Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Aaack, do I use "then" or "than"?

As long as I can remember, I've mixed up when it is appropriate to use "then" and when "than" is correct. I looked them up just a bit ago and was writing the correct usages on a little sticky note on my monitor, when, if I'd been a cartoon character, the stereotypical light bulb would have appeared over my head.

Look carefully at the bold letters below for an easy way to remember which to use when:

Use "than" when you're doing comparisons.
Use "then" when you're referring to time or a sequence of events.

Cool, huh? It's certainly easier than trying to remember which is which each time like I used to do back then--before I had discovered the letter clues.

Shall I tell you about "lie" and "lay" next? They're on the sticky note, too...

Once when I looked the lie/lay usage up, I finally wrote them on that sticky note on my monitor:

Use "lay" with a direct object. (I lay it down.)
Use "lie" without a direct object. (I lie down.)

Imagine the following in a grid (I'm not sure if the formatting will remain):

Form Lie Lay

Present lie lay
Past lay laid
Participles lying laying

Examples (not on sticky note):
I lie down on the bed and lay my book on the table.
Yesterday, I lay on the bed after I laid my book on the floor.
Right now, I am lying down on the bed and laying my book on the bed beside me.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Foreign Words and Phrases

You are 85% Try-Lingual!!

You are quite the Linguist! I suppose you wouldn't be trying to show off to your friends, would you. Splendid job. Time to put the quiz on a blog or email a link to your friends. Check out some of the good quizzes here, but be sure to avoid the bad ones. Auf Wiedersehen! Adieu.

Foreign Words and Phrases
Create MySpace Quizzes

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Beth is batting 1000 with her potluck recipe!

So, for the third week now, Beth's unbelievably easy to make potluck dish has been scraped clean even before everyone had been through the line. Okay, I'm impressed, Beth, that one is a winner!

What? You want her recipe?

All she does is cut purchased frozen bean and cheese burritos in half, tuck them in a single layer into a 9x12 casserole dish, annoint them with medium taco sauce and then generously top with mixed grated cheeses from a bag, cover it all with foil and stash in in the refrigerator. At the appointed time, it gets popped into the oven to heat and melt the cheese.

I'm not sure if it's her presentation in that lovely white (although space hogging) casserole dish with its sloping sides and wide lip or if whoever's manning the ovens and tables that week just wants to clear more space so puts it at the beginning of the table of food or if maybe it's just that lots of people think that looks like something they'd like! "I" like that I can swing by Walmart and pick up a bag of 10 frozen burritos (just enough to fill the dish) for what seems like not much more than a song.

Anyway, well done, Beth!

Speaking of Beth, I got to wondering, do I still consider myself an empty-nester with an adult daughter living in the same house? Technically speaking, probably not. Oops. Ah, well. That's a tag I don't mind giving up--she's pleasant to have around and it is nice to have more company in the house without all the responsibilities and worries that come with raising children. But I'm not changing my blogger page name--one never knows what the future will bring.

Speaking of blogger, I looked at my statcounter this morning and noticed that my blogger page had popped up on page one in response to someone's google search for "caribbean vacations for empty nesters". Whoo-eee, I dare say they got a surprise when, instead of photos of lovely Caribbean beaches they found sand art, a vanishing lake, and snow.

Snow pictures?

Be glad that you can't feel our below-zero temperatures and windchills coming off your computer, but you can imagine them with this photo of the OC's view out of his window at work.

I'm thinking the idea of a Caribbean beach vacation is sounding better and better with the dawn of every chilly New England winter morning!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Hi, I'm back...finally...and with some explanations

Perhaps I should explain my longish absence from this page. After the big push to blog every, every, every day throughout the entire month of November, I began to feel like my life was becoming consumed by the internet. So, with the start of the new year, in addition to the New Year's Resolution made by Everyone-In-The-World to Get! More! Exercise! I decided to get back to reading more real books. Books with actual pages and ink and even covers. Which I have been doing lately (reading, that is) and it's been positively lovely. There's nothing like curling up on a cold winter day with an engrossing book!

Most recently, I've read some of Maine's John Gould, some of the excellent Staggerford novels by Minnesota's Jon Hassler, a bunch of books on planning for retirement, and currently I'm reading James Michener's Recessional and a couple of others but I'll talk more about them in a later post.

All that said, the biggest reason for (finally!) posting is because I want to share with you a book given to me as a Christmas present by my small group leader (who'd been so impressed with the copy that had been gifted to her so much that she ordered books for everyone in her groups). It's called 31 Days of Praise--Enjoying God Anew by Ruth Myers with Warren Myers.

The back cover says, "Every day a different Scripture-based devotion helps you cultivate the "heart habit" of praise and worship. You'll be gently inspired to appreciate and adore the Lord in all things, even in the midst of pain, heartache, or disappointment. A deeper intimacy with God--and a greater love for Him--is the sure result."

Here's an example of this powerful little book, from Day 20 (which I read on January 20):

"Father, I thank You for the people in my life who seem to bring more pain than joy, for I believe You have let our paths cross for important reasons. Thank You for the good things You want to do in my life through the things that bother me (their irritating habits? their moodiness? their unloving ways? their demands? their insisensitivity? their unrealistic expectations?). I'm grateful that You are with me, to meet my needs when others--even those close to me--fail to do so. I'm so glad that You are also within me, working to make me more like Jesus--more patient, more gentle, more loving--through the very things I dislike.

"Thank You too that You love these people, and that Your love is adequate to meet their deep needs and to transform their lives, however willful or unwise they may sometimes be. Thank You that You care for them deeply and that each of them has the potential of being a vast reservoir from which You could receive eternal pleasure. And so, though I may not feel grateful, I give thanks fo them by faith, trusting Your goodness, Your wisdom, Your power: and Your love for them as well as for me.

"And I praise You that I need not fret about these people, or be envious, or mull over angry thoughts to prove I'm right. Than You that by Your power I can receive them as You receive me: just as I am, warts and wrinkles and hang-ups and all...that I can choose not to judge them, but to forgive them...to cancel any debts I feel they owe me--any apologies, any obligations...that through Your grace, I can choose to wipe clean any slate of grievances I have within me, and to view these people withg a heart that says, "You no longer owe me a thing." Thank You for YOur Spirit who empowers me, so that I can do them good, delight in You, and commit my way to You, resting in You as You unfold Your good purposes in these relationships--in Your time."

So...how can one remain cross with another after thanking and praising God for them and for how they are helping one grow?

Oh, there are also scriptures to back everything up:

Paragraph 1: Romans 8:28-29; I Peter 1:6-7; James 1:2-4, Phillip; Psalm 27:10; Isaiah 49:14-16: Psalm 142:3-5; I Thessalonians 3:12; Philippians 1:9-11

Paragraph 2: Matthew 5:43-45; Hosea 3:1

Paragraph 3: I Peter 2:1; Romans 15:7; Ephisians 4:31-32; Matthew 7:1-3; 6:14-15; 18: 21-22; Psalm 37:1-7.

Whew! Okay, next post will include pictures and updates on the sand painting project. I promise!