Summer Puzzles

Reentry into the heat of Kansas City we were so aptly avoiding at Castaway, has meant we have stayed in a pool or indoors since our return. (I exaggerate and generalize of course-in actuality there have been pleasant swings in our new ENO hammocks and lots of weed picking, as well as un-air-conditioned sweat-fests at Crossfit…oh, and ice cream at Sheridan’s too)

Inside however, we are enjoying being back with our old toys and have started some new hobbies- mostly puzzling!

Andi has joined Eli in the Minecraft world and they have loud fun together planting pumpkins and cruising away from creepers. Is Minecraft a puzzle? It is to me!

Oaks has not been much of a puzzling guy in his toddler days. I felt he was on the brink of pushing out of shape puzzles and into interlocking ones, and I found a box of spilled puzzles in the basement, so we sat down to play last week.

Andi has always had an uncanny ability to see where pieces fit in puzzles. When she was Oaks’ age, she was doing puzzles for 7 year olds. Working a puzzle with Andi today is an amazing thing to watch. Instead of picking up a piece and trying it in multiple locations (my method), Andi searches the pile of pieces carefully, analyzing in her head, and then places it with confidence into it’s locking piece partner.

Without the innate skill set of his older sister, Oaks plows into puzzles with his own strength: strength. He mostly pushes really hard until the piece fits…matching the colors or design is not yet part of his strategy. And yet, he’s getting it and loving it and asking to do them over and over. And also, he’s dumping them out and walking away with all the glory of a true two year old boy.IMG_5136

Eli and Andi got a word search book in a Castaway care package and have been practicing school work with it when I make them…no need to do it every day they assure me. No school for 18 more days!

And for me, as a long time home newspaper subscriber, I’ve discovered a hidden gem in our daily delivery. Crossword puzzles! I love words! I love puns! I sometimes love riddles and hard questions! How have I missed out on these for so long?!

Alas, I’m enjoying the laziness of these last few summer weeks with the kids sleeping past 8am and the schedule for the day quite relaxed. I’m puzzling and loving it.

Becoming a more “cagey” (hint: witty) “user” (hint: consumer) of “clues” (hint: helpful hint) that help me not to be a “boor” (hint: fool) as the summer days “erode” (hint: wear away).

Hope you have something fun to do today and can puzzle your way out of a problem if you’re stuck.


Big leaves, orange flowers, growing all on its own!

PS- One more family puzzle, what is growing out of our compost?!



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