Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rant ON!

Today some woman came in to see me at work and she brought an ENGLISH TEXTBOOK with her, and she had a page selected and a paragraph circled. A month or so ago I typed up a story she had written about her trip to Scotland, and if I had gone through it like I'd go through a student's "What I did this summer" essay - it would have been full of red. But whatever. When people bring stuff in and its not perfect, we correct the glaring errors and maybe re-word a little if its necessary for clarity - but if they're telling the story, we let them tell it.

ANYWAY, she proceeded to teach me (myself?) a lesson on the use of the words 'me', 'myself'' and 'I' and she even shared the handy tip she'd looked up to make it easier for me to know when to use one or the other, and isn't it curious how people use 'myself' so often when actually, its wrong to do so! My jaw was on the floor. She said that her daughter (an English teacher, apparently!) thought the article was well written, but she couldn't believe that a newspaper would leave in such a glaring grammatical error.

First, I don't recall typing every sentence of the very, very long story I typed over a month ago, second, I would NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS correct her copy if it said "My husband and I" to read "My husband and myself" - so what the heck is she doing in here? Finally, it dawned on me. She wrote it that way (my husband and myself) and she was coming in to take ME to task for not correcting it when we published HER story. WTF?!

Anyway, it was actually kind of funny, the way she laid it on so thick that her daughter is an English teacher. So am I, but we (or at least I, or should I say, I, myself...) don't go around correcting everyone else's random English unless its really, really awful. She also informed me that the Rec. director constantly makes the same mistake in his weekly report (don't I know it?!? How many 'myselfs' do you think I take out in a week?!?) and *gasp* the editor himself sometimes uses 'myself' in his writing.

My goodness. I'll be the first to admit that my English has been backsliding severely in the past 7 years or so, since I'm not teaching anymore, and I'm living in a French-speaking town with a husband who has a lot of his own quirks and adjustments to the language. I've adopted a lot of those quirks, and I don't mind. Because as much as I like English and grammar, I can get pretty flexible with the rules, myself. (heee.) I think its okay to write like you speak, especially if you're telling a story. How expressive can we be if we don't break the rules now and then? Yes, we have an editor, but that doesn't mean we re-work everything until it would get an A+ in English class. The paper would be pretty dry reading if we made sure all the rules were followed.

Maybe she's just getting back at me for phoning her to clarify a few details before I typed it up. She wasn't impressed when I pointed out (very politely!) that the ship she visited was not the 'sister ship' of the Titanic as her story claimed. I used to teach history as well -- I know where the Titanic's sister ships ended up, and this lady wasn't touring either of them. I might let a pile of grammatical errors slide, there'll be NO messing with the historical facts. ;) For the record, I also changed 'the eighth wonder of the world' to 'CLAIMING TO BE the eighth wonder of the world' - accuracy is important, you know. ;) If you didn't visit the actual eighth wonder of the world, you'd better make that clear.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Plz suggest caption

I was looking through my photos tonight at full-screen size and was absolutely terrified when I ran across this one:

Now, if its not frightening enough for you, I dare you to click on it and see it at full size. Can you believe we let this animal in our house? He clearly wants to rip my face off!

Anyway, it reminded me of this site: icanhazcheezburger which never fails to crack me up. Something about the combination of hilarious cat (and other animal photos) and the horrible spelling/grammar in the captions. Of course I found the captions hard to take at first WHY CAN'T THEY JUST SPELL IT RIGHT?!?!? WHO TALKS LIKE THAT?! but the more I see of these, the more I realize that's a part of the humor, and now I firmly believe that all cats talk like that. I love it. However, I cannot DO it, so, plz suggest caption. So far all I can come up with is:

Friday, October 19, 2007


If I'm not posting anything here, you can be sure that I am posting at least one photo a day on my other blog:

Yes, I said other blog. I decided to start a 365 project, where I take a picture of SOMETHING every day, and post it. I didn't want this blog to get cluttered up with that - and of course, I don't trust myself not to just abandon the whole thing around day 34 or something, so I didn't do it here. That way if I wander away from it I can just delete that blog and it will be like it never happened. And I'll still blog here, I promise.

So, if you want to visit it, here it is: Cheri's 3-6-5

Monday, October 08, 2007

Pictures as promised

We ended up with 34 people at Thanksgiving - at least we think so, it was impossible to get everyone to sit still for a head-count. But there were lots of us, and I took a lot of pictures. None of them are especially good, but it was kind of crazy and busy, and so are the pictures.

The weekend was nice - weather was perfect for a last weekend at the lake - if its too warm, you feel like you're shutting things down and leaving too soon. It was kind of cloudy and cool but still nice enough for the kids to be outside most of the time (thank goodness! There were 19 of them, I think!) but cool enough that my dad could have the wood stove fired up and nobody passed out from the heat in the livingroom.

The morning was quiet - we had a volunteer to do dishes

meanwhile, I made the sugar pie (see recipe/results in the previous post)

people started arriving in the afternoon, the ladies kept busy in the kitchen
the kids played outside most of the day - this is 'flag tag'

when they all came in, the living room got pretty crowded
and the other half:
(***my mom reads this blog, so if you think the carpet is ugly, PLEASE don't hesitate to comment on it)

Its not Thanksgiving without a kids' table - in this case we moved them all next door.
That's about it! We had a great supper and a good visit with everyone. We look forward to seeing some/all/most of the family again sometime around Christmas.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Giving thanks

Its Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend - we're going to a wedding and then to the lake for what will likely be our last lake weekend. I always think I'll be down a few more times at the end of the season because I really enjoy being there in the cooler weather - dad always has a fire going in the stove and I love to curl up with an afghan and a book and just stare out the window at the wind and the waves all day. It doesn't have to be nice out to enjoy being at the cabin. There's always good company there, too - and the kids don't care at all about the weather - they'll hide out in the loft upstairs and play all day or if its not raining or too cold they run outside and in and out of the three cabins - we just see them at lunch and supper and bedtime. If this is our last weekend, they're going to miss it. And for the next six months there won't be a day that goes by without one or the other of them asking when we're going back to grandpa's cabin. Annique's learning to talk so I am sure she'll be joining the chorus.

In celebration of Thanksgiving, I'll share my contribution to the dessert lineup - I make a sugar pie every year, mostly because I don't like pumpkin pie and there's no guarantee that someone else will bring saskatoon or apple pie (which *I* certainly won't be making - those take WORK!) - but Sugar pie is almost as easy to make as toast, so I can do that. I love this recipe because there's nothing in it that I don't need (ie/ just enough flour and milk to hold the sugar together, and crust to hold it all in) - its so rich that just a small slice is enough for most people and so one pie goes a long way.

Sugar Pie
1 1/2 cups - Brown sugar or maple sugar, packed
1/4 cup - flour
1 1/2 cups milk or whipping cream
unbaked 9 inch pie shell

Mix brown sugar and flour in a bowl, stir in milk.
Pour into a pie shell, bake on bottom shelf in a 350 degree oven about 60 minutes, check with a toothpick which should come out fairly clean but not completely.

Its great with real whipped cream on top. Because, if its not rich enough for you - a little bit of whipped cream will fix that!

I'll put up some pictures later - I am sure I'll take a lot over the long weekend. I've started a 365 project and I made another blog just for all the pictures - so I am trying to take a picture every day for a year. That shouldn't be hard for me since I take pictures every day, anyway - but the tough thing is going to be to remember to pick one and get it posted every day.

One year from now I'm hoping to be having another little getaway with my friends - this time in Denver or somewhere around there. I think the time will pass a lot more quickly if I count down the days with this 365 project - a lot can happen in a year!