When the days get shorter and it's dark all the time, I get the old urge to work a jigsaw puzzle. I'm a big fan of Americana-looking landscapes. Not a fan of the kind with wood pieces, the kind that are all the same color, the kind that glow in the dark, or the kind with less than 1000 pieces.
In 2008 when the jigsaw urge came upon me, our niece was living with us, with her cat and dog. I love the animals, they are awesome. However, the cat, who I shall refer to as Sage to protect her identity, also loved jigsaw puzzles. In the evenings I would sit on the couch with my card table all set up and work my puzzle while I watched TV, or sometimes just in silence. In the mornings, I would look at my puzzle to see that Sage had been playing with it while I slept. Sometimes just a few pieces were batted to the floor. Sometimes an entire section that I'd JUST FINISHED was scattered all over the place. It took a lot longer to work a puzzle with Sage in the house. Inevitably when I got to the end, there would be at least two pieces missing.
When our niece bought her own house and moved out, Greg and I gave her almost all of our furniture, because she had none. She was happy, we were happy. We wanted to buy new furniture, that we picked out ourselves, to replace the mish-mash we had accumulated over the years. My dresser was actually the childhood dresser of one of Greg's previous girlfriends. LOL It really does come from everywhere. Anyway, we gave her all our furniture and went shopping. Our new coffee table is glass, and big enough to work a 1000-piece puzzle on. It gets a little disorienting sometimes working a puzzle on the glass coffee table, because the coffee table is sitting on a Oriental-style rug with lots of movement and color to it. I could always put a big towel under there, to make a one-color background behind the puzzle I'm trying to work, but doesn't that seem like it borders on OCD or some other type of issue? I don't know.
To celebrate having no cat and a big coffee table, I bought a puzzle with a big announcement on the top of the box: "Wooden Pieces!" That sounded like a good idea. Sage the cat had bent lots of my puzzle pieces along the way and a nice, flat, fully-interlocked jigsaw puzzle had a lot of appeal. I picked a puzzle that was an impressionistic painting of a street scene in Italy. Beautiful. What I found out was, with an impressionistic painting there is no real pattern to the colors, making the puzzle really really hard. What didn't help was that the wood pieces would be harder to take out if you put one in the wrong place, which was easy to do because you could only go by shape of piece to figure out where it went. By the time I finished that stupid puzzle, I had two pieces left, two holes in the picture for pieces, but neither one of the pieces fit in either of the holes. At that point I hated that puzzle so much that I just laughed maniacally and threw the whole thing into the fireplace.
At the retirement community where I work, the residents are forever working jigsaw puzzles on a table in the arts and crafts room. There is a bookshelf in that room with about 30 puzzles on it. I have taken my puzzles in and traded them for ones on the shelf that I haven't worked yet. The Americana landscapes are popular among the residents, too, so I have lots to choose from.
I was about to start yakking about my card table, and how I wish I had better lighting, but the new puzzle I just dumped out of the box is calling to me!