Category Archives: Friendship

FUN HAPPENS! CHANGES URL

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ATTENTION ALL FUN HAPPENS! FOLLOWERS 

I am in process of moving my blog to a new site: http://www.marylaudien.com

I value your visits to my  WordPress Blog and the comments you leave.  I am hopeful that you will subscribe to my new site:

HUMOROUS KIDLIT & Tender, Sassy Posts

You will expect to find two types of posts:

  • TENDER TUESDAYS 

  • FUN KIDLIT FRIDAYS

I’m looking forward to meeting up with you on my new site.  Please copy the URL now, so that we can continue to share fun stories with one another. (http://www.marylaudien.com)- easy to remember if you know my name…

 

TENDER TUESDAYS

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THE BINGO QUEEN

                        –“BORN TO BINGO”

We have a 92 year old BINGO QUEEN in the family. She has a Sunday/ Monday routine that includes prep for BINGO Mondays. Sunday evenings, she makes her lunch, has her bath, and her BINGO day outfit is laid out in preparation. Her daughter calls this their “Girls Day” outing together. This is great, except the odd hiccup may occur with this scheduled date. Her brother is never going to set foot in the BINGO HALL (that’s understood…), so guess who is the next best thing… that’s right- her daughter-in-law- ME!

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DO IT RIGHT!  SERIOUS BUSINESS…this BINGO!!

I never realized what a serious business playing BINGO is, until my sister-in-law handed me a written plan, well in advance, detailing how to assist her mom throughout the “Girls Day”. She actually included a sample of the individual cards that must be glued in a certain way so that the card identity number still shows… SERIOUSLY! I wasn’t sure, as an educated woman with a Masters Degree, whether to be insulted or amused… (It turns out, her little cheat sheet was invaluable! Who knew?)

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TENDER TUESDAYS

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POST CRUISE SHIP BRIDGE LESSONS

                                               -Anyone Playing?

Welcome back to the Post Script of Cruise Ship Bridge Lessons.  I wonder if I’ve totally put you off enrolling in bridge lessons aboard after reading about our instructor, Christine, last week. I certainly hope not!  Believe me, she’s still in my head when I deal a game!  This memorable character left quite an impression on all of us!  My husband says I shouldn’t have been so polite when I mentioned one of the male passengers had declared, “Christine, you scare the ” s_ _t ” out of me!”

All teasing aside, our cruise did come to an end after 58 short days! My husband and I experienced a bit of emotional reluctance when expected to descend the gangplank for the final time. Who were we going to play BRIDGE with? How were we going to keep improving?  When would we have time to play BRIDGE, once we returned to reality?  Oh such deep, disturbing questions (and all mine)!

We had good reason to wonder.  Reality hits hard when one has been away from home for a couple of months.  Although we’d prepared “our people” at home with HUGE hints that we’d be dying to play BRIDGE with them upon our return… the invites never quite materialized.

There are several BRIDGE CLUBS available in our neighborhood, but Christine’s words of caution kept ringing in my ears.  She convinced me that we’d be decimated if we joined a group too soon, without further lessons.  Husband Ryan was too busy to indulge me with practice games (using our Joan Butts’ cards), knowing that it’s near impossible to play with 2! So what was a girl to do?  I kept reading my BRIDGE books, studying my notes and I joined lessons and practice sessions online at http://www.joanbuttsbridge.com  I highly recommend this site for anyone who is out there and wants to retain the skills you’ve gained. However, I should caution you…

BEWARE of  ONLINE BRIDGE ADDICTION!

Seriously, you start off thinking, I’ll just play 3 hands and 10 hands later, your husband is begging you to shut down, as the glare off the screen light is causing him sleeplessness…

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TENDER TUESDAYS

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CRUISE SHIP BRIDGE

-The GOOD, The BAD & The UGLY!

Part 1

Last fall, my husband and I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. Our cruise ship left Vancouver, British Columbia and travelled through the South Pacific Ocean and Islands, ending up in Sydney, Australia. But that was only the first leg of the trip. We then circumnavigated the entire continent of Australia visiting Bali, Indonesia and Komodo Island, as well. The entire cruise lasted 58 days! And I know what you’re thinking… What could this couple possibly do on a small ship (1200 passengers) with all those sea days between ports? Well, let me tell you, we were never bored; in fact, husband Ryan often complained of being over-scheduled! (I think our activities and classes may have overlapped with Happy Hour!)

