Stories Told Around Cards

The setting:  our kitchen in January

The characters:  my parents, one of my sisters, and myself

The background: well, I will just start there…

My sister was home on holiday for the Christmas/New Year’s celebrations.  When she comes home, we spend every possible minute together.  That means all sorts of activities that do not fill a typical day or week, including late night movies.  On one such evening, we were trying hard to find a movie to watch, but nothing was tempting.  We landed on an old 70′s movie, Butterflies are Free (some things are just about the name), with Goldie Hawn and Edward Albert.  The movie was not good…we ended up turning it off and going to bed…but we loved Edward Albert!

Now, on to the whole reason I am sharing this little look into our lives…

The next evening my family decided to play a round of cards.  Canasta is our family’s game.  It is rare you will find us playing anything else.


We were all sitting around the table, laughing, talking, and playing cards.  My sister or I (cannot remember who) spoke a simple line from the film…communication between the two of us.  We laughed at how applicable the line was to the conversation (and about the shared secret – only the two of us truly understanding) .  But were immediately taken a back when my father referenced Butterflies are Free.  We were shocked.

“Dad, how did you know what we were talking about!?”  He did not even know we had stayed up to watch anything, let alone that film.  He then began to state the film’s credits, including the actor Edward Albert.

“We know…we watched it last night.  But how did you know what we were referencing?”

“Oh, I met Edward Albert on the set of Patton.  We had dinner together in Spain.”

The things you learn about your father while playing cards.  There is so much to my father’s (and my mother’s) life that I have not even begun to discover.  So many stories, adventures, experiences that I will never know or hear.

It is a reminder to me to ask questions.  To listen to what memories my father shares and to cherish them.  To take the time to sit with him and pull those stories out.  To better know my father and the life he has led - the life that made him who he is today.

*And now, if you want all the details of his dinner that evening in Spain, you will have to sit down with him yourself.


Calling Card


“…They were to pass again through the hall of the inn to get into the street, and it was here she presently checked him with a question.

‘Have you looked up my name?’  He could only stop with a laugh.  ‘Have you looked up mine?’

‘Oh dear, yes – as soon as you left me.  I went to the office and asked.  Hadn’t you better do the same?’ He wondered.  ‘Find out who you are? – after the uplifted young woman there has seen us thus scrape acquaintance!’

She laughed on her side now at the shade of alarm in his amusement.  ‘Isn’t it a reason the more?  If what you’re afraid of is the injury for me – my being seen to walk off with a gentleman who has to ask who I am – I assure you I don’t in the least mind.  Here, however,’ she continued, ‘is my card, and as I find there’s something else again I have to say at the office, you can just study it during the moment I leave you.’

She left him after he had taken from her the small pasteboard she had extracted from her pocket-book, and he had extracted another from his own, to exchange with it, before she came back.  He read thus the simple designation ‘Maria Gostrey,’…”

- The Ambassadors by Henry James

Why do such good things die away?  I don’t know about you, but I have a terrible time recalling names.  Hence the beauty of a calling card.  I know we have business cards – essentially the same thing – but life is not just about defining one’s self by one’s business.  More times than not, I don’t believe it should.

I was able to attend the delightful dinner party hosted by Home & Hill and Beth Kirby back in January. These cards were used as place cards at the event. What to do with all the extras that were printed?  Repurposed into calling cards!  Thanks for the gift Home & Hill!

Raw Breakfast Please

February was all about chocolate (plus trips to Brooklyn, Atlanta, Maryland) and has left me desperately in need of detoxing my body.  Even as I write this, I am sitting here sipping a mimosa.  For me, detox means to eat raw (or as raw as possible).  So, here is my go to raw breakfast these days.  It is the easiest thing in the world and tastes so good.

Raw & Easy Breakfast

  • Banana (or two depending on how hungry you are)
  • Raw Whole Hazelnuts
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Buckwheat Groats
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Shaved Coconut (this is one of those things that as awesome as a fresh coconut is, it is a lot of work and most of the time I opt for it in a bag)

*With any food, my philosophy is try to buy it in its original state if possible.  Local (if possible), organic or naturally grown, and raw.


The only thing that needs any work is slicing the banana.  Then it is just sprinkling a handful of this and a little of that according to taste.  Honestly, I usually just pour until it looks right, but if I had to guess, I would say 1-2 Tbs hemp seeds, a small handful of hazelnuts, 2 Tbs buckwheat groats, a small handful of coconut and then just a 1/2 tsp cinnamon.  One banana is good, unless I am really hungry.

photo (79)

Hope you enjoy!  (I am obviously not ready to give up a morning cup of tea or latte.  So much for detoxing…maybe next week…)

The Non-Sensible Day

Some days are lived without regard to sense.  Today was one such day.  Not a day I would recommend or try to repeat.  Not today.  Just a day filled with all things not sensible, no rhyme or reason…

- laying in bed for hours, not trying to sleep,  just thinking, day dreaming, and really just laying there

- sitting outside to read just as the sun goes down

- showering at the end of the day instead of the beginning

- drinking a glass of wine while cleaning the house

- changing my outfit to clean the house twice, just because I was in the mood

- cleaning the floors I had cleaned hours early

- chocolate for lunch, ruining my appetite for anything of real substance

Today was not a good day.  At the end it seemed that I wasted all the hours which I could have accomplished so much.  But today was today.  Here is to tomorrow.