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Puzzles, Puzzles Everywhere–and not a place to eat



By: Sandra Elzie


Recently our son and daughter-in-law came to visit and number one son and number one hubby decided to tackle a “Super Challenging”, 1,000-piece Puzz 3-D puzzle of an Alpine Castle.  (Pictured at the left)  It was completed within the week.

Once that was complete, my husband still had the puzzle bug, so next thing I know, I came home from a meeting to find a 2,000-piece puzzle spread out on my dinette table. 

That was almost five weeks ago.  (Need I say more?)  My husband isn’t a quitter, so he’s bound and determined to finish the thing even though he’s to the nasty part where it’s grass all across the bottom and did you notice that it takes up the entire dinette table?  The thing is huge.


So, once progress slowed and it became much more difficult to find matches, he moved the extra pieces to my dining room table.

Then he “borrowed” my office chair, since it’s on rollers, and he methodically rolls around the table with one piece until he finds it’s mate and then he starts at the beginning with those two pieces and rolls around the table until he finds a third.  When he gets four in a group, he starts with one piece again.

So, if you’ve kept track, I’ve lost my dinette table, my dining room table and my office chair.  Fortunately, I still have my patience in tact. (g)

However, if it’s not finished by Thanksgiving, all bets are off and I’m reclaiming my table!  I can’t imagine serving turkey and dressing on TV trays or on the breakfast bar.

Our son and daughter-in-law will be here again in the latter part of October for a week (his company has an office in Atlanta and he has to come down from N.C. for a week), so I’ve ordered two more 3-D puzzles— a 1,077-piece Taj Mahal and 857-piece Millennium Falcon.

What does your family like to do as hobbies?  Has a hobby ever taken over your home?


Oh, and one of you who leaves a comment on today’s post just might win the 2,000-piece puzzle—if he ever finishes it.  (Hope that doesn’t deter you from commenting!!)  (Picture me gleefully smiling as I wrap it up and take it to the post office to mail it to YOUR house. LOL)




Marilyn Baron - October 10, 2011 - 7:30 am

I had a good laugh about your puzzle predicament.I’m not a puzzle person and I don’t want to introduce a puzzle into my house. I have too much I have to get rid of already. I guess the closest hobby my daughter had was making ceramic pigs. They were cute but all over the house. She baked them in my oven. The thing we all seem to like to do together is watch TV. Not very creative, but, there it is.

Dianna Love - October 10, 2011 - 8:31 am

I will pass on the wonderful puzzle prize offer – lol – but I do love puzzles. That’s one reason I think I fell in love with writing – stories are puzzles to me. I dont’ have the time – or space – to have an ongoing puzzle, but I will join in when one is started during the holidays when visiting family. One reason I don’t start one is I’m like your husband – I won’t quit until it’s solved. Good luck with that because once he beats the 2000 piece one…he’ll want a bigger challenge.

Susan - October 10, 2011 - 9:06 am

My mother is a puzzleholic. She almost always has one going. She even goes out to her place on the lake just to work on a puzzle. I like them but I’m usually to busy to spend much time on them. I do like to put the last piece in! We have done a 3-D of the Capital. Pretty cool. Thanks for the early morning laugh.

Jessica Matthews - October 10, 2011 - 9:26 am

Sandy, oh how funny! Of course, I’m the one who takes over space at my house. When I scrapbook, I always leave everything out until the album is finished…Sewing is almost as bad!

Maxine Davis - October 10, 2011 - 9:29 am

That’s funny. Keep him away from your desk!

DH’s hobby is working on his 1949 tractor. Yes, it works great; just have a “few adjustments” to make. Me? I crochet. I usually have an afghan that gets bigger and bigger until I nap under it a while and crochet a while, nap, crochet.

Pamela Mason - October 10, 2011 - 9:42 am

This is not a comment.
This is NOT a comment! LOL!
I love decorating, especially for the holidays. But I can’t do anything simple, oh no… I keep my pumpkins after Halloween & paint them white, antiqued gold,& faux mercury glass silver for Thanksgiving centerpieces. And I have to put a nail in a baseball, tie it to the Christmas lights, & throw them all over the trees in the yard to make my display.
When I don’t take his time for these outlandish ideas (you see, I’m the idea person, he’s the facilitator), he’s restoring a pre-civil war shotgun, or developing black & white photos in his darkroom, or running his model train.
Whatever it takes to keep him happy… until you need your furniture back!

Tami Brothers - October 10, 2011 - 11:01 am

This is tooooo funny, Sandy. AND I love all these non comments (LOL). I LOVE puzzles. My favorite story is when a few years ago my mother-in-law and father-in-law brought my niece out for a month during the summer (to play with The Kid). Thinking I needed a few things to keep them busy, I bought a really cool under the sea puzzle scene. It is beautiful. We put it out on the table. The kids would work on it a bit here and there. Grandma stepped in to help a bit. Then Grandpa was there. After a while, I would look up and see Grandpa, Grandma and hubby at the table hunting for pieces. Where were the kids? Sitting in the living room watching tunes on the BIG TV.

In their defense, I did get a pretty tough puzzle. I figured it would last them the whole month. And yes, it did last the adults a good 3 weeks… When I suggested a second puzzle I had bought, all three adults glared at me. We have since glued the under the sea puzzle together, framed it and it now hangs in our fishy guest bathroom. :)

Thanks for a terrific laugh Sandy. We have not tried the 3D puzzles yet. I think that might be our next venture, though.

Have a terrific week to you all.


Tammy Schubert - October 10, 2011 - 11:21 am

Very funny. I admire his determination and persistence.