We met a wonderful B.C. couple from Tsawwassen over dinner on the second night out and, discovered that their stateroom was across the hall from us. And wouldn’t you know it? They played BRIDGE and mentioned that they were attending the advanced class on sea days, but the instructors would be holding a beginner class and we should try it. Now, you have to understand, my husband, Ryan was the kind of student that spent a good portion of his scholarly days in the University Students’ Lounge playing BRIDGE. (Of course he did!) I, on the other hand, the more studious type, never played BRIDGE (or any other card game for that matter). Our new friends convinced us to take advantage of this opportunity and promised to mentor us by playing practice games between lessons. I don’t know why, but I wasn’t reluctant in the least to sign up. I romantically visualized my husband and I playing with friends at home during the winter and in anchorages on long summer evenings. Fortunately, my somewhat brusque husband agreed to be my partner for the lessons, pretty much the only activity he did with his darling wife, without any grumblings … (Okay, so Cha-Cha wasn’t his thing!)

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In retrospect, I now see how BRIDGE lessons seemed to take over our cruise life. I had to be up early enough to squeeze in a workout and shower before our lesson, and Ryan had to be connected, via internet, with work. He always made time for a hearty cruise style breakfast and if possible, attended a guest speaker talk (You know… those engrossing series about astronomy, global warming, and all that other fascinating stuff…) In fact, he’d usually slide into his seat, just as the lesson would begin, munching on sticky pastries, of course!

On the first leg, the instructors were a married couple and they were very calm, patient and simply lovely. THANK GOD!! Never a harsh word, always supportive with dimwit Mary who hadn’t yet mastered shuffling cards! We were paired with Andrew (an Australian from Brisbane who decided early in the lessons that Ryan should join him for crib during the day, as well, and join his boat-building team for the big culminating competition). Let’s just say that Andrew was more than capable of mastering two games simultaneously! Our other partner was Sharon, a fellow Canadian from Kamloops. Sharon had played a lot of bridge and should have probably been in the advanced group with our friends, but we were thankful she stuck it out with us. Of course, we were all keeners. This meant that after our hour of lessons, we would stay on another hour and do some practice games.

Andrew_Sharon_Mary_BridgeBy the time we were done with bridge, Ryan and Mary would split up and go our many ways. As often as possible, I’d take my bridge book poolside, trying to figure out what the heck I was doing! This is where our friends who got us into lessons came in. We’d meet up with them before dinner and play some hands (How they put up with my total misunderstanding of the game, I’ll never know…) And then after dinner, we’d sit in the theatre before the live show began and play some more.

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Let me tell you, people were drawn to us. We were BRIDGE magnets! They’d drop by and check out our hands and interrupt my concentration. Everyone had advise to offer me. It was obvious that I was the only novice in the group and even couples from our lessons would stop by and start telling me how to play my hand. Our friends were incredibly patient with me and never made me feel like the big L (I felt) was tattooed to my forehead.

Ryan wrote home to all our friends and family stating that his wife l-o-v-e-d BRIDGE and had taken to it like a duck to water. I wouldn’t actually describe my learning curve that way, at all. I was proud to be risk-taking and loved the challenge of learning something that made one think. It was often seriously intimidating when I was so behind in card knowledge, that even sorting one’s cards in one’s hand was difficult. (I was caught several times with cards hidden behind others without realizing it, or forgetting which suit was trump, or laying down the wrong suit to begin with… you get the picture.) It took a village to keep me progressing…

When the first leg of the trip was over, and all of our friends disembarked, we looked at one another and said, “Well, what do we do now?” Our cruise life at sea was all about BRIDGE! Microsoft classes, cooking demos, zumba, movies/live shows, and overindulgent eating wasn’t going to cut it –without BRIDGE!

If you’re curious about the second leg of our Australian cruise and how BRIDGE was addressed, you won’t want to miss next week’s TENDER TUESDAYS! Why don’t you leave a comment about one of your new skills or games that you’ve recently learned. I’ll bet you have some humorous stories to share. Let’s just say, you’re going to love the people stories in next week’s segment.

Thanks for reading TENDER TUESDAYS (even though it never got published until WACKY WEDNESDAY….ha!)

Downton Abbey Series Finale Tonight

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It’s time for Downton Abbey fans to say goodbye to the Crawleys’ aristocratic chronicles of this British historical drama!  We’ll miss the series’ characters of whom we’ve all grown so fond. Sunday evenings will become void as we miss the anticipated delight of immersing ourselves into their lives each Sunday night on PBS! Haven’t we all loved the family dynamics, the historical social change process, the setting, and the fashions of this bygone era? The friendship, loyalties, secrets, and realistic family issues have been the core of keeping us glued to this gripping dramatic series.  Many have ordered the DVD’s of the entire 6 seasons and will no doubt revisit them again. Keep your kleenex box handy, as the trailers have hinted that we’re going to feel emotional as we say farewell to the Downton Abbey series.

A TIMELY BOOK REVIEW

WHILE WE WERE WATCHING DOWNTON ABBEY

-A NOVEL   -By Wendy Wax

With the end of the Downton Abbey Series, it seemed an appropriate time to introduce fans who will be missing the series, to a book that centers around the show.  It is a light, humorous, tender read that encourages female friendship and bonding.   As four very different women (in various stages of life), find themselves connecting through the weekly screenings of Downton Abbey, hosted by the concierge of their apartment building. The story becomes one of risk-taking, friendship-making, and supporting one’s friends through the dicier, unpleasant hurdles of life.  You’ll enjoy the Downton Abbey connection, as it will probably encourage you to set up your own weekly screenings with girlfriends (and British refreshments), as well….

