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Click the blue link below to read more and to hear my song: 



Original Song by Judy Unger, Copyright 2010


The alabaster seashell rests

gently in the sand

the tide sweeps to its refuge

leaving it to gleam

in drifting, dune-like patterns


The alabaster seashell rests

gently in his hand

he tells her how he found it

a treasured memory

and reminder of his love


That seashell once held a living thing

It’s beauty remains to always bring

reminders of days like the one

combing the seashore in a brilliant sun


The alabaster seashell rests

gently in her hand

she feels his love is with her

even though he’s gone

the shell glistens with her tears


That seashell once held a living thing

It’s beauty remains to always bring

reminders of days like the one

holding him tightly in a setting sun


The alabaster seashell rests

gently on her stand

it gathers dust with time

like the love that is

among her treasured memories

like the love that is

a treasured memory


My song, “Alabaster Seashell” began with three simple stanzas I wrote when I was 17. I vaguely remembered only part of the melody for the “Alabaster Seashell.” But it was the beautiful chord progressions, which utilized a different guitar tuning, that enraptured me. I knew my song needed something more, but I had no idea how I was going to expand my song about a seashell. I started to experiment to see what I could come up with.

I have always loved seashells and deeply appreciated their indescribable beauty. When my art career first began, I received an assignment to create a series of eight, large paintings of seashells, which would be marketed as prints. As I painted dozens of seashells, I became quite familiar with their intricate shapes and colors.

I was surprised how telling the story of a seashell memento also stirred up many emotions inside of me. My memories of collecting seashells began during childhood. I kept jars of them in my bedroom and each shell represented a beautiful memory of a day spent searching the seashore. With those feelings, I started to compose some new lyrics to add to my song, but then I had such a major revelation with “The Alabaster Seashell” that it took my breath away.

My song was originally based upon the story of a boyfriend giving me a seashell when I was in my teens. With that story, I pictured myself older and looking back at the treasured memory my boyfriend gave me long ago, after we were no longer in love. But as I sang my old melody, suddenly my heart took me somewhere else. I was swept to a clear day at the beach. I squinted as the brilliant sun warmed my soul. My young son was walking with me along the seashore. Then, he bent down and excitedly cupped a sparkling white seashell in his hands to show me. His blue eyes were shining. The revelation of how my song had changed and the memory of that tender moment caused me to become overwhelmed with emotion. I realized that I had discovered how my song could be expanded.      

I decided that a seashell was a beautiful metaphor about seeing death in a positive way. The creature that once inhabited the seashell left something beautiful behind when it died. Although the creature was gone, the seashell could bring comfort with its beauty and with the memories. The “Alabaster Seashell” reminded me of a magnificent day combing the beach with Jason. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I quickly scrawled out additional lyrics for my song.

These are original pages where I developed my new lyrics. I added verses to expand my song that I wrote when I was 17.

These are original pages where I developed new lyrics for a song I wrote when I was 17.

Seashells notes 1 Jason pointing on the beach Jason on the beach

Jason, & mom at beach

© 2012 by Judy Unger, http://www.myjourneysinsight.com and 20 Lines A Day. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Brumbies who feel the storm

Gossamer circles hang on limb

broken only by the gust of wind

stirred from skies and plunges deep

skies of black and restless sleep

Brumbies stir and gallop up hills

steep their climb strong of will

light from stars bathe the ground

grass is black for miles around

Lightning breaks the darkness still

zig zagged lights across the hill

thunder rumbles high in these skies

brumbies pack warning danger is nigh

Leader heads them up the hills

others follow at their will

strong of legs they carry on

out of the darkness from the storm

Strength of legs and hooves on earth

in this land that gave them birth

frightened with ears back they forge

over rocks and over gorge

Elements faced in open land

together they run no time to stand

thunder roars its frightening noise

brumbies tense calmness destroyed

Shelter as the lighting cracks

rain falls they group in their plight

herd of brumbies with stallion black

black as this night as they take flight

Storm it passes and all is still

brumbies rest shake off the chill

regroup they stand with nostrils flared

none of them harmed each one was spared

Reposted from ramblingsfromamum


Autumn at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden

This week, I wasn’t feeling too inspired by the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  Although I’ve seen some great photos around the topic of “Mine”, it just isn’t for me.  Instead, I’ve opted to join in on Where’s My Backpack’s weekly photo challenge of foliage.

