Sleepover in St. Peters

Hey there, Delilah!

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We had a visit from Clawdeen here in St. Peters, Missouri while she was making her way back to you. Her big brother Clawd heard about her trip and left her a message to give him a call when she started to get close to the area. He has been staying with my son Liam for a while, so he thought he would take the opportunity to spend some time with one of his many, many sisters. Image

While they were visiting, Liam, Clawd and Clawdeen decided to have an old fashioned pajama party. They stayed up late watching movies with snacks and soda, and talking until wee hours of the morning.

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Unfortunately her stay with us was brief. Clawdeen needed to catch a bus the next day to her next stop along the way. I took her with me to work, but before getting started in the office, we have to have our morning coffee.

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Then we started sorting the morning mail, which Clawdeen helped sort and staple when I needed it.

 

I dropped her off at the bus station and saw her off on her next adventure. We were so glad to have her for the short time. We will be following her progress from here out until she arrives home with you.

Erin, Liam and Clawd :)

 

Notes in Nashville

HI Delilah, I’m Melissa! Clawdeen arrived at my house near Nashville, Tennessee on her way home to you.

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She was kind of late getting in, so she settled in to admire my cross-stitch and meet the pet rats.

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This is Ane saying, “Hello.”

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The next morning we had donuts. Clawdeen wanted the one that looked like a flower.

Then we went to see Ancient Greece in Nashville, Tennessee!

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The duck pond was being cleaned up so we couldn’t see the ducks, but we did have fun inside. We saw how the Parthenon came to be built in Nashville for an Exposition in 1897, more than a hundred years ago! It is now an art museum.

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Clawdeen liked looking at the fans and there was a purse you could customize with your name. She thought that would be a good idea for when she starts her fashion business.

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After touring an art gallery where we weren’t allowed to take photos, we went up to see Athena.

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She wanted to be held like the goddess Nike in Athena’s hands.

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After this, we went walking around and saw the herb garden at the Arts Center…

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… a big train, which marks the spot that connected St. Louis, Nashville and Chattanooga…

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… and a big airplane.

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After our walk, Clawdeen was famished! Luckily, I knew of a great New York deli called Noshville that reminded Clawdeen of home.

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She’ll be coming home soon!

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I needed to run by the library after lunch so we looked at the big stack of books and the art gallery inside. All the artwork is made out of books.

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Clawdeen really liked this flock of birds coming out of the book and wanted to sit a while to look at it.

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Later on we went to downtown Nashville and took Clawdeen to see the Hard Rock Café.

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Guess what! We ran into Elvis! Clawdeen was so excited!

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While walking around, we saw this spiral thing. It’s a sculpture called Ghost Ballet. Not sure why it’s called that, but it was fun looking… and Clawdeen wanted our picture by it.

Then we went home so she could rest up for her next flight! See you soon, Delilah!

By Melissa Cook

A Great Time in Glenville

Hey There Delilah…

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Did you ever see something move out of the corner of your eye and then look quickly to see what it is? This happened to me recently. I was walking through my house when I found Clawdeen sitting on my mantel watching me! She had stopped by for a quick visit on her way home to you.

Just like you, I live in New York State in the town of Glenville, midway between the capital city of Albany and the city of Saratoga Springs, which is home to the oldest thoroughbred horse racing track in the U.S. In the summertime everything around here is “horse” related. People come from all over the world to watch the championship horse races. I wanted to take Clawdeen to the race track, but in the wintertime everything is snow-covered. So instead we decided to play in the snow! We have near-record snow accumulation for this winter season. It’s great if you participate in snow sports, but if you don’t, you just can’t wait for spring to arrive.

We decided to start having fun by playing in the snow. Fortunately, my sons (now in their 20s) had played with G.I. Joe (a “doll” for boys – actually is considered to be the origin of the term “action figure”) and we still had their clothes and accessories. I quickly helped Clawdeen put on a sweatshirt, sweatpants, and warm boots, and a hat I made especially for her.

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She was eager to jump in the snow.