If you decide to check it out, click on While We Were Watching Downton Abbey  The book is entertaining and it will give you all kinds of ideas for how to further your entertainment of the Downton Abbey reruns.

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Share your feelings about the final episode of Downton Abbey. (I know you’re feeling emotional like I am!)  Come on, leave a comment so we can all weep together… ha!

 

 

 

 

 

EMBRACING (SERIOUSLY?) OLD AGE SECURITY

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We all know someone who appears to have embraced their senior years in stride.(AM I KIDDING?) Rather, most of us are acquainted with those who approach the “DARK SIDE” kicking and panicked. My sister-in-law was in total disbelief that she qualified as an OAS (Old Age Security) recipient. YEP-she’s a SENIOR CITIZEN! She never ever expected her 65th birthday would actually arrive… DUH!

What do you do to help distract this loved one, who is hyperventilating over her BIG DAY? I know! You plan a surprise girls party for her the night before. Imagine not allowing her the time to perseverate about aging as she reaches that midnight pinnacle to the “OTHER SIDE”. Sounds easy, right? Just invite some of her best girlfriends over for tapas and cake. Pretty simple, right? Ordinarily, yes. With my sister-in-law? Not so much!

This fiery, self-assured LEO has to be in control! The first sign of trouble was when the ruse was planned with her husband, not her. He was instructed to let her know that they were invited out to our place for a glass of wine before a dinner on the patio at the Golf Course Restaurant. It was explained that this would be a pre-birthday distraction- just the four of us having a relaxing night out together. Her husband was implored to be STRONG and make it happen! (Translation: Don’t let her say no; she has a history of never letting others do anything nice for her.)

WELL, regardless of our believable story, I live to be surprised! All 12 women had been contacted and confirmed, and her close friends carried on with their birthday lunches to ensure her suspicious nature wasn’t alerted. Pretty easy-peasy, right?

NO WAY! First she called to say that she had invited her elderly parents to join us for dinner. I had to say, well no, they weren’t actually invited. At this point, the somewhat inflexible LEO said she had wanted to take us all out for birthday pizza and now I had wrecked her plan. I explained forcefully, that she could still do her thing with her parents on her actual birthday, but this was supposed to be a relaxing dinner with just the four of us. Not an early pizza lunch- which has become the usual. She wasn’t happy and wouldn’t let it go until she finally ended the call exasperated, telling me that I’d have to uninvite her parents.(Of course I didn’t…. Husband Ryan was sent to do the deed.) He told them that it was a special event at the Golf Course and we could only get a reservation for four.) Note that they weren’t told the truth; they’d blab- not intentionally, of course!

Disaster was averted,right? Oh no, stubborn LEO continued to harass her husband for answers. Why wouldn’t Mom and Dad be invited? We always celebrate together! Doesn’t Mary like my Mom and Dad? How could they uninvite my parents? (You get the picture…)

The ultimate craziness occurred when she called the Golf Course Restaurant to find out if a dinner reservation had been made and for how many, and was there a special dinner event happening that night?…. SERIOUSLY! Do you know anyone who would do this?

Incredibly, her husband did get her out to our place, albeit a little late (totally out of character for her). Who knows what she thought was going to happen, but I’m pretty sure she never envisioned the special gathering of women who enjoy her regal, strong personality. Our Queen Bee had an initial shock and then she had a blast. The first thing out of her LEO mouth was, “But I didn’t even get dressed up!” (Remember, Leos like to to be admired.)

What have you done?

What have you done?

OMG!!

OMG!!


Stylish LEO Senior- heavy-duty uplift bra, senior headband, licorice necklace...where's the cane?

Stylish LEO Senior- heavy-duty uplift bra, senior headband, licorice necklace…where’s the cane?


A LIVING CARD-GUEST RAPPER DELIVERS BIRTHDAY MESSAGE

A LIVING CARD-GUEST RAPPER DELIVERS BIRTHDAY MESSAGE


OH THE CAKES!  CALORIES?  WHO CARES? WE'RE SENIORS!

OH THE CAKES! CALORIES? WHO CARES? WE’RE SENIORS!

I know you all have surprise birthday party highlights (or nightmares)! Please share them with us. Just tell us about them in the Comment Section. If you enjoyed the post, please pass the link http://www.twocandobooks.wordpress.com on to others that you think might have a chuckle. I have to add that the Surprise Party ended up magical with our LEO enjoying herself amongst the most incredible women guests. And believe me, my “margarita- maker neighbor” was a huge highlight to our party, as well.

MARGARITA MAN

MARGARITA MAN