Posts Tagged ‘games’

This picture is “Waiting for Grandad.”  Left to right we have, EMT, JCountry and Gaffer.  Pardon my over-crowded house.

Four men in the house and anytime that we can get all four in one room, a game happens.  The latest “greatest” game is 1942, Axis and Allies.  The challenge is getting them all in one room.

The first thing that happened was EMT disappeared.  Literally, disappeared.  He left, on Friday night, to go help with Bingo at the fire department and never returned.  He told me he might just sleep at the department, but would be home in the morning. 

EMT has a bad habit of not letting us know what he is doing.  He is twenty, so it is hard to complain; however, I have repeatedly explained to him that it is a matter of courtesy to let the people you live with know when to expect you back.  Heck, it is even a matter of your own safety, as we have a relative who died when his car flipped over and he wasn’t found for three days.  The first two days he lived. 

So, the first day EMT was missing, I grumbled about him all day.  I left the outside light on until 3am and then swore and went to sleep.  The second day, I began to worry a bit.  Late that day we called his friends.  Why is it no one is ever home when you call them for something really important?  Late that day we drove around.  No one was at the fire department.  No one was at his friend’s house. 

At seventy-two hours, we went to the police and filed a report on him, missing, in our car.   He has had a problem with a couple of guys and we were concerned they had cornered him and beaten him to a pulp and left him in the woods.  We drove around staring between trees for our red van.   Our County is wooded.

Two hours later, when we arrived home from the police station and driving around, for the second time, Gaffer decided to make a library run for books, movies and high speed.  Twenty minutes later, Gaffer calls and lets us know that he is parked next to our Red Van at the library, and will call if his brother is in the library.

YUP!  That’s where we found EMT, after seventy-two hours.  During the time he was missing, he had gone camping, torn apart a car with a friend, and made money scrapping the parts, done Christmas shopping, and gone to the library.  He really does not understand why we were so upset.  In the meantime, my hair is grey!!!

EMT, anticipating leaving for the Army in January, where he will be the problem of the U.S. Government and they can figure out where he is, brought home the Harry Potter Clue game.  He gave it to the family for Christmas and wanted to get a lot of gaming in before he left.  He also figured it was maybe a game I would play.  He was right.

Playing games is akin to having a kidney infection, for me.  I am more a knit and giggle with daughter, while games are going on, preferably with a glass of Bailey’s in hand, kind of gal.  There are now three games I will willingly play: Cribbage, Dominoes and Harry Potter Clue. 

I should be cleaning my piles of projects out of the front room and baking pies or cookies for our Thanksgiving dinner, instead I am blogging and listening to Gaffer speak with a Russian accent as he rolls his dice to defend Russia from Germany.  The are figuratively spitting at each other, I am told.  JCountry is Germany.  Gaffer is Russia.  Granddad is back in from his disappearance to my studio and all is well with our world.

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We were playing dominoes last night, about the only game they can get me to join them at the game table, and there was a light knock on the door. I think it startled all of us because we had not heard neither a car pull in, nor footsteps on the wooden porch, nor the screen door open and shut. Irritating Little Chihuahua had not even barked.

It was a dear old friend. A Viet Nam vet who grew up in my husband’s neighborhood and has become a best friend to me too.

For many years, the three of us were like the three musketeers. We spent evenings together; at our home, or at his home, at the pizza parlor, movies, or mutual friend’s homes. We built decks together, got drunk together, and mainly just spent a lot of hours in each other’s company, talking. We lost touch when we moved to Wyoming. Now, we live about four hours away and here he was, knocking on our door.

He loved history, and enlisted for Viet Nam. He said he “wanted to be a part of history.” He got more than he bargained for, and has three purple hearts and his own demons. He is a rather slightly built fellow and was a natural to go into the tunnels. I will not tell his story here. He is still dealing with it, but he wanted to pay us back for what he perceived as a favor we did for him long ago. At the time and still, I called it ‘helping a friend.’ What did we do? We forced him to go into Chicago with us to see the traveling ‘Wall.’ A simple thing, but what he needed.

