Friday, March 31, 2017

SOLSC Day 31 - Grandma's button

Slice of Life Story Challenge -- 
Day 31 (The last day of the challenge)
Grandma's Button

This is my jewelry box from my childhood. It  has a faux leather covering -- some kind of paper, actually, that has had many scrapes and gouges taken out of it over the years. It has a lock which no longer works, and a music box inside it...which also no longer works. But I still love it just the same.

I've had the jewelry box ever since I can remember. When I was young, I owned only a few pieces of jewelry, which of course I kept in this box. I kept other treasures in this box, also...birthday cards sent to me from my grandparents, prayer cards, religious medals, a handmade bookmark that I think I won as a prize for something in school (my memory is pretty fuzzy on that one), and Girl Scout pins, to name a few.

But the most important thing that I kept -- and still keep -- in this box is a little bundle of material which contains a very precious item...AND some precious memories.

Inside the bundle is a piece of cloth with two buttons sewn on it, with the needle and thread still attached. There is also another piece of cloth (on the right, in this picture) which is protectively folded around the precious item. 

< Here is the precious item that was being guarded so well by everything else.

A close-up picture reveals that it's a button. 

A very old button. 

A very special button.


Beautiful, isn't it? They don't make buttons like that any more.

Grandma (my dad's mother) showed me this button when I was about 11 or 12 years old. She explained to me that the button was from her wedding dress, which had also been her mother's wedding dress. She might have also said that the dress had been her grandmother's wedding dress as well, but I can't remember for sure. It's been too many years since that day, so I don't remember every detail as I once could.

I do remember some details vividly, however. I remember that I was visiting my grandparents (who lived across the street from the school I attended) one day after school. I remember Grandma opening a desk drawer in the living room of her house, where she took out some buttons, needle and thread, and pieces of cloth. I remember her sitting down with me and teaching me how to sew the buttons -- the two buttons in the previous picture -- onto the cloth. When we were finished, she left the needle and thread still attached to the material, and told me to keep all of it. 

And then, she gave me the special button. The one from her wedding dress.

Wow. Out of all of Grandma's grandchildren -- and she had many -- she gave the button to me. I felt so honored, evened awed.

Grandma told me that she had one other button from her wedding dress, and she intended to give that button to my cousin MarySue. Again, I felt so special, because MarySue and I each had 4 siblings, and we both had older sisters...yet Grandma had chosen the two of us to give the buttons to. Not the oldest girls in the family, which was typically done for special things, but us. I felt so important.

(Just a side not here -- I showed Grandma's button to my cousin MarySue last year, and asked her if she had ever received her button from Grandma. She had no idea what I was talking about. I related the story to her, and we tried to figure out what had ever become of that other button. We speculated about it, but there is most likely no way that we'll ever know. I'm glad that I was able to tell MarySue the story, though, so at least she could know that Grandma had been thinking of her.)

Before I left Grandma and Grandpa's house  that day so many years ago, Grandma took all the pieces of cloth, buttons, and needle and thread, and bundled it all up for me to take home. When I got home, I put the button bundle into the safest place I knew -- my jewelry box -- and that is where it has lived for all these years ever since.

Grandma's button.

My button.

Just thinking of it makes me happy.

JudyK   March 31, 2017


Thursday, March 30, 2017

SOLSC Day 30 - The Importance of Daffodils

Slice of Life Story Challenge --
Day 30  #SOL17
The Importance of Daffodils

It seems that Spring has finally sprung here where I live. Back in February, it had seemed that Spring would come early, with wonderfully warm weather for much of the month. But then March came along and it turned unusually cold, and stayed cold. Spring had somewhat stalled, until the end of last week when it finally warmed up again.

So here we are at the end of March, and I'm finally seeing signs of real Spring. The most important sign that I've noticed in the past few days is that daffodils are blooming in the area. I don't have any daffodils in my yard any more, but I've noticed them blooming in various yards and properties in the past few days while I've been out and about. It's always a joy to see them blooming. They are a promise of wonderful things to come, and they are beautiful and so uplifting!

Yesterday, while I was driving to work -- my drive is through a mostly rural area -- I passed by a property which is part of a nearby metro park. I pass by that certain property most days, and don't think about it very often anymore. But I'm familiar with that piece of land because I've lived in the area for a long time, and I know a little of the history behind it. There used to be a cute little farmhouse on that property, built probably in the 1930's or 40's, I'm guessing. Once upon a time, a family lived in that house. But after the park system bought the property about 10 or so years ago, there was no need for the house any more. It hadn't been lived in for a while, and probably wasn't in good shape any more. So, the park system gave permission to a local fire department to conduct a practice fire in the house. After that, what was left of the house was demolished and removed.

