Cold outside? It’s Puzzle Time!

Alas, November has come and gone. In less than 3 weeks, Christmas will be here. Then New Year’s. That is a lot of indoor time with family! When it gets freezing cold outside, I tend to crank out more jigsaw puzzles. I should do a big post on all the Springbok puzzles I completed in 2016. Most of which I purchased from thrift stores. Until then, here are a few I have completed this year.

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‘Golden Sunset’ released in 2006 – 1,500 pieces

This one my husband bought me for Christmas one year. I finally got around to finishing it and find out one of my cats took off with an edge piece. No idea where it went. LOL

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‘Bear Lake’ in Estes Park, CO released in 2012 – 500 pieces

A score from one of the thrift stores I go to. This is cool because it’s complete and it’s close to home. Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park is beautiful! Perhaps one day I will show you!

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‘Knit Knacks’ released in 2010 – 1,000 pieces

A friend loaned me one her Springbok puzzles. We switch puzzles with each other and try not to get duplicates. This way we work on many other different puzzles. ūüôā

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‘Snow Leopard’ released in 1979 – 500 pieces

A thrift store find that has all of the pieces to it as well. You’d be surprised how many I’ve gotten complete from there! Usually there’s a piece or 2 missing. Not this time. All that white was very tedious though. Ugh! At least it’s done now! Whew!

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‘Gotta Love Snow’ released in 2007 – 500 pieces

This one is from a thrift store too and is missing a piece. It snowed, so I decided to do a snow puzzle. It didn’t snow enough to make snowmen but it was the first snow of the season.

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‘Book Shop’ released in 2015 – 500 pieces

I got this one for my birthday this year from the close and dear friend that switches puzzles with me. We both worked in a public library, so it was perfect.

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‘Candy is Dandy’ released in the 1970’s – 500 pieces

Yet another thrift store find I finished around Halloween. Complete with all pieces. I like to do seasonal puzzles and this one was fun because, it was shaped in a circle. COOL!

That’s all, folks! Next post I will show you more puzzles. Seven puzzles in one post is long enough! See you soon!

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Cookies. Oh, yummy cookies!

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Springbok ‘A Kid’ll Eat the Middle’ – 500 pieces

I finished a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle recently by Springbok called ‘A Kid’ll Eat the Middle’ made in the 1980’s. The white areas were not as hard to piece together. All of that black was really tough!

I love me some Oreo cookies! It’s one of the cookies I remember grabbing out of an egg basket cookie jar when I was a kid and devouring it. They happen to be vegan too! I found that out a few years ago.

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Childhood Cookie Jar

Here I found a picture online of the cookie jar my Mom used when we were kids. It’s at least 35 years old. A familiar piece from my childhood but ugly as heck. How could you ever forget a cookie jar like this!? ūüôā

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Vegan Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Speaking of vegan cookies… I baked a few dozen vegan chocolate chip walnut cookies for my family and friends last week. My place smelled great! They were gone in 2 days though! Didn’t last long at all. I need to make another batch for others since I’ve had a couple requests for more cookies.

This time I also have a new cookie scoop!  My 15 year old Pampered Chef medium cookie scoop broke a while back. I never replaced it so, my cookies varied in size. Now, my cookies should be more uniformed than my previous bakes with this scoop.

It makes me very happy to use my almost 20 year old Kitchenaid Stand Mixer that was handed down to me from my Mother too. Any time I get to use it for anything I get excited! Need to knead some bread? Mix a large batch of cookies? No problem. This thing is a workhorse.

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 Well, those cookies won’t bake themselves. I better get going. See you soon!

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It has taken over the world!

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It has been a few weeks since the launch of the phone app,¬†Pok√©mon GO. There are passionate people on both the pro and con side about game-play, but I choose to play it responsibly and use some common sense. So far, I’m having a blast! (Guess that means I’m on the pro side.)

