Today in My History2000: Party Time
2001: Glow, Little Glo-Worm
2002: Officer, There's a Dead Body in My Freezer
2003: The Good News, and the Bad News
2004: Devil Dog
2006: Jon, Ya Let Me Down
2007: On the Job Training
2008: What If...?
2009: The Bidet Drinking Fountain
Books Read in 2010
"Madonnas of Leningrad"
Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
(updated 3/17/10) And Then I Ate
VIDEO OF THE DAY/WEEK
Canasta from Bev Sykes on Vimeo. On You Tube
Look at these Videos
Mitzi Gaynor said WHAT?
Spirit of '43
Ned's Video for Bri's 2nd birthday
No You Can't (John Boehner)
Jim Brochu closes NASDAQ
Stupid, Callous, Homophobic, Hateful Legislation
New on My
Site for RSS Feed
THE "NOT COUSINS DAY"
16 July 2010
We had a "not cousins day" cousins day. At 6:30 in the morning of our scheduled cousins day, I had a call from Kathy. I could tell that she wasn't feeling well. Kathy suffers (and I do mean suffers) from COPD and some days her breathing is worse than others. She always has oxygen and lots of meds with her. We've gotten used to driving and visiting and playing cards with the sound of the oxygen tank going in the background. She usually has to take a nap during the day, but some days are better than others. It was obvious this was not one of those days.
I thought she was calling to cancel Cousins Day, but she said that Peach really needed a mental health day and she was hoping that if Kathy's husband drove her to our house, I could drive the two of us to my mother's (Peach doesn't like to drive on the freeway)
Peach's problem is that her husband has just been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, after a lot of pain on a recent vacation they took. She's dealing with a 70-something man who has been active and healthy all his life and suddenly is not, who is suspicious of doctors and scared of medications, which he's never had to take before. It's a lot of anybody to deal with and it's a lot for Peach to be responsible for. She desperately needed to get away.
So Kathy's husband brought her here, Walt gave up the car for the day, and the two of us took the dinner Kathy had prepared and drove to my mother's. Without sounding too enthusiastic (because we don't want to make Kathy feel bad), we had a great time, and it was definitely just what the doctor ordered.
We decided that since we couldn't call this "Cousins Day" and sicne Kathy had told us we were NOT to play "65," we decided to call this "The Canasta Club," since we played Canasta for two days.
First, though, there was the usual start of a normal Cousins Day with everybody sharing what needed to be shared, our trip to Russia, Peach's vacation, Bob's back problems, my mother's activities since our last get together. Then Peach pulled out a photo she was very excited about.
My mother and I both looked blank. This is where we have to say "I love the internet." The guy on the left, it turns out, is my mother's cousin, a cousin she didn't know she had. The woman on the right is his daughter who apparently found Peach's family tree on Ancestry.com and contacted her. It happened right before we left for Cousins Day, so we don't have any follow-up, but my mother vaguely remembers this guy's family. He's 5 years older than she is and he and his parents had been living in Argentina (she doesn't remember why) and came back to the United States to try to move in with my mother's parents during the Depression, a time my mother's family didn't even have room enough for all of their own kids in the small house they were renting. This would have been in the late 1930s and my mother hadn't seen or heard of this guy since. He's 95 years old now and we are interested to see what is going to happen as his daughter and Peach begin to share stories!
Then it was time to play Canasta. Canasta is my mother's game and it's very difficult to beat her, but I creamed both her and Peach so badly in our first game that they gave up and we started a second one. Peach won the second game.
It was getting close to cocktail time when we started game three. Peach made a Vanilla martini, with cranberry juice and craisins in it.
We didn't take a group picture, because that's a Cousins Day thing, but I did take this picture.
Game Three was one of those games where the discard pile kept getting higher and higher and higher and it was obvious that whoever was able to claim the pile would win the game. The pick up pile was getting smaller and smaller. We were tossing wild cards into the discard pile to keep the next person from getting it. Finally my mother picked up the last available cards and, thinking the game was over, discarded exactly the card that Peach needed. Her dumb mistake gave Peach FIVE "natural" canastas (7 of a kind, without having to use a wild card, 500 points each as opposed to 300 points for a canasta that is made using wild cards). My mother was livid and you'd better believe we will never let her live down the mistake that gave Peach the game.
My mother did finally win a game, after which she finally let us to go bed. In the morning we played one last game, which Peach won again.
It was midway through one of the games when I realized what was on the Joker, and wondered if that was done deliberately by the card makers as a joke!
Kathy sent some mahi-mahi for dinner, which was delicious (and waaay too much for us to eat).
We missed Kathy a lot at this "not cousins day" meeting of "The Canasta club." But when we talked with her this morning she was sounding better. Her son and his family are flying in from Iowa for a visit and arriving this evening. I know being able to spend time with the grandkids will be a great picker-upper for her, and it was probably just as well that she chose to stay home when she wasn't feeling well so she will be at her best for the family.
But she WILL be there next month and we'll be back playing "65" again.
And when Peach called her husband to let him know we were on the way home, he sounded better than when she left him, so it appears that "The Canasta club" was a good idea all around!
Today's video isn't very interesting, but I wanted to have a clip of what it's like to play cards with my mother. Unfortunately, it's difficult to know when the loud, violent parts are going to come, and I missed those!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Best Photo of the Day--ever!