Wednesday, October 7

MEME ~ Five Words

Paul Nichols, who writes here, did a meme recently. If you don’t know Paul’s writing, get over there and check it out, as well as his other blog. He recently published a book of reminiscences, titled "Just Seven Blocks from the Mexican Border".

For this meme, you write about five words as they apply to your life. I agreed to participate, and here are the five words he sent:

Puzzle License Circle Language Entertained


  1. to perplex, to bewilder mentally
  2. to solve or discover by labor or ingenuity
  3. a problem designed to test ingenuity

I love puzzles of most types, such as crosswords, jigsaws and word searches. I do crosswords everyday, and since I started playing Lexulous on Facebook (a form of Scrabble) it has taken the place of printed crosswords for me. I like that – nothing to throw out or recycle! There is one type of puzzle that confounds me, however, and it is Sudoku*. The first time I tried it, I was doing well – or so I thought- until I got to the last line of numbers and nothing matched up! I was so frustrated. I erased it and started over but soon gave up when it became apparent that numbers and my brain don’t jive (and never have.)

Picture puzzles (jigsaws) are another favorite, but the last time I tried one, my cats had other ideas. I think they didn’t like that I wasn’t in my usual chair, providing soft, warm comfort for them to lie on. So they jumped on the table and batted around every piece they could get their paws on. I put them off the table repeatedly. The first night, I had finished all the border of the puzzle and about 150 other pieces. When I got up the next morning, all but 20 or so pieces were on the dining room floor. It took me a week to find them all.

So while I love puzzles and tests of ingenuity, I am perplexed and bewildered by my inability to do Sudoku and by my cats’ behavior when I try to do jigsaws.


  1. Authority or liberty given to do or forbear any act
  2. Excess of liberty; freedom abused
  3. That deviation from strict fact, form or rule by an artist or writer for the effect gained; as, poetic license
  4. To permit or authorize by formal license

Most of us have to earn or obtain driver’s licenses and various business licenses throughout our lives. I failed my driver’s license the first time I took it, because I couldn’t parallel park my father’s huge car with big tail fins, a 1957 Dodge. I knocked over one of the barrels I was supposed to slide in between. Having waited until I was 17 to take the test, I was flustered and embarrassed when I didn’t get my license on the first try. No one practiced more than I did in the following weeks and when I tried the test again, I passed with flying colors, as they say.

Poetic license is not something I use as a rule, but occasionally, when writing a blog post, I take liberties with exact facts – since most of the time they make no difference to the outcome of the story and may actually make it better, easier to read or protect the innocent (or the not so innocent!) Mr. kenju always takes issue with it, however, admonishing me to change dates, or names or some other small bit of info. He’s a left-brain person, so he doesn’t see how poetic license can be used to make something better, without changing the essence. Take painting, for instance. If you look at a landscape with an eye to painting it and you love everything about it except that one tree in the background that has a funny shape, you can choose to change the look of that tree and make your painting or drawing better, without doing much damage to the “truth” of the landscape. Artists do that all the time. Photographers do it as well, when they choose to crop certain parts of a photo, enhance the color, soften the shadows and change the lighting. Authors do it when they change history in a way that will make for a better experience of the story in a book or movie. Mr. kenju gets up in arms when he sees a film that is not historically factual, even when it appears to be. “That’s not realistic”, he’ll shout, “It didn’t happen that way, and they’re misleading people!” I contradict with, “IT’S A MOVIE! They can say or show anything they want! And so it goes.


  1. A closed plane curve such that all of its points are equidistant from a point within, the center
  2. 2. Something having in general a circular form, as a ring, halo, crown, sphere, orb, etc.
  3. 3. A company bound by a common tie; a coterie, a set.

In my dictionary, there are several more definitions of the word circle, but I’ll stop with three.

In high school, I avoided math classes like the plague (see Sudoku*, above). Having applied to the University of Cincinnati Architecture School, I learned that they would accept me only if I would go to summer school (right after graduation from high school) and take Plane Geometry; assuming I would make a passing grade. The next six weeks would be filled with not only circles, but triangles and parallelograms, too! I had all the other classes I needed and was lacking only this one. I dreaded it with a white-hot passion; fear and nausea welled in me the first time I approached the school; not my own, but the rival in my town. They had no air-conditioning back then and the classes were on the third floor. It was hot, humid and generally unbearable. Surprisingly, I did well in that class. When I quit after two weeks, I had a high B average. But I simply couldn’t take it anymore. I chose to forget architecture school and apply to the college in my town, thereby limiting my circle of friends, activities and possibilities for future business successes. And despite that, I believe that I did what I was supposed to do – otherwise – I would never have had the opportunity to meet mr. kenju and get a wedding ring, and I wouldn’t have my three wonderful children or my gorgeous grandchildren.

My circles of friends include co-workers, neighbors, Mr. kenju’s friends and business associates, and people with whom I have come in contact through volunteer work. Also included are blog friends, who have become very important to me over the past 4+ years. I suppose I should include family in there as well, and although most of us are friendly, we do have our moments of estrangement, now and then. I am grateful for the blessing of good friends, no matter the circles to which they belong.


1. The body of words and methods of combining words used and understood by a considerable community; a tongue.

2. Any means, vocal or other, of expressing or communicating feeling or thought.

3. Specifically, the faculty of verbal expression and the use of words in human intercourse; also the words themselves in their grammatical relationships.

