What Was I Smoking?

I do not know what came over me yesterday.  I was putting away some toys in the play room, I innocently opened a drawer where we keep some games and lo!  There it was!  A PUZZLE. My pulse quickened.  I thought, "You are no match for me, puzzle.  I will put you together with skill! It will be good for my brain - fending off Alzheimer's and all that.  And it will be a  relaxing way to spend my afternoons this week.   Game on."

Mind you, I haven't put together a puzzle in a zillion years.  I think the last time was a few Thanksgivings ago at my grandparents house - and that was a Snow White Movie Poster puzzle with my six-year-old cousin.  But we finished it in like 20 minutes, so CLEARLY I have a gift.

Inspired, I spread out my puzzle mat on the kitchen table (yes, I have a puzzle mat because I am cool like that), ripped open the box and dumped all two thousand pieces in a giant heap.

When I realized that there was not enough room on the kitchen table to flip all the pieces over, that they were, in fact, two and three LAYERS deep, I experienced a bit of buyers/puzzlers remorse.  My fingers felt totally arthritic by the time I flipped over all the pieces.  I skipped lunch and instead ate mindlessly out of a tin of pecans as I mined for "edge pieces."

Somewhere during the mining process I realized that all the pieces looked the same: same color, same texture.  A word of advice:  If you foolhardily decide to do a puzzle on a whim, don't choose a 2,000 piece picture of a Van Gogh painting, as all the pieces are random swirls of color that resemble NOTHIING.

I began to understand that in order to complete this puzzle I was going to have to pick up a piece and systematically try inserting it into all 1,999 other pieces until I found it's buddy- there is no other way.

I spent the better part of the afternoon hunched over the table, raking through the pieces with my hands, and defending the dining room from inquisitive cats (able to leap tables and destroy puzzles in a single bound) and grabby toddlers (able to ingest  six pieces in the blink of an eye).

This is how it looks at the end of Day 1.

(That little patch of green and black "tree"swirl on the top left took me like an hour and a half...)

What was I smoking?