It’s a Tie

My third puzzle was It’s a Tie by Springbok. It was 500 pieces like the first two, but the shape of it was round. I started it on a Friday night when my friend Renee was visiting. She enjoys puzzles, so we decided to open this one up and give it a try.

I did sort out the edge pieces first, but they were mostly black so we ended up starting by putting some of the ties together. Once we had several mostly together, we used the picture on the box to put them where they should be. We worked on it for a couple of hours and then decided to take a break from it.

I returned to the puzzle on Saturday morning and was able to finish it within another couple of hours. It wasn’t very difficult to do the border once the center part was together. Here’s a picture of the finished puzzle:

This puzzle was a lot of fun to do. I enjoyed the subject matter of neckties and it was fun seeing all of the different patterns and how they came together.

Puzzling is turning out to be a good hobby for me. I ordered another puzzle on Amazon but it was going to take a few days to arrive, so Joe & I went to the mall so I could get a new one right away. It’s 1000 pieces, so it should be a bit more of a challenge!

A Rainbow of Flowers

I enjoyed my first puzzle so much I decided to get another one. This one is Rainbow Flowers by Galison. It was super fun and so colorful! I loved the look of it and the pieces were very high quality. The fit was a bit looser than the previous puzzle I did, but I was okay with that because when I took that one apart, some of the cardboard came off parts of the pieces.

First I sorted the pieces by the edges and then by color. I think the array of rainbow colors was so pretty.

I did each color starting from the bottom. The yellow was probably the hardest one. I only did a little bit each day because I wanted it to last as long as possible. I managed to stretch it out to 4 days. Here’s the finished puzzle:

For my next puzzle, I’m going to stick to 500 pieces but go with a round shaped puzzle. Should be fun!

My New Hobby – Puzzling

So recently I was talking with my therapist and she asked me what I do for fun. I couldn’t really come up with anything besides reading and watching YouTube that I do now, and I was having trouble thinking of anything I would want to pursue. I used to be into rubber stamping and card making but haven’t done that in a few years and recently got rid of all my supplies.

Later that day, I decided to look up some hobby ideas to see if I could get any inspiration. There were two that interested me from the list I found – jigsaw puzzles and yoga. I decided puzzles would be super easy to start doing, so I went on Amazon and found a puzzle that looked like it would be fun. It arrived on Saturday and I spent some time Saturday and Sunday (today) putting it together.

In between choosing this hobby and my first puzzle arriving, I started watching a new-to-me YouTube channel called Karen Puzzles. The creator films herself talking about puzzles and doing all kinds of different puzzles. She’s currently in the middle of putting together a 24,000 piece puzzle! I have been enjoying her videos, but I decided to start with a 500 piece puzzle myself. 🙂

The puzzle I got was Rare & Beautiful by Puzzle Crush. It has illustrations of flowers and butterflies with the words “How Rare & Beautiful You are” in a lovely handwritten font. I thought the letters would be the easiest part to put together, but they actually turned out to be the hardest part of the whole puzzle! The background is kind of dark, but I didn’t have a problem seeing the images and putting together the different sections.

The quality was pretty good, with a couple of issues. Five of the edge pieces had lifted off the cardboard backing, and the backing also started to life off a couple of times that I had to separate pieces that didn’t fit together where I thought they did. Here was my progress after spending a couple of hours on it Saturday afternoon:

I finished it up Sunday afternoon (the same day I am posting this). The rest of the flowers and butterflies went pretty fast, but the lettering was painstaking. I had to use the trick I learned from Karen Puzzles of sorting the pieces by shape and just try each one in a spot until I found the one that went in. Here’s the finished puzzle:

Overall, it was a good first experience. I have a little more idea now what to look for in choosing a puzzle and have already picked out my next one from Amazon. I’ll be sure to post it here when I do it.

What hobbies are you into? Do you enjoy jigsaw puzzles?

What I’m Reading – December 2020

What I’m Reading Now:

The Caldera by John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles #7 – Just started last night but it’s good so far. It sounds like it will be very similar to the other books in the series, which isn’t a bad thing.

What I Recently Finished:

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay – Found this browsing the Libby app and it was enjoyable.

Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber – Holiday romance, okay read.

The Marriage Code by Brooke Burroughs – This was one of the Amazon First Reads for December, and I really enjoyed it. It is the story of an American woman and an Indian man working together in India and falling in love.

Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay – Sequel to The Printed Letter Bookshop, also quite fun to read.

Scorpion Mountain by John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles #5 – enjoyable but very similar to many of his other books.

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton – This was another random find and was very good.

The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton – Another book by this new-to-me author. I liked it a lot.

The Ghostfaces by John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles #6 – this was probably my favorite from this series so far.

Jolene by Mercedes Lackey – Elemental Masters #15 – I wasn’t familiar with the story this is based on, which is The Queen of the Copper Mountain, but this book was right up my alley in terms of a good read. I loved it!

What I’ve Added to my TBR list:

Return of the Temujai by John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles #8 – As far as I can tell, this will be the last of his books set in the world of the Ranger’s Apprentice, at least until he writes some more, hopefully!

The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton – Can you tell I like this new-to-me author? I have already read two of her books and have added her other two to my to-read list.

Glory Road by Lauren K. Denton

If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to add me as a friend. I’m always looking for new recommendations!