4. A Form or manner of expression; style

How would I explain my writing style? I have no idea. I doubt I would be a good fiction writer; reporting might be more in my line, due to my writing style (which I can’t define.) As a communicator, I have the gift of gab. I will talk your socks off, if you let me. It may not be anything you care to hear, however. Just tell me – I don’t mind. Mr. kenju says “If you ask her the time, she’ll build you a watch.” He also says I have a “communication” problem, such as when I have misunderstood something one of the children has told me and I report it incorrectly. Of course, you know that never happens to him, don’t you?

;-) I think my problems are more related to poor hearing; that’s what causes me to misunderstand. Maybe if I didn’t forget to wear my hearing aids…..

All I can say is thank Heaven for language – or I’d not be writing here everyday – and my life would be much poorer for it. Incidentally, if Blogger can be believed, this is post # 1,051 here, and added to 1,016 or so posts on Just Ask Judy, you have proof I am a motor-mouth.....LOL


1. To receive and provide for, especially in one’s home; have as guests.

2. To receive into or keep in the mind; to consider or dwell upon; as, to entertain an idea

3. To provide entertainment, especially for guests

I have received and entertained a few bloggers in my home. Would you believe that you are all welcome? You are. I’d love to entertain all of you some day. I entertain ideas and dwell upon them for the blog everyday. I hope that you are entertained when you read my blog and I hope that this post has been entertaining (even though it is too long).

If you would like to participate in this meme, I’d be happy to choose five words for you. All you have to do is ask.


Travelin'Oma said...

This is so clever! I'm so overwhelmed with my crazy seminar that I can't do the meme right now, but I love the idea, and what I learned about you!

Pat said...

My favourite bits are the Mr Kenju bits. Warts and all:)

Tabor said...

Feel free to send me five words as a comment on my blog (I don't check my blogger email often enough.)

Greta said...

Wednesday is my day to read blogs I follow and go to a memoir class, so hit me with your best 5!

Arkansas Patti said...

Very clever and I am astounded at your number of posts. I bow low to you and will quit whining.
I too had cat/jigsaw problems till I discovered

They post eight each day with anywhere from 6 to 250 pices on each picture. I am addicted.
I also use poetic license to protect the innocent and not so.

sage said...

I was interested in your former interest in architecture...

Shiny Rod said...

Well done on the words. It is always amazing how people react and associate words to various events in their life. With some words, I can tell a complete story. I was always interested what was really meant by the term "Passed with flying colors". So, I looked it up and this where it originated from. Funny, being a nautical term, it was not in my Chapman's Piloting Manual.

"Passed with flying colors" comes from sailing ships that, when passing other ships at sea, would fly their colors (flags) if they wanted to be identified.

kenju said...

Patti: NOW you've done it!! I'll spend my days doing jigsaw puzzles instead of blogging!!!

Sage: the interest goes on, just not as actively.

LL Cool Joe said...

I also love doing jigsaws and will have to check out that jigsaw site! Looks good.

What great answers to all of your chosen words. I may have done a similar thing on my blog in the past but I'd love to have another go if you don't mind giving me 5 words?

Grannymar said...

Interesting meme! I will pass this time as I am struggling to keep up with my blog reading right now.

LZ Blogger said...

Judy ~ I mostly try and be an ALL-BRAIN person, but at times... I feel like I am saving a LOT of it to use at a future unspecified date! But by then I'll more than likely forget about it! ~ jb///

Buzzardbilly said...

Excellent post!

rosemary said...

best ever post Judy....loved it all. you could be a journalist, fiction, non-fiction writer....anything with are a wordsmith.

tiff said...

I can vouch for a couple of these as being "totally Judy." :)

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I always say that there are two kinds of people: Algebra people and Geometry people. Those of us who are good with words and the grey areas generally do well in Geometry and really stink in Algebra!

JeanMac said...

Really do hope we visit someday!

Anonymous said...

Such wonderful stuff to think about and wow don't we all have different interpetations to words and meanings. I loved this.

Dorothy from grammology

Star said...

I like your answers Judy. I'll take a pass on the 5 words though. I do Sudoku on my iPhone. Deleting is much easier to deal with than erasing.

Joy Des Jardins said...

These are great answers Judy...and I LOVE jigsaw puzzles. I have a huge collection of them. But I do them every day on my computer...lots of them in between work. I'm addicted. I've always loved them.

Paul Nichols said...

I read these earlier (Wednesday morn) on FB. Was mightily impressed. A great post; lots of introspection and another, big window into your life. Mr. K's, too. Thanks for playing along. A real nice job. And I like puzzles, too. Just haven't done one in a ka-jillion years. My son has been doing Sudoku since before there was such a word. He's blazing fast at them. A great place to buy jigsaws is in Dollar Stores or Thrift stores (although those blasted missing pieces...)

Darlene said...

My computer has an evil elf in it. I posted a comment earlier and it's missing. I think I said you did a great job with your five words and because I couldn't do nearly as well I was going to pass on doing the meme.

I love your answers.

Jen said...

I am new to this blogging site and just found yours. I love this. I'll play. I'm hoping I can do half as good a job as you.

Jen said...

Thank you for the five words! I am working on mine. I completed the first two words. I'm stuck on imagination. At this particular moment in time, I don't have one. I'll post it soon.

Anonymous said...

If you love jigsaw puzzles, you should visit