National Puzzle Day 2020

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It’s National Puzzle Day! Today is the day to celebrate all things puzzle – jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, logic puzzles, sudoku, word searches, etc. I enjoy puzzles of all kinds, but it won’t be a surprise for you to hear that jigsaw puzzles are my favorite. I learned my love of puzzles from my family, so today is a day for me to remember and appreciate my loved ones as well as enjoying some puzzles.

Every year I write a special post on this day, to remember the people who helped me love jigsaw puzzles as much as I do. This year, with my heart still broken from losing my mom, all I can think about is her and how much we enjoyed puzzling together. We’ll never sit together in front of a puzzle board again, and the loss still feels too heavy to bear.

I miss her on many levels, she was my mother after all. But in her later years we became the best of friends, and our shared love of all things jigsaw puzzle was one of the reasons why. We could talk about, look at, shop for, and work on puzzles for hours on end; no one else in our lives felt about puzzles the way we did, and we loved sharing them with each other. She was the first and most important member of my puzzle posse, and I miss her terribly.

My mother encouraged me to assemble the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle, and to start this blog; she was my first follower, my most faithful reader, and always cheered me on. My love of puzzles blossomed mostly because I was always able to share them with her, and they will always be a reminder of her too.

National Puzzle Day will forever be a day for me to remember my mother, and her mother – the two women in my life who taught me to love puzzles of all kinds. I got my start with jigsaw puzzles as a child at my grandmother’s side, and spent countless hours as an adult side by side with my mother assembling them. They were beautiful, kind, loving women, and for me this day is another reason to remember and honor them.

Happy National Puzzle Day my friends!

I miss you Gram, I miss you Mom. 💖

Cats Around the World

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Cats Around the World by Eric Dowdle – Dowdle Puzzles – 500 pieces

We were sorting through some of mom’s puzzles, and my daughter said to me “here’s one with a lot of cats”. My response was “Ugh, no thanks”, but then she said it was funny, so I had to take a look at it. I’m glad I did because this is not only a funny image, but was an entertaining assembly too.

I haven’t done a Dowdle puzzle in quite a long time, when did they start using just the one piece shape? And why in the world are so many companies using only one shape? It’s really frustrating, do they think that’s what we like or want? News flash puzzle companies – we like variety in shapes even if it’s only within a ribbon or grid cut – only one piece shape is BORING to work with.

This puzzle came with a legend that names all the cats and tells where they’re from…

Cats 1

Starting at the bottom in the middle and going around clockwise…

  • Sheriff “Cat” Masterson – Dodge City, Kansas
  • Audrey Hep-PURR-n – Belgium
  • Trojan Mouse – Greece
  • Fat Cat – Wall Street, New York

Cats 2

Starting at the top left and continuing clockwise…

  • “Mew”-stafa – Egypt
  • Mr. “Meow”-gi – Japan
  • MVP (Most Valuable Pussycat) “Go Kitty Wampus!!!”
  • “Feline” Nightingale – England
  • Yassir Ara-“cat” – Saudia Arabia

Cats 3

Starting at the top left again, clockwise…

  • Guillermo del “Gato (gato is Spanish for cat) – Mexico
  • Maurice “Chat”-velier (chat [pronounced shot] is French for cat) – France
  • Bat Cat – Gotham City
  • Coot Cat – Magnum P.C. (Pussy Cat) – Hawaii, USA

Cats 4

Starting at the top in the middle and continuing clockwise…

  • Captain Cat Sparrow – England
  • Lady Lib-PURR-ty – a gift from France to the United States
  • Big Lou – known for his cat calls – New York City
  • Chaim “khah-Tool”-evsky (khah-Tool is Hebrew for Cat) – Israel

Just for clarification, the explanations of the words for cat in different languages were part of the legend, and I copied them exactly.

While I was disappointed in the lack of variety in piece shape, I still enjoyed the puzzle and especially the names and silly faces of the cats. Chaim khah-Tool-evesky makes me laugh every time I look at him, that grumpy face is hysterical! Feline Nightingale’s cranky face is pretty funny too – the ones that make me laugh made this puzzle completely worth it. Just looking at the picture of the puzzle makes me smile. 🙂