Diagramming Sentences

I visited Facebook this morning and found a post by one of my nieces showing a diagram of the opening sentence of Franz Kaftka’s “Metamorphosis.”  In the post she asked if her readers remembered diagramming sentences.  I do!

Actually, I find that diagramming sentences helps to provide clarity of thought when you are writing.  I rarely do it any longer, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to resume the practice.

What astonished me was that the National Council of Teachers of English announced in 1985 that they feel diagramming is a “deterrent to the improvement of students’ speaking and writing.”  Wouldn’t you think that anything that promoted clarity in the use of language would be beneficial?

I was not an English teacher, but I disagree with their opinion.


Our tiny lot is being groomed, today.  A crew has been pulling weeds, pruning shrubs, adding mulch and removing one eyesore of a plant.  When they are done with the garden, i expect them to mow the lawn.

Dear Husband hopes to be able to turn the mowing over to them.  We have such a tiny lawn, that we should be able to do it, but his heart is not in lawn care.  The lawnmower should return from the repair shop today, so we’ll see what happens.

While we were between houses, I farmed out my house plants and eleven pots of iris and other outdoor garden plants.  Once the men finish the gardens, I’ll need to get out and get the iris planted.  I also have three plants that my youngest sister gave me, in pots of her own making!  There’s a blue salvia, a bellflower, and a lovely variegated hosta that need to be planted.

I’ll still have the opportunity to get my fingers dirty, but I appreciate the push to get things into shape, today.


Can you feel it when a sneeze is on the way?  Do they burst right out, or do they take a while to wind up?

We have a lot of fans in our new home, and plan to have more.  While the air-conditioning is out, sitting beneath a ceiling fan has saved us many an afternoon.  But, I realized that occasionally the fan makes me sneeze, especially in the dining room with the ceiling fan on a “high” setting.  What is it about air rushing past you as you eat or drink that might make you sneeze?

Out of the blue two days ago, I started sneezing.  I must have sneezed ten times before it stopped.  Usually I am one of those people who sneeze three times in a row.  I wonder why we have habits like that?  I really need to surf the subject, when I have more time.

For now, I’m going to blame cleaning supplies and the dust of a house that has not been well-cleaned for years as the cause of most of my sneezing.


Not the rainy day kind, but the kind you step under to start your morning.  We’ve been staying at a “budget motel” while waiting for our belongings to be delivered to the new house.  Tonight is our last night, and we’ve been here two weeks.

Dear Husband is a tad bit shorter than I am, so this didn’t bother him much, but our shower has apparently been designed  for those who are about 4’11″ tall.  I have to tilt my head back as far as I can to wash my hair.  The flow of water is fine.  The temperature is fine.  My only complaint is that the shower head is a bit low.

Now, I understand that I could have turned around and dropped my head forward, but I’m a bear of little brain, and I’m very much a creature of habit.  It took me until today to figure out the other options.

I was at the new house, cleaning, today, when I realized that Dear Husband is going to have the opposite problem with the shower head in our new bathroom.  It’s been hung high enough so that someone about 6’4” could wash their hair without having to bend their knees.  Again, good water flow and temperature, but the height of the fixture might be a problem.

I guess I’ll have to put a trampoline in the shower.  ;-)

Done and Dusted

…as one of my Scottish friends used to say.

We’ve sold our house and bought another, smaller, house.  I started cleaning in the kitchen today.  I thought all the shelves should be cleaned and covered with a layer of shelving paper before the boxes arrive.  Actually, we stored some foodstuff, rather than throwing it all out, so there is already “stuff” to put away.  As I cleaned, I’be been thinking about how I plan to use each cupboard.

We also made a Hobby Lobby run and picked up extra shelving “hardware,” lights for the bathroom, and bumpers for the cabinet doors.  I forgot to get “Crazy Glue,”  and a clear or white shower curtain.   The “Crazy Glue” is for our vinyl covered wood cabinets that need a tiny bit of mending.  I’d rather glue the loose parts down than replace the door to every cabinet.

I ended our mail hold, and arranged for the  forwarding to our new address,  And, we had a lock specialist come to the house to re-key the doors and to add dead bolts,  The seller told us that he had lost all the keys to the house.  He’d leave the door from the mudroom into the garage unlocked when he left, and just lock the large garage door!  I feel better having everything re-keyed and bolts added, but it sounds as though we are in a very safe neighborhood!

Appliances come tomorrow.  I’d better get to bed!


I am a great lover of NCIS.  I watch both the original and NCIS-LA, but I really like the original.  For a long time I ran NCIS episodes while I pieced quilt tops.  Now, we have a new version of NCIS coming our way, based in New Orleans.  Scott Bakula is the main character.  I really enjoyed him in Quantum Leap and Enterprise.

