Christmas Day in Retrospect

Dear Liza,

Starting the day with cinnamon rolls….

It is now the day after Christmas and I am still full to the brim from the feasting and family. Our Christmas celebration started around 10 in the morning when the rest of the family woke up (Auntie Bridgett and I are early risers), and went until after 9 that night when tired Grandkids headed home.

Christy gets a Nicole Curcio bowl…

First there were cinnamon rolls and coffee, and presents for and from Auntie Christy and Cousin Kyle. We were all pleased with the Hogwarts’ goodies, so perfect for us and our chilly winters here in Portland.

Grandpa in his new Slytherin scarf.

Auntie Katie and the Cousins came later, bringing more gifts and a delicious ad- libbed cream pie.

Music, as always.

Kyle, being the Dungeon Master of the day, had prepared a Dungeons and Dragons adventure for Jasper and Kestrel, and the three of them developed characters and played while the older folks chatted, ate and drank, and played music.

Jasper, Kes and Kyle working in character development

Katie and I were the only ones who wanted a walk, so we headed off to Laurelhurst. I wore my new Hogwarts scarf, and met a fellow Hufflepuff! Her name is May. She is a delight and I hope we see each other again. We also did some serious bird-watching, Katie sharing her Great Grandma Billie’s love of feathered friends.

Watching the Bullock’s Orioles in the park

Katie is always good company. She and I talked about my story and she gave me some good advice on how to make it better as I go forward.

I met May, a local Hufflepuff!

We got home and had dinner, which was, as always, a team effort and delicious.

Then came more presents! Harry Potter and Wonder Woman and weird little Hands for Handy Hand to hang out with. What a day!

Teeny tiny hands!
Cool swag from Cousin Kyle

Then there was more music, with harmonies and extra verses. As everyone’s energy level started to sag, no one wanted the day to end!

More harmony and strumming…

Kyle and Jasper played a video game on the sofa while the rest of us watched The Grinch (the original, with Boris Karloff’s voice) and the White Christmas, with which we sang along.

Thank goodness for HIGH ceilings!!

Finally, we had a game of Kozo, then Dreidle, and then we had to just own up that it was time to go to bed.

Winding down….

I am so blessed to have this life full of loving people, safety and abundance, ideas, music and surprise.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Thanksgiving Day!

Dear Liza,

I hope you had good food and family for your Thanksgiving. Up here in Portland, we had both.

Auntie Bridgett, all bundled up

The day started with watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. New York was having such high winds, they almost had to ground the big balloons! But the winds died down and the balloons flew.
Auntie Katie and the Cousins arrived, and we had before-dinner cheese and crackers on Great Grandpa Lowell’s coffee table, using my Winnie the Pooh tray and Auntie Olga’s little snack plates. Kestrel declared them SO cute, and she was right!

Classy snacks!

There were games of Phase Ten and a home made 3- D tic tac toe game. Auntie Katie and I played ukulele and guitar and sang together, and then it was time for dinner. So much food! We ate turkey (carved beautifully by Auntie Katie) horsed around, and had some wine to toast the holiday and each other.

After dinner, Aunties Katie and Bridgett did the heavy work of breaking down the turkey for leftovers and soup, and putting all the leftover food in the fridge, while I put the Turkey skin and bones into the slow cooker with some onions and celery for stock! It will cook for hours and get delicious.

After dinner work
Family photo (bomb)

I wanted to go for a walk before it got dark, but the Cousins and Grandpa Nelson decided to stay home and play. We grown up ladies bundled up (it was 42 F!) and enjoyed Laurelhurst Park’s trees, dogs and a large contingent of ducks rustling through the fallen leaves looking for bugs.

Laurelhurst ducks enjoying their own feast

Heading home, I showed Katie the “dinosaur infestation” at a house down on Morrison. The lady who lives there, Elaine, collects and places plastic dinosaurs in her heard and trees, and it is adorable! Auntie Katie thought so, too.

Auntie Katie documenting the dinosaur infestation

It was dark by the time we got back, and Auntie Katie got Grandpa Nelson to play some music. Then we had slices of three pies! My pumpkin, and and apple and pecan from Katie. Yummy!!

Making music

Cousin Kestrel made a miniature dinner table out of the Tic-tac-toe game, and she and I set it up for dinner with plates made of tin foil and napkins and food cut from Post-it notes. Auntie Bridgett invited two tiny stuffed crows over for dinner, and it was quite a party, right there on the floor!

Creative girls creating stuff
Inviting tiny friends over!

We all shared some music, on videos or guitar, ukulele or singing songs that Jasper is learning at school, and eventually it was time to get kids and us to bed.

A bunch of leftovers went home to feed the family, because Auntie Katie will be busy tomorrow, having a big Black Friday sale at Books with Pictures!

Love,

Grandma Judy