Long Distance Visits

Dear Liza,

Being so far away from you is hard. So is being just across town from the cousins here, but not being able to have a real visit, to hug or sit in the couch and snuggle.

My cartoon from when we practiced ‘spheres’.

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to stay in touch. We have been having ZOOM visits and doing art together, practicing drawing toys and trying to make 3-D objects look right. Cousin Kestrel even joined us for one of these art hang-outs, and it was fun to have you both in one “place”.

From the 2016 calendar

And today, a gift that I look forward to every year has arrived. It is the Shutterfly calendar, featuring YOU.

When you were a tiny baby, your Mama realized that she loved posing you for pictures, that your Daddy was really good at taking them, and that I loved getting them. You even got to like the posing, too! A family tradition was born.

You and your beautiful Mama Olga last year

The oldest ones, when you were tiny baby Liza, have been put high up in the garage for safe keeping, and I can’t get photos from them.

But the last few, from 2016 on, are on my shelf and I can visit with you whenever I want.

That latest Liza

We will get to have a real visit soon, but until then, it is nice to be able to see you!


Grandma Judy

Small Thanksgiving

Dear Liza,

Like everyone else in the country, we are having a small Thanksgiving this year. It is just safer, in these contagious times, to be around just us three in the household. I miss seeing you and your folks so much, and visiting the cousins and Auntie Katie. So this year will be….. smaller.

Just us three

Since we are only feeding us, and Grandpa Nelson is a vegetarian, we bought two Turkey drumsticks and a thigh rather than a big old turkey. We prefer dark meat, anyway, and the smaller chunks are easier to cook and process. They are delicious and have lots of bones for soup, too!

We got just two sweet potatoes, and will be making them with goat cheese instead of tons of brown sugar. It’s something we both enjoy, but not the rest of the family.

Our cranberry sauce will have lots of orange peel and cloves, and is made (of course) from whole berries grown on the Columbia River just about 20 miles away.

We’ll have just a pumpkin pie from our last Halloween pumpkin, unlike last year, when Auntie Katie brought three pies and we made one! That was (just maybe possibly) too much pie. The other holiday baking we will do are cookies for the neighbors. Since most of them are staying home, too, it will be nice to share, via ring and run delivery.

Ready for roasting!

I hope you have a fabulous, delicious, grateful Thanksgiving, and we will see you next year.


Grandma Judy

Seven Years Old!

Dear Liza,

Two days old, still very tiny, and still crying a lot

Just seven years ago, you were born in Salinas. I was living there too, just a few blocks from your house, and because I had good substitute teachers, I got to spend a whole week with you, all day, every day, after you were born.

Newborn babies need their mommies most of all, for nourishment and loving. Their daddies need love and support, and time to learn how to care for the tiny new one. But the mommies and daddies need lots of rest, as well as laundry done and food cooked, and the babies need to be washed and rocked. That’s where Grandmas come in.

Feeling better!

You weren’t my first grand baby, or even my second, but you lived just blocks away and I got to see you so often! Day by day you cried less and looked around more, recognizing faces and songs, becoming the delightful person you are.

Learning the perks of baking for the family…

When you were about two, you could stand on a chair at the kitchen counter and help when we made bread and cut vegetables for our Wednesday night dinners. I loved showing you how to trim the rosemary from the garden and introducing you to my old dolls and favorite stuffed animals.

and helping in the garden.

And when I retired and we decided to move, the hardest part was moving away from you in Salinas. Jasper and Kestrel, your cousins are up here, but with the coronavirus shut down, I can’t see them, either. So I am spending some time missing you and those first years we knew each other.

Hanging out with Cathy, Bubbles, and Elefante


Grandma Judy