Slice of Life 18 – Double Dactyl #sol24

18 March 2024

Oh, my today’s prompt for Ethical ELA by Wendy Everard was to write a double dactyl. A dactyl is a DUM-da-da three-syllable word or phrase, I think. Each line (except the fourth) has two dactyls–six syllables with a DUM-da-da-DUM-da-da rhythm. I may have accomplished it in some lines. There are some other silly requirements like the first line is nonsense words, the second line has a proper name, and the sixth line is one word. Who created such a beast!? Ah, you can find out here. Here is my attempt at a double dactyl:

Wafflewab wufflegob
Woody L. Woodpecker
Early in Woody’s rise
Heading to fame

Fool of demented acts
too wild and offensive
Needed to tame

Whatever possessed me to write about Woody Woodpecker? Who knows, except that his name may or may not be a double dactyl, with the fake L. middle initial.

Slice of Life 14 – A World Longing for Hope #sol24

14 March 2024

Today, I took a walk by myself. I packed a windbreaker, a stocking cap, water, grapes, my notebook and pen. Everything I needed for a walk and a break at a favorite picnic tree.

We walk by this tree often, but I love to stop and sit under its shade. (Even today when it was cold.)
Such a cozy space.
This rock is my “kitchen table” and I’m sitting on another “chair” rock.

I started writing in the style I learned from Kim Stafford early in January, each day writing: “the date, a diary (boring prose of the day), an aphorism, and a poem.” So, I wrote the date and a couple paragraphs about my mundane day yesterday, and then I needed a quote or aphorism. I went to my email, and saw Trish Emerson’s Wednesday post. I read it, always inspired by her beautiful prose. Then I found the poem she mentions “This Too Shall Pass.” It is a dynamic and important word from Kim Addonizio. I searched for more from her, and found a video of Addonizio answering questions about her book in 2021.  In the video, she described the world as “our beleaguered, compromised, beautiful world.” It struck me as so humble and true. I used that as my striking line to write today’s poem in honor of all you Slicers and what our writing does for each of us, each other, and the world.

A World Longing for Hope

Our Love and writing will salvage
beleaguered dreams and
compromised liberties. Our
beautiful solace in a
world longing for hope.

Kim Addonizio gives that striking line in this Q&A video created during the pandemic.

Slice of Life 9 – A Six-Word Story of Earth #sol24

9 March 2024

Earth’s fragile ecosystems long for survival.

When I grew up in California, we always had the green season (winter) and the brown season (summer). Fortunately, with the rains of the past two winters, our green season has come  back. I took this photo near Hemet on Thursday.

On another note, Leigh Anne wanted to see the inside of the junk journals I made. I took a few photos…

Here are the four junk journals I made for my nieces. I dropped them off at their busy house this week.
Here are a few selected pages and pockets.

Slice of Life 7 – True or False #sol24

7 March 2024

I ran across this True/False post on Poetry Foundation when I was looking for a poem about jury duty. (Go figure!) Dean Young is a surrealist poet who wrote “True/False” in 2006. His number 5 was “I like jury duty.” That’s the only reason I found this relatively old poem. Then I wrote some of my own. Like Lay’s, I just can’t seem to stop at one or a few…Now, I’m thinking of using it as my prompt for #Verselove in April. What do you think? Is it inviting enough to wonder about the veracity or falsehoods written here?

After Dean Young

  1. I am much younger inside than I appear outside.
  2. Jury duty is for the birds.
  3. Ishmael is also a son of Abraham.
  4. Guns have no constructive purpose.
  5. The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary.
  6. I alone can fix it.1
  7. The day you eat it your eyes will be open.
  8. I don’t need a reason.
  9. The waves are singing a song of thrones.
  10. Time and again, you’ve picked me up.2
  12. Crocheting is better than knitting.
  13. The fire fixes the folds of the clouds.
  14. Spring is the most glorious season.
  15. The future will be a feckless sucker punch.
  16. That dish is not too hot.
  17. I want to play all the games.
  18. I forgot my suitcase.
  19. How do you know I’m tired?
  20. Civility is not a sign of weakness.3
  21. There is chaos in spilled milk.
  22. If it’s night, the granite glitters.
  23. Diagramming sentences is essential.
  24. Israel wants to make room for Palestine.
  25. Fiction and myth hold the truest truths.
  26. My children are my life.
  27. The tea leaves will tell the story.
  28. Fear is the most debilitating emotion.
  29. You can have too much storage space.
  30. Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.4
  31. Everything is better with a Snickers bar.
  32. Your ego is a ridiculous tyrant.
  33. Vegetarianism is the tastiest way to eat.
  34. Capitalism is killing our planet.
  35. California should secede.
  36. He’s like a snake lifted in the wilderness.
  37. I have decided to stick with love.5
  38. Hate is too great a burden to bear.5
  39. I hate writing every day.
  40. The badger is still asleep in its den.
  41. KFC makes the best chicken.
  42. In 1942, hope faltered.
  43. In 1492, Columbus should have stayed home.
  44. In 2942, Jesus may or may not return.
  45. Truth is not false.
  46. We will overcome someday.
  47. You are never too old to play softball.
  48. That tiny silver sliver in the sky is still full.
  49. The computer in my pocket rules the day.
  50. Dean Young was an ordinary poet.

