Tuesday, June 21, 2005


I love puzzles – it feels amazing when you actually finish one. In fact, I choose to look at life’s challenges as puzzles. Crazy, you say? Well let me explain with a couple of examples:

Take a crossword puzzle for example, you have two lists of definitions and a box filled with smaller boxes. Somehow by answering all the definitions correctly you will fill in all the empty boxes. Just as in life, when we don’t have all the answers we look for clues elsewhere to help us solve the problem at hand – hints provided by neighbouring challenges we’ve already overcome, previously solved similar conundrums, and/or people we know who can help us out.

Then there’s my favourite form of puzzle – the jigsaw, preferably of a thousand pieces. The thing I remember most about my maternal grandfather when I was growing up was that he used to do jigsaw puzzles and when we would visit, the grandchildren would somehow end up at the puzzle board and try our hand. Invariably, we would get frustrated and, having little or no patience, leave and my grandfather would just chuckle and shake his head. I don’t remember when I got addicted to jigsaw puzzles, or how I got over that frustration of NOT finding the piece that I was looking for. I do know that when I’m stressed or angry or frustrated, taking out a jigsaw puzzle calms me down. Just like chanting a mantra when one meditates, I focus on the piece – little red swirling thing, little red swirling thing, little red….you get the picture. Whatever is bothering me is off somewhere else, and nothing is more soothing. It’s like a tonic. My grandfather used to use special tape to keep his puzzles in one piece after they were complete and my mother and aunts would frame them. All of them had Zaidie’s puzzles hanging in their homes. I prefer to rip them up almost immediately after they are done and put them back in their boxes to wait for another frustrating day.

Yesterday I discovered a new form of puzzle – html code. I am really not very technically savvy, and like with crossword puzzles, I ask my friends who are knowledgeable to help me out. You all know who you are and a giant THANK YOU!!! I am sooooooo proud of myself for being able to put a picture in the middle of a post – Those of you who do this all the time, are probably yawning and rolling your eyes. Those of you, like me though, are duly impressed. Having mastered that, I wanted to use the sidebar to create category links to my posts. For instance, if you only want recipes, you should be able to just read recipes. And if you want to know about markets or festivals, you should be able to get to them easily rather than scrolling through all the posts in the archives.

It took me several hours yesterday, but I finally figured out step one. Now you can see a heading for recipes and links to specific entries. Over the next few days I’ll be adding more categories, so stay tuned.

My next challenge is to create links behind the category word (recipe, link, etc.) and only when you click on the word would you get to a page where you see the list. That would neaten up the page. So far I haven’t figured out how to do that without creating a post that has all the links as well. If anyone reading this has the answer, please let me know. I’ll be forever grateful. In the meantime, remember that life is just a series of giant puzzles.

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