December 28: Card Playing Day, Chocolate Candy Day!

~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
December 28, 2011

★~ Today’s Quote: “Stop cheating!” the dealer told the card player. “I’m not!” claimed the player. “You must be,” said the dealer. “That is not the hand that I dealt you.” (unknown)

★~ Card Playing Day: 

My grandmother had a saying: Trust everyone but always cut the cards. It is an old cowboy saying that the writer Finley Peter Dunne made famous. I use this saying frequently.

I have fond memories of my sweet mom’s bridge group. This was not your average luncheon bridge group but a nighttime affair that was held every Tuesday night at various houses. When your mom hosted bridge the house was spotless, and even looking at the planned desserts would yield a look that would make Medusa look away. The men were banished and the children were not seen or heard. The living room would fill with my mom’s friends, their bouffant hair and their chic clothes. The smell of their cigarette smoke—it was the early ‘70s, after all—mingled with their perfume. What happened on bridge night…stayed at bridge night. So I don’t have a lot of juicy details to share.

When it comes to cards, cutting the deck is my own only strength. Much to the surprise of my family, I did not have much of an aptitude for cards. Well, to be honest, I found go fish challenging. It was not my mother’s fault; she taught me the card suits before I learned my prayers, and later she tried to teach me hearts and gin. I was usually bored with the game before I managed to arrange and hold the cards at the same time. I played 52-card pick-up a lot.

During this time of family togetherness, peace, joy, and goodwill —to quote El Morno friend and Food of the Day partner Emily— pick up a deck and deal some fun.

Card Playing Day Challenge: How many card-related sayings can you come up with? Here is one to get you started.

You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.

★~ Chocolate Candy Day:

Didn’t we just celebrate Chocolate Day? Well, never mind. Unlike Date Nut Bread Day, chocolate can never be celebrated too often, and this one is easy for us to celebrate (tomorrow’s food of the day, pepper pot, is more of a challenge). My brother-in-law sent us home Christmas Day with his “so wonderful” homemade chocolate, my mother sent her “world’s best” fudge along with truffles and turtles, and several friends gave us boxes of chocolates. We also have chocolate-covered pretzels and cherries. We are rich in chocolate and my only wish is I could share a piece with you! Not my mother’s fudge, of course…I don’t share the fudge. Ever. Sorry.

★~ Today in History:

♥~ 1846 – Iowa joined the union as  the 29th state. The name Iowa is an American Indian word meaning ‘the beautiful land’.  Des Moines, the state’s largest city, and capital. The Iowa state bird is the eastern goldfinch, the state flower, the wild rose, and the state motto: “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”

♥~ 1912 – The first municipally-owned street cars took to the streets of San Francisco, California. The first car was named, RICE-A-RONI.

♥~ 1964 – Principal filming of the movie classic, Doctor Zhivago, began on location near Madrid, Spain. When completed, the film was 197 minutes long and so spectacular that it received ten Oscar nominations, winning five of the Academy Awards, including Best Original Score.

♥~ 1981 – WEA Records (Warner-Elektra-Atlantic) raised the price of its 45 rpm records from $1.68 to $1.98.

★~Born Today:

♥~ 1911 – Sam Levenson humorist: Today I Am a Fountain Pen. Today would mark the 100th birthday of humorist Sam Levenson,  He taught Spanish in the New York public schools, and then went to work on the Borscht Belt comedy circuit in the Catskills. By the 1950s, he had found a home as a television host, appearing on such programs as This is Show Business, Two for the Money, and The Sam Levenson Show. He said, “You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make all of them yourself.”

♥~ 1922 – Stan Lee artist, writer: creator of Marvel Comics. Stan Lee is the man who he man who popularized the saying, “With great power there must also come — great responsibility!” The line comes from the Spider-Man comic. He also helped create the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and the X-Men.

♥~ 1954 – Denzel Washington Academy Award-winning actor: Glory [1989]; Malcolm X, St. Elsewhere, The Pelican Brief, Crimson Tide, Courage Under Fire, The Hurricane,Remember the Titans

★~ Did You Know: 

♥~ The United States Playing Card Company (USPC), located in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the world’s largest producer of playing cards. The company was founded in 1867. USPC vends over 100,000,000 decks of playing cards annually.

♥~ A standard deck of playing cards consists of 52 cards, of which there are four suits – two red, which are diamonds and hearts and two black, which are clubs and spades.

♥~ The colored suits of the cards represent day and night.

♥~ The four suits consist of 13 cards each. They represent the four quarters of the year, which have 13 weeks each.

♥~ The four suits also represent the four phases of the moon, which are new, first quarter, full and waning or last quarter.

♥~ It is believed, but not proven, that playing cards originated in Asia around the 10th century.

♥~ Varnished or high gloss finish  on cards was added  to ease shuffling. Square corners became round to prevent wear on the cards.

♥~ Court cards – the Jack, Queen and King, became double headed to prevent the player from having to turn the cards right side up when they were dealt.

♥ – The Guinness World Record for card stacking belongs to Bryan Berg who built the  “world’s tallest card tower” It measured 25 feet and 2,400 decks of playing cards were used to build the tower.


El Morno has turned into El Nighto but camp is tail wagging busy, and sometimes we all just have to be a little flexible (I can hear Mike who shows up faithfully to comment on El Morno grumbling-Sorry Mike!).

Don’t forget: The Card Playing Day Challenge: How many card-related sayings can you come up with? Odd Loves Company.

11 thoughts on “December 28: Card Playing Day, Chocolate Candy Day!

  1. FINALLY. My whole morning was OFF. We need a warning when you disappear. I spilled my coffee.
    I like cards and now I missed a whole day of celebrating them.

    Don’t know who said it: Old card players never die, they just shuffle away.

    See you tomorrow?

  2. Wow El Nighto. Kind of wild and crazy!

    My mom has a bridge group that has been together for 40 or so years. They met once a month. Not sure how much bridge is played but it has to be very serious for anyone to miss bridge day. Both my parents still play with friends every couple of weeks so bridge is still a big deal in my house.

    Should I say–sweet dreams?

  3. Aha…I knew El Morno would be here sooner or later. I knew you did not get lost in the shuffle. 😀

    Busy day at work but now I am off until next year!

    El Nighto!

  4. I think I like EL Nighto better..I’m usually not on during the morning, so this suits me just fine. Not a card player so don’t have any sayings for ya.

  5. I don’t know how to play cards!! Any game! Our friends love to get together and play and I normally just sat there and watch. Sigh… I’m no fun!

  6. If you don’t know who the “dummy”is in 20 minutes, it’s you!
    I remember those bridge nights. What fun. I especially remember when everyone started serving Harvey Wall Bangers!!!
    We taught my youngest brother to play bridge when he was 7 so we could get a foursome together at any time. Katybeth’s Grandmother could play cards, any kind of cards with the best of them.Katybeth finally got pretty good at Old Maid!

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  8. I was part of your mom’s bridge group..everyone smoked except me..that smoke made me feel ill..but I had a good time anyway..I could tell some interesting stories about some of those card players but I won’t..LOL 😉

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