I told her we were going on a road trip! I love road trips, hiking, and the Adirondacks! The Adirondack Mountains are in Upstate New York, so-called to differentiate northern, central, and western New York State from New York City and Long Island. The former consists of mountains, lakes and farms, while the latter has the hustle and bustle of city life and traffic and happens to be where you live, Delilah!

We traveled by car for nearly two hours to a trail leading to a fire observation tower. A fire tower is a structure that was built many years ago, some going back to the early 1900s, so forest rangers could spot a forest fire and report it. Early reporting was necessary so they could be put out before losing too many trees, homes, barns and lives to the fire. The towers were built on the top of mountains for the best views. With the improvement of telephone communications, the fire towers were no longer needed. Many have been reinforced and restored to keep the history available for younger generations. They also utilize the towers for modern cellular communication technology. But they also have fantastic views of the surrounding areas when you climb them.

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My husband, Clawdeen and I began hiking the trail of Belfry Fire Tower, located near Lake Placid, NY, where they hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics.

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The weather was very sunny and cold; a beautiful day to hike!

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Every chance we got, we stopped and soaked up as much sun as possible to stay warm.

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Then we saw the tower.

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From the top of the tower, called the “cab,”we could see Vermont! It was extremely windy and very cold up in the cab so we couldn’t stay for long. She absolutely loved the view. It was gorgeous!

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As we started down the tower, Clawdeen noticed the changing colors in the sky because the sun was beginning to set. She was watching the colors get brighter and brighter, then climbed a small tree to get a better view.

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This is what she saw. Wow! We were all getting chilled so we headed down the trail and back to the car.

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When we arrived home, we had a bite to eat. Clawdeen asked for some raw vegetables. I am so glad she did because eating vegetables is one of the best ways to remain healthy. I love them too. After sitting around and having a bite to eat, we all realized just how much the cold, windy weather and the hiking drained us of our energy. We decided to make an early night of it. We all slept like babies.

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In the morning the weather looked sunny again and a bit warmer than yesterday with no wind. First we stopped at the park to see if we could play at the playground. The snow was not cleared from around the playground so we had to wear our snowshoes to get there without falling through the high levels of snow. Once at the playground, we removed the snowshoes and Clawdeen started climbing on the wooden beams. She said it reminded her of the park where she played with you, Delilah. She was so brave!

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There was a very big green curvy tube slide and she went down it…all by herself! She was all smiles when she popped out at the bottom.

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Then she ran over to the tire swing and jumped up on it. Do you have a tire swing at your playground, Delilah?

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Clawdeen found these hoops for the bigger kids to hang from to go from hoop to hoop to get across to the other side. She didn’t have enough strength to climb across that way. So she jumped up on one and pretended it took her to the top of a small hill, like a chairlift at a ski mountain.

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She jumped in a sled and slid all the way down the hill. She had so much fun. Have you and Jackson been sledding this year?

It was nearing the time for her to leave so we needed to get home. I was packing a sandwich, and some vegetables and fruit for her when I heard her laughing.

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I went to see what she was doing. She was sliding down the banister! I hated to stop her fun but I had to explain that sliding down the banister can be dangerous if she were to fall off. She hadn’t realized that and was glad she didn’t get hurt.

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She then saw the hula hoops we had. She grabbed them and said, “Watch this!” She started with one around her neck, then put one on each arm and she was rocking all three at the same time. She is so talented!

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Before she left, we were looking at some pictures on the computer and she happened to see you, Delilah. She reached out to touch you but then realized it was just a photo of you —that you weren’t actually there in front of her. She was sad then suddenly very happy, because she knew she was almost home. She couldn’t wait to see you, Jackson, Mom, Dad, and the puppy dogs.

Delilah, you have a very special friend in Clawdeen. One thing I always told my sons when they were growing up was “just be nice” to your friends and everyone else you meet. If everybody was nice to one another, then everybody would be happy. I hope you and Jackson continue to be nice to your friends and have a very happy life with your very special family. Your Mom and Dad are so lucky to have you for their smart beautiful daughter and Jackson for their very handsome son.

