Not bad for a fat girl


No More Cheap Puzzles for Me


I like jigsaw puzzles.

I don’t do them all the time, but in the summer I often like to do a puzzle.

I prefer ones that feature a photo, rather than a painting. I don’t like teeny tiny pieces, and frankly I don’t like too many pieces either. Five hundred seems to be the right number for me.

I spend a couple of evenings on it, at the dining room table. There’s a certain satisfaction in snapping together the pieces after searching for them in the pile.

I also like that they make me slow down and notice details that I might not have otherwise.

I found a jigsaw puzzle at a massive discount store last week. It was on sale. It was a folk art painting of old time Boston. I liked it well enough (there were no photo puzzles available) so I bought it. I started it that evening and finished it the next day. I wanted more.

My travels took me to the dollar store for writing camp materials. While I was there I picked up another puzzle. This one featured a photo of a strawberry pie. The size of the pieces was good. It was only three hundred pieces, but hey, it was a dollar, so I bought it.

Well, it took three days, but I finished it. Here’s what I learned:

  1. the picture on the box had different coloration than the actual puzzle
  2. the cover of the box didn’t show the whole puzzle
  3. the pieces were printed on very thin cardboard
  4. many of the pieces fit in places where they don’t belong
  5. the whole thing was sort of warped and didn’t want to lay flat

Still, I finished it, and I’m satisfied with the result. Now I want to do another one, but I’m going to steer clear of the dollar store.


My Fascination With the Dollar Store

I have a weird kind of love/hate relationship with the dollar store. Ask me on any given day my opinion of these institutions and my response could be anything from cheerful enthusiasm to snide derision. I guess it all depends on my mood and what I’m currently in the market for.

debb5a3976c45208fada843a04f27c7dThe dollar store isn’t an entirely new concept, although I do recall being totally blown away by the idea the first time I stepped into one, decades ago. I remember being awed by the fact that every singe item in ¬†the entire store cost exactly one dollar. I came away with a badminton set that day.

Now, the dollar store is my go-to for storage items for the classroom, cheap holiday decorations (my car looked properly spooky for Halloween Trunk-or-Treat), and random stuff that my son wants (a measuring cup, for example). I also get my cheaters there (reading glasses, for the uninitiated), and for a dollar, they’re pretty great. I can see, and they have tons of cute designs. And as a bonus, I don’t get too upset if I break them.

Now the downside to the dollar store. Well, frankly a lot of dollar stores¬†are a complete mess. The merchandise may be in a jumble, and there may be thick layers of dust on the shelves. Items purchased there have to be debated carefully. Do I really want to take my chances with this dollar store shampoo, or should I pay a few cents more for the brand I know? And these pickled meats, are they really still good? I think I’ll pass. Also, sometimes you run into some unsavory characters at the dollar store, but it comes with the territory.

Overall, the dollar store is a great deal. Where else can you pick up a carload full of good stuff for next to nothing