Retro by Lois B. Sutton – White Mountain – 550 pieces

So much fun! As with most collages this one went together quickly and I enjoyed each and every section. There’s just something about these images (and collages in general) that ticks the box for me; assembling them makes me happy.

This was a pretty good quality White Mountain puzzle, with my only concern being a little bit of a loose fit. The reproduction was the best I’ve seen from this brand for a while, I was impressed.

Ah, 8 track tapes. Boy do I have plenty of memories of these! If you’re a young’un you may not know about these – they were like cassette tapes that you cannot rewind. We had an 8 track player in our vehicle when I was young, and listening to Disney movies or songs on them is a treasured childhood memory for me.

8 tracks also remind me of a toy I received for Christmas one year, a 2XL “robot”. It was basically an 8 track player dressed up like a robot that asked you trivia questions and you answered by choosing which “track” was the correct answer. It was sort of like those make your own stories books, you choose where to go with your answers. I know my explanation doesn’t make much sense, but that was the toy and I remember it fondly.

Here’s another thing you may not know about if you’re younger – the test pattern that would come on television at the end of the broadcast day. Where I lived they used to play the national anthem and then a test pattern like this (or others) would be the only thing you could find on tv. Round-the-clock programming was not a thing; and after the late night shows there was literally nothing on tv.

Hi-yo Silver – away! I cannot think about The Lone Ranger without thinking of my dad and watching this show with him on Sunday mornings. It always seemed so stupid to me that the mask over his eyes made it so that no one recognized him; his voice never changed nor did the bottom half of his face. It was a thrilling show at the time, but my memories are mostly enjoying watching tv with my dad. 💗

About the title – it’s funny to me that “retro” means different things to different people. What’s retro to me is NOT the same for another generation. The 80s may seem retro to some, but to me it’s the time when I was coming of age – not retro.

Retro is relative, you might say.

Hot Cocoa

Hot Cocoa by Charlie Girard – White Mountain – 1000 pieces

This super quick and entertaining puzzle was part of a swap with my fellow puzzle junkie Penny. To be honest I wasn’t certain I’d enjoy it, but was quite glad to be wrong about how delightful it would be.

It was a very good quality White Mountain puzzle, perhaps the best fitting of this brand that I’ve ever done – and I’ve done a lot. It wasn’t the too tight fit that leaves your thumb feeling sore from pushing pieces together with lots of pressure; and it wasn’t too loose where two pieces fall apart when you pick them up to move them. I was happy with the all-around quality, which isn’t something you normally hear me say about this brand.

I’ve chosen three sections to show close up, they’re all much older advertisements. It’s funny how something is perceived when it’s new to the market; we would never characterize hot cocoa in these ways now.

The greatest invention of the age. That’s pretty dang funny to me, as is the name. Instantaneous Chocolate – not very appetizing is it?

Breakfast cocoa sounds pretty good to me! Of course you could say that all the froofy coffee drinks people consume these days might be more chocolate than coffee so I suppose it isn’t that big of a leap. As for myself, I’m a simple gal. I enjoy a cup of coffee-flavored coffee, or a cup of hot chocolate – “never shall the twain meet.”

This is the one that really caught me by surprise. “Drink hot chocolate before…during…and after the game!” I’m not sure professional basketball players would agree that it’s a good idea. Could you imagine a basketball player sitting on the bench with a cup of cocoa before he or she gets back into the game? 🤣

Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom by Steve Cameron – White Mountain – 1000 pieces

This puzzle was a little too easy for my taste – the hardest part was laying out pieces. It was still fun though, and it was probably the perfect puzzle for me to attempt while dealing with hubby recovering from his very first surgery. My big tough Marine isn’t the easiest to deal with when he doesn’t feel well (if you know what I mean).

As far as White Mountain puzzles go this one was about the norm – quality was good/fair. The fit was slightly loose, which I have been noticing more often from this brand than I used to. It used to be that many of their puzzles had a fit so tight that I felt as if I were working on an exercise program for my arms and fingers; I haven’t run into that issue at all since the pandemic began.

Just an observation.

As far as the image goes, a lot of these words of wisdom are your average clichés, but some of them I’d never heard or read before. Regardless, it was entertaining and I enjoyed myself even if it was a little too quick to go together. (I think if it had been a little more challenging I would have been able to spend extra time and enjoy it even more). But honestly, finding the perfect puzzle image that is just the right amount of fun/difficulty is pretty rare; so I don’t hold it against anyone that this was a little too easy for me.

This was the first section I assembled; mostly because it’s bright color was extremely easy to pick out, and partly because that’s how I feel most days – like my brain is running Windows 95 and there are 17 tabs open. Yep. That about covers it.

This is a good reminder. Whatever style you like, take some time out to listen to music when you can; it’s helped me tremendously during the past couple of years and I highly recommend it.

As I’m typing this up I’m enjoying an eclectic mix of music from the 1940s to present. Most of it is from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, but I like many different genres and delight in putting it all on shuffle and having fun with whatever song pops up next. Could be Mama Cass, could be an 80s hair band, could be Elvis or The Beatles, could be some classic rock or my favorite a capella group – you just never know. 🎼

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Saturday Morning Cartoons by Charlie Girard – White Mountain – 1000 pieces

I made sure to take my time with this puzzle – because frankly – I’ve been puzzling so much that I have way too many puzzles in the queue at the moment. By the time you’re reading this post it will most likely be a month or more since it was actually completed! It could have been finished two days earlier than it was, but I made myself stop working on it.

