I thought it was time to change things up and post an update from the CP, instead of Nora.
I’m nearly six weeks out from hip replacement and will honestly say the hip is doing great. (My right knee — the first site of arthritis — doesn’t like things right now, but PT and massage and ice/heat help in that respect.) The surgeon’s office said I could leave the cane at home 10 days ago (and honestly, I was carrying it most of the time). There are a few restrictions and I try to be careful about weather and walking outside.
Back in the fall, Nora proposed a smaller girls’ trip to the spa for a respite from winter and life. Once I ascertained games would play NO part in the spa week, I was in. So last Sunday, Nora, JoAnne and I set out west to Nemacolin.
It was a pretty simple plan: some treatments, room service meals and time to chill. Plus, maybe construct a puzzle or two.
Those first three things fell into place nicely. That last one? Nearly broke our will to live.
On Sunday night, Nora asked us to choose which puzzle to do first.
JoAnne and I opted for the cheerful, colorful, spring-like cupcakes. We soon learned that was a front for the depths of hell.
Monday evening before dinner we poured out the pieces then commenced the search for the edges, dividing the rest among colors. Since there are four yellow cupcakes, five red/pink ones, two greens dividing into color was the first exercise in frustration.
At one point, one of us noticed there were letters on the back of the pieces, but we thought using them would be “cheating.”
Poor, deluded puzzlers.
Four hours in, JoAnne looked at the instructions: divide into letters. 🤦♀️
Honestly, it still didn’t help.
I decided to gather the purple pieces – there was only one purple cupcake. Which should have helped, but really didn’t.
The pieces were either horizontal or vertical IDENTICAL SHAPES so a piece could fit in one of many places.
And let’s add that the clear photo on the box did not translate into the magnification to make the puzzle.
The fates were stacked against us. Nora, as you’ve learned from other puzzle sagas, is not one to leave a puzzle undone so we were all bound to finish.
The puzzle mat, the extra working pads took over the dining room table. We’ve eaten off the catering table every night. The housekeepers, the butlers, the room service people all got caught up in the excitement of watching the puzzle grow.
“Look how far you’ve gotten!”
“The colors are so pretty!”
They cheered us on every step of the way. We met their enthusiasm with jaundiced expressions.
Fortunately we had those services to get us out of the room. Nora worked every morning and got a nice chunk of vacation pages done. JoAnne and I got some reading done. I snapped some photos.
On Thursday afternoon we had a paint class. I just wanted to play with colors that would bow to my expectations. Nora and Jo found a pretty tropical scene they loved. We all walked out of the studio happy.
And yet, we kept heading back to the dining room table, determined to beat that puzzle into submission. On Thursday morning – day FOUR – I finally realized the letters had to go from top to bottom. That key helped for about 5 minutes because the pieces STILL fit in more than one place.
You know it’s bad when Nora threatened to take a scissor to pieces just to get them to fit. She took to calling it The Puzzle of Satan.
I referred to it as that F-ing Puzzle. I’d have a massage and the therapist would ask what I had planned for the rest of the day and all relaxation would flee as I explained the puzzle and it’s hold on us. I kept saying “at least I didn’t buy this one.” And I believe at one point I said it was worse than playing games. All true.
We persevered. Until we reached our limit and just left pieces where they fit, picture be damned.
We finished on Friday afternoon and left the puzzle in place so our cheerleaders could see the finished product. Tonight we may take it apart and safely burn it. Or not.
In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the last few hours of relaxation (or is it really the ONLY few?) before it’s time to head home.
On a different note, I must offer a correction: Nora challenged me to a dance-off at the May Girls Spa Week when she shared that my surgery went well. In her excitement that it was finally done, she forgot that I will not attend Girls Spa this year as I’ll be playing the role of Mother of the Groom that week. So I’ll dance, but not for any scoreboard. 💃
That’s all for now! I have to cram in that last bit of relaxation.