Monday, May 14, 2012

Strip Poker, Anyone?

Thought for the day:  Other people have wrinkles. I prefer to think of mine as character lines.

Well, looky here. An award. How cool is that? It's always nice to be considered ... kreativ.

This award came from a new blogging pal from the A-Z, Maryann Miller and I really do appreciate it. Except, the thing is, now I'm supposed to give up ten more things about myself that I haven't already blabbed about in earlier posts like this. Sheesh, with all the tidbits I threw into the pot in other bare it all award posts, if this were a game of strip poker, I'd already be shivering a little. For those of you interested in catching up on earlier revelations, you can look here and more here and even more here and ohmigod, please make her stop Okay, I stopped. Now, let's see if I can some up with a winning hand here without having to resort to telling you (UGH!) my favorite color. Okay, ten things. Here goes:

1. My parents didn't believe in doling out allowances, so if I wanted money, I jolly well had to find a way to earn it on my own. So I made and sold lemonade to construction workers, did yard work, washed and waxed cars, cleaned house, polished silver, and baked all kinds of goodies. And ya know what? It didn't kill me.

2. But looking back,  it's a wonder I didn't manage to kill myself in other ways. If someone dared me to do something, nine times out of ten, I was gonna give it a try. Like the time I accepted the dare to ride my bicycle down the steps outside the elementary school. The series of steps were built down a steep hill to the lower play areas, so that there were like eight concrete steps, then a small concrete landing, then eight more steps, another landing, and the final eight steps leading onto the field. Picture that? Well, I did fine on the first set of steps, and then the front tire hit the first landing KAPOW, and the bike went barreling down the second flight like a proverbial bat outta hell. Hit that second landing going about a bazillion miles an hour, and I kid you not, the bike flipped a complete somersault in the air. Heck, maybe it even flipped twice. All I know is it flew in one direction, and I went spinning through the air in another. Oh, did I happen to mention that the banisters on either side of those steps were made of steel? No? Well, they were. And I smashed into one of them, head-first. When I came to, luckily, I wasn't dead. Might very well explain my weird sense of humor, though.

3. The first boy-girl party I attended was a bit unusual. See, I spent half the party in the back room shooting craps with a bunch of guys. That is, until the boy hosting the party took me outside to show me how to hot-wire a car. (Told you it was unusual.)

4. When we were in high school, my husband, a few of the other kids, and I played strip poker in the bus on the way home from a field trip to Philadelphia. (from Baltimore) I mean, what can I say? The setting was just right. Dark outside, and there we were, safe inside the dimly lit bus with a bunch of tired kids. Besides, I'm a pretty darned good poker player, if I must say so myself. Oh, one thing. We only lost articles of clothing ... on paper. (Didn't even remove our shoes.)

5. Following President Kennedy's assassination, I joined the crowd in D.C. to see his casket carried by caisson from the rotunda to the cathedral. On that very cold day, masses of people of all ages gathered along both sides of the road to pay their respects. And with all those people, even young children and babes in arms, the only sound I can remember hearing, the only thing that broke the eerie silence, was the somber clop-clop of horses' hooves.

6. Following Martin Luther King's assassination, riots broke out in numerous parts of the country. The worst were in D.C., Chicago, and Baltimore. I happened to work in downtown Baltimore at the time, and had the misfortune of being caught in the middle of the riots. An angry mob of black men surrounded the car, glared in the windows at us, and then began rocking the car. It was the first time (and thankfully, the only time) I ever saw blind hatred with my own eyes.

7. Rather than waste my breath, I  hauled our sons' little keisters to the police station and got an officer to put some fear into their hearts. The boys had defied my orders not to buy ninja stars. (Remember when they were all the rage in the seventies?) They didn't believe ME when I told them how dangerous those things could be, but they definitely believed the policeman.

