A one-hour lunchtime trek to my circuit of thrift stores yesterday turned out to be pretty fruitful. I spent about $30 for everything here.
I found a glass jar, an aqua painted shelf, a wooden paper towel holder, 5 rolls of aqua Dennison crepe paper (headed for eBay)...
Three tablecloths and a yellow cross-stitched baby quilt...
A milk glass lamp and this cute little felt doll...
And the chess set. Sadly, I found this note at the bottom of the box. It says, "In the event of my death or sickness the chess + board become the property of Margaret BlahBlahBlah". I can't read her last name. That will be my excuse for not returning it to the thrift store.
And I know what you are asking yourself... why does Colleen have this Big Boggle box mixed in with this sea of lovely aqua, yellow and white vintage finds? I can picture my family members cringing right now.
This disclaimer is for them: I AM GOING TO TALK ABOUT MOM AND BOGGLE. YOU CAN SHUT THE BROWSER WINDOW NOW.
My mom plays Boggle while she goes to the bathroom. Every day. I'll spare you the gory details, but let's just say that my mom likes to take her time when she goes (something about a hemorrhoidectomy and a doctor's recommendation to "take your time").
It started back in 1986, when I was in seventh grade. She needed something to do while she was "sitting around", so she bought the Boggle game. But that game was too easy - it only has a four-by-four grid of letters. My mom thought that Big Boggle with its five-by-five grid would be more of a challenge, since she could create longer words.
If you aren't familiar with the game, the object is to write as many words as you can using the connecting letters in the grid. You have three minutes to do so. The words must be at least four letters long. When the three minutes are up, you put the lid on the grid, and shake the letters to mix them up. Then you start all over again.
Now, picture an awkward seventh grader who has just invited some "cool" friends over to listen to Duran Duran and maybe swap leg warmers. A strange sound rings out through the house, amplified by the rug-less bathroom. And it happens every three minutes for about a half hour, sometimes even longer. You try to ignore it, but your friends start asking questions. It is the goddamn Boggle Shake. Yeah...imagine explaining that to your friends. Multiply that scenario by five, for my three sisters and brother, and you have a household who avoids inviting friends over, particularly in the late morning after someone has had a few too many mugs of tea and bran muffins.
Alas, my mom may be a slow pooper, but she is a damn good Boggle player. She should be, after a twenty-two-year non-stop Boggle fest. I cannot imagine that anyone could possibly beat her at this game. Ever. If I played her today, I would probably get around 20 words in three minutes. She averages 56 words. Her all-time high is 105 words (and she's hit that a few times). She goes through an 80-page steno pad in a month...and each page, front and back, is filled with words written in her tiny handwriting. For years, our family has considered buying stock in Mead.
My mom has gone through four Big Boggle games in the past twenty years. Apparently the letters wear away with daily use. Who knew? Oddly enough, Hasbro stopped making Big Boggle a few years ago. It is quite a commodity on eBay, with prices ranging from $20 to $40. No, I'm not selling this one that I got for a buck. I've already promised it to the Boggle World Champion.
Edited to Add (1/5/2008): Don't worry...I will not be removed from my mother's will for writing this post. She actually gave me permission to write this before I published it. I know...crazy! And she even left a comment with some clarification (third comment from the top).
UPDATE AGAIN! My mom started a blog called BoggleMama.com.