So how are you managing without an office chair?

JB Hunt - October 10, 2011 - 11:41 am

Sandy, I’m almost afraid to comment. My husband and I are running out of space, too. Hang in there!

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 1:50 pm

Hi Marilyn,
Thanks for commenting. We watch TV together also (well, usually movies vs TV) but this puzzle thing is crazy.

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 1:52 pm

Hi Dianna,
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, I know what you mean about wanting to constantly “UP” the challenge, but I think he’ll have to give himself time to get over this one.

Oh, he has (5) 3-D puzzles standing in the wings. Ugh

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 2:00 pm

Hi Susan,
My husband and your mother would probably be Buds. Yes, he’s a puzzleholic also.

We haven’t done the 3-D of the Capital, but we did R2D2, The Milimium Falcon & New York City…..3,141 pieces….I DO NOT recommend it to anyone. He did most of it by himself.

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 2:02 pm


Thanks for stopping over. I don’t scrapbook, but I do sew…or I used to before I started writing. Pins & little bits of material and thread everywhere…ah, brings back memories. (sigh)

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 2:04 pm

I crochet also…or used to….yeah, you got it, before I started seriously writing.

Your DH’s 1949 tractor sounds really neat…Dick’s other thing is woodworking…but only the end result makes it into the house (g)

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 2:06 pm

Okay….so, thanks for NOT commenting. (g)

That nail in the baseball thing sounds interesting….can I come watch this year? I didn’t know about your extreme creative side…I’m envious.

Your hubby sounds as multi-talented as my own. Thank good one of his interests is the computer so he can do most of my techie stuff.

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 2:08 pm

Now, you’ve turned the tables and given me a good laugh. The adults doing the puzzle meant for the kids is about like the parent taking care of the pet that we got for the kid to teach him responsibility for a living thing. (need I say I’ve been there? More than once?)

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 2:09 pm

Office chair? Who needs an office chair? Just kidding…I recently pitched a book to an editor from St Martin’s Press, and….well, I think you get it.

Anyway, to answer your question, I have a cane-back upholstered chair beside my desk…I just moved it over. Thank goodness I’m seeing the end to this madness.

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 2:12 pm

Oh, and Tammy, I forgot one thing.
You mentioned that my hubby is determined & persistent…..oh yes.

I could have guess that right up front when I turned him down when he invited me to lunch one day, and he showed up at my desk the very next day and asked again.

Then, when I went out with him (yes, I was a pushover) he promptly told me that he intended to marry me. (Yeah right) Now, several decades later, I’m sooooo glad he was determined & persistent.

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 2:14 pm

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Don’t worry, I think I’ll either frame the thing …like Tami…or burn it. I’ll leave that up to Dick….but I know we haven’t dismantled any of the 3-D puzzles yet….especially that NY one. It was a bear.

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 2:17 pm

Oh, Tammy, I just realized that I failed to mention that I pitched to St Martins….standing up! It was a unique situation and was going to be really, really quick, so I didn’t bother to sit down.

Geez, left out the most important fact…must have been a blond moment. (g)

Sia Huff - October 10, 2011 - 4:58 pm

Sandy, too funny. My hubby gets the puzzle bug every once in a while to relax. Everyone will add a few piecws at the beginning, but he does most of the work.
As a family, we watch movies or play board games or cards.
With Turkey Day a little over a month away – will you need to put on the timer?

Linsey Lanier - October 10, 2011 - 8:08 pm

Sandy, I don’t want the puzzle either, but that castle looks fascinating. No, I really don’t want it. :) Hubby has (re-)taken up chess recently and we have a TV table with problems we solve every night. It’s funny how the longer you’re married, the more territorial you get about the rooms in the house, LOL. Enjoyed the post. :)

Debbie Kaufman - October 10, 2011 - 8:57 pm

No, step away from mailing me the puzzle and no one gets hurt :)

I so would not have the patience for that, LOL!

Pam Asberry - October 10, 2011 - 10:05 pm

I am terrible at puzzles, Sandy, but my oldest son and his girlfriend spent a few days here recently and they dug a puzzle out of the closet and put it together, along with a little bit of help from the rest of us. The 3-D puzzles look like fun; maybe I’ll get one of those to try over the holidays. Fun post!

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 10:32 pm

When our kids come over, besides puzzles, we play cards (Uno or Hand & Foot), Dominos, but when it’s just hub & I, it’s Cribbage.

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 10:34 pm

Hi Linsey,
Yes! I agree about the space….and I usually want more of it than him…guess that’s why I noticed so quickly how much of my space he was using. (g) Kind of reminds me of Nora Robert’s comment about her husband breathing her air. Classic.

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 10:35 pm

Oh, Linsey, If you think the castle is fascinating (1,000 pieces), you should see N.Y at 3,141 pieces. Oh, my goodness!

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 10:35 pm

Hi Deb,
Yes ma’am. Got it….no puzzle!

Sandra Elzie - October 10, 2011 - 10:37 pm

Yes, 3-D puzzles are fun. We bought several on E-Bay…got a couple of them really cheap…and paid more than we should have on a couple others. We kinda figured they balanced out in the end. lol

Rich Von Tersch - October 12, 2011 - 4:00 pm

My puzzles do not take up much room. They are in books (Ken Ken, Sudoko, Jumbles, etc.).

Sandra Elzie - October 12, 2011 - 4:26 pm

Oh, hubby loves Sudoko and even those crossword puzzles where you have a blank grid and the list of clues…and you have to figure out where to start and all that. Ugh.

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