New Year’s Eve

Dear Liza,

It started with paper plates…

We had a fun New Year’s Eve at home this year. It was wonderful.

This one became a top hat!

During the day, Auntie Bridgett worked for a few hours at the SideStreet Arts Gallery, and I wrote a little and practiced French. Grandpa Nelson started researching what looks like our next European trip: Ireland and France!

This is one of the things I love about our trips, is the planning and discussing, the research and the antici…..pation.

But the most fun was the hats!

And this bunch of crumples…..
became my girly hat!
Silly Grandma Judy

Auntie Bridgett had a really good idea, to make funny New Year’s Eve hats out of the bags of used Christmas paper that were waiting to be thrown out. We started snipping and trying ideas, making it up as we went along.

While the glue was drying, Auntie Bridgett and I went out for some bowls from Laughing Planet to take home. We opened some Columbia Crest Merlot, which went very well with the spicy food.

The hats were so much fun! Auntie Bridgett’s stayed on her head better… mine needed a little rubber band strap. I think mine looked better on the bear, anyway.

Cute Auntie Bridgett

We played a game of Brain Spin, which plays with how we see things, and our favorite, Scrabble, which I won!! This is a rare thing and I enjoyed it very much.

Cute Bear

We nibbled and sipped and watched some Baking Show, then counted down to midnight, feeling sleepy but happy.
See you next year!

Love,

Grandma Judy


Art and Poke

Dear Liza,

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Park Blocks

Sunday was predicted to be another hot day, getting up to 96 degrees. I had gotten some good ideas about my story and wanted a new place to write, and Auntie Bridgett was heading off to the Portland Art Museum on the number 15 bus for her monthly ‘Drink and Draw’ meet up. (On a Sunday morning, the ‘drink’ is coffee).  I invited myself along. Walking up the Park Blocks, we met Jake, a writer who Bridgett met last summer in  this same spot, who is working on a story called “Book of Miracles” about touring with the Grateful Dead. We talked about writer’s block and wished each other well.

Writing in the Art Museum is always good. I am surrounded by wonderful creations made straight out of someone’s head, giving me confidence that more wonderful creations can come out of my own.

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Diebenkorn

Once in the museum, we split up. I found a comfy bench in front of the Proctor statue called Indian on Horseback, where it was very quiet and good for writing. My characters are coming to life and I am enjoying them so much! Whether it’s the art or just Writer’s Block disappearing, I am glad for it.

As people came in, kids started being just a bit too noisy for my taste, so I moved over to the Diebenkorn exhibit, where it was still quiet. I met Linda and Paula, two ladies who are in the Drink and Draw, and we chatted. When the drawing part was over, we all moved to the coffee shop, where the artists talked and I started looking up what children’s books were popular in 1903.

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Snacks!

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Proctor Statue

At lunchtime, we wanted to try something new. We wandered just a block down Park and went into Shigezo, a wonderful Japanese restaurant. We enjoyed poke (say po-kay), seaweed salad, delicious grilled pork belly, and some disappointing potatoes. But a small flask of sake (say sah-kay), smelling like bread and warming as it went down, made everything better.

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Yummy Poke

After lunch, Bridgett wanted to head back to the museum to buy the exhibit book on Diebenkorn. The heat was kicking in, and it was 85 degrees, even in the shade. We caught the bus and were glad to be home. By dinnertime, it was 96 degrees, only dropping to 90 by 8:00. Auntie Bridgett and I went for a walk in the park, seeing the new handrails by moonlight and a lot of folks who came out to enjoy the “Silent Disco” (using wifi headphones for music) and the relative cool of the evening.

Back at the house, we played Scrabble, and I was having a great game! I was ahead…right up until the end, when Grandpa Nelson caught me, passed me, and ate my lunch. Fun, anyway.

Love,

Grandma Judy