Hello February: Of Prosecco & Puzzles & Perceptiveness

PUZZLE PIECES CASUALLY STREWN ON DINING ROOM TABLE

After a bitterly cold, yet rejuvenating, weekend of staying inside at home PLUS a well-deserved indulgence of Chocolate Chip cookies with Prosecco [see previous post for context about indulgence], I’m feeling better now.

My silly self has returned, my smart self has kicked in, my stylish self is back to planning, and my sane self… well, she’s still trying to make sense of things around here, in the world, wherever.

Because it’s winter in the midwest, as a way of passing the time, we’ve started putting together on our dining room table another jigsaw puzzle [see previous post about our freaky puzzle project].  And by *we* I mean Zen-Den is doing 96% of the putting together while I do 4%.

Same as it ever was.

The puzzle has 1,500 pieces and is of a cheerful tropical beach scene.  It’s colorful, but with lots of sandy beach and a building with a thatched roof.

PUZZLE PIECES THAT FORM SIGNS

Because Zen-Den believes in the economic concept of Division of Labor I was tasked first with putting together the wordy signs as seen in the photo immediately above.

I did that all by myself.

Then he asked me to find all the tan, beige, khaki pieces that form the aforementioned beach and roof on a building.  I’m capable of putting bright colors together, but when it comes to connecting pieces that are almost monochromatic, my eyes fail me [see previous post about me walking away from puzzle dust].

To wit, I found all the pieces for those portions of the puzzle, but I couldn’t get the pieces to fit together.

Zen-Den looked across the table at me to see how I was doing, then uttered what might be the most apt description of me he has ever said.  He said in all seriousness:

“You don’t know your sandcastles from your tiki huts.”

No truer words, kids.  No. Truer. Words.

PUZZLE PIECES THAT FORM SANDCASTLES TO THE LEFT OF THE RED SHOVEL, TIKI HUT TO THE RIGHT

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Please note:

I’m crowdsourcing a blogroll & there’s one week left to add your blog to the list. Go HERE and scroll to the bottom of that post to learn more & to see if you qualify. Let me know about your blog in the comment section there.    

This is your last chance.

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In Which I Grumble, Grouse, and Gloat Because Sometimes Life Is Like That

The Code of Personal Bloggers, if such a thing exists, suggests that all blog posts shall have an image on them. Hence I give you a photo of a green rocking chair on the screened-in porch.

TODAY IS THE LAST TUESDAY in Winter in the Northern Hemisphere while also being the first Tuesday in Year Two of the Pandemic. And ain’t it a pip?

Even though there wasn’t any snow or ice we didn’t do much of anything over the weekend. It was blah and bland outside, totally uninspiring, plus Daylight Savings Time *stole* an hour of my life again. And I was feeling poorly after my second shingles shot so laying low was the way to go.

On the upside, having gotten my second shingles shot out go the way I can now focus on getting my/our Covid-19 vaccinations, which supposedly will be available to us starting in early April.

Uh huh. We’ll see. 🙄

WHILE WE CONTINUED TO STAY in our Covid-19 bubble, Zen-Den worked on his latest 2,000 piece puzzle. It’s of Pokemon characters who are large, colorful, and a bit menacing to see on your dining room table. But *hey* if it keeps Mr. Man entertained to put all those little puzzle pieces together, then it’s good.

I tried a new recipe over the weekend, but it’s not worth repeating. It was for Irish Soda Bread Muffins. The muffins turned out to have an identity crisis: too sweet to be Irish Soda Bread, too bland to be a yummy muffin. I’ll go back to making a proper loaf of Irish Soda Bread.

Like my ancestors before me. 🍀

THE ONLY OTHER EXCITEMENT HERE, if you can call it excitement, is that after months of trying we finally got all the composite decking samples we are interested in. Procuring them has been a game. You order them online where *no surprise* one sample or another is not available. Then you check back a few weeks later and one of the samples you want is available, but the others are still not available. Try again later.

