Clarice James

Smart, Fun, Relatable Fiction


4 Comments

Twelve Words for a Word Searcher’s Vocabulary #8

Gracious speech is like clover honey—good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body. ~ Proverbs 16:24 (MSG)
When I can’t sleep at night, I get up and read a couple of chapters of whatever book I’m enjoying. After that, I try to bore myself to sleep by doing a few word search puzzles. 

This usually does the trick–until I come across words I don’t know. Here’s a list of them. Do you know their meaning? 

  1. bismutha) gray and overcast; b) brittle, grayish-white metallic element; c) standing ovation; d) grandiose
  2. coeval – a) equally old; b) architectural detail; c) hut built over a mine shaft; d) wide and shallow
  3. drupe – a) ancient alphabet; b) to doubt; c) to hang on or over; d) any fruit with an outer skin, pulpy middle, and hard inner shell
  4. fipple – a) indecisive; b) block that forms a flue in wind instruments; c) type of dwarf tree; d) public disturbance
  5. jaggery – a) sharp protrusion; b) sugar made from the sap of a date palm; c) unrestrained indulgence; d) latest Rolling Stones album title
  6. muntin – a) aged; b) flesh of a mature sheep used for food;) playfully mean or cruel; d) strip separating panes of glass in a sash
  7. nitid – a) idiot-like; b) handmade; c) bright and lustrous; d) infected by the egg of a louse or other parasitic insect
  8. piggina) small wooden pail; b) newborn pigs; c) type of fastener; d) type of English pudding
  9. rondellea) type of French cheese; b) vegan casserole; c) circular jewel; d) type of saw
  10. scow – a) look of disapproval; b) jurisdiction over a territory or over people; c) large flat-bottomed boat with broad square ends; d) fist fight
  11. twite – a) beyond a shadow of a doubt; b) small finch; c) stomach of a ruminant; d) to flutter about
  12. valgus – a) essential amino acid; b) earthly or mortal; c) not easily discerned; d) knock-kneed or bowlegged

thinking capHave you chosen the correct definition? Can you use the words in a sentence? Scroll down to see how you did.

People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. ~ James 3:7-12 (NLT)

Here are the correct answers.

  1. b) Bismutha brittle, grayish-white, red-tinged, metallic element used in the manufacture of fusible alloys and in medicine
  2. a) Coevalof the same age, date, or duration; equally old
  3. d) Drupeany fruit, as a peach, cherry, plum, etc., consisting of an outer skin, usually a pulpy and succulent middle layer, and a hard and woody inner shell, usually enclosing a single seed
  4. b) Fipple: a wooden block that forms a flue at the mouth end of certain musical instruments
  5. b) Jaggerya coarse, dark sugar, especially that made from the sap of East Indian (date) palm trees
  6. d) Muntin: a strip separating panes of glass in a sash
  7. c) Nitid: bright and lustrous
  8.  a) Piggin: a small wooden pail with one stave extended upward as a handle
  9. c) Rondelle: a circular object; especially a circular jewel or jeweled ring
  10. c) Scow: a large flat-bottomed boat with broad square ends used chiefly for transporting bulk material (as ore, sand, or refuse)
  11. b) Twite: a small finch, Carduelis flavirostris, of northern Europe, having streaked brown plumage and, in the male, a pink breast
  12. d) Valgus: an abnormally turned position of a part of the bone structure of human being, especially of the leg. Bowlegged, knock-kneed, or the like

Jumping for joy over your score?

10-12  May I call you in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep?

07-09 When you speak, do blank faces stare back at you?

04-06 My kind of person!

00-03  I don’t think you’re trying very hard.


13 Comments

In Jeopardy on Jeopardy

alex-welcomeWhenever my husband David and I visit my father-in-law, we have to watch Jeopardy so that sweet man can count how many answers his Son-the-Genius gets right. The genius title has been disputed by David numerous times, but his proud father insists there’s an IQ test score floating around in history to prove it.

