Piano Guys

I love unique music videos. This is one that was brought to my attention today through Facebook. It was posted there by wimp.com. I love the unique way that the musicians are using the piano. I have always been partial to piano music, piano music was in my family for generations. My grandfather used to play the piano in Washington DC for the silent movies! My father and grandfather, and brother Steve were wonderful pianists, and I dearly loved to listen to them play.

When I was younger I used to play the piano, but have not played it for decades because I never had room in my house for a piano, nor the money to buy one. If I had room in my house and budget for a piano, I would have one, and play it. They have all passed away, and every time I hear piano music I think of them all. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I enjoyed it.

Finders keepers, Losers weepers (not)

Did you leave something behind at Wal-Mart in Warrenton VA by accident today? Go back and ask for it at the customer service desk.

Today around noon I found something left in a shopping cart at the Wal-Mart in Warrenton VA. It was left in the baby-seat part of a cart in the parking lot cart corral.

Because of the nature of the item, and the possibility of people trying to claim it that don’t rightfully own it, I am NOT posting what it was.

Normally I don’t get a cart from the cart corral in the parking lot, but today something came over me to go get a cart from the corral. The first cart I grabbed was stuck to the cart in front of it. After giving it a few tugs I gave up and pulled out the cart from the row beside it. I immediately noticed that there was something in the baby seat that did not belong there.

I turned it into the customer service desk inside the Wal-Mart and made sure that at least the customer service manager in addition to the clerk at the desk knew I was turning it in. Hopefully the rightful owner will be able to get it back. I did NOT see any ID on the item, so I assume you will have to do something to prove it belongs to you.

So….if you (or someone in your family) went shopping at Wal-Mart in Warrenton VA today and left something behind, go back and ask at the customer service desk. The clerk’s name that I turned it into was Amanda.

Good luck

Fruit trifle

Fruit trifle
Fruit trifle

Many years ago I found a beautiful recipe for a fruit trifle for a crowd. The recipe says that it feeds twenty-four people. I have shared the recipe with my family and friends, and we often enjoy the fruit trifle during the summer when we have large family gatherings. However it has been a couple of years since we have enjoyed a large family summer gathering, and I simply cannot justify making the fruit trifle for my small nuclear family!

So when I learned that the Jefferson Ruritans were holding a “picnic” where a “crowd” might appear, I decided to fix my beautiful fruit trifle.

I volunteered to be on the decorating committee, and was given the honorary title of “chair” of the picnic committee. Although the actual planning of the picnic was mostly done by the club president, I managed to have some creative freedom in the decorations – to a point. Although the picnic was going to be indoors, I was adamant that it be as picnic-like as possible, so I bought some of the mesh food tents that are used at picnics to keep the bugs off of the food, and with the help of my sister Lori, we “planted” several plastic “ants” on the food tents to try to give the picnic some authenticity.

The picnic was last night. The trifle was a big hit – this was the first time I’ve ever fixed the recipe and ended up with a completely empty bowl at the end of the meal! I did get one request for the recipe (it’s already been emailed out!) Doesn’t the photo make the trifle look amazing? And how do you like those plastic ants on the food tents! When the club president saw the ants, she thought they were real bugs and she tried to brush one of the ants off of the table! Didn’t I laugh!

My family loved to play Spoons

spoons (free clip art)
spoons (free clip art)

When I was a kid growing up, my family loved to play a card game that we called “Jackass.” Eventually I learned that the “proper” name of the game is “Spoons” and when I teach it to people nowadays, that is what I call it (in polite company, of course!) But in my heart I will always think of the game as “Jackass.”

These are the instructions of how to play the game:

The object of the game is to see who LOSES several hands.

Before the game is started, it must be determined what word will be spelled out, and if there is any “penalty” for losing. (Like maybe singing a song or doing a little dance or something like that.)

deck of cards (free clip art)
deck of cards (free clip art)

Use a standard deck of cards, and 1 less spoon than there are players. (4 players = 3 spoons)

For each player, use all four cards of same face value in different suits. (4 players = 4 Aces, 4 kings, 4 queens, 4 jacks) All other cards are put aside.

Place all spoons in center of table.

Dealer shuffles cards, and deals out equal number of cards to all players, so that each player has 4 cards.