Love and kisses from Glenville, NY (Upstate New York) – Sandy Hutchinson

 

Cavorting in Canberra

Hey There, Delilah!

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Well, what a pleasant surprise for me to catch up with Clawdeen in our nation’s lovely capital, Canberra. Look! She even got dressed up for it!

It was a little overcast, and Clawdeen arrived in the afternoon, so we didn’t have much time left in the day to do a lot. We decided we would go to Parliament House, which is also known as The Hill, or Capital Hill. The Hill is kind of like your Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. It is where our government sits and makes lots of important decisions for our country. Have you been to the Capitol Building yet, Delilah?

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We entered in to Parliament House through a big marble lobby. Clawdeen wanted a picture of her on the stairs, and there was a perfect little groove for her to sit in on the bannister. We then walked into the Grand Hall! Clawdeen thought it was Grand indeed and love the giant artwork that reminded her of some of the bushland she had seen on her travels. I told her it was a gigantic tapestry that someone had taken the time to make by hand. She was very impressed, and told me she’d love to touch it. I told her it was very precious and we aren’t allowed to touch. But I took her upstairs where there was a sample so she could feel what it would be like to touch it.

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Next we went to have a look at the Senate (known as the Red Room, or the Lower House), and House of Representatives (known as the Green Room, or the Upper House).

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We had seen a sign that told us all about the Prime Minister and Clawdeen was excited to point out where he stands while in the big room to say why he wants something to become a law.

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We then walked around a bit more, and Clawdeen was thrilled to see some beautiful aboriginal artwork. What sort of art do you like, Delilah? We saw a really big painting in another room, and Clawdeen thought the colours were magical. Looking through the portrait gallery, Clawdeen liked the pretty lady in the gold dress and crown. I told her that was our Queen when she was younger. “She’s beautiful,” she told me. She also took a fancy to this pretty grandfather clock.

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We went out onto a terrace and Clawdeen wanted to get her picture taken with the Queen. I told her it’s not the real one and she laughed and said, “I know that, silly!”

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We went up to the roof to look out over the city. The first thing Clawdeen saw was the giant flag pole that stretched from one side of the roof to the other. “Wow!” she said. Looking out from the roof we could see all the way over the roof of Old Parliament house, and along the ANZAC Parade to the War Memorial. Looking to our left we could see the “Avenue of the Flags”, the museum, and the huge university buildings. Up on the big hill is Black Mountain Tower, where all the TV and radio signals are sent from. While we were taking photos we had a curious visitor… one of my favourite birds, the magpie.

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We went down to Old Parliament House, and Clawdeen saw a vintage car. “Oh it’s so cool,” she said. Clawdeen then saw this chair with the Aboriginal Flag and just HAD to get her picture on it, even if it was a little bit dirty.

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We then wandered through the rose garden, and Clawdeen liked a few roses that she said were “almost as pretty as my best friend Delilah!” I noticed that it looked like she had a small tear, and she told me, “I miss my best friend!” I reminded her it wouldn’t be long now til she was home again to be with you, Delilah.

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We then drove back home to my house, which is about 145km (90 miles) from Canberra. On the way we saw a kangaroo, and Clawdeen got so excited to see one in the wild. I explained we have to drive very carefully at some times of the day in case they are on the road, so that we keep them safe. We also saw a couple of sites that Clawdeen called “Amazeballs!” (I think she got that from Trudi, hahaha). There was a mailbox that looks like a parcel, and a Christmas Barn. “What’s a Christmas Barn?” asked Clawdeen. I told her it’s a giant shed filled from floor to ceiling just with Christmas decorations, but it was closed at the moment, since it was only open from June til December.

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When we got back to my house, Clawdeen was excited to run into Grumpy Cat and Moo. She just had to have her photo taken with Grumpy, and Moo got in on the action too.

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Clawdeen then met my dog Lilly. She loved that Lilly was a white boxer as she hadn’t seen many white ones. Lilly was a bit hesitant at first, but soon warmed up to Clawdeen’s wolfy ways. Clawdeen even managed to get a kiss in. The cat showed little interest.