8. I like to dabble with oil paints every now and then. This picture hangs on our bedroom wall. People always used to ask if it was a self-portrait. (No, it isn't.) Funny ... nobody ever asks anymore. (sigh)

9. (Whew! Almost done!) I mentored several teenagers as part of our church's confirmation process, and every month or so, would take them to another church to attend a worship service. The week we were to attend a non-denominational charismatic church, I laughingly assured the parents that at the first sign of rattlesnakes, we'd hightail it out of there. As it turned out, I dunno if any snakes showed up or not. See, an hour or so into the service, the music started getting progressively louder and louder, faster and faster. Trumpets were blaring, and drums were thump, thump, thumping out a blood-stirring primitive beat. Then, here and there, people started to stand, and began swaying slowly in place, with eyes rolled back, and arms lifted skyward. Then began the remarkable sound of people all around us ... babbling in tongues. Um, not that it wasn't fascinating in a terrifying kinda way, but to tell the truth, some Lutherans aren't even comfortable with the whole sharing of the Holy Spirit awkward hug, ya know? So, talking in tongues? Let's just say it wasn't to our taste. We, uh, didn't hang around for the snakes.

10. I enjoy plunking on the guitar. After playing the same one (the one in the picture) for many many years, I treated myself to a shiny new one last year.Our son-in-law, a professional musician, took her for a spin and declared her to have a fine sound. Me, I immediately removed all the steel strings and replaced them with nylon. What? The heck with the fine sound. Nylon is easier on my fingers.

Woo, HOO! Didn't even  have to tell you my favorite color, did I? Now that you know much more about me than you ever cared to know, my task is to pass this award onto some other bloggers. Not sure how many. Probably ten, but I'm gonna pass it on to three. (Being rejected by ten would be highly devastating. Three, I can handle.) And psssst! If you three just wanta tell us your favorite color and what animal you'd be if you could come back as one, or whatever, by all means, go for it. Whatever ten things, long or short, silly or serious,  that you'd like to peel off and throw into the pot would be fine.

So, with a drum roll and no further ado, I pass this lovely award to

  • Suze of Analog Breakfast I just met her through the A-Z, and am totally taken with her blog, which is always intelligent and thought-provoking. Check it out. You'll love the stimulating discussions.
  • Geo of Trainride of the Enigmas His blog  is one of the best-kept secrets of the Blogosphere. His posts are always clever, well-written, and often, chuckle-worthy. I'm amazed that he doesn't have billions and billions of followers.
  • Rubye of Rubye Jack I just met Rubye through the Challenge, too, and find her posts to be open, honest, and served with a grain of grit.
If you aren't familiar with these folks, I urge you to check 'em out. Go ahead ... I double dog dare ya! (Hey! Have I ever steered you wrong?)

                                   Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


  1. I'd quite like to give those steps a try myself.

  2. Ha! I need to alter the text on today's post, now! Thanks for the mention, dear Sus. :)

    'See, I spent half the party in the back room shooting craps with a bunch of guys. That is, until the boy hosting the party took me outside to show me how to hot-wire a car.'

    To me, this sounds very much like the you I think I've gotten to know so far!

    As for the Lutheran ethic immersed in the more pentecostal/charismatic one, I really understand that. I was raised in an AG church but, like you, feel far more comfortable in the more subdued Lutheran-style service.

  3. I accept, but doubt I could beat your bicycle stunt --unless I run out and go down the Grand Canyon on my pogo stick. Sounds fun!

  4. You not only took the time to share ten fascinating things, you even included photos. I applaud your creativity!
    I'm at the point where I can hardly even remember ten things about myself (*sigh*).

    Are you absolutely sure that painting isn't a self-portrait?

  5. I'm grateful you survived the bike trip down the steps. And are you a Lutheran? I am. I think Lutherans tend to have a quirky sense of humor (or they have no sense of humor whatsoever).


  6. Hi Susan .. well that is one set of quirky happenings through life .. childhood sounds fun!

    I have to say you're quite lucky the bike went tumbling down .. and your head is made of wood or something .. so it didn't smash. Heads are incredible survivors ..

    The painting looks very good - perhaps you don't invite strangers into your bedroom any more??!!