For a long time, I was always a little sad to see that piece of property when I drove by. I knew where the house had stood, but there was no trace of it any more, and that made me feel a little sad. But after a few years, I didn't think about the missing house as much.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday morning as I was driving to work and noticing all the daffodils blooming all around, I found myself coming up to that certain piece of property, and I suddenly remembered that little house that I hadn't thought about for a while. I was struck by another thought just then, and I wondered....

As I passed by, I made sure to look over at where the house once had been. And yes, sure enough, in what had once been the front corner of that little house's front yard, were slight remnants of a flower bed, and in that old flower bed stood some bunches of daffodils. And they were blooming.

Suddenly that little house was back in the forefront of my thinking, and I knew then that I didn't want to ever forget about that house again. And I knew that I wouldn't.

Because the daffodils won't let me.

JudyK   March 30, 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

SOLSC Day 29 - Six Word Story For Today

Slice of Life Story Challenge --
Day 29  #SOL17
Six Word Story For Today


I have stories that I want to tell about daffodils, a special button, and my younger sister. Unfortunately, I have no time to sit down and write those stories right now. So instead, here is a Six Word Story that sums up what is and what will be my whole day today:

Buried under paperwork; please send bulldozer!


JudyK   March 29, 2017


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

SOLSC Day 28 - My Number Story

Slice of Life Story Challenge --
Day 28  #SOL17
My Number Story

1 - The number of cats that currently live in my house. His name is Floyd (named after Pink Floyd) and he is all black, ornery, and about 15 years old.

2 - The number of left feet that I have. I'm not very coordinated.

3 - The number of sons that I have. They are grown now, all in their 30's.  3 is also the number of grandsons that I have; their ages are 13, 6, and 4.

4 - The number of granddaughters that I have. Their ages are 11, 9, almost 8, and 2.

5 - The number of children in my family when I was growing up. I was the middle child, with one older brother and sister, and one younger brother and sister.
This is one of my favorite pictures of the five of us.

6 - The number of letters in my full first name, Judith. I've been called by my nickname, Judy, all my life. But I went through a phase when I was about seven years old where I insisted that everyone call me Judith. Nobody ever remembered to do it, and eventually I gave up.

7 - The number of grandchildren that I currently have. All seven are the children of my oldest son and his wife.  (Yes, seven children all in one family, all theirs. They're a wonderful, beautiful family.)

8 - The number of saucers in my set of ceramic dishes. I bought this set of dishes for myself, after my marriage ended. It was the first set of dishes I had ever bought on my own.

9 - The number of handmade ribbon & bead Christmas ornaments that I have left over from the ones I made as gifts last Christmas. They will become gifts for other people later this year.

10 - The number (as of the end of this week) of special needs 3rd grade students that I work with at my afternoon school. It's a lot of students to fit into each afternoon, but they're great kids and I love 'em.

Too many to count - The number of baskets that I have in my house. Some are Longaberger baskets (Is anyone outside of Ohio familiar with those?), some are decorative, and some are storage baskets. They're all kinds of shapes and sizes.

This basket is in the shape of a barn, in honor of the Bicentennial Barns that Ohio had in 2003.

Also too many to count - The number of bells that I have. I've been collecting bells since I was about sixteen or so. My older sister gave me my first bell, a metal bell that she brought me from a trip to Florida. Each of my bells has its own story.
Two of my more recent bells: From Minnesota in 2016 when I visited my sister Cathy; from Newport, Rhode Island when my cousin MarySue and I visited my brother Mike & sister-in-law Cecilia in New England in 2015.

And that's my story for today!

JudyK  March 28, 2017



Monday, March 27, 2017

SOLSC Day 27 - More oddquain poems

Slice of Life Story Challenge -- 
Day 27  #SOL17
More oddquain poems

After writing some oddquain poems (the poems have 5 lines total, with syllable counts of 1, 3, 5, 7, 1 on the lines) yesterday, I thought I'd try writing a few more today that were NOT all about nature, as mine usually are. I wrote two that were about emotions...and then another nature one snuck in on me. At that point, I wanted to get totally away from those themes, so I choose a not-so-deep subject -- a food (just to see if I could) -- for my last oddquain for today.

