Category Archives: This ‘n That

Well, Good!

Pet peeves about grammar seem trite and ridiculous to most people.  Yet, I always seem to find a few who share my propensity for noticing poor grammar usage.  This doesn’t mean my grammar is perfect, by the way.  This means I am striving to make my grammar better, and I would appreciate it if more people did the same.

A few nights ago, I posted a status update on Facebook about my grammar pet peeve regarding the incorrect use of “less” when the word “fewer” should be used.  I received 13 comments–grammar nerds unite!  The simple rule for the correct use of less or fewer is this: if you can count the items in question, use fewer.


Fewer people came to the party than the host was expecting.

There was less macaroni salad than potato salad.

There are fewer marbles in the box than game pieces.

You get the idea.

Now, onto good versus well.

Good is an adjective.  Well is an adverb.

The answer to the question, “How are you doing?” is well, not good.

When complimenting someone on his performance at a sporting event, one would say, “Wow, you really hit that ball well!”  Not, “You did good!” (Add hick accent in your mind to make this more authentic.)

If you want more grammar tips, I recommend Grammar Girl.


Wasup Wednesdays?

So some of my fellow bloggers are doing “cool” regular blog posts each week, so I decided I could do that too.  Maybe I will stick with it, unlike the now defunct “Tuesday Tunes” of my blog’s ancient history.  Having “Wasup Wednesdays?” also does not limit my subject  matter.  This is good because it allows anything to be included in my post.  This is bad because it allows anything to be included in my post!

This Wednesday at Chez Horne:

School is on the agenda.  Hopefully, it will be a better day than Tuesday in terms of student motivation. The boys need to work on a demonstration presentation for their drama class tomorrow.  There is also a need to work on monologues for drama by all four.  They like drama–but it is less fun when there is actual work involved.

Football is also a part of the plan for today.  (I know, you think, isn’t it always on the agenda in some fashion or another?)  Only Calvin practices tonight, so we only need to go to one location.  It’s a relatively easy night on the football schedule.

Wednesday Update:

Last personal post (2 posts and practically a month ago), I reported my weight loss and exercise plan.  The dieting part has gone great.  I can’t report on poundage lost because, as you may or may not remember, I am not getting on the scale at this point.  But I can see a change in my face and feel a change in the waistline of my pants, so something is working.  I have stayed pretty close to the plan for most of the past 4+weeks, and I am finding it pretty doable.  I also really like keeping my bloodsugar level stable because I haven’t had one of those in hypoglycemic-like episodes since I started.  I am still struggling with the exercise bit, but I will make it work.  I am determined.


I finished a little contemporary novel called Jemima J.  I enjoyed it as brain candy.  I don’t recommend it because there are parts that weren’t very edifying.  But if you are someone who appreciates the humor of Bridget Jones’s Diary, you might enjoy this.  I bought it at the Salvation Army for 25 cents, so I can definitely say it was worth what I paid for it!

I, at long last, am nearly finished with the first Harry Potter book.  I restarted it about 3 weeks ago, and I would be finished if it weren’t for reading the above “mind candy” book and that pesky little school year having to start.  I love Harry Potter, and I have listened to almost all the books on cd over the years when the kids weren’t old enough to read the books.  I just hadn’t made time to read them myself.  Book 2 is waiting patiently on my bedstand for me to finish book 1, and that I shall do.

I also picked up something new to me at  the library–books by Alexander McCall Smith. One begins a series called the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, and the other begins a series called 44 Scotland Street.  I have just dipped into both of these, so I am curious is anyone else has read them or has an opinion about them.

Now I must forge ahead into my Wednesday, or nothing will happen . . .

Happy Ground Hog Day!

The people in Punxsutawney, PA, waiting to see Phil’s Forecast

 Punxsutawney, PA, is the land of my ancestors.  Seriously.  Both of my parents were born there and lived in the area until I was two.  (Then they moved about 15 miles up the road to DuBois, where I grew up.)  There is a little section just outside Punxsy (that’s what the natives call Punxsutawney) called Burkett Hollow.  Burkett, for those who read this and don’t know, is my maiden name.  Burkett, in Punxsy, is as common as Smith is in other places.

So, in honor of my ancestors, I want to wish everyone a happy Ground Hog Day.  The little rodent saw his shadow this morning.  No matter what Phil does, there’s really always about the same number of weeks of winter, but its a tradition.  So we roll with it.

Here’s the “official prognostication:”

Phil Says “Six More Weeks of Winter!”

Phil’s official forecast as read February 2nd, 2009 at sunrise at Gobbler’s Knob:

Hear Ye Hear Ye On Gobbler’s Knob this glorious Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2009

Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators

Awoke to the call of President Bill Cooper

And greeted his handlers, Ben Hughes and John Griffiths

After casting a joyful eye towards thousands of his faithful followers,

Phil proclaimed that his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were World Champions one more time

And a bright sky above me

Showed my shadow beside me.

So 6 more weeks of winter it will be.

And, here’s a link to all things Phil.


 My 4 kids with a statue of Phil in Punxsutawney about 2 years ago.

This, That, & The Other Thing

This–the dryer staining and chewing holes in the clothes when they get stuck between the barrel and outer casing.

That–the water heater not heating as it should.

The other thing–life getting busy and making time to meet the dryer repair guy and the water heater repair guy.

When the first repair guy showed up today, I showed him a pair of underwear with a black stain and a hole in it where the dryer had taken a bite out of it.  He looked at me like I was crazy.  Then he said, “I’m here for the water heater.”  Ok.  I got a little confused.  I chuckle to myself every time I think of it.

The dryer guy comes tomorrow morning, by the way.