When everyone has looked at their cards the dealer calls “pass.” Each player passes one card to the player to the right, and then picks up the card from the left. The dealer calls “pass” again, and repeats until one person grabs a spoon (signaling that he/she has 4 of a kind.)

Each player is trying to get 4 of a kind; when a player gets 4 of a kind then that player grabs a spoon. (It can either be slyly or with much ruckus.) The remaining players also all try to grab a spoon, but one player will be left “spoonless” thus losing the hand.

family playing spoons (free clip art)
family playing spoons (free clip art)

The one who loses a hand gets a letter written under his/her name on the scorecard. When one person has the entire word spelled out, the game is over; you have a “loser.”

Following is an example of a scorecard, assuming that Dad has lost the game:

spoons-scorechart1
spoons-scorechart1

The only thing is that when I keep “score” I don’t bother to put the “round 1, etc” numbers off to the side; that’s just an extra detail I put in hoping it would help to make it clearer. The “real” scorecard would look more like this:

spoons-scorechart2
spoons-scorechart2

And of course, you can use a different word. When we played it as kids we used the word “Jackass.” The standard penalty for losing the game of “Jackass” was “The jackass run” – the loser had to crawl rapidly around the house braying and kicking up their heels and making “ears” with their hands and wiggle them around and saying “I’m a jackass, hee-haw, hee-haw” or we’d make the loser perform the “jackass call” – they had to use the telephone and call someone they knew and say “I’m a jackass hee-haw, hee-haw.”

Donkey kicking (free clip art)
Donkey kicking (free clip art)

We had the option to dream up different penalties but those were the two penalties used the most. Boy, if only we had cell phones with video cameras back then! With that in mind, before you play the game it’s a good idea to agree BEFORE the game what the “penalty” for losing is! Now that we are all “grown-up” we don’t bother with penalties….but maybe we should revisit that thought the next time we have a big family gathering here and decide to play some games!

One time the whole family was playing “Jackass”, and my oldest brother lost. He was eighteen years old and had a REAL girlfriend (as in REAL dates and hugs and kisses and all of that yucky stuff that teenagers do on REAL dates) at the time. The family decided that the penalty for losing the game at that point in time was that he had to call his girlfriend (right then and there) and when she answered the phone he had to say “I’m a jackass hee-haw, hee-haw” and then hang up without saying anything else! Boy the entire family laughed so hard when he good-naturedly actually DID make the phone call! But to be honest I really can’t say that I remember him ever playing Jackass with us again!

telephone call (free clip art)
telephone call (free clip art)

Another time I had accepted a blind date from a match made by my best girlfriend. When he arrived at the front door to pick me up my father answered the door and invited him to come inside. My father introduced himself, shook hands, and then told him that the family was getting ready to play a game of “jackass” and would he like to play? I exclaimed “oh no, don’t say yes!” but my date smiled and replied “Sure.” Of course my date lost. And even though I tried to intervene on his behalf, he did, in fact, do the “Jackass run.” He was very good-natured about it, laughing and laughing, and we did end up dating for several months afterwards.

A good day for a Fool

Beryl Jacobs Dill Little (My Grandma Bobbie) Christmas 1985
Beryl Jacobs Dill Little (My Grandma Bobbie) Christmas
1985

Today, on April 1, 2013, I find myself thinking about April Fool’s Day. My Grandma Bobbie, (rest in peace) was born on April 1, 1914. If she were alive today she would be 99 years old. She loved to boast that her birthday was April Fool’s Day, and she was a fun-loving person. She would love to play little jokes on her grandchildren, and when we caught on to what was going on she would get a mischievous smile on her face, her eyes would twinkle, and she would say “Ain’t I a stinker” right before breaking out into an infectious laughter that drew everyone within hearing distance into the merriment of the moment. She passed away on my birthday in 1987, and every year on my birthday since then I can imagine her speaking to me from where-ever her spirit is now, saying “Ain’t I a stinker!”

Not long ago I was looking for dessert recipes that use fresh fruit. I found that there is a traditional British dessert recipe that uses whipped cream and mashed up fresh fruit that is called a “Fool.”

Fruit Fool (free clip art)
Fruit Fool (free clip art)

I think that I will try to remember at every Easter dinner that I hold at my house from now on I will provide a “Fool” dessert and serve it as a fond remembrance of the birthday of my favorite April fool, Grandma Bobbie. I think she would like that very much!