When you download the app to your phone, you choose a player name, team and a starting Pok√©mon. You are considered a Pok√©mon Trainer. Then it’s pretty much, throw the red and white ball at one and catch any you see.

Your camera will play¬†a huge part in the game and it’s called ‘Augmented Reality’. This AR combines what we see through our cameras in real time¬†and a computer generated ‘pocket monster’.

It also uses your GPS location to spawn new ones for you to catch with your PokéBalls. You can turn off the AR to make it easier to catch them.

Playing this game forces you to walk outside… a lot! You could also ride your bike to each destination. There are Pok√©Stops, where you can replenish items, that you go around to in your area. There are eggs to hatch and the only way to do that is if you walk for¬†kilometers.

PokéStops are located at public places like libraries, museums, recreation centers, pieces of art, historical landmarks, some businesses, places of worship, all kinds of parks and college campuses.

Unfortunately, at this time, no one has the ability to add or remove these PokéStops placed by the makers of the game. Cemetaries are also locations, but I hope people are respectful and choose other places to gather. (Also, please do NOT litter!)

Ok, so, you’re walking along the path in your neighborhood park and come across a ‘gym’.¬†It’s a tower-looking thing that changes colors by whoever wins the fights. You have red, yellow and blue. Those are team colors.

Anyway, you can add a strong Pokémon that has a high CP (Combat Points) from your deck and assist teammates of the same color in keeping the gym from other players. This is where you fight other Pokémon trainers. Only the strongest of your team can be crowned.

Here’s an example of a public park¬†with¬†a gym and 5 Pok√©stops located there. The dropping pink hearts means someone put down a ‘lure’ attracting Pok√©mon to the spot. Everyone benefits from the lures and catching them.

The blue PokéStop at the very top does not have a lure, but you can still get items from it. Once you collect the stuff, the PokéStop turns pink. They refresh fairly quick.

By the time you walk to one and back, the others will be blue and available again. This is how you can get a lot of Poké Balls, potions and lures.

The bouncing green leaves (top left) indicate a Pokémon is there and the bottom left (3 little pics) shows you the options that you might get. Click on it and you get a nearby list that shows the nearest 9 Pokémon.

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Take your dog for a walk. Take your children to the park. Meet up with friends who play too. Either way, it gets you out of the house and into some fresh air.

Be prepared for more people at the various locations doing the same thing you are. Just follow the leader around in a giant circle.

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By using the map, you can find these monsters and PokéStops. All that walking can only benefit you health wise! Explore your city and find new places you never even knew existed.

There is a Pok√©Dex that tells you which ones you have caught and how many more you have to go. There is currently 142 and the slogan is ‘Gotta catch them all!’.

If you catch one, the very first one is registered in your Pok√©Dex. If you can’t catch them, then it is outlined in gray (bottom) and marked seen.

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There is more to the game than just catching them all. You gather XP (Experience Points) to level up your trainer and get higher CP Pokémons.

You have to gather enough of each Pok√©mon to get their specific coins in order to evolve them to their stronger, bigger versions using the star dust you’ve collected. You can see a few evolved in the Pok√©Dex above.

You can carry 250 Pokémons in your bag and 9 eggs at max unless you upgrade them from purchasing things from the store.

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Your Pok√©mon have different¬†types… fire, electric, rock, water, poison, fighting, etc. One is stronger than another and can defeat the other better. An example… my Vaporeon (water) can take down my Ponyta (fire) with some ease.

So, the point is… collect all, evolve higher, grow stronger, train and fight harder. Repeat.

Don’t let the media paint all of the Pok√©mon¬†Trainers as irresponsible idiots because of those few bad apples that can’t use common sense or respect!

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A Rattata won’t let me near the library book return drop.

Library book¬†return¬†drops have Rattatas harassing the patrons! Unsuspecting cats are dive bombed by Pidgeottos! Wee baby bunnies being chased around by Paras! It’s madness! ūüôā

Good luck to all you  Pokémon Trainers out there! Enjoy and please play responsibly!

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