Friday in Mississippi

Dear Liza,

Auntie Bridgett and I got to drive north to the Mississippi neighborhood on Friday. GiftyKitty, Clody Cates’ shop, had sold nearly all of Auntie Bridgett’s pins, and needed more!

Business is important. But first, of course, was lunch. We stopped at Broder, where we had some carrot cake months ago, to check out their lunch menu. It is very Scandanavian forward, with rye bread, pickled herring, and ableskivvers. Auntie Bridgett ordered the roasted mushrooms, which looked delicious. I ordered the Nord Bord, which is like a smorgasbord on a platter.

There was a hard boiled egg, two slices of rye bread, thinned sliced ham, two kinds of cheese, pickled onions, roast potatoes in a spicy mustard sauce, and even a tiny apple tart for dessert. It was amazing. We ate until we were stuffed.

Then to business! I love visiting GiftyKitty. Clody and her business partner Larry have done a wonderful job creating the whimsical space full of art, pillows, and all sorts of kitty themed goodies.

Bridgett and Clody talked business while Larry and I swapped life stories and chatted about the beautiful kitten art done by local artists like Amelia Opie, Melody Bush, and Alicia Justice.

When it was time to head off, we got distracted by the Pistils Nursery. It is housed in this building that looks like something out of an old Western movie, but was actually built in 2001 to look like a piece of history.

The inside of the building houses a charming collection of indoor plants and terrarium supplies.

In the small side yard, outdoor plants are policed by two small chickens who seem to enjoy the company (and maybe the bugs!)

By this time, the rain was starting, we were worn out, and it was time to head for home.


Grandma Judy

Katie Turns 4-0!!

Dear Liza,

Your Auntie Katie, my baby and your daddy’s little sister, turned 40 this past Friday.

Birthday girl and her sweetie

It was a fun evening! Friends from all over ( even your Daddy in Denmark) got together on ZOOM, and three even traveled from Canada, California and Eugene, Oregon to come visit in person. We called Katie’s sweetie, Marion, mid-party and she came by to join the fun.

Natasha and Jenn

Grandpa Nelson, Auntie Bridgett and I brought good food from Pastini to feed everyone. Andrea, Auntie Katie’s business partner, brought a yummy cake and candles from Market of Choice.


There was lots of horsing around and silliness. Auntie Katie brought out her photo albums and we got to visit with long-gone friends and family.

And there were presents! Auntie Bridgett and I had picked out an embroidered pillow at GiftyKitty weeks ago, and now the two snuggling kitties look like Katie and Marion! It is so cute I almost exploded.

When it was time to get Cousins Kestrel and Jasper to bed, we dropped Jasper at his best friend’s house and brought Kes to sleep here so the Party Ladies could continue.
I am so glad we got to be together.


Grandma Judy


Dear Liza,

There is a new store here in Portland, and Auntie Bridgett took me to see it!

Clody Cates and her business partner Larry host this visually delightful shop at 3719 North Mississippi Avenue in North Portland. GiftyKitty is a labor of love that was conceptualized and designed by Clody, and their tagline, “Changing the world one cat at a time” cracks me up.

I was impressed, first, by the largest features of the decor. The giant Alice in Wonderland-style house along the back wall gives the whole place a fabulous air of silliness.

The wonderful manzanita shelving, built by Oakland based designer Cameron Kephart, is wonky and perfect. Cameron also worked closely with Clody on the design and creation of the whole space, as well as the up-cycled glass and wood displays that hold more treasures.

Then, I got to focus on the delights of the treasures themselves and was stunned by the variety and quality of them. There were large glass mosaics, aprons, paintings, carvings, and books, mostly made by local artists.

We saw old friends from the SideStreet Arts Gallery. Painted plaques by Amelia Opie…..

…cute stuffed critters by Alicia Justus….

….. and book art by Melody Bush.

New (to me) artists included Nicola Turville and

Jenny Rideout, who upcycles fabric and makes everything more interesting!

Needless to say, we will be going back to GiftyKitty, especially now that they are carrying Auntie Bridgett’s buttons, cards and art!

I will take you when you come to visit!


Grandma Judy