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This Day in My History

2001:  Pinata Party without the Pinata
2002:  Exercise Tips
2003:  Keep Coming Back--It Works
2004:  My Kingdom for a Cup
2005 Doing the Time Warp Again

2006:  Best Party I Ever Planned

"Les Liaisons Dangereuses"

Books Read in 2007

Updated 2/23:
"The Christmas Shoes"
"The Ultimate Gift"
"Those Who Save Us"



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Desert Nut

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Look at these videos!
24:Aqua Teen Hunger Force
World of Witchcraft
(Jeri should watch this)
The Wilhelm Scream
History of "The Wilhelm Scream"
Introducing "The Book"
Cat vs. Cow

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Walt's Retirement

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26 February 2007

When I listened to my mother and my 2 cousins playing cards the other day, as I took a brief break, it occurred to me what happy lifelong memories I have of playing cards.

There were always cards in the house.  It obviously came down from at least my maternal grandparents, if not earlier.  I remember seeing an automatic card shuffler sitting on top of my grandmother's kitchen in her tiny house in Inverness.  I don't know that I remember card games at the kitchen table, but I'm sure there were lots that took place there.

Growing up, there were always games of some sort going on in our house.  Board games like Monopoly or Chutes and Ladders, or card games like "Go Fish" and other more complicated games.  Television was in its infancy and I was 10 before we had a set, so there was lots of non-TV hours to fill!

I don't know when I learned how to play Canasta, but it became central to my summers the year I turned 13. My cousin Peach lived north of Sacramento.  She is 3 years older than I am and her sister was a couple of years older than my sister.  So each summer, we would spend 2 weeks at her house, 2 weeks at mine.  (The 2 weeks I was at Peach's house, her sister would be at our house with my sister, and vice versa.  Interestingly, I remember the times I spent at Peach's house, and so much of what we did together so clearly, but I can't remember anything that we did when she stayed at my house, though she was telling me this past week about all the things she remembered that we did in San Francisco.  Funny thing, memory. We called ourselves the city mouse and the country mouse, because it was so appropriate!  We enjoyed our 'vacation weeks,' but I think we were both glad when we could go back to our own environments.)

Coming from nice, cool San Francisco, I found summers in the Sacramento Valley very hot, and this was before there was centralized air conditioning.  Peach's parents had an air conditioner that went into the wall of the house and their kitchen table sat right in front of the air conditioner, so Peach and I spent literally hours each day playing Pinochle, Harts or Canasta with the cool air blowing on us.  She reminded me recently that we used to play triple-deck Canasta with the winning score 10,000 instead of 5,000, so each game could last longer.  I remember that she introduced me to sliced onion sandwiches...a nice white onion sliced thin and put on balloon bread spread with French's mustard.  We would have those for lunch each day while we played our Canasta games.  This continued, to the best of my recollection for all the summers that I spent at her house.

(We also did other things, but cards stand out as the one constant during all those years.)

I remember watching my mother and her sisters playing cards around my aunt's kitchen table, laughing and chatting at the same time, much as my mother, my cousins and I have done this week.

For a time I joined with three other friends (including my dentist, Cindy) to play Bridge from time to time.  Bridge is a very serious game to some, but it wasn't to us.  I didn't have a clue how to play (and still don't, really!) but we did more laughing than anything else, I think.  When Walt's mother's cousin, Nora, came to visit she was very excited to hear that I played bridge.  But then she started questioning me about the rules we used and how we played and I realized that our group was about as serious about Bridge as Peach and I were about Canasta!

Of course there is always solitaire.  My mother knows so many different kinds of games of solitaire and I have been playing solitaire all of my life (though now I play it on the computer). When we went to Walt's mother's condo at Lake Tahoe for Thanksgiving each year, the cards came out the second we had unpacked.  We have so many decks of cards and six different people could sit around the dining room table, each playing solitaire.  Often they did.  My mother always seemed to have some new games to teach all of us, which then became that year's rage.

The kids liked playing double solitaire, or triple solitaire...or "Pounce" (the rules of which I'm still fuzzy on, but I posted a video about it here).  The kids also play poker.  I have played poker in my day, but I don't enjoy losing money, even the little bit that I lose playing "65."  So I've never bothered to perfect my poker technique, though I've enjoyed watching the kids play and watching my mother's family get together for a game of poker.

Walt's not a card player (my father wasn't either).  Oh he can play all right, but he just doesn't really enjoy it, so he's usually napping while I'm playing cards.  I also don't remember really seeing any of his family playing cards, except maybe once in awhile a solitaire game at Tahoe.

But card games have been the pleasure, the frustration, and the catalyst for lots of in-depth conversation on my mother's side of the family over the years.  I've loved every minute of it.

Well, except when she cleans me out of my "65" stash of coins!

* * * * *

Found this on Karyne's blog.  Put in your zip code and it will tell you where to have lunch!  I'll tell ya--you can find anything on the Internet!!!


Happy Birthday, Walt!!!!


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