Nineteen clues and my first symmetrical crossword puzzle.
I'm patting myself on the back, it feels like such an accomplishment!
What's the big deal? The black squares. If you were to flip the puzzle, the placement and number of the black squares on the top half mirror the placement and number of black squares on the bottom half.
Making the blocks symmetrical makes it more difficult to develop clues. Especially where two or three words run alongside or across one another ... like with clues three down, and four and seven across.
I've made word search puzzles and wanted to try the symmetrical crossword, but always gave up before getting too far. My mum loves a crossword puzzle, so this one's for her.
I hope you'll try it. Let me know if do, and I'll make another one.
You can download and print the puzzle (a one page sheet with the clues and answers(!) by clicking on the crossword image above).
Last night we saw fireflies in the corner lot where the grass grows tall.
We stopped so we could see more, and again and again, we pointed and said, "There's one. Over there." And, "Wow!"
Now I want to go back and see them again.
At the end of the block on the corner there's a garden planted on the edge of the road. It's tucked between the street and a stockade fence. It's so small, and jammed into such a small space, it seems more than a garden. It's a declaration. A fertile sign of determination and grit.
Someone wanted a garden and they were not to be deterred.
They wanted to grow peas, and tomatoes, and peppers. We know that's what's growing because they impaled the empty seed packets on sticks to mark what was in the ground. And we've watch them grow for weeks now.
There's a tradition in New England ... peas and salmon on the Fourth of July. Why? The salmon swim upstream this time of year, just when the peas begin to sprout.
I'm not sure the neighbors will pair salmon with their peas, but the garden's bounty is proof there's plenty to be savored when the seed of determination is planted.
This month there will be no excuses.
It's Anti-boredom Month and we've got adventures to find and things to do.
Are you a chess player, a model boat builder, Scrabble star, space explorer? Yes? Good for you. I'm not, but by the end of the month, they may be hobbies I can call my own.
It can be scary to start something new, but really, doing little more than binge watching your favorite streaming service or scrolling through your phone for hours gets boring. And boring is, well boring. And a bit depressing.
So how can we approach Anti-boredom Month?
Nothing beats boredom like doing something. And, as I've learned over and over again, it's taking action that makes all the difference.
Yes, it's hard to get started. And yes, it takes effort, even a bit of gumption. That can of gumption up above was inspired by Popeye. Open a can of spinach, gobble it up, and find renewed courage and strength. Was it really the spinach that gave him strength? I'm not so sure. Have you tasted canned spinach?
I think it's something else.
I think it's more about stepping up, gathering gumption, and giving it a go. Saying, "OK, I'll try." Or, "Hey, it's my turn."
So this month, I'm going to try new things. And, because it's also Baked Bean Month and I'm inspired by canned goodness, I'm going to try something out of the can. I'm going to make baked beans from scratch. I’m looking for a recipe. If you’ve got one, would you be willing to share it?
Or, if you’re like me and have never made your own baked beans, let's try it together.
Here are more things happening in July. I'll post what I'm doing, and would love to hear what you're up to, too.
International Zine Month
A whole book from one sheet of paper.
National Anti-Boredom Month
We’ve got that covered.
It’s knob easy.
National Baked Bean Month
Cook ‘em low and slow.
Ice Cream Month
Are they sprinkles or jimmies?
National Picnic Month
Take it out to the park.
A wedge will do.
International Cherry Pit Spitting Day
Watch where it lands.
How many ways are there to make this happen?
Embrace Your Geekness Day
Space Exploration Day
What’s a light year?
Paperback Book Day
A real page turner.
National Avocado Day
Check in throughout the month to see what we find. And if you’ve got ideas, share them with us. After all, it’s Anti-boredom Month and you've got a can of gumption waiting to be opened.
p.s. Riddle Me Mail subscribers will recognize that can of gumption. Stayed tuned for new stationery offers and more canned goodness all month long.