A Missing Puzzle Piece

I have been on a huge sautéed greens kick lately.  The grocery store where I buy produce has a deli section, and sometimes you can buy pre-made sautéed greens.  Which I love and buy whenever they have it (which is not often).  I’ve tried to make my own, but I feel like I’m not doing it right.  Mine turn out all wilted, which is ok I guess, but not as good as the crisp, tender texture of the ones that I buy.  I just bought some kale to try making it again, though, so I’m far from done trying to figure this out.  You would think that with the more complicated things I’ve made sautéed greens would be easy, but apparently not.

Piper has found the New Best Toy in the World.  Mike and I went to Home Depot last weekend and there was a survey at the bottom of our receipt that made the receipt extra long.  (By the way, does anyone actually fill out any of those store surveys?  I haven’t done this even once ever in my life.)  Mike carelessly crumpled up the receipt when we got home, and Piper’s eyes instantly became as big as saucers.  I’m not sure why… something about the sound of the crumple?  So Mike tossed the receipt to her, and she went crazy!  She ran around batting it back and forth, and she even carried it in her mouth up and down the stairs.  This was clearly the best toy in a long, long time!  So for the past several days Mike plays with the receipt with her in the evenings by throwing it around for her.  Her favorite is when he throws it up the stairs and she has to chase it without knowing which stair it will land on.  Another one of her favorite things is batting it underneath the railing to the basement and then running down all the stairs to retrieve it.  It’s crazy how much she likes it!  Interestingly, Mike thought the receipt was lost last night and crumpled up a new receipt for Piper to play with and she had no interest in it.  So there’s something special about that particular receipt.  Fortunately we found it underneath an end table, so we were in the clear and didn’t lose Piper’s Most Favorite Toy of All Time.  🙂

In other Piper news, I took Piper back to the vet for her six week check (six weeks of being on antibiotic injections), and she is doing great!  She was up 0.2 lb (which doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re a 6lb cat it’s actually a significant percentage of your body weight), and her kidney enzymes and her urine look good.  So now she and I are done with the antibiotic injections (at least until the next UTI?), and I’m giving her subcutaneous fluids every third day instead of every other day.  It’s awesome!  I think Piper was really ready for a break from all those injections!

So what have I been up to with all my free time now that I’m not giving twice daily antibiotic doses?  Well, Mike and I took a cooking class on Sunday afternoon with some friends.  It was fun!  The theme of the class was ‘Market to Table’, which basically meant that it was cooked with local ingredients that you can get from one of the year-round farmer’s markets (of which Pike Place is the most famous).  I am always interested in learning new cooking techniques and getting ideas for new ingredients so it was pretty interesting.  By chance, the cooking school happened to be in the same building that Mike and I used to live in when we lived in South Lake Union.  It was a little weird that we never went there when we lived right upstairs but now that we moved across town we went.  After the class we went next door to one of the best coffee shops in Seattle for a coffee (which we always do when we’re in the neighborhood… their coffee is so good!  It is so strange going in there now because most of the people that we know who worked there have long since moved on.  We used to know all of the baristas when we lived right upstairs!  It’s interesting going in there now and realizing how much has changed… and then realizing that we are at the point in our life in Seattle where we actually think of a lot of our time in Seattle as being in the distant past.  It’s been three years since we lived down there!

Some of you may remember that I ambitiously bought a 1500 piece puzzle and Mike and I worked on putting it together.  I was hoping to fully convert Mike to liking puzzles, but I was only partially successful.  He was a good sport about doing the puzzle occasionally, but he definitely didn’t enjoy it the way I do.  I actually think the most successful evening we had involving the puzzle was when he was watching an old-school Japanese samurai move from the 1940’s in all its dubbed glory while I puzzled several feet away at the dining room table.  It was really the best for both of us.  I was able to monitor the movie enough for Mike to make comments to me about it throughout so he was happy and I got to puzzle while hanging out with Mike so I was happy.

Anyway, we had one interesting puzzling evening a few weeks ago in which I was trying in vain to find one particular puzzle piece.  I had found all of the pieces around it, so it was just one empty place in a big area that was otherwise completed.  Mike and I teamed up to try to find that piece for an hour.  Mike kept saying they forgot to ship that one piece in the puzzle box, but I have done enough puzzles to know that there are always pieces you think are missing, but you find them later. I assured Mike he just had to “trust the process” and the piece would turn up.  However, we didn’t find that piece.  A day later we still hadn’t found it.  I was starting to secretly doubt “the process” and wonder if we had somehow lost the piece.  Or maybe Piper had batted it off the table and under some furniture?  I did some discreet checking but still didn’t find the piece.  I had finally given up on it and was working on another part of the puzzle when I realized that one of the pieces I had already put together didn’t quite fit after all.  I jiggled it back and forth a little before determining it actually didn’t fit for sure.  I pulled it off and realized with a flash of joy (yes, joy.  Apparently finding puzzle pieces fills me with joy.  Don’t judge.) that it was the piece I was missing!  I stuck it in and got the same feeling I used to get playing Dungeons and Dragons on Atari in the 80’s.  You would go through all these mountains getting supplies, boats, keys, arrows, etc, you would kill wild beasts and monsters and then you would finally find two halves of a crown.  And when you got the second half, the whole screen lit up, the two pieces of the crown fit together, and there was the sound of a gong.  Fun stuff.  But anyway, that moment of finding the piece felt the same to me as the moment of finding the second half of the crown… very final and satisfying.  My faith in the puzzling process is restored!