I chose a few photos from my visit to the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden last November. Even though these were taken last fall, you will still see plenty of green leaves adorning the trees and assorted plants in these photos.  While we do get a fair share of orange and yellow leaves in autumn out here in the desert, it’s not as widespread as say, the East Coast.  What stands out to me is that the sunlight is more subdued in the fall as opposed to the summertime.

If you want to join in on this challenge, check out http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/09/28/travel-theme-foliage/


Dry Floral Arrangements

Dry, brittle, hot…no, actually this was a late October morning on the Deschutes River. It was 13 degrees out. I hunkered down to take the shot to gladly escape the upriver wind. A beautiful river, but one should always be careful here.


The Fragrance of the Pouring Rain

The musky fragrance of the pouring rain, 

The background, very dim and light,

In itself produces a silent lullaby,

Sending me into the islands of the sleep,

Where I’m not asleep,

But still not awake,

My consciousness, though, remains intact,

And feel the surroundings in a new way,

Oh the fragrance of the pouring rain,

Which sneaks out of the sandy terrain,

I feel good for once at least when it rains,

It feels good when it rains.


It’s a little hairy out there…

If you go out in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise.

If you go out in the woods today, you better run for your lives……or my giant Huntsman might eat you mwah hahahaha!

I realize I’m doing to absolutely nothing to help stereotypes of the critters here but if it makes you feel better he’s not poisonous!

Beauty in the Details

Beauty in the Details (SwittersB)

“Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.” Confucius

I had taken some macro photos of a fly pattern, while wet, to check on the colors under those conditions. Later, I took another shot of the same fly while it was dry. Or, almost dry. That delicate little drop out on the very tip of the pheasant tail fiber caught my eye. A small detail lost to my eye, but for the camera lens. 

Ode To A Steelhead


With much anticipation,

one takes time off from work.

The motivation, the preparation

is to be standing in the river when you feel the jerk.

The river runs smooth

as it runs toward the ocean.

Your intent is not to soothe

your needs, but to take your devotion

from first light until dark

and hopefully feel the commotion. 

The Poetry Challenge for the Week


Weekend Plans: Yard Work Edition

Get organized. Go to sleep.

Got to get up early

to beat the summer heat.

Up at sunrise, with coffee in hand -

Have to sort out those green leafy plants.

Sometimes it can be hard

To decide the difference between

Which plants are plants,

And which ones are weeds.

Next a small trim to the tree that hovers right over

The fence to my neighbor’s backyard

 And dish-shaped channel provider.

Once it’s all done, I can reward myself with a swim.

Don’t want to wait until later,  as a monsoon might roll in.

After all that, I can then truly say

I have the whole afternoon free to enjoy Saturday.

routine happiness

smiling through a frowning face

never sure about  this chase

thought’s are becoming  settled

thinking is being channeled

chasing for the normal life

loss of anxiety’s stabbing knife

routinely waking to happiness

curing this awful loneliness

futures plan is not yet set

now my life I wont regret





1 Comment

His Addiction Part 2

It started with a simple Gold Pan, and of course a shovel.

We would go through the articles on Gold Prospecting in our local area. These included books we had purchased while at  George Streeter  Electronics out by Keene, NH.

Then we would leave early in the morning and look for bends in the rivers and streams and try to figure out where the most likely deposits of gold may land.

This is very hard work for two cripples to do. We watch the shows that tell us it is awesome exercise though and push through the pain in our search  for this elusive deposit, here in NH.

