On the puzzle assembly front, the Springbok bridge scene we’re working on is proving to be a major challenge, more challenging than any Ravensburger we’ve done. We now write down the start date, in this case, 3/30/2020, inside the puzzle box. We include the year to avoid any confusion. Right now, we’re convinced that pieces must be missing. 

All of that aside, I predict completion before next Monday.


Can you hear the vacuum cleaning running? Well, it is. Joan just found the one very aggravating piece we were looking for all day yesterday. I’m not making this up! Shevery nearly sucked it up into oblivion. Its color matched that of our wood floors.

Back to the blog ……….

To quote Yul Brynner (imagine his “resonant” voice),“it’s a puzzlement” when birds fly full speed crashing into your front door. Last year we had a veritable plague of kamikaze birds doing just that all day long —— very disruptive!

(Digression Alert!) 

Technically, and here again we get into the literal definition of words. Kamikaze is a “suicidal attack”. If you’re not dead, you’re not a kamikaze anything. The birds were not killing themselves but I chose the word anyway remembering a clip from a WW II documentary where a Japanese man is relaying his experience and at the bottom of the screen he’s identified as a “former kamikaze pilot”. Apparently, not a very good one.

So, rather than use the rest of the world’s resources and information via the internet, we opted to visit the quaint “feed and seed” store in the local village looking for a solution. In the process, the store’s owner told us about an acquaintance of hers who hung rubber snakes on the front of their home to deter the birds. Once you deter the birds, they become deterred, right?

(I must digress here. Can’t help it! Shaun Spicer quickly regretted ever using the word deterred (de-turd?).Depending on how you say “I will not be deterred”, it can have the opposite effect.)

The feed and seed folks did not sell rubber snakes. The owner suggested trying the Dollar Store. Viola! There they were (pictured)! Just one pair sitting all alone on a bare shelf. Cost? One dollar a piece. I tacked them up on the columns as pictured and that was the end of the kamikaze assault on our home.  

The next day, a neighbor walking his dog noticed them and asked if he could join our cult.

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