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I turned around for a moment and when I turned back Clawdeen had managed to climb up on Lilly’s back. She said it reminded her of Bastian riding the Luck Dragon in The NeverEnding Story, a movie her dad had shown her once. Maybe your mum and dad remember that movie too, Delilah.

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I had to go and get some herbs from the garden for dinner so Clawdeen told me she would come and help me pick them. All of a sudden a lady bug landed on Clawdeens dress and she squealed with delight. “It’s so pretty!” We let him go safely on the plants.

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Clawdeen saw my Sunflower, and remember she had seen another big sunflower previously on her trip. She climbed up like last time, but it kept bobbing in the wind… She said it was like being in a rodeo. There were some pretty purple flowers and she wanted to get her picture next to them as she knows how much you love purple, Delilah. Then she spotted a pumpkin leaf I had trimmed off the plant, and picked it up. “This would make a perfect umbrella if it rained,” she laughed.

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Once inside I showed her the carrots I had pulled from the garden. “Oh no! Keep the dirty ones away!” she giggled. But she was happy to have a look once I cleaned them off. Just before bed we looked through the photos from the day, and Clawdeen loved that I made one of her photos my background picture on my computer.

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The next day we took a drive into town as I needed to go to the shops. I took her for a drive up to the lookout, which is called Nanny Goat Hill.

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Clawdeen liked the nanny goat statue and wanted to sit up on its neck. It was very windy though, and I had to hold on to help her stay up. From the lookout you can see in every direction! In one direction (East) it was an hour out to the sea, in another direction (South) it was an hour to the snowfields, and in yet another direction (North West) it was an hour to the city (Canberra). “Wow”, she said. “You’re so close to everything.” “We sure are,” I laughed. It was quite windy, and Clawdeens hair kept blowing in her face and she was struggling to hold it back. We couldn’t stop laughing, but we headed back to the car and went down town.

We only had a short time left together after that, and Clawdeen gave me a big hug and told me how much she liked seeing where I live, and how much she is enjoying her travels. She also said rather wistfully how much she can’t wait to get home to you, Delilah. I wished her safe journey and she was on her way to her next destination.

It was such a joy having her here. You have a very special friend there, Delilah.

Sending lots of love from Canberra (and Cooma)

Jenny McKnight

Tea in Tasmania

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Dear Delilah,

When Clawdeen arrived at my house one afternoon, we went to visit my grandchildren…

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… Angus, who is five…

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… and Isabella, who is 2.

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They live close by to us on a small farm.

Clawdeen enjoyed meeting the grandkids and watching them play! She thought they were funny and they thought she was beautiful! After visiting with them, we came home and went to bed as the next day was going to be very busy.

We got up the next morning and went to see the cows on the farm.

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Clawdeen rode the mower and the little quad bike.

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Then she had morning tea with Barbie and her twin sister.

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After that, we went for a drive up to the top of Mount Wellington. It was very windy and quite cool up there but Clawdeen liked the view of Hobart.

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We decided to take Clawdeen to the beach. Sandy Bay beach was warm after being up on the cold mountain. Clawdeen liked it there, because it reminded her of Coney Island!  

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Clawdeen liked lying in the sun on the warm sand, but i could tell she was getting very homesick.

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Clawdeen was missing you, Delilah.

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After a look around the playground…

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… and the park, we decided to take Clawdeen back to our house to get her ready for her big journey from our little island, Tasmania, to you, Delilah, in Brooklyn,  New York!

We came home and had tea and had an early night. The next morning Clawdeen thanked us for having her to stay and for helping her get back to you.

By Jill Allen

Adventures in Algonac

Hey Delilah,

I received a box in the mail not too long ago, and at first wondered what might be inside. I opened it, and found some interesting items: a stand, some accessories, a journal, a nice little note… My son Marshall was standing nearby and I was explaining about Clawdeen and her adventures. I was kind of puzzled that I got all these things but no Clawdeen, until I reached down into the bottom of the box, and there she was! Such a beautiful doll! She kind of hung out by the computer for a while, and I finally figured I should show her around.