However after much effort we have way too many 17 different samples from two companies. At the moment the top three contenders for Chez Bean’s new deck are: TimberTech Brown Oak, Trex Toasted Sand, or Trex Coastal Bluff. All are medium brownish with gray undertones and noticeable imitation woodgrain texture.

So huzzah! 🏡

INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW: Have you had your Fauci ouchies? If so, how does that make you feel? If not, when will you get your vaccination shots?

A Fun Project: Getting Freaky With A Couple Of Jigsaw Puzzles

These are pictures of how each finished puzzle is supposed to look.

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Jigsaw puzzles are suddenly popular. We have a stash of them so for snorts & giggles we mixed two of them together to create two unique masterpieces. Here’s how we did it.  

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1. Find two puzzles with the same number of pieces that were cut using the same machine. Just because two puzzles are from the same company and have the same number of pieces doesn’t mean they have the same shape pieces. Lesson learned hard way on this point. 

It’s all about the details when you decide how to merge the puzzles.

2. Put together one of the puzzles then put together the other puzzle beside the first puzzle. Stare at the puzzles until your eyes cross you see an interesting way to mix the images in each puzzle. This takes imagination, but you can do it;  time is your friend.

This is an action shot as we began the methodical mixing of the pieces.

3. Carefully begin the process of extracting the pieces that form one image in the first puzzle, setting these pieces aside on a flat surface like a baking sheet, then extract the same area from the second puzzle. This requires patience and a steady hand.

Our first masterpiece called: Hot Air Balloons Landing On Giant Folded Quilts

4. Put pieces from the first puzzle into the empty space created in the second puzzle. Continue this mixing of the pieces until you’ve created your own unique puzzle that makes you smile. If you’re not smiling at this point you’re doing this wrong. 

Our second Masterpiece called: Giant Quilts Covering Hot Air Balloons In Sky

5. Photograph your masterpieces, pat yourself on the back, then deconstruct your puzzles, keeping track of which pieces belong in each box. Congratulations, you’re officially a jigsaw puzzle artist nonpareil.

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Your turn. Whatcha been doing for snorts & giggles? What else should we be doing with all this free time? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

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A Puzzle: Flying Pigs & Swizzle Sticks

Sorting through stack of magazines piled up ready to go into recycling bin.

Found half-finished crossword puzzle book.

Published in 2005, purchased around that time by me at B&N.

Rescued the book intending to puzzle through a puzzle.

[Crossword, that is.] 

Found an almost finished puzzle with “flying pigs & swizzle sticks” written on the page.

In my handwriting.

For some reason. 

No flying pigs in this puzzle, if there were swizzle sticks I didn’t see them.

Mind starts to wonder why I wrote these words on this page.

Delightful gibberish, slightly whimsical, with no actual meaning?

Could be, sounds like how I think.

Something I heard someone say so I wrote it down?

Not likely, but possible.

The name of a new blog I was contemplating?

I suppose. Maybe.

An encouraging phrase suggesting better things are to come?

Sure, why not? Let’s say that’s what this phrase means.

No need to belabor this obvious example of the inevitable decline of my memory.

We’re all older now.

We forget things.

But darn it, I sure wish I could remember what the heck I was talking about when I scribbled this clever phrase on the page.

Saving it for me to find 13 years later…

Anything like this happen to you? Do you remember? 

Faith, Trust & Puzzle Dust

WHILE working on a jigsaw puzzle with her husband, she was asked whether or not she had got all the puzzle pieces with blue on them together into one pile.

She replied: Yes.

Screen Shot 2013-02-07 at 10.20.45 AM

WHEN it was pointed out to her that there were about 20 more puzzle pieces with blue on them that she had not put into the pile, she thought hard about this.

Then she said: Some is like All, only Less– and Easier.

Screen Shot 2013-02-07 at 10.20.22 AM

AND then, having faith that she had explained herself clearly, she walked away from the dining room table, trusting that she had done her bit for this project.  Needing to put distance between herself and those 1000 dusty puzzle pieces.  Wondering why she said that she’d help with this stupid puzzle to begin with.

[Images of puzzle from Jig Zone.  This particular puzzle is here.]