Sunday, December 31, 2017

Board Games over the Christmas Holdiay.

The Schwartz family has a beautiful farmhouse and land in Maquoketa, Iowa. Overnight, the entire landscape was dusted with an inch or so of snow.  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were all delicious home cooked meals.  The temperatures outside dropped to negative nine degrees by the end of the week.  With temperatures so low, we all stayed in all day either relaxing under a quilt on the couch or playing games on the dining room table.  Board and card games were played as the little ones ran around playing their own imaginary games.  The youngest had gotten an electronic ice cream cart that had a recorded track that taught numbers by requesting certain numbers of scoops and syrups.  The little sisters fought over that cart relentlessly until they discovered that the large cardboard box that the present came in was a much more interesting toy to crawl in and out of.  It could be a car, tunnel or time machine, the possibilities were endless.

By the end of the day, I had my fill of board games, and I settled in on the living room couch to sketch the Schwartz family playing a game called "Watch Ya Mouth" which was hilarious to watch. The game involves putting a plastic guard in your moth which spreads your lips wide making it impossible to pronounce Ps, Bs, and Ms.  The goal is for one player to say a phrase on a card and for their teammate to guess what is being said.  If you have a small mouth you are at a disadvantage.  Pam and I had played before and we were pretty good at understanding each other.  What happens for most players is that they laugh so much that they never even get the phrase out.

Another board game that we played was "Quelf."  It involved answering hilarious trivia, performing ridiculous stunts, or obeying silly rules. Players had to use creativity, wit, and sense of humor to progress around the board. One stunt I had to perform involved recreating as many yoga poses as I could in 30 seconds.  Since I had done yoga in the past, I had an advantage.  Another stunt involved me becoming a boomerang and saying, "wha, wha" as I walked around the home and back to the board.  Players could request that I perform the stunt again, and wouldn't you know, every player insisted I perform that stunt again and again.  I was exhausted from laughing so had.  I should have taken the penalty points.  The most popular game was a card game called "Euchre." It uses a regular deck of playing cards with only the cards from nine and up used.  Jacks are the most powerful cards and could change suite.  The rules are pretty complex, but I started to catch on over the course of the holiday.   Games began shortly after breakfast and went on all day, sometimes until 3 AM.  Needless to say, Christmas at the Schwartz homestead is an adventure. 

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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