I should surf because we know that NCIS New Orleans is going to be on Tuesday nights, but they aren’t saying what time.  I wonder if NCIS LA is going to continue, and if so, will it still be on Tuesday?  Would you leave NCIS in the 7:00 spot, followed by NOLA and then L.A.?  Or, would you start with NOLA, go to the original, and end with L.A.?  Can you see it: All NCIS! ALL the time!

I’ll be sewing up a storm when we get to reruns!


My youngest niece, who is a grown woman, is visiting.  She and one of her girlfriends arrived on July 3rd, and the two of them and Dear Husband spent the day and evening on Lake Michigan for the Fourth of July.   They took in the fireworks off Navy Pier in Chicago, and were home close to 1:30 in the morning.  I had the pleasure of playing in my studio all day!

I spent some time yesterday teaching beginning quilting to the girlfriend.  S. has never sewn, and wanted to start a simple Log Cabin pattern. We talked about color layout, and designs that could be created with Log Cabin blocks, and then made a trip to an area quilt shop to buy fabric. S. has never used a sewing machine, so I hope that her mother will be able to instruct her on how to use their sewing machine.  We covered how to cut the strips, and how to sew the pattern.  I had her sew part of a block on my machine.  I sent her home with completed samples, a spare cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler.  I washed the fabrics for her last night, so she will be ready to start cutting strips tonight. when she returns home.  I’ll work with my niece this week, who wants to try her hand at one of the star quilt patterns.

My niece has come to give us a hand packing boxes.  We’ll be working in the basement and garage, trying to get as much cleared out as possible.  I’m very glad to have the help.  The job is dwindling, but still seems very daunting.  We are moving some things that we probably should be pitching, but we wanted to see what kind of room we had in our new home before giving things up.

It’s a lot of fun to have 20-somethings around.  It’s very refreshing to see the world from their point of view!

Happy Fourth

To all my Internet friends,  to my local friends, and to my family, I bid you a Happy Fourth of July!  I hope that you enjoy all the wonderful things of summer, family picnics with burgers and hot dogs and potato salad, and watermelon, swimming, carnival rides, sparklers and fireworks!

I hope you’ll take a moment to think about why we celebrate the Fourth of July.   We’re very fortunate to be free.  We owe our founding fathers our thanks for setting us on this path.  I hope this wonderful experiment called democracy will continue for many more centuries.  I, for one, am very grateful to be in the USA!

House Hunting

We looked at three houses today.  I fell in love with the second of the three.

We are looking for a ranch style house (one floor), with a full basement, and an attached two-car garage.  We would like a master bedroom suite and two or possibly three additional bedrooms, with at least two full bathrooms.  It would be nice if the basement is finished, but that isn’t required.  We are looking at houses in a range of size from 1500-2400 square feet. We hope to find a house with a much smaller lawn, to limit the mowing.

The house I liked today has a master bed room at one end of a hall, and the other two bedrooms were on the opposite side of the house.  It’s very sunny.  The basement is not completely finished, but it has a full bath.  It would make an exceptional quilting studio, as long as I could do the stairs.  The back yard is tiny, and the landscaping is phenomenal!  There’s a pocket lawn surrounded by a mulched area with an amazing assortment of trees.  My mother would have loved this house!  I hope we will have the chance to bid on it.

It Smells Green

It was a beautiful, sunny day today.  This is the first day we have both been out working on the lawn and gardens.  Dear Husband was mowing the lawn, (trying to kill the lawn mower), and repairing the lawn mower.  I spent my time in the sun working on the herb garden.  Between the chives I ripped out, and the grass DH cut, the air smells very green.

I cleaned out half of the walkway today, and turned the dirt in four sections of the herb beds.  I have two larger spaces to turn, and I want to add composted topsoil to the beds.  I have nasturtium seeds, and wildflower seeds, a pear tomato plant, and a pickle cucumber start to plant in the herb bed.  I may add basil and flat leaf parsley next week.

I’m fairly certain there is a bunny abode beneath my oregano plants.  I have enough oregano to stock the kitchens of Northern Illinois, and I noticed that one pod of it is raised in a very odd manner.  I thought about digging up the plant, but I think I’ll leave it for the new owners.  They can decide what goes and what stays.

The chives are about ready to bloom.  The clematis is reaching up, and we guided it to the arbor today.  The lemon balm, thyme,  spearmint, lamb’s ears, purple coneflower and day lilies are all doing well, in addition to the oregano. Feverfew is still trying to grow, and I’m still trying to eradicate it!

I won’t miss the weeding, but I WILL miss the herb garden.  It’s been a great joy over the years.