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On Silent Wings

Seek a little silence. Escape from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. Unplug for a time.

All good advice to help a person regain some balance and perspective.

Does this seem impossible? Too many obligations to others? Lack of transportation or mobility?

Perhaps a picture will need to substitute.

This puzzle, assembled a little more than a year ago, gives a peaceful winter view. Can you imagine yourself following a trail along a creek after an early snowfall? Sounds are muffled. The snow sparkles as the sun sets. And then–the majestic snowy owl glides past on silent wings. No harm to you — he’s seeking much smaller creatures who have strayed from their cozy dens.

What’s one way you find calm in your life?

Starr Tree Farm — a winter story set in Wisconsin — includes the heroine seeking solace in a walk on the Christmas tree farm. Two collies, Taffy & Cocoa, hike along for security and humor. Find details here: https://amzn.to/2zqIQEw

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Farewell Autumn?

In the United States, Thanksgiving is past and thoughts have turned to the end-of-year holidays.

However, autumn is a colorful season where I live and let’s give it one more shout-out.

This puzzle, one of many assembled during 2022, features many harvest and autumn themes. The banner proclaims a Harvest Moon Festival. Orange pumpkins and bright, new straw give vibrant color. Trees wear their autumn best. The horses hold their heads as if enjoying cool air with a sent of delicious grain on the breeze. Let’s dance! One last party before the wind turns cold and brings snow with a different sort of beauty.

Looking for a sweet romance to go with the season? I suggest SEED OF DESIRE. Concentrated from August to November, this small-town contemporary features interesting people — and dogs. Always a winning combination. And advice from a wise old woman — You can tell a lot about a man by how he treats a dog.

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2RDFgxH

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Fun and Puzzles

The manufacturer calls it a “puzzle within a puzzle”. At 550 pieces and a nice size for my coffee table (puzzles are for TV reruns, news, and other programs where sound is more important that picture), I’ve assembled this more than once.

Authors are cautioned not to use cliches — or at least very few.

So they can let the pent-up cliches flew free finding them in this scene.

My personal favorite is the fellow in the lower left corner.

Does a certain one catch your fancy?

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Rise Above It All

Up! Up! And Away!

Have you ever wanted to just get up in the air, away from all the clutter, and see the big picture?

One item on my personal “bucket list” is a ride in a hot-air balloon. I’ll need to be a paying passenger: balloon pilots are not among my friends.

Now which one looks the best? The hippo has a certain charm. Then again, the bees on the honeycomb make a statement. Fierce like the dragon? Perhaps the goose laying the golden egg. A mushroom? Snowman? Pig or sheep?

Any one, with the right pilot and weather conditions, would help you “rise above it all” for a brief time.

Until then — I’ll enjoy the puzzle.

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Learning Limits

Have you made and kept a New Years resolution for 2022?

Have you set one or more goals?

The experts (I have no idea how you get to be an expert in these sorts of things.) counsel a person to set goals that are attainable. That’s right — if it’s impossible and you know it — don’t bother to claim it as a goal. You’re only setting yourself up to fail.

Not sure about you — but I don’t need to go looking for more failure.

Sometimes, a person doesn’t realize the goal is unattainable — you know, you think you can, you give it your best effort, and …ooops. Flat on your face.

Like thousands of other people — I reconnected with assembling jigsaw puzzles during the pandemic.

Most of them have worked out fine. More pieces usually means more days to complete. My table is 19″ wide so I’ve learned to check dimensions before starting. However, this one was a puzzle too far — or too dark. After just over two weeks of working during TV news, football games, and drama re-runs, I decided to let the puzzle win. It came from the library and they always include a slip of paper asking if pieces are missing. I’m sure I don’t know — perhaps the next patron will be more patient, or have better eyesight.

Have I learned a lesson? Well, the next puzzle I assembled had bright colors.

When setting goals — ask — Can I actually do this? I’d hate to see all your plans turn into a “puzzle too far.”

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Santa Makes It Complete

This blog has been filled with puzzles and memories evoked by their pictures during the last number of weeks. Christmas has been a popular theme — many of the puzzles featured snow, carolers, and holly wreaths.

Today we bring you a representation of Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, St. Nick, or “The Old Man Himself.”

With the aid of little girls, one dressed as an angel, plus a lamb, wreath, and gifts; this Santa wishes MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all!!!

Did Santa visit your house? Did he leave a little Christmas magic?

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Pick A Favorite

The Christmas holiday season is all around us. A favorite activity becomes either a drive or walk in the neighborhood to look at the holiday lights.

Cities and small towns decorate street light poles. Churches and some businesses decorate inside and out. Many homeowners fill the yard with seasonal figures. (Inflatables tend to look sad laying down on the job during the day.) Homes and apartments sprout lights in the windows and trees in the living room.

This puzzle displays nine common Christmas decorations. (I’m not sure when the penguin joined the group.) Do you have a favorite?

I think I would pick the holly and cookie. Let’s keep the snowman for January, shall we?

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Keep the Light Burning

The holidays of December tend to feature light. Candles are central in the Menorah, the Advent Wreath, and marking the days of Kwanza. Trees, inside and outside of buildings, are covered with lights. Decorations are lit.

While many of us keep these extra lights burning only during the days with the shortest amount of daylight — some lights need to be year round. These are the lights that show the way for others.

Lighthouse keeps dared not take a day (or night) off. So let’s have the holiday party at their house!

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Small Town, Big Celebration

The size of the village, town, or city is not an indication of the amount of Christmas spirit within the citizens.

When I was a child, our village of less than 400 residents celebrated large. Green garlands were strung across Main Street from one light pole to another. An evergreen tree was decorated with lights. Children were treated to a Christmas party (Saturday before the Big Day) at the local theater. Santa made an appearance and handed out brown paper bags of treats. The school held a holiday concert. Churches opened their doors for special programs.

Like many puzzle artists, this one takes us back a number of decades to show an idealized scene. (Do puzzle buyers like horses? Are they nostalgic?)

I see a Community Center, City Hall, and the largest house in town all decked out for party time. How would you caption this one?

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At the Farm

Farm animals, especially dairy cattle, need to be tended twice a day. Farmers don’t take many vacations unless they can find a person to hire to do “chores.”

This does not mean they can’t have fun or be social. Imagine a circle, size dependent on transportation, where you could travel and return in an evening, or between morning and evening chores. Before modern roads and automobiles, things within the circle were church, a town with a variety of stores, perhaps a doctor, dentist, or lawyer, and neighbors — who were often both friend and relative.

With a large house, a serviceable barn, and neighbors within sight– this puzzle artist has captured and idealized many real things. I can imagine this farm on the very edge of town or perhaps the farmer is hosting relatives from the city who are making the snowman and getting acquainted with the calf while the daughter of the house mails a letter.

Can you make a story from the scene?