Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dealing with a Busy Schedule

Dear Helen Hartman,
      Where has the time gone? Summer is ending. School is starting. Halloween and Christmas décor is already showing up in stores. I feel like I can’t catch my breath much less catch up!
Love to hear some suggestions for finding more time! 

50s era pink alarm clock. No, Helen does NOT have it plugged it. It might actually work and WAKE HER UP!

Dear Loved One,
    In a long ago life when Helen was a social worker, new wife, young mother, devoted daughter, friend to many and almost her ideal weight (which takes time, trust me) she wrote down this advice: 
Nobody ever has enough time. 
But everybody has all the time there is.
AUGUST? But I haven't even had time to break all my New Year's Resolutions yet!
The tag to this advice was - learn from those who are doing what you would like to do, who are using their time more effectively than you are. Helen does not recall what she did then or who she looked to, but today? More and more I ask myself WWMD? What would Maxine Do?

How cute is she? Dig those crazy plaid pants! I think they were moving using my Dad's old pick up truck, love her feet in the desk drawer.
And I think if she was facing overwhelming seasonal shuffle she would... do just that! Shuffle and Deal!

Vintage card shuffler and some real jokers.
 As a kid and even young adult I never got my mom's love of card games and later playing Solitaire. Now I look back on time spent laughing as we played and realize it gave us something precious - time together. It gave us an excuse to shut out the rest of the world and just hang out.
No wonder people used to have card parties with people they liked or wanted to get to know better.

Poker? I Hardly KNOW 'er!
After my mother passed one of my most prized mementos was a set of cards that my Dad had given her. Every time I opened the box I was greeted with this smell, a little plastic-y, a little smokey, that reminded me of her. When that began to fade, Hubby Hartman gifted Helen with her own set of very nice cards so she could save Mom's deck for memories (this was before I lost my sense of smell, so now Mom's old cards get used much more)

One my mother's favorite decks - the joker girl looks like her, right down to the taste in pants, huh?
In later years Mom was always playing Solitaire - what was that about? (there is a photo of this but there are also pink spongy curlers involved and Maxine would haunt me with a vengeance if that ended up on the web, she wouldn't even be seen in them getting the mail!).

If only I'd asked myself, WWMD, I wouldn't be in this pickle. Or if I'd rolled my hair on pickles, then at least I'd have a snack! Yes, I AM a silly woman. It's the 50s, we're all just helpless, silly things who can't go out in public without a predicament.
Last summer brought another memento deck from my Uncle Dan
Uncle Dan saved ONE of these decks from his Navy days in WWII.  Guess which one.

You know what happened next, right? Yes, great card decks started popping up in thrifting and suddenly Helen had herself a collection.

So what was a card-a-holic to do? Started playing Solitaire, NOT on the computer.
The jokers are wild! The redislip fellow was from a deck advertising Scotch! The fellow with his hand on his hip is from the pink maestro deck. And Congress as a joker? It would be funny if it weren't a bit sad to think about.
 Solitaire, it turns out, calms the mind without dulling it (unlike other vices Helen could mention).

This was NOT what  had in mind when I said we should get together for a round of Gin.
 It lets you stop thinking about issues which often allows the right answers to surface.

It's all clear to me now. First, I'll write a letter telling my family it's time they stopped whining and started doing the grocery shopping and cleaning up. Then I'll eat a whole platter of spaghetti and go back to bed. My work is done!
So next time you have a full house or feel the deck is stacked against you, take some time and join the club. It's better than diamonds for your hearts and it might be just the thing to help you deal!

Dealing in:
and Wow us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style


  1. Your card collection is awesome! I didnt know you were a social worker. That is very cool. We adopted our youngest daughter through the foster care system. There are certainly alot of people with very troubled lives.

  2. What a fun collection. The graphics are fabulous. My husband is a social worker too.

  3. I love hearing about how collections are born. Thanks for sharing this trip down memory lane. Nothing like the feel of the cards in your hand and a real game of solitaire.

  4. Thanks for stopping by y'all. Being a social worker made me want to write novels with happy endings. In just a few short years I'd had my fill of UNhappy ones.

  5. Thank you very much for coming to my blog!

  6. I adore your card collection and your description of your mother, too. I do enjoy a game of Solitaire. xxx

  7. I didn't see a "grab button" on your blog. Do you have one somewhere?? :) Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm just starting out and am so thrilled to find other amazing ones on the 'net. I had no idea there were so many who love the "old time" like I do! I love your sense of humor :)

  8. Retro - I don't even know what a grab button is but it sounds exciting! Just been blogging for fun but making the commitment to learn more about what I'm doing and getting things in better shape starting... NOW!

  9. My parents were big bridge players, and I have a deck of their old cards. I know exactly the smell you're talking about...a little plastic-y, a little smokey, a little like the inside of their end table drawer.

  10. It's funny how people's personalities come out when they've been playing cards together for awhile. Even as a kid I knew I was seeing my relatives as they really were.

  11. At the end of a long, hard day, I am now smiling, Dear Helen Hartman. Thank you for a great read!


    Enamored of red
    I lie in my bed,
    Dreaming of cherry-filled crèmes;

    For red’s a fine shade,
    The prettiest made,
    And gives me the sweetest of dreams.

    © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

    Red and Yellow Rooftops

  12. Love your Uncles set! I started collecting decks recently to use as business cards or tags! They come in all sizes, but the retro ones seem harder to find around here. Thanks for sharing....

  13. Dana - it really was it's own smell. It just brings back the whole era.

    Mom Walds - so true. My aunts playing cards - whooeeee! The arguments they'd get into were hilarious.

  14. Another lovely poem, thank you MMT!

    Pam - yes, I saw on Ebay people selling single cards for altered art and tags and things. Fun way to display them.

  15. aawww what a profound post lovely stories of your mum and such a lovely card collection. Love the flamingo's. Time does just seem to wizz by in the blink of an eye. dee x

  16. What an amazing card collection! They're so gorgeous!

  17. Love your card collection! It seems I only find ones with kittens and puppies on them! Perhaps if I went out in public with my hair in rollers I might find some like yours!!!

  18. Thanks y'all - yes Sherry you must be fearless when hunting vintage!

  19. The card collection idea is fun. Makes me wonder if my Dad has any around from my parents' card playing days. I used to play canasta with my grandmothers; I need to look up the rules for that and play sometime. You want to come over? We can brush up on card games together!

  20. Love your awesome card collection! Time sure flies by!
    Enjoy your day!
    XXX Ido

  21. Dear HH,
    What a lovely and profound post and written in such a lovely way...Makes me want to start a card collection!
    Pinkim from TrulySimplyPink


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