocalists Holly Cole, Rebecca Jenkins, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Jane Siberry, and Victoria Williams in an ensemble setting accompanied by Tim Ray on piano. The concert recording takes its name from the opening song: “Count Your Blessings,” which is something we try our best to remember to do. There are days, of course, when we forget this simple act, but coming back to counting our blessings is always the goal.

Copperman’s Day, for us, is an extension of the Christmas season, falling as it does on the First Monday after Epiphany, and Christmas 2023 was a Christmas where we keenly felt the absence of Haden, the Convivio Shopcat. She’d been with us since Labor Day Weekend, 2005, and on the 15th of September, 2023, we had to say our goodbyes. All these weeks and months later, we still miss her terribly. 18 years is a long time, and yet still not long enough. “Count your blessings” were words that went along with Haden. We appreciated every moment we had with her, and Christmas this year has been a bit, or a lot, melancholy, without her striped orange presence. She seemed to love Christmas as much as we do: she loved the tree, she loved perching atop the presents, and she even seemed to love the music (except, perhaps, the CD of Scandinavian and Siberian music we play each Midwinter solstice night… the stomping and whooping would make Haden’s ears twitch a lot and we could often discern a bit of a scowl on her face as the music filled her house).

The “Count Your Blessings” CD was one she liked, and so it felt only right to make this our Copperman’s Day print. The song was written by Edith Temple and Richard Morgan in 1946, and these are the particular lyrics by Edith Temple that pull at the heartstrings each time I hear them:

Count your blessings while you may, For we are here, with little time to stay.

We’ve dedicated this year’s print to our beloved little pal, Haden, who would visit me each time I printed in the print shop, just to see what was going on, or to let me know it was time to eat, as was the case here, when she came to visit me whilst I printed the Copperman’s Day print for 2023:

More than once, she’d get into the ink on the press: sometimes subtly––like, we’d look at her and think, “She looks different today,” and then one of us would realize there was a faint streak of darkness on her orange fur, where, in hindsight, she had obviously passed a little too closely to the inked rollers (inked most likely with black) while I was not in attendance at the press. And then there was the time I was printing a project that required magenta ink, and I had cleaned everything just so at the end of the day and followed all post-press procedures to the T… except for one thing: I had failed to secure the lid firmly on the can of Van Son Rubber Base ink. It was during the overnight hours when Haden often did her explorations of the house, and that night, she managed to tip over the can of ink and the lid fell off and I awoke the next morning to a mostly magenta cat and to a trail of magenta kitty paw prints in every room of the house. This particular adventure required a trip to the emergency vet but all is well that ends well, right? Still to this day, ten years later, I find wisps of magenta on the maple doors of the kitchen cabinets, on the terra cotta tiles in the pantry, on the old oak floor boards in the living room. But now, every one of those magenta marks is a blessing I count, a reminder of our pal who has left a huge hole in our hearts with her absence.

As for Copperman’s Day: it is an old Dutch printer’s holiday, falling on the First Monday after Epiphany each January. It was traditional on this day for printers’ apprentices in the Netherlands to receive the day off to work on their own projects––usually small printed keepsakes that they’d sell for a copper.

And as for Seth and me: we do the best we can each day. Christmas was just not the same without Haden. I know she wouldn’t want it this way, but there was much less music in the house, and what little there was was very contemplative. Lots of piano (Jacqueline Schwab), lots of nuns (The Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles), and not a whole lot of Revels. We just didn’t have it in us. And just once: Holly Cole, Rebecca Jenkins, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Jane Siberry, and Victoria Williams, accompanied by Tim Ray on piano, singing “Count Your Blessings.”

N.B.: Clicking on each photo in this post makes the images larger (which is the case with all Convivio Book of Days chapters), so you may get a better view.


You’ll find this newest Copperman’s Day print and all our Copperman’s Day prints now at our our online catalog when you CLICK HERE. Order 5 or more of any of our mini prints (Copperman’s Day prints, B Mine Valentines, and our famous Keep Lake Worth Quirky prints) and use the code COPPERMAN when you check out; we’ll take $5 off your order to help balance out our flat rate domestic shipping charge of $9.50.

If you’re doing more serious shopping (and we do have lots to offer if you are), you may instead use discount code LOVEHANDMADE to save $10 on your $85 purchase, plus get free domestic shipping, too. That’s a total savings of $19.50. Spend less than $85 and our flat rate shipping fee of $9.50 applies. Newest arrivals: Letterpress printed Valentine cards in the Valentine section, and check our Specialty Foods section for some incredibly delicious chocolate we found from Iceland, including a particularly Icelandic blend of milk chocolate and licorice. If you love both these things, well… Icelanders long ago discovered that covering black licorice in milk chocolate, then dusting the result in licorice powder, is just amazing. (Trust me: we’re on our third bag so far.)  CLICK HERE to shop; you know we appreciate your support immensely. (We count you amongst our blessings, too.)


8 thoughts on “Count Your Blessings While You May

  1. Scott Bailey says:

    Missing them never goes away. I still think of Peter, who looked very much like Haden, every night. He slept on the pillow next to me and would be affronted if I dared to read in his presence. I think he had a lot of dog in him. He never acted aloof, loved to be petted, and was loyal to a fault. Perhaps he and Haden will find one another wherever they now are.

    • John Cutrone says:

      Oh, that’s sweet, Scott. Haden had a bit of dog in her, too, and she certainly got along better with dogs than with other cats. Here’s to Peter.

  2. mary beth shipley says:

    The print is absolutely beautiful! Perfection! Beautiful design, such high quality paper and ink, and expertly crafted in gorgeous shades of color!

    Do you make videos of your process?

    RIP Haden, we pray that many decades from now, John and Seth will be reunited with you in heaven.

    • John Cutrone says:

      Thank you, Mary Beth, I appreciate that. I did post a short video of the final print run on our Instagram page last Wednesday night as the printing was happening (find us at Instagram @conviviobookworks) and I’m pretty sure that posted to our Facebook page, as well (that should be Each color is a separate run on the press, so it is a gradual building up of colors and layers with the letterpress process.

      I’m not very fond of Facebook, in general, though, and I’m not very fond of videos on Instagram, either, as they seem to overtake everything else there, and I find myself withdrawing more and more from both platforms. I tend to post about new blog chapters and then log out once I do. But I will ponder making more videos.

      And thank you, as always, for your prayers for all of us. Your kindness is appreciated!

  3. Robin Price says:

    Thanks for such a dear read & the Copperman’s Holiday gift-info. My beloved Garp (yes, the name dates to when the book came out) was with me for 18 years. No other feline relationship so very close. And yes, twenty years later, I still long for her, and that’s okay.

    Oh, the magenta ink visible memories!

  4. Linda Gottschall says:

    To love and be loved by an animal is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I have always felt that when a beloved pet passes, it makes way for a suitable replacement, and decides when it should enter our life. A gift from beyond the stars.

    Wishing you healing and beautiful memories.

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