5MLK, Jr.

Slice of Life 6 – Yoke or Joke? #sol24

6 March 2024


When I was in São Paulo last month, we went to church one Sunday, and the pastor preached on this passage from Matthew 11, where Jesus says:

28 Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

We had an interpreter who was really good, and explained everything well without mistake, except for one. Throughout the sermon, the yoke of Jesus became the “joke of Jesus.” It was funny to hear at first. There was no way to explain the mistake to him, and in context we knew what he was saying, so we just got used to it. But in a whole sermon about taking the yoke of Jesus upon us, we heard that word joke a lot. Later at lunch, one of us asked him about the sounds of Y and J in Portuguese words; they wondered if that’s why he got it mixed up, but he didn’t make the connection at first. It wasn’t until later when he realized he had gotten the two words mixed up, he hit his forehead, laughed and said, “That’s why you were asking me about the sounds of the letters!”

Isn’t it a miracle that people learn new languages with so many words, when one letter or sound change can make the words totally different? Language learning is such a marvel. Anyway, I wrote this little #50preciouswords story about a similar mix up with yolk and joke.

A New School
By Denise Krebs

Sara moved from São Paulo last year. I moved from Fresno. She’s learning English. I like her.
“I have a yoke for you,” she tells me today.
“Egg yolk?”
“No, silly. A funny story yoke.”
“Ok. Tell me your joke,” I say.
Sara gives me hope for this new school.

And now some photos of Joshua trees especially for Glenda and all of you:

These Joshua trees are growing in my yard. I feel so blessed.


Slice of Life 5 – Ryan’s Mountain #sol24

5 March 2024

Come with me on a hike. It is just a 3-mile round trip hike up Ryan’s Mountain and back, in Joshua Tree National Park.

Before the hike we need to enjoy some tea or coffee. I had my everyday tea latte with soy milk. (This is what I get for trying to empty the soy milk carton today before it was ready to be finished.)
On the way up the mountain

This is the first time I’ve seen a Desert Bighorn sheep in nature.
We made it to the top of Ryan Mountain, elevation 5457. My husband and I and my brother and sister-in-law.

Mt. San Jacinto
Mt. San Gorgonio

The views at the top are lovely.

There were so many rock stairs to walk up and now down; I am thankful for my hiking sticks.

Slice of Life 3 – A Junk Journal Day #sol24

3 March 2024

It was a junk journal sort of day. We are going to visit our niece and her three daughters next week, so this morning after breakfast, I took over the whole table to make junk journals for each of them. I didn’t clean up until 9:30 p.m. That is why I had not visited any Slicers today until late tonight. The junk journals were really my whole day! My husband even brought me food.

I’m new at junk journals, for sure. I’ve been following Natasha at Treasure Books to learn what I’ve learned. She is the only one I will watch now. I’ve become spoiled watching her great videos. She is kind and practical and thrifty. She is a great “junk journal” shopper. She is both meticulous and artistic. I’m barely either, but I’m trying.

This was my work table for 12 hours today!
These are four junk journals at various stages of getting ready to gift my nieces next week.


Slice of Life 1 – Jury Duty #sol24

1 March 2024

The last two days I’ve had jury duty. In our state, there is a one day or one trial jury process. If the first day you are not put in a courtroom for jury selection, you are finished with your service. I was chosen to go through the jury selection process; this process took two days. It was so very fascinating. I wrote about it here. There was something so amazing about being a mostly anonymous community member (we were called by numbers in the courtroom, never our names), gathered together for only one purpose–to provide a fair trial for one of our peers. We weren’t supposed to use our phones in the courtroom, so I was texting my husband on a break:

I thought he might read that last comment sarcastically. But I truly meant it–“I love sitting here with all my peers waiting…”

Not that it wasn’t boring, but it was satisfying to be a significant part of providing justice. Bonus: I did have a chance to read about 20% of my really long book, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers in the many breaks we were given. For me, jury duty only lasted two days, for the jury was confirmed by the end of the second day, and the rest of us were excused, while they will continue with a three-week trial.