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First, I decided to make us a snack… one of my faves, peanut butter and Ritz crackers. Here we are, getting our munchies on!

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After we had our snack, I thought Clawdeen might want to meet Otis from Back at the Barnyard. Delilah, your Mom tells me you like that show. My friend Diane sent me Otis from Germany. She saw him and thought he looked a lot like the character on the show. He has writing on his belly, because I met Chris Hardwick, who did the voice for Otis. He was more than happy to sign Otis for me. I think Clawdeen and Otis hit it off quite well:

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I decided to make some more yummy food for us after that, so here are some pics of Clawdeen, posing with a pan of a treats called Scotcheroos. They’re kind of like Rice Krispie treats, except instead of marshmallows, you heat up corn syrup and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Then you add peanut butter to it, and stir this sticky mixture into Rice Krispies. You press it into a 13 x 9 pan, and top it off with butterscotch chips and chocolate chips.

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In one pic, the chips are not yet melted, and in the other, they are, after putting the pan in the microwave.

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I decided to let the chocolate set on the Scotcheroos, and went over by the computer, where I let Clawdeen listen to some music from my rock cover band, Problem Child. I think she liked us! I sing in the band, my husband plays guitar, and two friends play bass and drums. We have lots of fun, Delilah! If you would like to hear our music, you can go here: http://tindeck.com/users/algonacchick

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I noticed that Clawdeen has double pierced ears, so I thought she might like to see part of my collection of earrings. My ears are triple pierced, and I like wearing lots of dangle earrings. I think Clawdeen really liked the earrings. They are on an earring tree that looks like Marilyn Monroe. You can ask your mom about her, Delilah. Here, Clawdeen is reaching out to touch the earrings.

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After I showed Clawdeen my earrings, I decided to venture outside with her to show her one of my gargoyles. Delilah, a gargoyle is a mythical creature. People believed that gargoyles could protect them. I just think they’re cool. I have four gargoyles… two on my front porch, one perched up high in a willow tree in my backyard, and one on the garden wall on the side of my house. That last one is the one I showed to Clawdeen. Here are Clawdeen and my gargoyle. I think they have a similar expressions on their faces!

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After I showed Clawdeen my gargoyle, we went back inside. It was time for Clawdeen to travel on to her next destination. I was sad to see her go. She was such a lovely guest. I decided to give her a Scotcheroo before she had to leave. Here she is with the Scotcheroo, waving goodbye!

I really enjoyed telling you about Clawdeen’s visit to Algonac.

Love and hugs,

Patti Brown

Trekking around Texas

Dear Delilah,

I was ecstatic when Clawdeen arrived at her only stop in Texas and I couldn’t wait to show her as many neat things as I could in the short time we had.

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The first thing we did was go eat authentic Mexican food at a local restaurant. I live in Bay City, Texas which is 60 miles south of Houston.

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My cat’s name is Bella and she was very curious when Clawdeen arrived.

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The next day, Clawdeen thought it was way too early to wake up to go to work with me. But she had fun when we got there. I work at a nuclear plant.

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We were able to find a hard hat to fit Clawdeen and received special permission to take pictures.

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Clawdeen enjoyed the Wonder Woman action figures on my desk. She really liked the Lego one, which stars in the new Lego Movie!

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On a special road trip to Austin, Texas, Clawdeen was thrilled to see the State Capitol. My friend from work found her a cowboy hat! Clawdeen insisted we stand far enough away to get the whole thing in the picture. She wanted to show you how big things are in Texas — big hats and big buildings!

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On the way home we stopped at a roadside store and took her picture with a giant squirrel. Can you see Clawdeen in this picture? She seems very tiny!

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They even had pecan pies in a vending machine outside the store.

Clawdeen thoroughly enjoyed her visit with us. I sure enjoyed having her. We are so happy that she will be home with you soon and can tell you all about her travels. I hope you have a very Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl Delilah!

By Ellen K. Farmer