Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SOL Tuesday - Kaleidoscope Play

Slice of Life Tuesday
Tuesday May 16, 2017

Kaleidoscope Play


When I was little, I was fascinated by kaleidoscopes. The colors, the shapes, the patterns...and the huge changes made by the slightest of movements...dazzled me and kept me occupied for long periods of time.

Many years later, I still enjoy kaleidoscopes. But most of the time now, when I play with a kaleidoscope, its a kaleidoscope of a different form. It is an app. (There's an app for everything these days, right?)  The name of the app, appropriately, is Kaleidoscope. I like to play with Kaleidoscope when I need to unwind a little at the end of a long, stressful, busy day.  I can be creative when I make designs with this app, but it takes almost no skill, talent, concentration, or planning.... so it's perfect for unwinding. With Kaleidoscope, I can doodle mindlessly, with spectacular results.

I was looking at some of the designs I made recently, and words started popping into my head. I decided to post a few of my creations here, and see what words came to mind with each.

Design 1:

Words that come to mind:

With a

Design 2:

Turkey feathers

With a

Design 3:


Yes, like to play with colors, patterns, and words. There are no deep thoughts here in my writing today, no profound wisdom. Sometimes it's just fun to play!


JudyK May 16, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

SOL Tuesday - Perpetual Evolution

Slice of Life Tuesday -- Tuesday May 9, 2017
"Perpetual Evolution"

Yesterday, I was observing the outdoors at different times of the day. Sometimes I was outside, going between my car and work; sometimes I was inside, noticing things through a window. I wrote down my thoughts at the end of the day, and ended up with this poem:

Perpetual Evolution 
Today's Day:
Bright beautiful sunshine,
Light blue cloudless sky,
Crisp cool temperatures,
Pleasant breezes,
Birds chirping,
Busy people
Going about life.

Day becomes evening:
Slanted sunshine,
Light blue cloudless sky,
Long shadows forming,
Chilly breezes,
Pale white moon rising in the Eastern sky,
Sun sinking slowly in the Western sky,
Brightness ebbing,
Birds quieting,
Busy people
Slowing down.

Evening becomes night:
Darkness overtaking everything,
Star-peppered sky,
Round moon glowing,
Breezes becoming still,
Cold air drifting in, settling in hollows,
Busy people

Night becomes tomorrow's 

JudyK  May 9, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

SOL Tuesday - The Puppies

Slice of Life Tuesday
April 25, 2017

The Puppies

My son and daughter-in-law's dog gave birth to eleven puppies on the day before Easter. Eleven! I'm not a dog expert, but that seems like an awfully big litter, doesn't it?

Here is a picture of the puppies when they were 5 days old.

Today I've written a haiku to celebrate their arrival:

The Puppies
Eleven puppies
Squirming, sleeping, whimpering...
Cuteness overload!

JudyK  April 25, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

SOL Tuesday - Memories of a Special Bookshelf

Slice of Life Tuesday
April 18, 2017

Memories of a Special Bookshelf

In my childhood home, my two sisters and I shared a bedroom, a large room that took up most of the top floor of our one and a half story family home. The room, unfinished when the house was constructed, had been built by my dad with thick knotty pine walls and a tile floor. It was a wonderfully cozy room, with sloping ceilings, two windows, several storage closets, two built-into-the-wall chests of drawers, and a built in bookshelf.

That bookshelf was the place where my sisters and I displayed figurines, stuffed animals, assorted treasures...and of course, books. There was quite a variety of mostly old books on the shelf. The ones I remember ranged from children's books, such as Little Golden Books, to young adult books. I loved to read when I was young, and I read many of the books from that bookshelf. Some of the books I read over and over again because 1) I liked them so much, and/or 2) I was in the mood to read but had nothing new to read, so re-reading old books was my only choice. (The nearest branch of our public library was pretty small and was over a mile to walk to, so I didn't get there very often. And my grade school had no library at all!)

There was a book on that bookshelf that I remember reading numerous times, but I can't recall the title. I know that the book was quite old, and its main characters were two next-door-neighbor girls named Dolly and Dottie. I don't remember much of the plot of the book, except for one chapter when the girls were roller skating and collided with each other, with some not-very-good results. I'll have to do some research to see if I can come up with the title and author, just to satisfy my curiosity. If I do, and if I can find a copy of the book, it might be fun to read that book again.

