Posts Tagged With: card games


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Christmas in a “new” house takes effort to coordinate. Instead of the mantel from the former house Laurie tried to hang stockings on the stove. The hangars she bought, wouldn’t hold the weight so she put mini stockings on them.  But, who cares.

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Stew and Mason were home from college and what fun to listen to them as young men, holding down a debate with their new-found knowledge. I loved it. Stew is an English Lit major.

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Matzek Christmases are usually loud affairs and it seemed quiet with half the family gone. But would you believe Laurie used to be the quietest one?  She gets in there and animatedly makes her point. I love it.

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The debate started with Stew and Ken. Ken stating that 96% of fiction is garbage. Stew countered with you can’t judge, when you rarely read fiction. And so it went and on into other subjects, books, religion, movies…

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Since I’m usually the photographer and don’t get my picture taken, I had my picture taken with everybody, mostly to show off my beautiful necklace that I’ve only worn once before. I got it when I went to China. Mason is not a declared major yet, but he is leaning toward a music major of some kind. My brother Bill has a website about the origin of language that he has worked on for more years than he cares to declare.

After a simple dinner of Clam Chowder and salad with gobs of cookies for desert, we played a game of cards called elevator. My brother, who had never played before won! Sheesh! Beginners luck.

I had a chiropractic treatment on my neck before the dinner. I’m still having some balance, dizziness and memory issues.  My doctor thinks it is from low blood pressure. The Chiropractor suggested I may not eat enough salt. Geez! Since that accident I’m falling apart.








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Thanksgiving is a unique American holiday. A time to take stock, reflect on the good things in life and…a time to take goofy pictures.

A pomegranate almost the size of Owen’s head. It has dried, cracked and shrunk some since it was picked from their backyard tree.

It is November and crisp enough outside for sweaters. These guys never want to wear long pants or shoes unless they are visiting the snow. They are all legs.

My daughter is mentoring a Brazilian PHD student. Stuffed Turkey isn’t new to him, but Thanksgiving is. Each person at the table shares what we have to be thankful for on  this day.   I may rant about politics, but this is the greatest country on earth and I’m thankful for that.

Everyone gives a hand with the dinner.

After dinner the desserts: apple crisp, pear tart, pumpkin pie, and walnut pie. Son-in-law is the artistic pie baker. Equally fit for pilgrims and kings.

Then a walk in the park. And, if you walk with three biologists, you have to inspect what an owl ate for Thanksgiving. Little bones, feathers and a small skull are evidence in the owl pellet.

Marciel came here almost four months ago with no English. In Brazil, he had only played cards a couple of times. He did not know how to shuffle. No trump games or bidding. He learned three new card games, trump, bidding, betting. A new dice game. He then bested Doug seven games in a row too much howling on Doug’s part. We relished Doug’s loss and shouts of anguish at being bested.

The two grandma’s look like they’ve been sucking too long on a wine bottle. Goofy pictures are part of the deal, doncha know. We think we are a normal family, whatever normal is.



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Angelo is a five-year old and can’t quite grasp the card games the older kids like. His mom helped him with concentration, while the girls and I played Dirty Eight. It is swift moving and everyone likes it.

Later in the day, we visited the Logging Museum at White Pines, which is about 14 miles above Murphys. The logging museum turned out to be a great place for all ages. Toys piled in a corner kept the youngest one engaged with a new-found friend while the rest of us enjoyed the exhibits. Everyone liked the giant pencil and out-door equipment exhibits, but I forgot to bring my camera. For travelers with kids, the Logging Museum is a definite yes and be sure and bring their swim gear.  Afterward, we had a dip in the lake and the kids enjoyed the playground equipment and an ice cream down town Arnold.  I’m looking at my own community with much appreciation. There is much more to engage adults, but kids find much to enjoy as well.

We’ve gotten into a routine, now. I know what foods they like the most, and what they don’t like. And I’m enjoying the card games as much as the kids. Wearing them out on the trampoline seems to tire them out enough to sleep like logs. All in all, it makes for a busy day for me. I cooked rice in the solar cooker and sliced up giant zucchini slices to dry in the sun. They are learning gobs about how other folks do things.

Tomorrow, they travel to Burson and spend a week with their Uncle Clark, my youngest brother.

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Marathon fun is what we like about our family and friends reunion. Not everyone likes to flume, however.  Brothers Bill,

and Clark,

and Clark’s fiancee Theresa, stay away from the flume. The kids thought it was cool when we requested that they squirt us with their squirt guns to help us keep cool.

Ted ended up the undisputed champion at horseshoes.  I saw the pros play in Texas and I tried to show them how it was really done, but they declined to listen.

The gang likes to get in a game or two of  hearts. Others played solitaire and cribbage.

As the day ended, even the adults got silly with balloons and glow glasses.

Theo put the balloons to another use and things got even sillier.

We decided against fireworks and at the end of the day, the kids were happy with S’mores prepared around a small barbeque pit. Several of us decided to take a walk and ran into my neighbors Cameron Stewart and Bob Snowdon at  my driveway entrance with rifles. They were chasing a herd of five feral pigs roaming the neighborhood and wrecking gardens and ornamental plantings.  On down the road, we ran into three more hunters. We decided we’d better get out of gun range. I learned later they managed to kill two of them.  They are a new menace in Murphys.  The pigs normally range  in and around  Wilseyville and Railroad Flat.

The next morning, everyone pitched in for clean-up. The tents removed, garbage picked up, ice chests drained and leaves swept up, and life returned to normal. Sort of.

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