It’s also meant that I’ve been having to type up the post immediately when I finish a puzzle. Otherwise, my old lady brain doesn’t remember much when it comes up in the rotation. A month and 30 puzzles ago is too long ago for me to recall specifics about the assembly. That’s why I’m trying to slow down a bit and stop adding a new puzzle to the queue every day or every other day.

On to this specific puzzle!

My husband picked this out for me the first time I went puzzle shopping after my year-long absence. He seemed very excited about the image and thought I should buy it, he’s so sweet. Many of these cartoons we both watched as kids, and since he was so excited about finding it for me, of course we had to get it.

The quality of this one was only fair. The most important reason was a very loose fit – very odd for a White Mountain puzzle in my opinion. I’ve done many of their puzzles, and the fit is usually either quite tight or just about right. This one though was extremely loose – even picking up two connected pieces could be a problem. The image reproduction was slightly fuzzy in some places. Which is not uncommon for a WM collage in my experience, but I normally expect issues like that from this brand so it wasn’t much of a problem for me.

So many memories! Up at the top on the left is Atom Ant, and I remember the character but don’t have any memories of watching the actual show. At first I thought the name was Adam Ant, but then said to myself that I was getting him confused with the 80s rocker. Hubby and I had to look him up to be sure of the name – getting old ain’t for sissies, memories really do start to go.

Next to Mr. Ant is Quick Draw McGraw, and I actually do remember watching his show. I remember that his voice sounded very much like Yogi Bear to me, and came to learn later that both characters were voiced by the same man – no wonder they sounded alike. I enjoyed Quick Draw because he was always so polite, and for some reason that made an impression on me.

Like Atom Ant, I remember the character on the right – Magilla Gorilla – but don’t have any specific memories of the show. He was fun to assemble though, that’s why he’s here. A big orange rectangle doesn’t seem as though it would be very entertaining, but it actually was. 😉

Scooby Doo was definitely a favorite for me as a child, and I remember many episodes of the shows. My kids liked it too, and used to watch the reruns. Those meddlin’ kids and the grumpy old man that was usually the “ghost” trying to scare people – I remember them very clearly.

And the name Fractured Fairy Tales is something my brain remembers, but unfortunately I have no specifics. I know that most likely I watched the show, but it’s the name I remember – the character isn’t familiar nor is the image shown above. It was easy to pick out the pieces though, and easy to assemble too.

Quality problems aside, this was a fun puzzle to assemble, and even though it took longer than normal I had a great time. It brought back many memories – even if some of them were as fuzzy as the image reproduction.

Just Add Water

Just Add Water by Charlie Girard – White Mountain – 1000 pieces

I was pretty disappointed in the quality of this puzzle, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t also satisfying to assemble. There was fuzzy image reproduction, the fit was too tight, so much puzzle dust and lots of hanging chads. The thing is….I knew that was a possibility when this puzzle was purchased.

White Mountain puzzles, for me, aren’t a premium quality puzzle. There have been issues with fit, image reproduction, and delamination. BUT – as far as My Jigsaw Journal is concerned – they have one of the best catalogs of collages around. Collages make me extremely happy, so I put up with the less than outstanding quality. It’s just how it is. For me. You may not think it’s worth it, and that’s fine too.

When the bag was opened, I thought at first that there wasn’t much puzzle dust, but I was wrong. Much of it was still attached (barely) to the pieces, moving them around to sort brought about the dust storm. There were long thin pieces of backing, small bits, and plenty of it stayed on the pieces creating what I call hanging chads. Disappointing.

Within a few moments of starting to assemble the edge the tightness of the fit showed up – 10 pieces put together and the straight edge was curling up because of it. I expected the fuzzy image, so that wasn’t a surprise. Even with all these problems, because it was a collage with an image that was pleasing I still enjoyed myself and finished this puzzle pretty quickly.

So, who’s ready to reminisce/talk about drink mixes?

Ok, never heard of this one. And for the record…..EW! You probably can’t read it because the wording in the image is fuzzy, but it says “fortified corn starch beverage mix”. I’m gagging a little bit. Ick.

Any root beer drinkers out there? I don’t care for it myself, but if I did, one has to wonder how it would taste being made from a mix. It’s a “soft drink” right? It would be like getting a package of powder and adding water to make Pepsi or Coke with no carbonation. I acknowledge that as far as fussy eaters go, I’m one of the best – but this sounds horrible to me. Thoughts from anyone who enjoys root beer?

This one brings back memories. We mostly had kool-aid or flavor-aid on those occasions when we were allowed to drink sweet stuff; but when there was a really good sale (and mom could add a coupon) every once in a while – we got to have Country Time lemonade. My sisters and I loved it, probably because it was rare that we were allowed to have it. And what is it about pink lemonade that makes it so much cooler than regular lemonade? Whatever it is, we loved this. Though if I had it now, it would probably seem awful and way too sweet.

Very tight fit = puzzle standing up picture. It makes me happy. No apologies, excuses, or explanations. 😎