everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…

Of the two puzzles that I bought,
this is the one that did not suck
My birthday weekend is over. Despite compromised health (intermittent vertigo) and finances, it was a good one. There was pizza (delicious) and cake (wonderful), along with a puzzle on Friday night. We finished it before heading off to sleep.

Saturday, we managed to sleep in a little before heading out for the big adventure. We were hoping for a fun time wandering and shopping at a Craft Fair and Flea Market - part of the community celebration in St. C of MN. It didn't turn out to be the biggest and best event ever, but we did manage to make a couple of purchases (including some of the hottest mini donuts I've ever tried to eat).
First candidate for "new house kitty"

After that, we drove around greater St. C, to see what we could see. There is a fun antique store downtown. There were scads of garage sales, though we were mostly drive-by viewing rather than stopping at those. We wandered past what appeared to be a headshop, and then down a fancy street in a fancy neighborhood that ended at the golf course. We hadn't even realized that they had a golf course until we stumbled upon it!
Second candidate for "new house kitty"

Next was lunch. We started at a sports bar in St. C, but it was beyond packed and understaffed so we kept moving. The second choice was completely amazing (read about it in the sidebar here). My companions had a taco salad and a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich, both of which came to the table hot and delicious-smelling. My choice was a batter-fried chicken sandwich that was as big as at least two, maybe three fast food sandwiches, and so hot that I burned my tongue on it to the point of a callous. It was just too good to wait. It came with enough french fries to feed three people three separate meals. At about $7, it's an absolute steal. I would drive back there just for the sandwich!

Headed back home after a terrific, filling lunch, we decided to stop at The Farm (Chicken Acres) to see the kitties. There are always a bunch of them there, suitable for chasing and sometimes petting. They range in size from just-born to hefty toms. There were a couple of standouts this time around - a medium sized gray that was so into rubbing himself on ankles that he'd flip completely over on his head, and a smallish tiger with froofy fur and just the right balance of sweet and skittish.

And they called her Crazy Ears
We came home from the farm happier and more relaxed from our kitty time, but also smelling of foreigners and inspiring confusion and distrust from the household felines. The dog didn't seem to care very much either way. She was just glad we were back (and that I handed over my chicken sandwich leftovers!) It must be a peaceful existence to be a dog, I would think, and she's a particularly good one.
The puzzle that sucked all the way
into a realm beyond human suffering

Mid-afternoon, then, we started on puzzle number two. It was quite similar to puzzle number one - a basic photo of paint cans, compared to a scattering of bottle caps - but infinitely more difficult. The caps are printed, of course, with various lettering and images. The paint cans, though, have only the varying shades to differentiate them - and are far, far too similar to each other. It took FOREVER to finish that puzzle, and it was so frustrating and annoying that I campaigned hard throughout that we should just take it outside and burn it.
I do love the dark eyed ones...

The family got up a little earlier than I did this morning. They were headed for church, and I was going to return home. Hadn't spent time with my own family in several days, and there were the usual practical matters to attend. Before we all left, though, we jammed through an hour of puzzle working, leaving about 75 pieces when they absolutely had to get going.

They finished it this evening. Worst puzzle ever!

But a really good weekend. Relaxing, warm, comfortable, and filled with lots of little joys and the sorts of things that it takes a really, really good friend to know. Combining that with a couple of text conversations and the continuing affection of Thursday's text and FB message barrage leaves me feeling extra loved and happy. Lucky to be living this life.

[the title quotation is from Timothy Leary]

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