December Update

I started my personal winter break today. I will still be doing some work, but I won’t be working my regular hours until after the New Year. I was so productive today:

  • Took Baxter to daycare
  • Took Michael for bloodwork
  • Went to the store and got a few things, including stuff to make Peanut Butter Blossoms (requested by Michael)
  • Cleaned the cat box (I don’t do this often enough!)
  • Called the gas company
  • Emailed the lawyer about Michael’s SSI appeal
  • Did some filing
  • Went to Rite Aid for Michael’s new weight loss medication and the rest of our stocking stuffers
  • Went to the library
  • Made lunch
  • Made Peanut Butter Blossoms with Michael (used dark chocolate Kisses because that’s all they had at the store)
  • Went back to the store to get stuff for chocolate chip cookies (Joe’s favorite)
  • Picked up Baxter from daycare
  • Made dinner
  • Wrapped Christmas presents
  • Checked my work email

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and we are going to make the chocolate chip cookies. Michael asked if we could watch a Christmas movie, so after dinner we are going to watch Christmas Vacation.

For Christmas Day, the three of us are celebrating in the morning with stockings and presents. Then Michael’s dad is picking him up at noon, and Joe and I are going to his parents’ house at 2pm. His dad has recently stopped treatment for his stomach cancer, plus he has a lung disease, so he wants to have his kids there for Christmas. There won’t be any grandkids, so it will just be ten of us.

Sunday night Michael will come home, and then he has all of next week off school. He does have some past assignments that weren’t turned in, however, so I will be working on those with him. Monday I get to do something I have never done before – prep for a colonoscopy. I am having my first colonoscopy on Tuesday morning. I have had many endoscopies, but never a colonoscopy.

Wednesday a friend of mine is coming over with her boys. She is going to work remotely in the afternoon while the boys play with Michael, but then we will get to visit after she is done with work for the day. I am really looking forward to their visit!

Thursday I will probably work, and then Friday (New Year’s Day) I am going to make the turkey dinner I had planned for Christmas Day before we got asked to go to Joe’s parents’ house for Christmas.

So it should be a nice holiday season. Hope you all have a happy holiday season as well!

What I’m Reading – November 2020

What I’m Reading Now:

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay – Found this one browsing the Libby app. Looks interesting.

What I Recently Finished:

Perfectly Impossible by Elizabeth Topp – Very enjoyable read!

The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen – I liked the characters, but wasn’t too crazy about the plot.

Being Known by Robin Jones Gunn – I’m not quite the demographic for this series, but it was fairly good anyway.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – Amazing book! Even though I could tell where it was headed fairly early on, I was still entranced by the story and I cried at the ending (which is rare for me).

The Shepherd’s Wife by Angela Elwell Hunt – This was actually better than the first one in the series. I liked it.

The Museum of Desire by Jonathan Kellerman – Satisfying read. #35 in the Alex Delaware series.

Your First Step to Celebrate Recovery by John Baker – Easy read about the founding of Celebrate Recovery as well as an overview of the principles and steps.

By John Flanagan

  • The Hunters, Brotherband Chronicles #3
  • Slaves of Socorro, Brotherband Chronicles #4
  • The Missing Prince, The Royal Ranger #4

By Sherryl Woods

  • Sea Glass Island, Ocean Breeze #3
  • The Inn at Eagle Point, Chesapeake Shores #1
  • Isn’t It Rich?, Million Dollar Destinies #1

What I’ve Added to my TBR list:

Serpentine by Jonathan Kellerman

Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan

A Picture of Love by Beth Wiseman

Scorpion Mountain by John Flanagan

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

Did Not Finish:

Memories in the Drift by Melissa Payne

If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to add me as a friend. I’m always looking for new recommendations!

November Update

I thought I would sit down and write an update as to what’s going on these days.

The holidays are going to be different this year.  Normally, we get together with my husband’s family for Thanksgiving Day and also for Christmas Eve.  But my father-in-law is still undergoing chemo and needs to be very careful to avoid catching anything, so we are not going to be getting together this year.  My parents both live in Illinois, so we don’t usually see them at the holidays either.

My in-laws decided to splurge this year and got us a grill as an early Christmas present.  It’s the same model they have, and it’s really nice.  We have used it a couple of times already.  Speaking of early Christmas presents, we have done a little shopping for ourselves as well.  I got new drapes for the dining room and a replacement set of Little House books since my originals are in bad condition and I still enjoy re-reading the series from time to time.  Joe got barbecue tools and a cover for the new grill.  Michael has been updating his wish list on Amazon for any family that want to get him something.

Michael has been struggling a bit with the hybrid schedule his school is on this fall.  His grades aren’t as good as they normally are because he has missed a few assignments or not read all the directions for the week when he is online.  He has also been feeling a bit stressed/overwhelmed with things.  His psychiatrist has increased one of his meds to help, and we are also back to biweekly sessions with his therapist.  The autistic support teacher is also meeting with him over Zoom once a week to review his assignments and the directions for the week in his classes.

For his senior year, Michael is taking English, Chemistry, Financial Algebra, and four credits of Electronics Technology.  He was originally going to take a couple of half-credit electives, but he doesn’t need them to graduate so he decided not to take them.  The seniors have online school Monday – Wednesday and in person school Thursday and Friday.  Thursdays are his academic classes, and since there are only three of them he gets out at 11am.  Fridays he has his shop all day.  The shop teacher has them working on individual projects for part of the day, and Michael is programming a video game for his project.

Work has been busy but not overwhelmingly so.  We are still working towards our new computer system and are finalizing all the product data uploads now.  We hope to be live before Thanksgiving.  I think the timing is good, because we will have a few weeks during our typically slower time to get used to the new system.  Then when things pick up in January, everyone should be pretty comfortable with it.

So that’s the news for now. Hope you are all doing well and staying healthy.