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Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!

By cloud cover. Actually, it's too thick to merit a thin, just stretched over top, short little name like cover. I'm being oppressed by cloud duvet. By cloud quilt. By cloud down comforter. It sounds very cuddly and warm, doesn't it? HA! Sweden in January is anything BUT cuddly and warm, I assure you.

Had another toss-and-turn, mostly sleepless night last night. (Have since heard, right here on my computer, that several of YOU didn't sleep well either, what's up with that? sympathy insomnia?) Anders didn't sleep well either (and NOT because of any alleged snoring, thankyouverymuch, he just didn't, that's all), and we were both awakened from our nonrestful halfdoze at 5:30 a.m. by the phone ringing. It rang twice before either one of us registered what it was, and then we just laid there and listened to the last 2 rings, because we knew that after 2 there is no way, even if you LEAP out of bed and RACE across half the house to the phone and press YES, that you will be in time to hear anything but a *click* and then the mocking dialtone. I lay there slackly, blearily hoping that it wasn't someone calling to tell us something awful had happened to someone, and then zoned out again until I was RUDELY awakened by that damned alarm clock, which will NOT LEAVE ME ALONE in the mornings.

I checked the messages after I had showered and was greeted with the following, in a non-familiar male voice: "cchshs slsladddlslldccch hrrrms...hum..awell, night" *click* It sort of sounded like my Uncle Sam, but I don't know why he would be calling me. No one has called today to confess to getting all confused with those wacky timezone thingies, though.

Martin and I are doing a jigsaw puzzle together (which made me regret once again the self-inflicted loss by stupidity of my grandmother's folding card table). I had forgotten how much fun they are, and how satisfying that feeling when you snick a little rounded end into place and the picture becomes one piece more complete. He finished a 250-piece puzzle by himself during the weekend, and while we were admiring it, we talked about my jigsaw puzzles, of which I have a handful that I saved from a wild-and-crazy youth, but agreed after looking at them, that most of them were way beyond his ability.

One of them, now long gone, a photo of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, all red and blue and green with no discernible pattern or differentiation possibilities, was way beyond MY ability, and reduced me, after I bought it years ago, to actually sticking corresponding numbered stickers on the backs of puzzle pieces and the photo on the box, because GEEZUS there is only so much puzzling of 1000 nearly identical red and blue berry bits one can handle without cracking up.

In googling around on the internet, trying to find a picture of it, I found a couple of freakishly obsessed thorough sites devoted to Springbok Jigsaws which had THIS one listed: Black Diamond!

We had that puzzle when I was growing up. It was AWFUL. My sister could put it together really fast, which always made me want to punch her. She had a great eye for that sort of thing, which was also really useful when we were lying in the patch of clovered grass off the back patio in Nebraska, looking for 4-leaf clovers. Every few minutes, while my eyes were bugging out of my head and crossing with effort, she'd reach nonchalantly over and say, "There's another one." PUNCH!

One of my old jigsaws, however, despite being 500 pieces, seemed easy enough to handle, and Martin and I have started puzzling it out. It's called "I Heart Hearts" and I have a poster in the same theme, which I hunted down and purchased after spying it on the wall of Prince's bedroom in Purple Rain. These are only 2 of my lapses into sentimentality in regards to household ornamentation, for which I offer rueful WAS the 80s, after all (the poster is in the closet, in a pile of thought-better-ofs, and NOT on a wall somewhere, so you can let out that breath you were holding in dismay). It's great fun to sit at the dining room table, hunched over a pile of pieces, Martin in his pajamas, while we hunt for the missing part of a particular heart, or crow with joy at completing another one or steal a piece that has the right color from one another's workspace.

mood: happy
music: Cat Stevens—Moonshadow


Ahh, I love puzzles! :) Robert and I did a lot of them when he was home with a broken arm. We haven't done any since we've had puppies though...go figure! hehe

Hey, I'm listening to Cat Stevens too, but right now "Oh very young one..." is playing.

My brother could solve a rubix cube within minutes. PUNCH!

Here the "cloud down comforter" would be more aptly described as a wet blanket. One of the kids at school today was so sweet as to run home to lend me an umbrella. How many months till spring?

Both my brother and sister could do that Rubik's Cube in minutes thing, too. PUNCH PUNCH!

I could only do it after I learned the "code." argh.

Cat Stevens, is by far one of my most favourite singers.

You can add me to the list of the non-sleepers last night. Could it be the phase of the moon? Perhaps the fact that here, too, we're under a huge, thick blanket of clouds (though in our case here, they are raining incessantly)?

3:00am this morning and I was still wide awake thinking of things I need to do or remember to ask Daniel about. Woke up way too late to go to school and skipped the entire day. Tonights remedy, herbal tea, and a very boring book to help my mind drift into nothingness. Nite Nite....

P.S. I love jigsaws!!

Those self-inflicted losses seem to sting the worst; I empathize with you :>( When my girls were younger, we would stay up too late putting together jigsaw puzzles till we were all bug-eyed %>) Enjoy!

I used to do those giant Springbok puzzles too. But I never did one as hard as the b&w one- headache city!

Oh I love jigsaw puzzles so much!! I must get one!!

Quite a puzzle, that Black Diamond one is... Been a while since I've done any puzzles, but I love Springboks... used to find a bunch at auctions a couple years ago, and often got a stack of them for at most a couple bucks! Thrift stores sometimes had them too.