Now, with two grandsons in the Army, I hope they have friends who will help them also. They will all need friends, who do simple things for them, who will listen to them and then, as we did, perhaps go to see what is the right thing to do at a Vet center, and be there for them.

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They say that people who are social live longer.  I cannot help it.  I am a loner and I have always been a loner.  My brother was six years older than me and my sister, 10 years older, grew up in the next state.  We lived on a half acre with empty lots on both sides and farmland in back.  Mom was very protective and there were not many other kids on our road either.  I am used to being alone.

I am sitting here watching the males of the house playing cards.  Since Gaffer came home, the table has been clean awaiting the nightly game marathon. It starts by 4:00pm.  EMT gets home from work by 6 and joins the game, no matter what it is.  Risk, Monopoly, Clue are favorite board games.  Pinochle is being taught to JCountry right now. 

I have no desire to join their game.  Anytime I have been forced to play, usually because they are short a person, I have spent my time, in my head, wishing I was doing something else; something that seems productive to me. 

Personally, laying in the grass watching patterns in clouds is more productive.  Usually, it becomes more productive because I run back inside and grab my camera and do a series of sky photos. 

My last series of photos, involved looking up into trees.  I think I have five good shots now to paint from.  The series before that, involved shadows.  So far, I believe I have only one shadow painting to do.  It needs more work.

I do enjoy an evening, or day, laughing and socializing with good people.  We had a wonderful evening, sitting around the fire in the back yard of my oldest daughter’s neighbor’s yard, not long ago.  I think most of my “good evenings” involve a campfire.

Maybe if they played cards outside, I would enjoy it more.  I have wonderful memories of playing chess and cribbage, by the fire, with my brother. 

Or, perhaps it is just that social people, who are playing games, feel as if they have lived longer.  I usually am saying, “will this never end?”

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I am the outcast in a family of game players.


Every Christmas, we travel to Masters Daughter’s house and the male members of the family spend five straight days playing games.  The younger ones extend the days into night by gaming with Play Stations and X Boxes, while the older ones keep it to a loud daytime activity of board games and card games.


Why is it that people have to rehash each and every hand after they play a game of cards?  These are the same children who cannot be bothered to do homework because, after all, they have passed the test and they have listened in class, so why go over it one more time? They would rather lower their grade, than turn in their homework.  But, they think nothing of spending fifteen minutes talking about who had which card, endlessly, all the while dealing out the next hand.


This year it was decided that the Clue game isn’t large enough so Gaffer is on a mission to extend the game to make it larger.  I’m with XUP,Patience Is My Middle Name « XUP and I’m sorry (well, not really) to link to her so often, but geez, how can you resist a line like this:




“Or wanting to pull your own internal organs through your own throat rather than play a board game.”




Confession time:  I do concede to play Dominoes and Cribbage.   My brother, David and I played Cribbage and Chess by the campfire and it is all good memories to me.  I’m so rusty on Chess that I would need a new teacher but I whomped Gaffer at Cribbage the other day and Army Boy and I are trying to figure out how to play Cribbage between Indiana and Kuwait. 


As far as dominoes:  It is a quick game.  Nobody rehashes what numbers they had for fifteen minutes and the dominoes themselves are very tactile.

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Do NOT, tell my mother I put this picture up on the Internet.  She would not be pleased.  This is her squinting to see through the “special affect” glasses that Master’s Daughter passed out this year.  There were two kinds.  One put snowmen around the Christmas tree lights and the other, as you will see below, put santas around them.  Ironically, mom was the only person who could not see the special affect.santa-glassesThese are not actualy Santa lights, but something wierd the glasses did.  Now, aren’t you glad I told you that?As I was growing up, my mother would sit in the window and watch me play outside.  To pass the time more productively, mom would bring a mirror and tweezers and use the time to pluck her chin.  Chin hair is equal to having snot hanging from your nose, in my mother’s world.  So, we were not surprised to see mom pull her chair over to the bearded lizard’s cage, which has a bright light, and get our her mirror and tweezers.  Mom has the smoothest chin on the face of the earth.