Gas Prices

This morning, Mark was staring at his computer screen and asking me where certain streets were in relation to our house.  Why was he doing this?  He was looking up the best prices on gas in our area before heading out to fill up the tank.  I told him I thought the station just down the block from us was as cheap as the places listed on the site.  So he went to get gas, and I headed out to a computer class I have been taking at the library this week.  I called him on my cell phone when I passed our neighborhood station to tell him the price there was a penny lower than those on the web site.

I went to my class.  An hour and a half later when I was on my way home, I drove past several gas stations.  The prices were the same at most, but then I saw one for $.26 cents more than it was earlier.  I drove further down the road and saw at one station the price raised, and at the station across the road, there was a line 10 cars long waiting to get gas at the morning’s lower price.  Thankfully, when I arrived at the intersection near our house, the price at our neighborhood station was still low.  I quickly pulled in and filled up.  Mark just left for an appointment about an hour ago.  He called to tell me the price at our station had just been raised by $.26

The news reporters have been forecasting a price increase because of Hurricane Gustav that is expected to hit the Gulf this weekend.  I thought the prices would be in a holding pattern until we saw where Gustav lands.  So I am guessing that this has to do with an expected demand increase as people get ready to travel for the holiday weekend.   I would really like to understand how gas prices really work.  I know supply and demand has a lot to do with it, but it seems there is more to it than that when it can increase so much in a short period of time.

Happy Easter, Snow, and Floods

Here are a couple pictures from the Horne family for Easter. The photo of the girls is cute, but you do see what happens when young girls demand curlers the night before Easter. I much prefer their regular hair styles. The dresses they are wearing are really remarkable. Aunt Tricia sent them for birthdays when Evangeline was 6 and Charis was 2. They wore them then, and because they have really big hems they can still wear them now. I am not thrilled with the photo of the whole family, but let’s face it, getting a good picture of 6 people, 4 of whom are under 12, between the worship service and Sunday school is not an easy task. So we take what we can get.


We sat in worship today while a quiet snow fall of giant soft flakes fell throughout the service. Then as we enjoyed Easter dinner and fellowship with friends, we saw more of the same. It was so odd to have snow and to run the heat on Easter Sunday.


As most everyone knows by now, some of the rivers around St Louis flooded this week. We went to the home of some church friends who live west of where the flood waters were high enough to close down I44. While the waters have receded since the rivers crested, we passed several places along the road to our friends’ home where the water came up to the roofs of buildings, covered soccer fields, and only allowed the tops of the trees to show.

Angie’s Tag Game

My friend Angie over at bloggindasz tagged me earlier this week, and since the first questions is about the Super Bowl, I thought I should post my answers before the game:

1. Are you rooting for the Patriots or Giants?
a. Go Giants!
b. Go Patriots!
c. No strong feelings either way, but should be a good game
d. The what?

I really didn’t think about it being Super Bowl time until last week when I heard something about the Patriots playing. So I am really rooting for neither.

I grew up as a big Steelers fan and even trading football cards with boys at school. But the NFL has not been a part of my life much as an adult. Of course, if there is ever another SB with the Steelers, I’ll be watching. If there is one where the Steelers are playing Dallas or Miami, I will be hosting a SB party requiring all attendants to wear black and gold.

2. Seven choices of vacation. Pick one:

a. Beach house, white sand, great waves
b. Condo in the mountains; view of snowy peaks
c. Nice hotel in New York City with tickets to the latest Broadway show
d. Tour of historic sites and museums in Greece and Italy
e. Bed and breakfast with time for antiquing
f. Home–sleeping in, hanging out, and doing stuff you don’t usually have time to do
g. I prefer not to take vacations.

Vacation, what’s a vacation.

Seriously though, of the choices above, C appeals to me most. I would love to spend a week in NYC in a great hotel with tickets to more than one Broadway show. What would be really fun would be to have a week there with my husband, and then have a second week with my kids there to see all the great sites there.

3. Coffee drinker? If no, why? If yes, sugar, cream, or neither?

Definitely a coffee drinker. I used to drink it black, but a few years back when I was on the Atkins diet that allowed half-n-half in coffee, I started using it to give the coffee a little substance. Now, I drink one cup a day with half-n-half. If I have more, I drink it black.

4. What’s the last book you read (or are you in the middle of reading)?

I just finished Lady’s Maid by Ellen Forster. I reviewed it a few posts ago, so I’ll mention that I am in the middle of Girl Meets God, a memoir by Lauren Winner, which I am enjoying immensely. I plan to share my thoughts on it here soon.

5. You’re at the grocery store, waiting in the check-out line with a cart full of stuff. You glance over your shoulder for a moment, wondering whether you should have picked up an extra package of waffles. When you turn around, you notice that a lady has cut in line in front of you. Your eyes meet. She glowers and starts to put her items on the belt. You:

a. Grumble to yourself but don’t say anything out loud. You dislike scenes.
b. Say, “Excuse me, ma’am, but I was next in line.” That’s about as far as you’d take it, though.
c. March over to the belt, push her items onto the floor, and tell her that she and her cream of mushroom soup can go get in line like everybody else.
d. Grab your cell phone and snap a picture of the lady, thinking “Yes! I’ve got something good to blog about!”

I would probably choose b. I hate to be cut off, whether it be in the grocery store line or on the highway. I have been known to be a little more in your face than choice b indicates, but I am trying to be more charitable toward people in these kinds of situations.

6. Please share two or three links of things that made you laugh. Out loud. A blog post, a cartoon, a YouTube clip–whatever.

Lots of the posts on bloggindasz make me laugh, and I always get a chuckle from Annie’s stories about her crazy boys. My link takes you to a page of her blog where you need to scroll down to the entry called, “Speaking of Gifts.” “Adventures in Grocery Shopping” from Because I Said So was another great one I laughed at last fall.

Now, I tag: Angie D., Jennifer C., and Brandy.