    Delightful post and well done on the award .. cheers Hilary

  7. Congratulations on the award.
    I wouldn't have hung around for the rattlesnakes either!

  8. To use a famous Lou Grant line, but changing one word - You know what. You've got spunk. I love spunk.
    Yep, I knew it from the first post of yours that I read.

  9. HOLY SMOKES that was interesting!! I'm sorry you didn't list more things. LOL
    Craps and poker, huh? We're going to Vegas someday. LOL

  10. Congratulations on another award for your shelf...and thanks for pointing us in the direction of some more good reads.

  11. Congrats Susan! Those were great stories. I love that you took the boys to the cops. My mom did the same with my older brothers. Straightened em right out, and one became a cop! Course, I was an angel.

  12. Cro- HA! It was actually a lot of fun. Until it wasn't. (I'd recommend a crash helmet, though.)

    Suz- My pleasure. (even if somebody else beat me to the the punch)

    Geo- Great! I'll be looking forward to seeing what you come up with for us.

    Jon- Creative, huh? Thanks. Some might call it verbose. And I'll betcha you could easily come up with ten fascinating stories. You've already shared some great ones on your blog. And yeah, I'm sure. But thanks for asking ...

    Janie- I was an active Lutheran for many many years.

    Hilary- HA! Yeah, I guess it pays to be a regular blockhead, huh? And actually, you're right about visitors. My hubby and I are getting to be a couple of old homebody poops. Don't have any interest in having a bunch of company or throwing parties like we used to do.

    Al- Great minds think alike.

    Arleen- Thanks. I like that. Spunk.

    Jennifer- Thanks! Wow, you really know how to make a gal feel good, dontcha? I'd love to hit Vegas someday, but I have a feeling the stakes there may be a little rich for my blood.

    Delores- Thank you, dear lady.

    Laura- Trust me, our boys weren't overly impressed with me at the time. But something tells me they wouldn't hesitate to do the same with their own kids now if need be. And oh, of course... I was (ahem) an absolute angel, too.

  13. Such a fascinating woman, y'are. Sorry, angel. ;) I often tell Roz she'll get arrested for this or that, so it doesn't seem like I'm the baddie. Course, nothing too serious in there yet. But one day, I just might have to copy your technique.

  14. CarrieBoo- Oh, but Carrie is such a smart little angel! I can't ever imagine HER getting into trouble. But if she does, a trip to the police station really does stem the tide.

  15. Congrats on the award, and surviving the bike ride - all 10 things were a great read and very revealing (unlike the poker on the bus participants...) Is that what they mean by a strip of paper :-)
    Seriously, though, enjoyed v much - what is your favourite colour, by the way?

  16. Karla- Glad you enjoyed it. Strip of paper ... good one! To tell the truth, I don't know that I HAVE a favorite color. I love the cheerfulness of yellow, the brashness of red, the electric vibrancy of indigo, and the serenity of pastels. I reckon I like 'em ALL.

  17. Ha ha - goood answer - have you thought about a career in politics? :-)

  18. I wish I knew how to hotwire a car! That could come in handy someday.

  19. LOL! Strip poker must be played at least once while young. Mostly because our bodies won't ever look that good again. :)

    Congrats on your award!

  20. Wow, what a great painting! Is that you? lol

    And I think you and I attended the same kind of boy-girl parties, only I played strip poker, then when the boys lost, I had to go to the packy to buy them beer. (I looked 19.)

    And that really is a nice painting.

  21. Yep, my fact list was too scanty! Blog envy works both ways! Very impressed by the bike stunt, of course, and the JFK funeral and the brush with the race riot; there's some deeply formative experiences.

  22. Wow, those are ALL fascinating stories! I hope people keep giving you this kind of award, because you've had a really entertaining life!!!

  23. Stephanie- Yeah, that kind of info just might come in handy someday. Unfortunately, that was many years ago, and I don't remember anymore.

    Emily- You've got that right! Sheesh, when I think of the hot pants, and mini skirts, and teesy little bikinis I used to wear ... (Not sure I'm even willing to wear a one-piece suit these days!)