Monday's oddquains:

tries to escape me
but I pull it back in, pause,

Over the Moon
from every part
of her being; her sparkle

through meadows and woods...
nature's sweet sights, sounds, and smells:

broad noodles,
thick with rich cheeses,
spicy sauce, and tasty meat:

Okay, now I've made myself hungry. But I'm certainly having fun experimenting! 

JudyK   March 27, 2017


Sunday, March 26, 2017

SOLSC Day 26 - Oddquain Poems

Slice of Life Story Challenge --
Day 26  #SOL17
Oddquain Poems

I was looking at the Shadow Poetry website ( again a couple of days ago, and I came across another type of invented poetry called the "Oddquain." The description on the website says:

Oddquain is a short, usually unrhymed poem consisting of seventeen syllables distributed 1, 3, 5, 7, 1 in five lines, developed by Glenda L. Hand.

The form of the oddquain sounded appealing to me. It reminded me of a haiku, and I like haiku. The site goes on to explain many oddquain variations, but I wasn't really interested in experimenting with least not yet. So, I decided to try my hand at the basic oddquain.

Here are a few that I came up with:



wispy white,
light and feathery,
meander slowly through fair



daisies pop
through fresh brown earth and
stretch their jubilant faces


ivy creeps
along stony walls,
grasping tightly, clinging for

I've noticed that I tend to go for nature themes in my poems. The haiku poem works beautifully with nature themes, and this oddquain seems to, as well. Maybe I'll try this oddquain form some other time, with something other than nature as a theme. This form could be rather versatile, I think, so it's worth another try with other subjects.

So, my final verdict is: I really like this particular form of invented poetry!

JudyK   March 26, 2017


Saturday, March 25, 2017

SOLSC Day 25 - Revelations

Slice of Life Story Challenge --
Day 25 #SOL17

I began a writing class last Fall, and one of the questions I was asked recently is....How have I changed as a writer?

Hmmmmm, how have I changed as a writer? HAVE I changed?

You bet, I've changed! There are three ways in which I've changed that come immediately to mind.

First of all, and maybe most importantly, I am writing just because I want to! Not because a teacher gave me an assignment, not because I'm filling out an information sheet....but because I want to. Let me stress that:  Because. I. Want. To. I'm hoping to maybe leave little nuggets of my life behind for my grandchildren to read about some day, so that they can get somewhat of an idea of how the world was, as seen through my eyes, when I was living in it. Is that important? I don't know. But what I DO know is that I wish someone had made a written record of the stories that my mom and dad used to tell us kids about their childhoods, their families, and their memories. I don't remember most of the stories now, so they are lost. My thinking now is: If I write down some of my thoughts and stories, maybe someday a grandchild will find them to be interesting.

I guess time will tell on that one, heh heh.

The second way I've changed as a writer is that I'm writing more than I used to... a LOT more. And as I'm writing more, I'm struggling less with the actual writing. My thoughts are coming out onto the paper (or the computer screen) more easily. Practice makes perfect? I don't know about the "perfect" part, but the practicing is definitely helping.

The third way that I've changed as a writer is that I've gone public. In preparation for the Slice of Life writing challenge hosted by the Two Writing Teachers website -- which I decided to participate in -- I started a blog. A PUBLIC blog. The whole world can see whatever I'm writing in my blog. I never would have dreamed that I'd be writing a blog and sharing it with people...not in a million years. But I do have a blog, and I'm writing in it, and I'm sharing my blog posts in the Slice of Life challenge. I'm doing it. Wow.

Those are some pretty big changes in just a few short months. I've really surprised myself with the changes! I've grown a lot as a writer. And I hope to continue growing as a writer, and to continue surprising myself.

For a very long time.

