Monday, March 23, 2009

Puzzling Preoccupation

Much is begin said about my puzzling attraction to puzzles. I'll use this post to answer some of the question.

No, I don't frame them. I take them apart and put them away until I want to do them again. I have several and I share them with my uncle at times. Puzzles are 100% recyclable. They are the perfect gift. If you hate it, you can find someone else to give it to who will love it. Many people in my family love puzzles. And even those who say they don't like them get hooked walking by on occassion. They almost always stop and try a few pieces.

I have been doing puzzles since I was big enough to stand at the table with Mama. I remember "helping" her when I was probably not much older than Sarah. I think the brain has to be wired for this. I love mysteries of any sort and figuring out how things work. I like fairly complicated puzzles. I don't want very simply ones. I'm done too fast. I have to have at least 750 pieces or better and the picture must be interesting or beautiful. Or both. I've been doing paintings lately and they tend to be the most difficult. Brushstrokes are a nightmare to figure out. Is it a leaf or a drop of paint?

I love sewing probably for the same reason I love puzzles. It is putting pieces together to form a picture. When you work puzzles, you think of nothing else. You are looking for patterns and it takes nearly your whole concentration. They are very theraputic and engrossing. But I do not sit for hours on end. I may but not usually. I usually sit down for a short time and work a section. I don't try and see the big picture from the beginning except to see where things go. I look at the small sections, a leaf, a knot on a tree, the way the snow lies in the current effort. I separate the outside from the inside and then sort by patterns, colors, and visible objects. Hence, the train came together very quickly.

Puzzles are very good to keep the brian active. They stimulate parts of the brain that are often affected in alzheimer's disease. The younger you start the better you are at them. They help develop other areas of the brain improve functions related to geometry and mathematics.

Everyone benefits from putting them together. If you do it as a family, as we did when my aunt, uncle and sisters were here, it is a lot of fun. Everyone works on a section but they will often find pieces you're looking for. One night three of us put together a 750 piece puzzle in about three hours time. That was astounding and we couldn't stop.

Sarah already has several puzzles and we sit and put them together with her. She needs help on some and others she has already learned for herself. She loves puzzles.

I see several weeks of work on the current puzzle. It is on a table, out of the way but conveniently located for me or anyone to work on it. I can work on it and listen to music or even listen to a program, bearing in mind I will miss a bit of the program here and there. But I"ve developed an ability to work on these and listen to other things. How many of you read and watch t.v.? My sisters and I all do.

So, you can see I am an avid puzzle fan. And I strongly encourage others to try them. Particularly if you need a strong diversion. It does work. Start small. A puzzle that is 250 pieces is very small and won't take forever. It is not overwhelming and will still present a challenge to the neophyte.

I'm off to bed now. Yes, very early for me. I took one of my Doxepin at 6 and by 9 p.m. I was groggy. I hope this is readable. It sure was hard to write. LOL

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