Hannukah Party!

Dear Liza,

After we rested from hauling the tree up over the balcony, Grandpa Nelson and I bundled up for the very cold evening and walked down to Auntie Katie’s house.

Since some streets are very dark, I wore my coat with lights in it. It makes me feel safe, and just a little bit like a neon billboard.

We enjoyed seeing the houses’ lights in the neighborhood. Some folks really go all out!

Once we got to Katie’s place, I chatted with her while she fried up a great bunch of latkes (and donuts!) and Grandpa Nelson played mini-cornhole with Jasper on the table.

We ate and talked and horsed around, and then Cousin Kestrel and Auntie Katie used her new mortar and pestle to pound dried lavender for sachets.

As we hugged everyone goodbye and headed for home, we noticed the wonderful new awnings on Books with Pictures. They will protect the books from too much sun, and keep the rain from battering the hundred year old windows.

We got home, after a very Christmas-y, Hanukah-ish day. We were pooped!

Love,

Grandma Judy

Hanukkah Evening

Dear Liza,

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Two kids, two menorahs…

We finally got to spend a Hanukkah evening with Auntie Katie, Jasper and Kestrel!

Last Thursday evening was the Winter Music Performance at Hosford-Abernethy School. The sun was just going down as we all walked from their house to the school, about two blocks. It was already very cold, but we were properly bundled up.

I love old school buildings! They have high ceilings, which at Abernethy, means beautiful soaring murals of kids doing art, geography, gardening, and music.

Abernethy’s murals

The program, put on by Ms Lannigan’s and Ms Logan’s Second Grade classes, was directed and partly written by the school’s music teacher, Mr. Hall. There were six songs, some of which, like “Frere Jacques”, “There’s a Hole in the Bucket” and ” Zum Gali Gali”, I sang when I was little!

Mr. Hall wrote “The World Greeting Song” and ” I Am We”. The first is a fun call and response song about ways of saying hello in different languages. The audience did a fine job repeating ‘hola’ and even ‘nihao’, but we got lost in some of the other greetings. “I am We” is about the different winter holidays and how many days each is celebrated.

Mr. Hall and his performers

After the show, we walked back to Auntie Katie’s house. It was very cold and dark, and not even 6:00 yet. We made latkes (Kestrel broke the eggs nearly perfectly) and enjoyed them with applesauce and chicken, lit candles and opened presents. Kestrel had made Katie a pretty coaster out of a tile. The silliest gift was the Marvel comics printed leggings I had found for Katie at a vintage shop!

After dinner, Grandpa Nelson played video games with Jasper while we ladies made cookies. The recipe is from Auntie Bridgett’s Momma, Donna Spicer, and worked very well.

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Cracking with Care

Since the evening was running late, we decided to used broken up chocolate gelt for decorations instead of frosting the cookies. There were squirrels and acorns, kestrels (the bird), owls and octopi. They were delicious!

We left before bedtime, full of latkes, cookies and the love of family.

Love,

Grandma Judy