Anyway, that was a long rabbit trail, but before I leave the puzzle topic entirely, I want to make sure to say that Mike and I finished the puzzle!

Our gnome puzzle... completed down to the last piece!

Our gnome puzzle… completed down to the last piece!


Surprisingly, Mike is now proud of the puzzle and doesn’t want to take it apart.  Or at least that’s what he says.  What is probably more likely is that he actually doesn’t want to take it apart because I already have another 1500 piece puzzle on deck and he doesn’t want to get roped into working on another puzzle.  And we definitely don’t have room on our dining room table for a completed puzzle and in-progress puzzle.

I’ve been trying to feed Piper healthy foods for her kidneys, and I have a wide assortment of foods to give her.  The problem is that there is no rhyme or reason to what food she wants on any given day.  So I am basically guaranteed that she will be in the mood for one of the six foods I have for her (one and only one), but I don’t know which one.  And she changes her mind each day, so the one thing I do know is that there’s a very low percentage of chance that she’ll want the same food she had yesterday.  And if it’s not the food she’s in the mood for she won’t eat it.  It’s a guessing game basically every day.  So that’s usually a fun part of each morning… which food will Piper want this morning?  Apparently the phrase “hunger makes the best sauce” doesn’t apply to cats.  For them only the best sauce makes the best sauce.  And furthermore, that sauce changes from day to day.

Piper likes the food she likes and snoozing on laps.

Piper likes the food she likes and snoozing on laps.


The Starbucks a few blocks from our house showcases different local art each month, and I always make a point of stopping in occasionally to look at the art.  This month there’s some cool prints on slats of reclaimed wood.  One of them had part of a quote from the Velveteen Rabbit on it that I thought was so sweet!

“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” – The Velveteen Rabbit

I messaged Mike a picture of the art, and Mike messaged back.  “What?  Your eyes drop out?  That doesn’t sound cool.”

And then it turned out that Mike has never read The Velveteen Rabbit.  *Sigh*  I love that story!

On a completely unrelated note, I have found that whenever I wear my tall boots to the grocery store I forget to bring my reusable grocery bags.  (If you don’t know what reusable grocery bags are or never use them, you definitely don’t live in Seattle.  Plastic bags aren’t legal here so grocery stores have paper bags, but you have to pay five cents for each one to encourage people to use reusable bags.  So everyone mostly uses reusable bags.  Those nickels add up fast.)  Anyway, I always remember to put the reusable bags by the front door, but then somehow when I’m walking to the store I realize that I don’t have them anymore.  I finally realized what’s causing this.  My tall boots have a big long zipper on them, and zipping up those two tall boots seems to take exactly long enough to make me forget the reusable bags.  I always remember my bags when I wear my shorter boots.  But those zippers are only about a third the length of the tall boots.  So somewhere in the time between zipping the length of my shorter boots and the length of my longer boots, I forget the bags.  Interesting.  Now that I realize what’s causing my forgetfulness, I wonder if I will remember the bags regardless of my boot height?  Awareness of the cause of the problem is halfway to a solution, right?  😉

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!



Filed under Animals, Cats, Cooking, Life in Seattle, The Arts in Seattle

4 responses to “A Missing Puzzle Piece

  1. Jim

    You should get a bottle of puzzlecoat (similar to white glue) coat the puzzle, frame it and put it on your wall. Love Dad

    • I thought about it! But we really don’t have a good place to hang it, and I loved the puzzle so much I want to do it again in the future… maybe in six months or a year! 🙂

  2. Nate

    The boots and bags thing sounds to me a little like a ‘Senior Moment’. Glad to hear that the cat is doing well. Saved a life. I just completed a 1000 piece puzzle (1026 actually, 27 x 38) and I think I threw my back out in the process.

    • I wanted to avoid calling it a senior moment, but I think, sadly, you may be right. 😉 There should be a book of back exercises specifically for people who puzzle frequently. You’re right that it can be really hard on the back!

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