JudyK  March 25, 2017


Friday, March 24, 2017

SOLSC Day 24 - 24 Things I Like About Words

Slice of Life Story Challenge --
Day 24  #SOL17
24 Things I Like About Words

Because it's the 24th day of the Slice of Life challenge, here are 24 things that I like about words:

1. They can sound fun....didgeridoo, dabble, banana
2. They can sound soft....fluffy, hush, ginger
3. They can be silly....dippy-doodle
4. They can be quiet....whisper, feather
5. They can be happy....chirpy
6. They can sound calm....peace, sleepy
7. They can be spelled in so many ways, with many different, fascinating patterns.
8. They can be sad....mournful
9. They can be energetic....spirited, dynamic
10. They can sound tired....droopy, drained
11. They can be satisfied....contented
12. They can sound strong....robust, destroy, incontrovertibly
13. They can be taken apart and analyzed.
14. They can express a million thoughts.
15. They can sound hungry....ravenous
16. They can be angry....enraged
17. They can be dark....murky
18. They can be beautiful....exquisite, delicate
19. They can be bright....shimmering, luminous
20. They fall off the tongue in interesting ways.
21. They can sound funny....jolly, knee-slapping, doodling
22. They can be joyful....jubilant, merry
23. They have many thought-provoking meanings.
24. They just flow naturally. There is no stopping them.

JudyK  March 24, 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

SOLSC Day 23 - The Blitz Poem

Slice of Life Story Challenge -- 
Day 23  #SOL17
The Blitz Poem

I was poking around on the internet today, looking up information about various forms of poetry. I found a website called Shadow Poetry ( which featured many different forms of invented poetry. I investigated some, and came upon one called "The Blitz Poem", created by Robert Keim. It is described like this:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
The Blitz Poem

The Blitz Poem, a poetry form created by Robert Keim.

This form of poetry is a stream of short phrases and images with repetition and rapid flow.

Begin with one short phrase, it can be a cliché. Begin the next line with another phrase that begins with the same first word as line 1. The first 48 lines should be short, but at least two words.

The third and fourth lines are phrases that begin with the last word of the 2nd phrase, the 5th and 6th lines begin with the last word of the 4th line, and so on, continuing, with each subsequent pair beginning with the last word of the line above them, which establishes a pattern of repetition.

Continue for 48 total lines with this pattern, And then the last two lines repeat the last word of line 48, then the last word of line 47.

The title must be only three words, with some sort of preposition or conjunction joining the first word from the third line to the first word from the 47th line, in that order.

There should be no punctuation. When reading a BLITZ, it is read very quickly, pausing only to breathe.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 


When I read all those intricate (and rigid!) details of how the poetry is supposed to be written, I was flabbergasted. And, I'll admit, a little intrigued. The inventor of the poem included three examples of his own poems. I thought his poems were interesting, and I liked the way they ended. But still.....I had my doubts.

So I decided to try writing one. What better way to find out if it would be more trouble than it's worth, or if it would be the best form of poetry ever? Haha yeah, not likely to be the best form of poetry ever, but you never know until you try, right? And so I tried. And it was more difficult than I thought it would be, actually.

When I wrote my first draft, I hated the ending, so I rewrote the last eight or so lines. I liked the ending of the second draft much better! But then I decided that I didn't like lines 36 through 43. Rewriting those lines changed the course of the rest of the poem, so in draft #3, the rest was rewritten as well. And I wasn't extremely happy with the last several lines of that draft, so I changed the ending a few more times.

Whew! I finally ended up with something that I like. At least I think I like it. It's definitely a strange poem, so I'm still a little on the fence about it. But it was fun experimenting! 

Here, for whatever it's worth, is my attempt at writing a Blitz Poem:

World of Life 

Look out below
Look out world
World wide web
World record
Record album
Record player
Player comparison
Player of the week
Week by week
Week of the Young Child
Child support
Child actors
Actors of the golden age
Actors of the silver screen
Screen printing
Screen door
Door knob
Door in the Wall
Wall to wall carpet
Wall Street Journal
Journal entry
Journal inspiration
Inspiration and motivation
Inspiration of the day
Day of reckoning
Day by day
Day in and day out
Day of rest
Rest stop
Rest in peace
Peace on Earth
Peace sign
Sign of the times
Sign of life
Life cereal
Life with Father
Father Time
Father daughter dance
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Dance with me
Me and Bobby McGee
Me and My Shadow
Shadow box
Shadow and light
Light My Fire
Light of my life
Life full of laughter
Life worth living

JudyK  March 23, 2017


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

SOLSC Day 22 - There Is Sadness This Week

Slice of Life Story Challenge -- Day 22 #SOL17
There is Sadness This Week

Sigh. I have a lot of thoughts going through my head right now. I'm still on my Spring Break, but I'm not as joyful about it as I was during the first two days. There is a large dark cloud over this week now. 

"Why?" you might wonder. Maybe I've become jealous of colleagues who are vacationing in places warmer than Ohio? Maybe I'm not accomplishing all the things I had hoped, and I'm starting to get depressed about it?

