Drizzly Saturday Walk

Dear Jasper and Kestrel,

Saturday was rainy but warm here in Salinas. I woke up knowing the report cards were waiting for me, but also knowing they could wait a little longer. I called my friend Pat van Noy and we made a date for Brunch at Ellie’s Great American Restaurant. Uncle David was taking Liza to a friend’s house, so he gave me a ride.

Pat, looking good!

Pat and I ate and talked for about 2 hours! It’s amazing how fast time goes by when you are laughing and telling stories with a dear friend. I caught her up on our life and plans for Portland…the new house we are buying, the neighborhood, Auntie Bridgett’s art shows, and my story-writing. She told me about her singing in The Senior Singers and playing bridge with friends.

I had a Mojo Cuban Sandwich which was spicy and sweet. Pat had a patty melt, which she liked very much. The service was friendly, as usual, but a bit slow because it was busy for Saturday brunch.

bird notes
Musical Birds

After we had talked ourselves dry, Pat offered me a ride home, but I wanted to have a long walk after my week being mostly inside. I buttoned up my jacket, wrapped my scarf, and slapped on my hat. I was ready.

There were lovely grey clouds and such tiny drizzle drops I could hardly feel them, which made for lovely soft light. Neighborhood sights are small and quiet, and if you are in a hurry to get somewhere, you miss them. Birds on the wire looking like Schroeder’s notes in Charlie Brown…. a lost teething ring carefully hung on a branch, waiting to be retrieved…. an adorable Beware of Dogs sign.

Beware of dog sign
Oh, No! Dogs!

I stopped  by to see one of my oldest friends in Salinas, Rick, and we talked for a long time. He is headed to Disneyland, which he calls The Holy City, this Spring on his annual Pilgrimage. I envy him the fun but not the drive or the crowds!

lost teething ring
Lost teething ring

When I finally got home, Uncle David and Liza were back and Liza was napping. I used her naptime to get all the report cards entered into the computer. Now all I have to do is print them out (keep your fingers crossed!) before conferences start on Wednesday.

The Paperwork


Grandma Judy

Keeping Busy

Dear Jasper and Kestrel,

This week has been busy, even though I hardly left  the house except for the walk to school and back.

Princess Party Place in the lower right

Liza and I have been playing LEGOs a lot. I like that you can make whatever you want, and don’t have to follow the directions. This week we have been creating a party venue for Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and an assortment of creatures of our own making. Liza has a big circle bag to keep the LEGOs in one place. It makes cleaning up much easier, and we never step on blocks!

Liza’s creations

Uncle David taught Liza how to shoot rubber bands (don’t ask me why, but he did. I guess it’s a life skill.) Her hands aren’t quite strong enough yet, but it’s good eye hand practice and we made an evening of it, shooting them into a big bowl we borrowed from Auntie Olga.

Mimi card
Card from MiMi

I got mail this week! Our dear friend MiMi sent a thank you card for some candied nuts we had taken to her house. It was a watercolor picture of the bag of nuts! How special is that? So wonderful to have sweet, talented friends. I also got a card from you, Kestrel! I know it had been in the mailbox for awhile, but it was fine. Thanks so much for thinking of me.

Card from you!!

Last night we played with light. Liza had a big bag from our take out dinner from the Moss Landing Cafe, and I turned it into a hat. It went from bag, to hat, to light show! Liza has an RGB LED light in her room, which is a fancy way of saying a light that can change color and stay cool. We put some holes in the bag, put the light in the bag, and made a planetarium. It was beautiful and fun. It felt magical, but Uncle David explained why the colors separated like they did, so it was also a science lesson.

Light Show on the Ceiling

This morning was a puppet show in my room, with a tooth fairy, a girl, a flying tooth, and a stray Leprechaun. The stuffties were the audience.


puppet show
Puppet Show Audience

And the rest of the day will be spent on Report Cards. There is a lot of paperwork to get ready for the final information going into the computer…special forms for kids learning English, special graphs for reading programs…but it all is important. It takes a couple of days to get it all together.

I wonder if this is what John Steinbeck meant when he said “There’s always something to do in Salinas.”


Grandma Judy