June 22, 2009

Throw Thirteen

This weekend a new city water park opened in Charlottesville and, like fools, we waited in line on Sunday for forty minutes to get into the overcrowded human soup. It would be worth it, we told ourselves. Lazy Rivers, slides of different sizes, water sprays, a diving board. It would be worth the wait to escape the heat and play in the water. And it would have been, if not for the fact that within a minute of finding an open seat and throwing down our gear, I went down the big slide, caught my toe at the bottom when I was too busy trying to make sure my top stayed up, and proceeded to do something terrible to my left foot.

Don’t feel to badly for me, how many times have I injured that foot in my life? There was the time I slipped on the stairs of my school carrying a box of text books and nearly had to wear a cast in my own wedding, the time I did a cartwheel into a friends couch and spent half the summer with a large blue boot that most definitely did not match my polka dot bikini, and then there was last spring when I rolled my food trying to kick my husband’s ass at squash. What can I say, I’m a klutz.

I haven’t visited the doctor and am hoping to avoid that altogether this time since I think I just tore a ligament (again) and maybe broke my pinkie toe (and what can you do about that?) So for now I’m just spending a lot of time lounging on the couch with an ice bag on the injured member. And that’s how we came up with Throw Thirteen.

When Evelyn naps (or sings in her bedroom while she tears everything out of her drawers and spreads it across her room) I try to do a project with Briton everyday. It doesn’t always happen, I regularly get mired in writing or reading or cooking or cleaning and leave him to his own devices for an hour. But I try. So today I pulled out a book I had found at the library on kids games from around the world. At first I thought we could try to figure out Manqala, which we’ve had for ages but have never played. But my attention was caught by directions for making small paper playing pieces called cartetas. The games were simple, the directions for making them were easy and required only an old deck of cards and it seemed like a good thing to do while lying down.

As we cut and folded we talked though a few of the games and eventually figured out one of our own.

The idea is to take a full deck of cards and divide them into suites. Set one suite aside as “floor cards” and then make three sets of thirteen cartetas each from the remaining cards. One set need the back showing on both cars (this would be the black set) one needs the front of the card showing on both sides (the white set) and the third should have the front showing on one face and the back on the other (Briton says this should be called the mix)

Spread the “Floor Cards” out on the floor a decent distance from where you will stand (or lie) and give each player one set of cartetas. Players take turns tossing one of their pieces onto the floor cards, the goal being to land on one. You can knock someone off a card as well (if you can!) and when all the pieces are gone count points. Any card one of your pieces touches earns you it’s value. (Ace is 1, Jack 11, Queen 12, King 13) the person with the highest score wins.

Ok, so it’s not anything super new or out of this world, but it makes for a great lazy afternoon project

Directions for Cartetas

Cut a playing card in half lengthwise and then overlap them at one corner so they make an L.

Fold the back piece over the front and then around again,

then repeat with the other part, tucking in end to hold everything together.