My favorites of all the books from that bookshelf were Trixie Belden mystery books. We had the first four or five books of the Trixie Belden series, and I read each of them multiple times. Trixie was a 13-year-old girl who solved mysteries, and I absolutely loved her character.  She, along with her brothers and friends, had all kinds of adventures. They solved various mysteries, often getting into trouble along the way.  The books were always suspenseful -- even when I was reading them for the umpteenth time -- and fun to read.

And then there was Nancy. Nancy Drew, that is. We had one Nancy Drew mystery book on that bookshelf, and I read that book as well. But I didn't like it very much, and I only read it once, so I don't even remember which book of the Nancy Drew series it was. I'm sure that the book was well-written, but I just couldn't identify with the character of Nancy. She was an older teenager, already graduated from high school, and she was perfect. She was rich and beautiful and had a boyfriend and played golf and drove a convertible. I couldn't relate to any of those things. 

Some girls loved to read about Nancy Drew. They admired her and aspired to be like her. But not me. Nancy was too perfect, too far removed from the real life which I lived. Give me Trixie Belden -- who made mistakes and got teased by her brothers and had to do household chores and save her money to buy things -- to read about, over Nancy Drew. ANY day.

Ahhhh, the books from my childhood. They were my friends. (Well, except for Nancy.) They kept me company on a rainy day, they added liveliness to boring summer days, they sparked my imagination and let me get glimpses into other teenagers' lives. Even if they were fictional lives....

Trixie and Dolly and Dottie made reading fun, and I am thankful that they were a part of my childhood.

JudyK. April 18, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

SOL Tuesday - Haiku Trio For This Day

Slice of Life Tuesday -- 
Tues. April 11, 2017

Haiku Trio For This Day

Some thoughts about Tuesday, April, and the number 11

Day after Monday 
We glide back into routines
Working hard again

Chilly rain, warm sun
Flowers bloom, trees bud, earth stirs....
New life beginning

Less than a dozen
Not as popular as ten
Prime number...unique

JudyK   :-)  April 11, 2017

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

SOL Tuesday - Balloons!

Slice of Life Tuesday



I took this picture almost nine years ago, one summer evening when my daughter-in-law Kathleen and I were out running errands with my two then-very-little grandchildren. 

It all happened as we were driving along a country road a few miles from my house. We rounded a curve and started up a small hill when we were suddenly greeted by this wondrous sight. That is not something you see every day when you are out driving around, at least not where I live!

We quickly saw that there was another hot air balloon floating very close to this gorgeous yellow one, and we just had to stop to look at them! There happened to be a gravel patch by the side of the road on the other side of the little hill, so we hurriedly pulled over and hopped out of the car. A man and a woman, who were out in their yard across the road from where we parked, looked suspiciously at my daughter-in-law and I as we jumped out, looked up, and started taking pictures....But as soon the couple stopped staring at us long enough to look up, they understood.

By then it was obvious that both hot air balloons were rapidly descending and looking for a spot to land. As they swiftly drifted across the road and over a small patch of woods, Kathleen and I jumped back into the car to follow them. We drove a short distance to an intersecting road, turned onto it and went past the woods, and there, just off the side of the road, were both freshly-landed balloons. We once again pulled off onto the side of the road. Also pulling over right then were several other cars that had observed the goings-on... including the couple who had been regarding us with such suspicion just a few minutes before. They had also hopped into their car to follow the balloons.

This time when Kathleen and I climbed out of our car, we got Kathleen's two little ones out as well. What an amazing sight lay before all of us! The balloons had missed the trees, and a couple of houses, but not by much. We watched, fascinated, as the balloon pilots slowly deflated their balloons and prepared to pack them up. It was a fascinating, I-can't-believe-this-awesome-thing-is-happening kind of evening.

For much of my life I had thought about how fun it would be to ride in a hot air balloon over the countryside. I suppose that thought started when I was a little girl and had seen "The Wizard of Oz"? I don't know. But I still to this day like the idea of quietly floating high in the air, watching over everything down below. I think it sounds so peaceful, so serene...and yet so exciting at the same time.

I don't remember where Kathleen and I had been going that summer evening so long ago. Wherever we had been going, we never got there. Instead, we were unexpectedly given the opportunity to put normal life on hold for a little while and just be in awe of something beautiful, and we grabbed the opportunity and enjoyed it.

I recommend that more people do that more often.


JudyK  April 4, 2017

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, even 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 (shadowpoetry.com) 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 those...at 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