I have been eating so many oranges lately that I think I may become one.
Buying new sneakers for my children has taken a load off my mind.
I have been crocheting a blanket for a small, inanimate friend.
I am acclimating to other mugs for my tea now that I have broken my favorite mug.
This amaryllis is brightening up my breakfast nook.
A crockpot bubbling away on the stove top all day makes me happy.
I will soon be filing my nails in totally rad style.
Organizing embroidery floss keeps me busy for hours.
***(Don't mind me, I'm just a wannabe grammarian practicing my use of gerunds).
Do you remember learning grammar and composition in school? I do, and the memories are not all happy ones. I have always enjoyed writing, but not because I have any deep appreciation for the mechanics of it. I think it's mostly because I read a lot; reading makes me a better writer because I see how it's supposed to be done. I think I'm a basically articulate speaker as well. My spoken grammar is decent, in any case.
Lately, via homeschool (it's amazing how it makes me reevaluate my own learning), I've been reminded of some of those grammar lessons in school and how I used to agonize over them. I'd spend hours bent over my Warriner's textbooks, struggling to understand the rules. It was not so different from the way I approached math (oddly, French grammar was easier for me to learn). Eventually, someone handed me a copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style and things got better. Still later, I became an English teacher and, well, there was no turning back then.
I try to go back through the "rules" every now and then, just to be sure I'm doing it right. It's often the case that I am not, especially where commas are concerned. I know I overuse semicolons. It's easy to forget about conventions when you adore words. And how the words can flow! If I'm not careful, if I don't proofread meticulously and streamline every sentence, my blog could easily be a veritable word salad, a pile of disconnected ideas and terms and phrases that tumble out of my head, through my fingers and onto your screen. You would tell my blog to shut up.
So the self-imposed refresher course continues, most recently with gerunds. I use them a lot. I'm gerund-ing all over the place. They used to scare me, back in the Warriner's days: they're not just words ending in -ing, they're slightly more than that. But what? The panicky feeling came back the other day, I'll have you know. I was an eighth-grader again, sitting in Mrs. Banfield's first-period English class, the radiator hissing and clanking, the plants on the windowsill lush even though Mrs. Banfield never opened the heavy blackout shades for fear of someone's fingers being chopped off (it had already happened once). Stomach-twisting panic: I was just grasping regular verbs and now they wanted me to understand verbs acting as nouns? The indignity of it. But gerunds, as it turned out, were interesting; they were easy to spot and I was already using them. They were everywhere, and they were so flexible! I could handle them. Grammatically speaking, gerunds were my turning point.