So we locate a nice spot and he digs and we get a sample, oh I forgot, you also need a 5 gal bucket or two, wait and a screen, oh no what size?

So let’s see we have 3 buckets 2 gold pans, 5 screens we need to get down to the smallest of particles, for the Gold here in NH, is this size, for the most part.

We work all day with one break but we have fun.

Really we do love the outdoors, and the scenery along streams and rivers in NH, they are real beauties! The dog loved the ride and the water even more.  So it is a good day for the three of us.

We screen his gravel he has dug out of the stream bed and look real hard at what we have on our screen, we can’t be throwing gold nuggets back in after all of this work! Then we dump the gravel  back into the stream and bring home only the small stuff with lots of black sand in it, as we have been taught that this is also found in areas where GOLD is. A few small flecks are found!

Well now we have to be able to move even more dirt and take less home with us(this is called concentrates)so now he says we need a Sluice!  We purchase a nice big one(from a man in the Want-AD this keeps out cost down somewhat) and ready ourselves for some much better Gold, the next time.

So now with buckets, screens, shovels and gold pans, oh and our new Sluice, we head to a potentially good section of our favorite stream bed!  We work just as hard but now we run the screened gravel over this new sluice and check the riffle often, to see if we can see  any of that Yellow Gold! We do this once a week and still only find small flakes on our trips to the streams.

Now he sets about  putting together a high banker, we still shovel and then take home concentrates to pan at home. Sound familiar? lol

He wants to go after the Gold easier, so he starts to look for a dredge, because he feels he needs to go deeper.   He puts together a 2 1/2″ dredge but he can not go deep enough!

I tease him about this and he says “You’ll see!” I’m WAITING

We locate a man way up in Maine who has not one, but four used dredges to choose from (gee he had this Gold Fever BAD).

He  loves the 6 inch but when I tell him in case he has forgotten, we are old and injured and this is awfully heavy  looking and we will need a trailer just to get it from place to place, he thinks about it and goes with this man’s  four inch dredge.  He is  so excited and can hardly wait to use it,  so we try it up there in Maine at  another of our favorite places. It works great, though I am not impressed with all the times good size rocks jam up in the suction hose. He said not to worry as it comes with a metal rod you put inside the hose and it loosens the rocks and we will be back at vacuuming the stream soon.  This will kill us, I am certain of it at this point!

Now this dredge comes with a sluice box attached along with a gas motor, but it is missing the foot valve so it is horrible to start, I worry about him with all this pull starting and getting no where quickly!  Finally it starts when we fill every hose and we work for about an hour and then wash it down into a bucket but since we are now real tired and hurting badly, we decide  to pack it back up and head back the 3 hours to home.   We will pan it out there, while we sit with a drink in one hand and relax in our comfortable chairs.   We are OLD and INJURED.

We worked  this dredge with a  State of NH Recreational Permits for a few years. We still can’t get deep enough though. We either can’t get where we want to because the roads washed away in a flood or the weather continues to be lousy but we  try and  try to find that deep pocket of gold just waiting to be found.

Now don’t forget, we also have all those metal detectors we use and hit the fields and beaches and ponds with.   So much equipment and two old people using them, we sometimes get so tired we don’t feel like doing anything!

When we decide to take another trip to visit friends and family.  We have to decide which equipment we will need bring.  He is always ready for the next adventure.

Don’t get me wrong we still have lots of fun but no more gold then when we just went out with our shovel and gold pan!

So as you laugh at our problem,  be careful to watch yourselves,  as addictions come on you without you even realizing it!  Gold Fever is real dangerous, I hear it is spreading  so take special care not to be caught up by it, then again at over $1400.00 an Ounce  it is a hobby you can make a little extra money on and get outdoors and  get lots of back-breaking exercise.

Happy Treasure Hunting to YOU ALL

May you hit the Mother Lode!


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