Master’s Daughter told me that I was not allowed to ask her what my “blog” notes mean, this year.  This is because I write cryptic words and then forget what they mean.  So, I sit here this morning trying to decipher what I thought was clear at the time.  The note for the above paragraph read, “Plucking hairs by Komodo Bearded Dragon light grew up with hair plucking in window.”  I did much better this year, than my usual two word notes.

Possibly not with all of them, however.  “Does Kronk trump Spock  -LaSalle-Dice.”  Okay, I think this has something with a dice game they were playing.  This year, with Gaffer there, the only breaks in  game playing for days was to open presents and occasionally to sleep.  I think Spok is Spock from Star Trek, and Kronk.  Could that be Christmas at the Kronks?  I vaguely remember hearing the comment and a lot of laughing, but that’s all I got on those notes,  folks.


Here is the gaming line.  My three are closest: EMT, JRock, Gaffer and then two grandsons, Electrician and Army guy.  The gaming line was usually at the table with anyone they could corral and playing Risk or Monopoly (with two boards connected, at one point), cards or dice.  Anything they could think of.  They are a noisy group and Master’s Daughter is considering a temporary sound barrier wall for Christmas celebrations.

Okay, the last Holiday blog note, I promise (or not), is the good one.  Ready?  “Grandma had a winky in her face.”  Okay, this did not happen at Master’s Daughters house, but it was a story mom was telling us about a life-drawing class. 

It was her first experience at life-drawing and she was not real comfortable, but doing her best, when the teacher came over and pointed to her sketch pad and said, “I don’t think you want that area, that big.”  Needless to say, the class broke up in laughter.  Later, as the model took a break and mom was adding touches to her sketch, he came over to see the “that big” area and mom looked up to find he had NOT put on a robe and “IT” was right in her face. 

Okay, maybe you had to be there.

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Mom isn’t real social at her senior’s apartment. She cannot get anyone to play cards (pinochle) or games. They do have an Eurcre table but that is it. They also have a van to take the seniors out to shop. They have occasional events and dinners. But, they just do not socialize; other than to sit in the lobby.


In the beginning, they had visiting entertainment. A group of dancers would come and entertain. There was a Girl Scout troop, who would come and plant flowers or bring Easter baskets or Valentines. Then, someone, in their infinite wisdom decided this was a liability.


Never mind that the dancers had their own insurance should they break a leg. No one could come, and entertain, because they might get hurt. After all, planting flowers is a dangerous business. So, now the elderly sit in their chairs and watch the traffic go by. They even have to go out front on Halloween, no matter what the weather is, as ‘trick or treaters’ are not allowed on the premises.


There was actually an uprising about the trick or treater decision when the building management said, “No.” Those little old ladies and guys fought for the right to sit in front of the building and pass out treats.


Oh, they do have one other entertainment. If enough of them sign up, they may take the van out to the pharmacy, grocery shopping and to eat. The driver was —-


one of the residents. Yes, folks that’s right; a resident.


It is too much of a liability for insured dancers to come and entertain, or Brownies to plant flowers, but it is fine for an eighty-six year old man or woman, to drive a van load of seniors. Yup! Real wisdom there.


Currently, one of the resident’s sons has volunteered to drive. Thank goodness!

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We spent Indiana’s flood weekend at the “Master’s graduate” daughter’s house. I have two daughters and it sounds rather mean to say the “good” daughter and the “bad” daughter. I could say the “educated” daughter and the “brainwashed” daughter, which would be a very appropriate description, but then I would have to refer everyone to my FLDS blogs and who wants to go there again?



That would also lead to using the terms, the “happy” daughter and the “daughter in the long dress and head covering, who is not allowed to talk to me without her husband present and who rarely smiles”, but that just makes for an awkward sentence structure and I’m trying to impress editors with this blog. So, we’ll stick with “Master’s daughter”, at least for now.


The excuse for this visit was grandson’s high school graduation. His gift request was for us to come and play a ton of board and card games. The kid is a cheap date, if you don’t count the price of gas. Actually, he wanted me to bring the people who will play games, as I don’t usually play.


