Dinner at Katie’s

Dear Liza,

Last night we went over to Auntie Katie’s house for dinner! When I asked what we could bring, she asked for ice cream sandwiches, and I knew just the place to go to get them, Ruby Jewel Ice Cream! We first found this lovely shop downtown, but they have a few branches, and the closest is just about a mile from here, in the neighborhood, if not exactly on the way…. so we stopped there.

At Katie’s there was pasta boiling, meatballs coming out of the oven, and delicious sauce bubbling on the stove. There were also artichokes steaming. Ummmmmm.

Family Table

I got to chop garlic for the butter, so I smelled as delicious as everything else. Katie poured wine, we set the table, ate and talked.

We heard about Kestrel’s week at “Back Yard Bird” Camp, where she learned to identify all the local birds, and helped us correctly name a black capped chickadee that we have been struggling with.

Auntie Bridgett and I cleared the table while the rest set up the video game “Rock Band”. This is a complicated but fun and noisy game where we hold ‘instruments’ like guitars, keyboards, or drums that are connected to the game and respond when we push the right buttons. A cartoon rock band played music on the screen and gave us directions, and we struggled to keep up.

Jasper rocking out

The first time I saw Jasper play with this, he was just about eight years old and very easily frustrated. He wanted to be perfect the first time and got angry at himself when he wasn’t. Since then, he has had lots of time to practice playing and getting better at it. He has also had time to practice being frustrated, and getting better at that. This, I have decided, is an important skill…knowing something will be hard, and forgiving yourself for taking time to make mistakes. I am so proud Auntie Katie has helped him with this lesson!

In the other room, Auntie Bridgett and Kestrel were having a doll and stuffties picnic. There was lots of giggling and conversations between a stuffed unicorn who had ‘given himself a haircut’ and two very old, beautiful dolls who have porcelain faces, hands and feet.

Auntie Bridgett and Rosa

When it was dessert time, we got out the ice cream sandwiches and everyone got their pick. Yummy, sweet and cold, just what was needed to wrap up a fun evening. We kissed everyone goodbye and drove home to sadly watch the Giants lose their baseball game, then turned in, happy and exhausted.

Cousin Kestrel and the bears!


Grandma Judy

Return to Cascadia Circus

Dear Liza,

Carrot and Foxglove the Clowns

Since it is summer, you went horse camp and Cousins Jasper and Kestrel went to Circus Camp! Friday, I took the number 15 east to Taborspace to see their show under the “little” big top. This is the only tented circus in Oregon, and even though the tent is small-ish, it lends shade and a real special atmosphere to the show.

Like last year, the kids spent a week learning how to balance, walk on stilts, work as teams to do tricks, and be confident in front of an audience. They are older and more experienced, and I was more impressed than ever.

Ringmaster Paul

The Cascadia Circus is a non-profit group run by Paul, Ringmaster, jokester and independent operator. His British accent and clownish ways make everyone feel comfortable doing new things. Jasper made up his clown name of Carrot, and Kestrel was Foxglove.

Juggling scarves

They juggled scarves and rings, walked on tight ropes (18 inches off the ground while holding Paul’s hand), balanced on balls and did gymnastic poses. It was delightful! I hope they go to Circus Camp next year, so I can see another show!


Grandma Judy

Confident on stilts!