Of course, David doesn’t help his non-genius argument when he throws out correct responses like these: “What is a Leopard 10-point Crampon Flexlock?” … “Who are the Limeliters?” … “What is an Aye Aye?” … “Who is responsible for the Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Disorder?” … “What is Gallopin’ Gertie?” … “Who is O. Winston Link?

aye-aye

Aye Aye

Who knows all these things … I mean, besides my husband … and people like him?

Not to brag, but I know a lot of stuff too. In fact, my knowledge base is so massive I have to store it outside my brain in places like the Oxford English Dictionary, People Magazine, and Wikipedia. As a fail-safe, two self-appointed guards are in place to correct me: 1) my husband, Son-the-Genius, and 2) my friend, Smarty-Pants Mahoney. But I am quite certain I could do as well on Jeopardy … if they’d only change the categories. Why, I might even rout Son-the-Genius! [For instance, see how I used the word “rout” instead of “beat?”]

Here’s the way I imagine it would go …

CLARICE, WIFE OF SON-THE-GENIUS: “Alex, I’ll take CANDY for 400.”

ALEX TREBEK: “Nation famous for red fish.” 

CLARICE: Buzz. “What is Sweden, the country of origin of those chewy fish that get caught between your teeth but taste so good?”

“Yes, it could be a winky face …

ALEX: “Correct.” Chuckle, chuckle. “Even with the mixed review.”

CLARICE: “Let me have PUNCTUATION for 600, Alex.”

ALEX:  “A partial punctuation mark.”

CLARICE: Buzz. “What is a semicolon, which you should avoid using when writing fiction–especially in dialogue–because editors are not partial to it?”

ALEX: “Correct–again with more editorializing.”

CLARICE: “Glad you like it, Alex. I’ll move on to COLORS for 800.”

ALEX: “A French liqueur made by the Carthusian Monks since 1737.”

CLARICE: Buzz. “What is Chartreuse–also a color which I never wear because it makes me look old and jaundiced?”

ALEX: “Um, you’re right again … uh, not about looking old or jaundiced… uh, I mean … never mind.”

CLARICE: “Thanks, Alex. You’re too kind. Now I’ll take HGTV for 1,000.”

ALEX: Family, Waco, magnolia, farmhouse.

CLARICE: Buzz. “Who are Chip and Joanna Gaines, hosts of Fixer Upper, whose style I love unless she gets too country like the time she used the rusty, dented red metal buckets for kitchen lamp shades, which were a bit too much for me, but what did you think?”

jeopardy-with-cj-2

ALEX: “Uh, correct again, Clarice. I’m sorry, but I’d like to stay on point next time, if you don’t mind?”

CLARICE: “Works for me, Alex. No need to apologize. Besides, I would’ve gotten the last one right on the word Waco alone. How about BIBLE for 1,200?”

ALEX: “It’s the Daily Double! Clarice, you have $10,000 so far. What would you like to wager?”

CLARICE: “I’ll make it a true Daily Double, Alex. Never know when I’ll get this chance again.”

ALEX: “Four creatures sent as part of the plagues against Egypt.”

CLARICE: “What are frogs, mothers-in-law–just kidding!–mice–oops, no, I mean lice–flies, and locusts?”

ALEX: “Hmm. It seems you have more than four creatures … Wait. Our judges have ruled in your favor. Looks like we have a new champion!”

CLARICE: “But what about Final Jeopardy?”

ALEX: “Brad and Stephanie have no money to wager, so that’s the end of our show for today.”

CLARICE: “But I have a lot more answer-questions. I’ll be quick. What is on the lam (not lamb)? What is soapstone? Who is Snoop Dogg? What is claptrap? Where is Patagonia? What is tongue-in-groove and tongue-in-cheek? What are washboard abs? Who are Andrew Johnson and Julie Andrews? Where is Mount Nebo? What are Spoolies? …

ALEX, HOLDING UP HIS HAND: “Again, Clarice, you won, the show is over …”

 

alex-stop-talkingCLARICE, HOLDING UP HER HAND: “… What is a frozen rope? Where is Waldo? What is a frozen shoulder? Who is Amy Carmichael? What is Pierre? What is hardtack? Who is Bobby Vinton? What is the number 42? Who is Juan Ponce de Leon? Where is Double Header?