No, those aren't the reasons. I'm not envious of those who are currently enjoying warm sandy beaches; I was perfectly content to spend my free time here in Ohio. I actually haven't accomplished very many of the things which I had planned, but that's not what has put a damper on my celebration. The event that ended my beginning-of-Break giddy glee was the death of a wonderful woman... a friend, an almost family member.

On Sunday night, my daughter-in-law's mom died.

Her family knew that it was coming. Barbara had been diagnosed last summer with Multiple Myeloma, a type of incurable cancer, and she knew that her time on Earth was limited. She tried treatment for a while in an effort to prolong her life a little, but had recently given up on that. She spent her last few weeks living in the home of her oldest daughter, and that is where she passed away on Sunday, peacefully, in her sleep. She was just 67 years old.

The past two days have been a flurry of activities for Barbara's family: Finalizing funeral arrangements, purchasing funeral outfits, and dozens of either details. I spent much of the past two days babysitting my grandchildren, and occasionally one of their cousins, so that my daughter-in-law could take care of family matters, while my son was still out of state working. My son is home now, and my help isn't needed at the moment, so I am at my own house today.

And I am now alone with my thoughts and feelings.

I feel so sad for Barbara's children. They are all adults -- the youngest will be 30 soon -- but their mother has been their rock for so many years. Even though most of Barbara's six children are married and have children of their own, Barbara was still a big part of their lives. And now their mother is gone, and that is hard.

I admired Barbara. She was a strong woman who was a single mother for many years. She brought up  the youngest four children single-handedly, no father in their lives at all. Times were tough for her, but she raised her children herself, and she raised them well.

And now she is gone. Gone at such a young age, from that horrible, unfair disease we call cancer. Her children, grandchildren, and one great-grandchild already miss her terribly. And I miss my friend.

Today, my writing is in memory of Barbara. She will live on in our memories, she will live on in our hearts.

Rest In Peace, Barbara.

JudyK  March 22, 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

SOLSC Day 21 - My Six Word Story For Today

Slice of Life Story Challenge -- Day 21  #SOL17
My Six Word Story For Today

I've seen some of the Slice of Life challenge writers doing "six word stories" or "six word memoirs." I don't know much about these six word stories and don't know what all the rules are for them, but I'm quite tired right now, so I thought that I would write a six word story tonight instead of writing a lengthier piece. My story has six words, and it tells a story, so I'm hoping that I did it correctly.

My six word story is this:

Babysat grandchildren for eight hours. Exhausted!

JudyK   March 21, 2107


Monday, March 20, 2017

SOLSC Day 20 - Co-authoring poems with a granddaughter

Slice of Life Story Challenge --
 Day 20  #SOL17
Co-authoring poems...with a granddaughter!

My 11-year-old granddaughter and I had some quiet time together this afternoon, and after we had played a few games of Hangman, we were looking for something else to do. I suggested that we write some poetry together. (Note: The scenario of writing poetry with a grandchild, just for fun, is not something that would have ever occurred to me before this Slice of Life challenge came along into my life. Ever ever ever. Haha!)  I thought writing something together with L might be fun...and to my surprise, she agreed! 

So, we started out by reviewing what she knew about poetry. (I just can't quite ever turn off the teacher in me....) As it turned out, L knew a little something about haiku, so we decided to go with that form. We decided on our theme of nature, and picked Oak Trees for our first poem. We discussed possible words and phrases that pertained to oak trees, started counting syllables, and created a poem which we were both proud of. 

We decided then to write a second haiku called The Creek. That one was inspired by an outing to a nearby metro park last month during a period of some abnormally warm weather. Again, we brainstormed some words and phrases to help us write the poem.

Our planning ^

After that, at L's suggestion, we each drew an illustration to go with one of the poems. I think that she was enjoying the entire activity as much as I was! Who would have thought that co-authoring a couple of poems with a grandchild could be such an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon?

And now, without further ado....
            our creations:

Oak Trees
Green leaves, strong rough bark...
The soft wind makes the leaves shake.
Old acorns fall down.

The Creek
Rushing cool water
Small splashes; smells like warm earth
Soft wet muddy bank

                                                      ( ^ The small splashes, by the way, are the 
sticks and rocks being tossed into the creek
 by the grandkids, their cousins, and friends)


(These pics are from our outing to "the creek" 2-20-17)  :-)


JudyK   March 20, 2017