Now, I don't have a card table (or chairs, other than the computer chairs)... life as a bachelor dad! ;) Still, looking at those ones you have pics of is starting to give me that craving again. More fun with a partner though, and Erik I don't think has the patience for the 500+ piece ones yet. One of my favorites was a 1500 piece picture of Chicago at night (Springbok). Enjoy! (and Happy New Years)


The B&W puzzle was a nice reminder of those days. Your nephew has inherited his Mother's puzzle ability and I have spend the past 2 weeks doing and redoing about 12 puzzles- he's can easily do 100 pc. ones by himself. So add a couple to the list to bring to Germany!
I keep remembering that your sister had Little Red Riding Hood's Cape puzzle- but she disagrees - it's an all red circle. But she still has the Large all purple circle! Those are the real toughies!!!
Enjoy with Martin!
And wrap up in the duvet! Love, Lizardmom

I don't remember any all red circle puzzle either, or the purple one, so she must have gotten it later :)

You don't have a baby keeping you up and you aren't taking full advantage of it by sleeping every possible minute of the night? What's the matter with you!?!?! ;-)

My grandma was a great puzzle-doer and, like your sister, could spot a four-leaf clover in a patch just because it broke the pattern and "stood out."

I know! It's SO stupid!! I keep staying up too late, and then, when I go to bed, I READ for a couple of hours until my eyes are blurring and sore. DUH.

That's me to a T, Liz. Plus I have a dog on heat who is so restless that I hear her padding around ALL NIGHT and I wake up like the living dead and spend the day walking around thinking "Brains! Brains! Brains!"

*throws Vegemite at you and runs away*

I think I'm developing S.A.D., Seasonal Affective Disorder. No, really! Check out this list of symptoms!

Sleep problems: Usually desire to oversleep and difficulty staying awake but, in some cases, disturbed sleep and early morning wakening. (Check. I do all of this. My sleep is disturbed, I wake up way before my alarm clock and I can't go back to sleep, even though I desire to oversleep, and I'm pretty much nodding off as I type this. Which should explain the total lameness of today's comment.)

Lethargy: Feeling of fatigue and inability to carry out normal routine. (Check. I didn't even start this reply until 1:00pm today.)

Overeating: Craving for carbohydrates and sweet foods, usually resulting in weight gain. (Checkity-check-check-CHECK! Last night, the Chicken and Rice I made for dinner didn't turn out right, so I decided that chips and icecream was a perfectly legitimate dinner alternative.)

Depression: Feelings of misery, guilt and loss of self-esteem, sometimes hopelessness and despair, sometimes apathy and loss of feelings. (Check. Well, except for the loss of self-esteem. That'd never happen. I'm too fabulous.)

Social problems: Irritability and desire to avoid social contact. (Check. If by "social contact" you mean "being alive".)

Anxiety: Tension and inability to tolerate stress. (Check. If by "stress" you mean "bullshit").

Loss of libido: Decreased interest in sex and physical contact. (This is where the test becomes suddenly inaccurate.)

Mood changes: In some sufferers, extremes of mood and short periods of hypomania (overactivity) in spring and autumn.

Hmm. I seem to have S.A.D. all year long. Must be an extreme case. I wonder if I can get a disability pension for this?

You need one of those special lamps. I wonder if there is any documented study on the stress/S.A.D. increase endured by people who move from a sunny place (Oz, for example) where they lived all their lives to a dark place (Sweden) as adults.

And you ARE fabulous. And I think ice cream and chips is a legitimate dinner alternative, so you're okay there, too.

I HAVE one of those lamps - a Phillips Bright Light , which I'm going to use today and from now on until its lighter. I usually don't get tired like this, but I'm a bit pre-menopausal at the moment, so it doesn't help.


OMG! You are enjoying some kind of incredible Renaissance over there under the smother of cloud cover, woman! This is like the third utterly divine post in a row! swoon! Is it the sleep-deprivation? Is that your secret? Is it the cloud cover? Has it like added a new wholly wonderous layer to your brain! O, Liz, I heart you!!! In a non-Princely, completely puzzle free way.

xo Wee


Takes PUNCH!! by leaning slightly away and reaches over and grabs another 4 leaf clover!!! MUAHAHAHA!

Also takes them doing the puzzles!! Hee hee

Glad to know Martin is a puzzler. Mom told you Bryce is too!



And I also can be added to the sleepless last night list! Ugh, awoke at 3 AM to a nightmare and could not return to sleep so just stayed up! Now I am going to crash!



So strange--I've been trying to convince Erik that we should do a puzzle together. First he wasn't too interested but after much nagging I think he's game. It seems like the perfect January activity.


If you don't have any, I have several, you're welcome to borrow one or more.

Bwahhhhaha! A way to do puzzles without a card table and nasty family members who hide crucial pieces. Here at and another at a LJ friend who makes them here

I think a lot of us got that anti-sleep virus that has been going around lately.


Snick! Love new words!


Oh, I wish I could send you a pocketful of the sun we've been having here. It's been so nice. A little break in the cold--with 40 degree weather to melt all the snow, and that sharp, angled winter sunlight that makes everything seem RIGHT HERE and sharp.

I love doing puzzles. Haven't in soo long. However, the puzzles you're undertaking are INSANE. You belong in mensa, my dear. With your speed reading ability and you're ability to delight in attempting scarily detailed puzzles. There was a lovely short interview in THE SUN magazine a couple months ago about a man who put together a humongous puzzle of the Sistine Chapel ceiling--it was so big, with so many pieces it took up an entire room in his house.

I have to say, I'd be reeealy impressed if you took that on. Now I'm only impressed. :)

Bring it on, baby! :D

That stuff drives me crazy!

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