Yep. It would go a lot like that.

alex-needs-helpDoes not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud: “To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it. Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.. ~ Proverbs 8:1-6 (NIV)

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. ~ 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)

Note: To those who know me well (and those who don’t know me at all), you have surmised correctly–I did NOT appear on Jeopardy.


4 Comments

What Is Hooey and Why Is There a Lot of It?

As my title suggests, another year has gone, and I still don’t know everything I want to know. Here’s my latest dozen queries.

pig-in-mask

Sorry, I’m out. Pulled a hammy.

  1. This is a compound question. On the new reality show Hunted, teams of two go on the lamb, hoping to win big bucks by being the last ones captured. Are they or we supposed to ignore the camera crew following them? And why do they go on the lamb? Why not a goat or a cow or a rat? Huh? What do you mean it’s lam? What on earth is a lam?
  2. Why do the disgruntled get all the headlines? Don’t the gruntled deserve some attention?
  3. Can a pig pull a hamstring?
  4. Why is it that when people drive faster than us they’re considered idiots, but when they drive slower they’re morons?
  5. When we can’t do everything, why do we choose to do nothing?
  6. Why does Hawaii have interstate highways?
  7. In 2016, someone named their baby Little Sweetmeat. Why do parents do this? I’ve already started a GoFundMe account to pay for this kid’s therapy.
  8. Since Jesus taught by telling parables, why do Christians insist they “can’t possibly read fiction”?
  9. The picture of a thousand words. What’s it worth? Does it depend on the words?
  10. Why do we continue the whole groundhog thing? There’s no food or gifts connected to it, and no one really believes it, especially those Christians who don’t read fiction.
  11. What do I say when someone says I’m in denial but I’m not?
  12. Why do I own 47 bowls and still use old Cool Whip containers? (Okay, so maybe I am in denial.)

how-i-bowl-3-strings

[hoo-ee] 

interjection — 1. (used to express disapproval or disbelief): Hooey! You know that’s not true.

noun — 2. silly or worthless talk, writing, ideas, etc.; nonsense; bunk: That’s a lot of hooey and you know it!

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. ~ James 1:5 (NIV)


9 Comments

I Have Questions. Where is King Solomon?

QuestionsWhen the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. Arriving at Jerusalem . . . she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. ~ 1Kings 10:1-3 (NIV)

The US is a complicated place, and the people who live here even more so. I have a few questions. If there’s a King Solomon out there, give me a call.

Do you have questions too?

  1. When a company advertises its frozen chicken product as having “ingredients like all meat chicken,” what exactly do they mean by like?Strawberry-Roll-ups
  2. Why do we say “You’re only [pick any age] once” and “You’re not getting any younger” as if it’s a lost nugget of Solomon’s wisdom?
  3. Why were consumers caught unawares when it was disclosed that strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups contain no strawberries?
  4. One day, a doctor can tell a woman smoking may harm the baby in her womb. The next day, another doctor can end that same baby’s life in that same womb. What kind of choice is that?
  5. Yes, bacon soap is real—but why?
  6. Speaking of soap, what happens to soap scum that doesn’t stick to your tile?
  7. Why does the news media blame drug addiction on everyone except the person who started taking the drugs? I know the problem is complicated, but shouldn’t we hold the addict accountable too?da14_bacon_soap_closeup
  8. Who decides what to do when an endangered animal eats another endangered species?
  9. That brings me to this: Why do sharks get more respect (and news coverage) than the seals they eat?
  10. Why can’t gruntled people get as much attention as their disgruntled counterparts? Sheesh. The word’s not even recognized by spell-check.
  11. Have you seen the ad for the Preparation H Totables which come in a “discreet, convenient travel size”? Pardon me, but isn’t all use of any Preparation H product meant to be discreet?PH
  12. If, for unknown reasons, either and/or both of our presidential nominees were unable to continue their race for office, how would a replacement candidate be chosen?  No, seriously, how?