07 May2006


Between shopping for produce at the local markets, planning the meals, cooking the meals, eating the meals, writing about the meals or dishes and eventually pooping the meals, Marketman and family do manage to do other things in between while at the coast… a stroll on a beach, a swim, a brisk walk or game of tennis to burn up calories, read a book or chat with friends. But as the hours grow longer and the heat bears down, we sometimes retreat to an airconditioned living room and pull out a jigsaw puzzle… I will be honest…I don’t have the patience to put together a 500-1,000 piece puzzle. I can do it, I just don’t enjoy it that much anymore. So my daughter is thrilled when we have guests that are not only obsessive compulsive but also have the patience of oxen. Over the Holy Week holiday, my daughter and our guests made two huge and rather difficult puzzles…of what else but FOOD. The first puzzle is of several trout in a brook. What made this extra challenging was the unusual straight or rectangular pieces that hooked together in several different directions… they did that 500+ piece puzzle on good Friday and it took two of them just 6-7 hours to complete!

The second puzzle was of a still life of fruit that had a wide variety of patterns and colors and they did that one on Black Saturday in less than 6 hours. puzz2 Doing puzzles with young children is a great activity. It encourages them to look at different combinations or ways of fitting pieces together. It encourages them to sort pieces by color or pattern at the start of the activity so that finding their proper spot on the puzzle is easier and more logical. Of course they also find the straight edged pieces so they can build the perimeter of the puzzle and work their way in… All of this with the purpose of seeing just how long they can keep their attention focused on the task at hand. My daughter seems to have an incredible ability to stay focused for up to several hours. I have to say, I am most impressed by this stick-to-it-ness. And she is so thrilled when she has completed the entire puzzle. In fact, she has taken to hiding the last piece so that she is certain she is the one who “completes” the puzzle. In the day and age of televisions, computers, electronic games, cell phones, etc., it is really rather nice to step back and do something as basic and satisfying as a jigsaw puzzle!



  1. ajb says:

    That’s nice. Now see if you can hook her onto gardening or fishing, then you won’t need to go to the market so often!

    May 7, 2006 | 6:11 am


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  3. wysgal says:

    When I went on my first luxury cruise (I was 15 or so then) I refused to participate in any of the onboard youth activities. So what to do when you’re at sea for 7 days straight … I spent most of my time in the “puzzle room” where random passengers could come in throughout the week and just piece together bits and bobs every now and then.

    It kept me occupied all right, but the patience required for these jigsaw puzzles leave them best reserved for long leisurely vacations.

    May 7, 2006 | 9:24 am

  4. Wilson Cariaga says:

    i don’t enjoy assembling puzzles ever since, but i always like to have one framed in glass or maybe turn it into a nice table it will look good. . .maybe. . .

    May 7, 2006 | 10:34 am

  5. Luds says:

    Puzzles require patience and strategy. My husband would separate the pieces by colour tones/shades and put them in different plastic bags; then he begins this “jeu de patience” by connecting the edged pieces of the frame. He loves the challenge of connecting 1,000pcs in 3 days (after work hours only)coming back often to the board to look and put in a few pieces or so. This is also a challenging game of fun for others(not me,ouf)and I’m glad this hasn’t been taken over by the high tech games that flood the markets now.

    May 7, 2006 | 5:05 pm

  6. nikka says:

    jigsaw puzzles are amusing, but i prefer crosswords. i’m going to order a huge one (8×8 feet) and hang it up on the back wall of my clasroom so my students have a project to work on year-long. :)

    May 8, 2006 | 9:30 am

  7. Anne says:

    i love doing puzzles. I used to do it all the time. I even do my friend’s puzzles for her to hang in her house. What I did was to seperate the pieces by their shapes and place them in bags. It was much easier that way than separating them by colors.

    May 8, 2006 | 9:44 am


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