An Evening with the Cousins

Dear Liza,

I miss seeing you and your family every week, but here in Portland I do get to visit with Auntie Katie and Cousins Jasper and Kestrel. Last week we picked up a delicious dinner at Yama Sushi on Division and we had a fun evening.

We got to visit with Sir Isaac Snooten, Kestrel’s hognose snake. He is very friendly and doesn’t mind being handled gently and quietly. He really likes Cousin Kestrel and even likes to climb in her hair!

Grandpa Nelson, however, does not like snakes. He and Cousin Jasper played chess with the new set we got him for Christmas, and Jasper won. He is getting really good.

We also did a nice ceremonial ‘first opening’ of two of Auntie Katie’s gifts, some superhero action figures. Squirrel Girl has been a favorite of their house for years, and Kestrel even dressed up in a Squirrel Girl costume for a Comic Con when she was about three years old. Squirrel Girl comes with her own scooter with a basket to hold

Tippytoe and her other squirrel friends.

The other action figure was Mystique, from the Marvel stories. She seems scarier and comes with hands of different colors for when she changes. And of course, we needed to have our two superheroes go on an adventure together!

When it was time for us to go, we had hugs all around. I hope you have a good week with lots of hugs, too.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Pizza and Kidlets

Dear Liza,

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Auntie Bridgett making Monsters

We finally got to have Auntie Katie and the Cousins over for dinner at OUR house last night. I’m not sure why I kept putting it off,  I just really needed to feel I was home…and now I guess I do.

The day started with baking! Auntie Bridgett and I made a peanut butter and oatmeal candy I learned from a mentor teacher about 42 years ago. Her name was Joann, so I call them JoJos. We made them for First Friday at The SideStreet Arts Gallery this evening.

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Yummy tiny Monster cupcakes

Once they were cooling, we started on tiny cupcakes for dessert with Katie and family. The kitchen sure got messy, with buttermilk flipping onto the counter and powdered sugar making little clouds, but we got them baked, cooled and frosted. The candy eyeballs Grandpa Nelson found at the market last week sure came in handy!

I made pizza dough from a Bobby Flay recipe and had a rest before our guests arrived. We made pizzas, played with Legos, chatted about everything and caught up on Cousin Jasper’s after school program of computer coding.

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Kestrel, ready to hand me the paper

Cousin Kestrel taught me a game called “Exquisite Corpse”, which is not as gruesome as it sounds. It is a drawing game. You fold a piece of paper into three sections, one above the other. The first player draws the head of a creature, with the neck lines going just slightly below the old. This gives the second player a place to start. Without looking at what the first player drew, the second adds to the creature. This continues with the third player, who adds the legs, or bottom part.

When everyone is done, you open up the paper and see what you have created! Kestrel suggested I write a story for this one. I will try.

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Our finished critter

When Auntie Katie and the Cousins had to leave (bedtime!) we loaded the dishwasher and melted on the sofa for a while before going to bed.

Love,

Grandma Judy