    Anne- HA! Nope, not me in that painting. Actually, that was the only boy-girl party I went to that was like that. After that first one, we got into dancing and socializing and all those silly kissing games. Somehow, I think you and I would have been good friends if we'd grown up together.

    Lily- I don't think your list was too scanty, at all. More a case of me being much too verbose.

    Dianne- Really? I always thought my life was kinda run-of-the-mill. Thanks.

  24. You crack me up! I so love reading these and learning more about people. I wasn't surprised one bit about the things you wrote just after reading your blog this last year. :-) Have a wonderful evening!

  25. Okay, I'm so jealous. I've always wanted to learn how to hot-wire a car!

  26. The key to strip poker is layers and trinkets :-)

    And, well, knowing how to play poker!

  27. Tracy Jo- Well crudzilla, you mean the mystery is all gone?

    Connie- Nowadays, you can probably find a video tutorial on Youtube!

    Lady- Some meanies won't let ya count trinkets as strippable items. Or so I hear...

  28. I'll bet the boy who taught you how to hot wire the car is now your hubby.

  29. Mr. C- Good bet, but no, we didn't meet until a couple years after that. (But he woulda taught me BETTER!)

  30. Thanks so much Susan for thinking of me. I always find these things fun cause you learn things about people you may have never otherwise. I remember those days when John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. That must have been so scary being caught up in the riot, but who can blame them for being angry.

    It looks like you're a pretty darn good artist from the painting. Do you have a site where you show your work? And the guitar too? You're a very creative person and I feel lucky to now know you.

  31. I learned how to start old cars in the early fifties, when they had an ignition key and a starter button.
    You just wadded up chewing gum metal foil and put it behind the keyhole and pressed the starter. You had to hold the clutch down.
    I did get into a little trouble as a youngster, but played poker very little. While waiting for caddy customers we played for pennies (you got 2 or 3 inside cigarette packs back then). I actually won once with a royal flush. But when I turned adult I lost my taste for card games.
    Your post was very interesting, thanks.

  32. I prefer nylon strings too. I used to be able to cope with the steel ones but my delicate finger pads aren't as tough as they used to be. I have a few queries though. Hot wiring a car? Is that some kind of euphemism? And presumably it couldn't have been a self portrait cause it was the rear view!

  33. Susan-that was fun getting to know you more! I love that you took your son to the police station. hah, I bet they didn't defy you much! and I wasn't a very good poker player!

  34. Rubye- I'm glad you think it's fun, and will look forward to seeing what you come up with. I didn't really blame the men for being angry after the MLK assassination, but I was shocked to feel that anger directed at ME, and purely because of the color of my skin. It was a real eye-opener. Nah, I'm not that good of an artist, or a guitarist, either. I just enjoy doing both.

    Anthony- Glad you enjoyed the post. I haven't played any kind of cards in quite a while, but grew up playing, and was playing poker before I even started school. Gave me a good head start in understanding numbers. As for pennies, we sometimes played poker for pennies, but I preferred using pennies for pitching. Them, and baseball cards. Got quite a collection of them that way, too. Too bad I didn't keep them.

    Rosalind- I prefer the sound of nylon strings, too. More mellow. Hot-wiring a car means starting it without a key.

    Tracy- No, our boys didn't defy us much. They were good kids, but I got pretty upset when I caught them tossing those stars around.

  35. Congrats on your award, and you really went all out with your list! Great stories and photos! I especially loved your first boy/girl party, and G-rated strip poker episode on the bus! Julie

  36. Julie- Thanks, dear lady. Glad you enjoyed it.

  37. Just found you (because I'm slow sometimes) as many of the bloggers I admire have recommended. And how right they are. Lucky to be jumping in on an awards posting so I got the chance to enjoy your ten informational titbits.

    New follower :)

    Amanda H

  38. Amanda- Hi-ya. Nice to meet you, and welcome aboard! I'll be popping around to visit your place asap.