Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
What about you? Will you share the story of a gift you've received from God's hand? It can be large or small--I'd love to hear about it! Click here to read all about this new linky party celebrating God's gifts to us. Help yourself to a button and help me spread the word.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Today I'm going to try to explain a point of grammar that is troublesome for many people: the use of its and it's. I'm amazed at how many good writers have problems with this one. Lately there seems to be a veritable epidemic of wrong-its-itis. I've spent some time thinking about this, and I think I understand why this one gives us such trouble.
Good writers know that, in order to show that a word is possessive, you must add an apostrophe plus s to the word.
- Have you seen Jen's kitchen? (kitchen belongs to Jen)
- The cat is lying in the dog's bed. (bed belongs to the dog)
The use of the apostrophe DOES NOT, however, apply to personal pronouns. Pronouns are wonderfully useful words, but regular rules of grammar don't necessarily apply to them. To make personal pronouns possessive, sometimes you use a completely different word, and sometimes you add an s--but never an apostrophe.
Pronoun Possessive form
See? There's really no rhyme or reason to how possessives of pronouns are formed; a writer must simply learn the possessive form.
Now here's the funny part. When reading the work of good writers, you never see errors with the possessive forms of you or her. No good writer ever writes "This package is your's" or "That bike is her's." Those pronouns don't give us any trouble. So why is its so tricky?
I think it's because the word it's is in fact a legitimate word. In fact, we use this word quite often. But the word it's is a contraction of the two words it is. That is the ONLY correct usage of the word it's. So the simple rule is that, if you're not sure whether to use its or it's, you should simply replace the its/it's in the sentence with the words it is. Do you really mean to say "it is"? If so, use it's. But if you mean to say that something belongs to it, then you must not use the apostrophe.
- The cat licked it's paw. (The cat licked it is paw??)
- The door came off it's hinges. (The door came off it is hinges??)
- Put everything in it's place. (Put everything in it is place??)
It's means it is. That is all it can ever mean. Never use it unless you mean "it is."Its is the possessive form of it; it means belonging to it.
- (It's or Its) going to be a hot day.
- That team lost (it's or its) best player.
- (It's or Its) not a problem.
- The horse lost (it's or its) shoe.
If you answered "it's" for #1 and #3 and "its" for #2 and #4, you've got it!
Now, will you do me a favor? Will you leave me a comment and let me know what points of English grammar you'd like for me to explain? I really want this series to be helpful to you. If you have a specific question and you need an answer right away, email me at RichellaP (at) Gmail (dot) com; I'll be glad to answer.
If you're new here and you're wondering why on earth I'm talking about English grammar, you might want to read this post.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
From the time you first take a child to school, you know that one day you'll really have to take him to school. If all goes according to plan, you know that some day he'll want to go to college. God willing, he'll have that opportunity, and you'll be happy for him.
But you still have to take him.
And so we took Preston to college on Friday. It was a lovely day, all in all. The weather was fairly mild by North Carolina standards. We moved all his stuff into his room and then we all went to downtown Chapel Hill, ate lunch at a cool pizza place, and did a little shopping. Then we drove around the campus and Preston pointed out several UNC landmarks to us. Finally, though, it was time to leave him at his dorm.
But then a wonderful thing happened. A door in the hallway opened and out stepped a couple of really nice guys. They introduced themselves. Then another door opened, and another. All the guys in the suite came out to the hallway to meet one another.
"Hey, you guys want a cookie?" Preston asked them.
"What kind?" one of them queried.
"Chocolate chip," answered Preston. "She made them," he said, pointing to me.
Just like that, the ice was broken. There they were, brand new to UNC, but already they were together, sharing cookies and stories and life. And I knew it was going to be okay.
Thank you, God, for the privilege of having a son like Preston. Thank you for giving him the opportunity to go to college. And thank you for prompting me to make those cookies.
Friday, August 19, 2011
"The days are long, but the years are short."
You've heard that. But you don't believe it, do you?
Maybe you want a child more than anything else on earth. Your heart aches as, month after month, you read the negative pregnancy tests. You can't imagine when you'll get to welcome a child into your home.
Maybe you have a toddler. Your arms ache from picking up a crying child multiple times a day. You do everything you can to get your cranky little one to take a nap, and you can't imagine having a few hours all to yourself.
Maybe you have a preschooler. Your legs ache from running after your busy little one; your throat aches from answering 576 questions every day. You are amazed at how much of a mess one small child can make, and you can't imagine having a clean house.
Maybe you have a child in school. Your head aches from driving carpool and helping with homework and working on projects and producing bake-sale treats at the last minute. You can't imagine having just one schedule to coordinate.
**I'm joining Amanda for Weekend Bloggy Reading.**
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
For 20 years I've had a red dining room. Yes, I first painted my dining room red in 1991, gradually evolving from real red to burgundy to the most recent rusty red.
It was time for a change.
While recent trends have been toward more neutral colors, I still wanted a rich, deep color. I confess that I was a little scared to do something bold and dramatic, but I finally mustered up my courage, and now I have. . .
With a view into the living room on the left:
A note about the color: it's a custom mix that Sherwin Williams did for me in their Duration matte paint. Here's the formula:
Monday, August 15, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Warning: Save your calories, friends. You are going to want to try this.
Peanut Butter Ice Cream Dessert
1 package (16 oz.) peanut butter sandwich cookies
1 package (8 oz.) Cool Whip
1 carton (1/2 gallon or similar) reduced-fat vanilla ice cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
creamy peanut butter
Crush peanut butter sandwich cookies. (We use a zip-top bag and a rolling pin to do this.) Soften Cool Whip and ice cream slightly, just enough so that they're stirrable. Place Cool Whip and ice cream in a large mixer bowl. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly. Stir in peanut butter to taste: we used three heaping tablespoons. Mix in crushed cookies. Spoon into serving dish and freeze until hard enough to scoop.
Thursday, August 11, 2011