Our oldest boy was missing at Christmas time last year when we visited. We hadn’t actually lost him. He lives in Santa Fe, NM now. Graduate grandson, really missed the usual noisy game fest. The daughter and I noticed that it was much quieter than normal at her house last Christmas, without oldest boy. But, it was not something you want to bring up in front of her super-sized husband.


Super-sized husband is tall. I look way up at him and my arms do not go around super-sized son-in-law for a goodbye hug. His personality is super-sized also. He has been known to wear a tutu into Walmart. Not on a regular basis, thank goodness, but after he found it necessary to wear one for a play. Things like that do not bother super-sized son-in-law. If you brought the incredibly delicious “quiet” issue up in front of him, he would create an end of the world vortex that would swallow all silence in its mass.


So Master’s daughter and I sat and enjoyed the quiet and the high-speed access she has. It is a huge treat, for me, almost greater than South Bend Dark Chocolate Truffles. I need to add that we had been dipping into a bucket of Strawberry Margaritas with Jose Cuervo. It was a large dipper. The graduate daughter does not need Jose Cuervo to find humor in the world. But, it sure makes things interesting.


It was right after Master’s daughter realization that the dining/game room was again a hub of noise and that the only difference was our oldest boy being there and not in Santa Fe. Hence he must be the source of all noise. Then Master’s daughter, turns from her laptop to me and says that she has a burning question that has been puzzling her. 


I had been showing my “Master’s graduate” daughter about blogging. I, with a mere Bachelor’s degree, am excited to be able to show her about blogging. Especially since a month ago, I had to have the blogger, Nathan Bransford, Literary agent, post my first ever response to a blog, as I could not figure out how to do it. So, I say, “Yes, daughter, I have shown you blogging, now may I explain what a Black Hole is to you, perhaps how to multiply fractions? What is your burning question?”


Daughter, looks up from her computer and states, “I have been wondering, just exactly what are the job qualifications for a bust measurer for Victoria’s Secret?”


It is no longer quiet in the front room, as I wipe tears from my eyes and am laughing so hard I almost spill a precious drop of my strawberry daiquiri into my keyboard. At this point, the men in the dining/game room tell us to keep the noise down.


Having never been in a Victoria’s Secret store, it takes some time for me to figure out what the heck she is talking about. I know about the catalogue. So, I have visions of placing an order and having them sending people out to your house to measure you. This brings visions to my mind of someone sending Viggo Mortensen out to measure me and where that might lead. I am often distracted by those visions or Viggo (His name is even perfect), but my visions of him do not usually involve a tape measure.


She bursts my bubble and explains that, at the store, they greet you at the door with a tape measure around their neck and a bag. I am confused. A bag? For your breasts? Perhaps I should not have had the last dipper full. She says that the bag is for all the goodies you want to buy. Then they immediately ask you if you want them to measure your breasts.


She continues, “I mean, what is the job title? Would you be a Bust Calibrator?  I am sure experience is preferred. Are warm hands a requirement? Do you have to know metrics for the European office? And, what educational level is needed. Is a Master’s degree a plus?”


I ask if she is looking for a new job. “No, but what if a person with one arm applies for the job? Does the ACLU get upset if you don’t hire that person? Is a Bust Calibrator covered by the disability act? Does he use double sided tape to hold the end of the tape measure or does he get to hold it in his teeth? And, how many tape measures does Dolly Parton need?


At this point graduating grandson comes in to see if we have finally gone around the bend permanently.


“And, what happens when there is a one boob woman. Do you compensate by doubling the measurement?”


Graduating grandson leaves the front room, shaking his head.


“What happens if they have not shaved. The Breast Calibrator says, ‘Lift your arms please.’ And, euw! Wouldn’t you be distracted by the hair, if they haven’t shaved?  Do you have to tell them to remove their nipple rings, please.”


I don’t remember much of the rest of Friday evening. I think I had another dipper full. I am sure that we will both be banned from Victoria Secret’s stores; especially because we will never be able to enter one without falling on the floor laughing when they ask to measure our breasts.

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