Tag Archives: jigsaw puzzles


It’s a real word. I’m sure of it. But I’m not going to look it up. I want to riff on it based on what I think it means.

It’s what my life has been the last nearly two weeks. In a way, though, it’s been longer. My trip with Jeremy was fraught with meaning but it was really just quotidian for me. I mean, I planned it, and I did it. No muss no fuss.

Visiting with Rosalie shouldn’t have been quotidian but it kind of was. Jeremy was away and we did some stuff. It was nice but it never seemed unordinary.

When I got back, I took  the CueStation class for three days, then spent an afternoon and evening in Santa Clara (after going to the dentist to have a broken crown fixed), then I had a long day (15 hours) at work, then I drove Rose and her sister Leigh and Gavino’s other grandmother to Pollock Pines for his birthday party. Then the next day I did laundry, then went back down to Santa Clara where I hung with Tim and his family. Then it was Monday and Tony Bennett at Davies. That was another long day. Tuesday I met Tim’s family along with Julian at Davies where I showed them around the whole building. Then I did another Tony Bennett show followed by a load out. Wednesday I went to Alameda for a haircut, followed by lunch with Leti and Hal, followed by dinner out with Rose for her birthday. Today I was back to work at 8 and just got home at 10:45. Tomorrow I get my permanent crown at the dentist and go back to work in the evening.

So there hasn’t been much time for reflection. Tonight the featured artist was a woman named Rhiannon Giddens. A classically trained singer from North Carolina, she became interested in the folk music of the area she grew up in after graduating from Oberlin. She has a band and some Grammy’s so I suppose I should have heard of her but I hadn’t. She sang Summertime and a Kurt Weill song that were sort of ordinary. there was a gospel number before intermission that was cool but in the second half she sang a song she wrote about a slave woman who was sold but her child was not, so they were separated.

I found myself weeping in the darkness of the light booth. Then she sang a song about the four little girls killed in the Birmingham church and I wept some more. Where did that come from? My life was moving along more or less under control and suddenly these couple of songs unhinged me completely. Loss of a child, of course. I’m quite sensitive to that for obvious reasons, but the sight of this young woman standing up there delivering this message almost defiantly was moving in and of itself. Seeing Sarah in the orchestra behind her made it even more intense.

I suppose, compared to a year and a half ago, I’m ‘better’ at handling this. I was able to remember that I could be heard through the glass if I got too loud. I was able to get it together enough to bring up the bow light at the end of each number. By the end of the show I was back to my quotidian life.

After tomorrow I have some days off. I will try to write more here and work on my new jigsaw puzzle. I did get one started the other day. It’s a scene from Yosemite Valley.

more puzzles

I’ve been thinking – as usual – about some serious subjects to write about. Instead I’m going to write about my jigsaw puzzles. I finished the one of the Irish cathedral today. It’s a pretty picture but not a difficult puzzle.

For fun when I got all the new puzzles in March, I had started keeping track of the dates I started and finished each one. Now I have completed four and here are the results:

The first was a picture of a Greek village, perhaps Santorini. The box just says, ‘Greece.’ Bright white buildings and a very blue sea and sky. 20 days.

Second turned out to be a painting, which I did not expect. I thought I had bought only photos. It was nice, though, called ‘Cote d’Azur.’ A French town center I suppose. Cafes and a cobblestone street leading down to the (very blue) sea. 23 days.

Third was the Forest Stream I’ve already talked about. A stream running through a forest. Very pretty with irregular pieces. 29 days.

And today the stone cathedral with the blue, gray and white clouds above contrasting the brightly colored houses in the foreground. It sort of reminded me of the ‘Painted Ladies’ people pay to go see in San Francisco. Anyway, only 14 days for that one.

Let me know if you want one of these puzzles. We can arrange something. The Cote d’Azur one I already took to Mom’s but she hasn’t started it yet. I think she likes to have other people working with her. There are several places she could set up at her house but she uses her sewing room, which is used for other things and is small.

I don’t know what’s up next. I’ll let this one sit on the table for a few days.


I’ve got a puzzle going now, as usual. It’s a scene of a cathedral in Ireland with some brightly colored houses in the foreground. Sorry, no pictures! It’s pretty standard for a 1000 piece puzzle. The houses and cathedral were relatively easy but the sky isn’t. Shades of blue and gray and white. This particular brand of puzzle has pieces that are all essentially rectangular with either zero, one, two, three, or four ‘outies’. (One could say the same thing about ‘innies’.)

I’ve finished the easier part and now I’m working on the sky. I’ve got about 200 pieces left. I’ve found that I can segregate the pieces by number of outies (or innies) and make better progress on the puzzle. Yes, I know it’s about a process not a result. It’s still slow, but I have to feel I can find at least a few pieces every time I sit down.

Now the last puzzle I did was different. It was a forest scene: a stream surrounded by trees with varying foliage. Greens, reds, yellows, oranges, browns – lots of colors but not in any particular pattern. Oh, and blues, grays and blacks in the stream part. It was one of the hardest puzzles I’ve ever done but one of the most interesting. I think the reason why is that the pieces were not symmetrical like the one I have going now. They were all over the map. In fact, some of the pieces were rather bizarre looking. No pre-sorting these babies! No pictures of that one either.

It’s funny, some people will take their completed puzzle and put a backing on it and frame it. Not me. For me, it’s all about the process. I usually leave the completed puzzle on the table for a few days and admire the picture but then it’s back in the box and on to the next one. Most puzzles I’ll take to Mom or someone else who likes to do them. Failing that, it’s Goodwill time! Most of the time I’m not interested in doing a puzzle a second time.

The forest stream one I’m hanging on to. It will get another shot in a year or two.

jigsaw puzzles

I guess I never wrote about my jigsaw puzzles. I’ve always liked doing them. Many Thanksgivings and Christmases in Santa Clara featured a jigsaw puzzle. Mom likes doing them and had has one going occasionally. Dad thinks it’s foolishness so he ignores the whole thing.

I had talked about doing them here at my apartment for a long time. I even went shopping for a folding table but the ones I found were funky so I blew it off.

Then Rose came over one day and brought a table that she said she never used. It was nice: good support and surface and size. A week or so later she brought over a new puzzle. I was off!

That was about a year ago. Since then, I’ve had a puzzle going pretty much all the time. I’ve gone through everything that Mom has. I’ve bought a few puzzles and Sarah gave me one but a couple of weeks ago I finished one and had nothing in the pipeline. Barnes and Noble carries puzzles as does Target, but I didn’t care for the ones they had so . .  to the Internet!

I started at the website of the last one I did. It was made in USA and decent quality. That led to Puzzle Warehouse. They had some that I liked. As I put the first couple in the cart, they announced free shipping for an order over $75. Oh well, I don’t do this often. Six puzzles later, I’m done.

They came a couple of days ago and now my puzzle table is full again! Now I just have to figure out where to store the others . . .


I worked last night. The show got done on the early side. I was home before 11. I felt like I could sleep so I went right to bed without taking any medication. Instead of a book, I picked up the ipad again and fooled around on guitar forums and played solitaire. Soon I was not tired but actually restless in bed. After about an hour of that I went in and took the sleeping pills (ibuprofen PM).

Back to bed and the ipad. Another hour and a half. Not feeling sleepy. Finally I got up and worked the jigsaw puzzle for a bit. Back to bed and the ipad but this time I was sleepy. that was around 2:30. Woke up a little before 7. I have the day off so I can take a nap later if I’m still tired.

I’m going to hide the ipad for a while. It’s not like I don’t have books to read.