Thursday, July 26, 2012

Grammar Lesson PSA

That’s it! I’ve heard it one too many times now in personal conversations and on TV. “You and I”, when “You and Me” is grammatically correct. Last night I heard “You and I” incorrectly used in the script of a TV show. It pushed me over the edge, and now I feel the need to review the proper way to use “You and I” versus “You and Me”.

This gets into a little technical grammar. I’m no expert, and I had to look up the details. Thanks, Grammar Girl, for a 2007 blog post that helped remind me of old school rules.

“I” is a subjective pronoun, meaning it is the subject of a sentence. “Me” is an objective pronoun, meaning it is the target of action. In most cases, we easily pick up the difference and know when to use which word. “I love golf” is correct. “Me love golf” is obviously wrong.

The word “You” is both a subjective and objective pronoun. “You love Mom” and “Mom loves You” are both correct. Combining the word You with I or Me complicates things. The proper use is dependent upon the context and sentence structure. Hang in with me here…

“You and I love golf” is correct, because both pronouns are being used as subjects. You can dissect the sentence and you know that both pronouns are correct: “You love golf” and “I love golf”. “You and me love golf” is incorrect. Mentally dissect the sentence, and it becomes clear that “Me love golf” can’t be right. Examples:

CORRECT: Please explain that to Ron and me. (Dissected, you would say, “Explain that to me”.)
INCORRECT: Leave the decision to Ron and I. (You wouldn’t say, “Leave the decision to I”.)
CORRECT: Please join Connie and me for lunch. (You would say, “Join me for lunch”.)
INCORRECT: Come over and watch TV with Ron and I. (You would instead say, “Watch TV with me”.)

Another important rule (only if you care about speaking proper English), is that pronouns following prepositions and prepositional phrases are always in the objective case. Prepositions (such as of, on, above, over, between) usually describe a relationship or show possession. They don’t usually act alone, but as part of a phrase that answers questions like “Where?” or “When?”. Examples:

CORRECT: Keep the secret between you and me. (Because “between” is a preposition, and “me” is an objective pronoun.)
INCORRECT: Keep the secret between you and I.

CORRECT: The next drinks are on you and me. (“On” is a preposition.)
INCORRECT: The next drinks are on you and I.

This has been a Public Service Announcement.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bailey Bros. Golf

Today was the first day of play in Talking Rock Ranch’s "Big Talk" golf tournament. For $700 a person, 46 teams of 2 compete for three days for the prestigious championship. This year Ron is playing for the first time. His partner is his brother Tim, from St Louis.

Women were banned from the golf course and the club house starting yesterday, until the closing party on Saturday night. Right now, testosterone levels around the pro shop and the club’s bar might poison us anyway – so we are pretty happy staying away, having our hen parties or quiet evenings at home with a chick flick.

The guys are being fed three over-the-top, gourmet meals a day, partaking liberally from the open bar, wagering on themselves and other teams, acquiring new golf paraphernalia, and driving around in golf carts. They are out of reach of our reminders, nagging, and pleas to avoid overindulgence. They think they’re in Heaven.

When Ron and Tim left for breakfast before their morning round today, they were nattily attired in matching outfits – white shorts and beautiful blue shirts that were a gift from Tim and his wife Emily. They had them embroidered with “Bailey Bros. Golf” on the chest, and “TEI” on the sleeve. TEI was a company founded and owned by their late father, Jim Bailey. It was a poignant reminder that Jim would have so loved that two of his boys could share this experience. He will be with them in spirit. Ron got a little choked up with it all.

It’s a special treat to be witness to all this wholesome male bonding, brotherly and friendly. Sitting in the house by myself in the evening with the windows open, I can hear laughter from the club house drifting across the fairway. The guys will come home fairly lit up, eyes twinkling, grins a little crooked, and smelling of cigars. Last night after the opening party both slept soundly, like little kids worn out by the excitement of Christmas Day.

I love this for Tim and Ron. It’s fun to watch them making memories together.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Unpacking Life

It’s been almost six weeks since we arrived back in Prescott and slowly starting unpacking and reorganizing our home. Unpacking is a messy business. Of course, there is all the packing material that has to be disposed of – but it’s more than that. The process is emotional; for me anyway.

Working on the "Family Wall"
Cookware and glassware has to find the appropriate cabinet for its function and frequency of use. Each piece of artwork is deserving of the right place to be featured. Certain favorite family photos need to rest somewhere where my gaze can trip on them frequently. Decorative items will eventually find the right tabletop, dresser, or mantle from which they will enhance their surroundings and stir our memories. These decisions require time and thought. Each time I find the right place for something, I have a little “Eureka!” moment in my heart.

It’s not about the stuff…not really. What it is about is making a house our home for the long term. Ron and I plan to live in our Talking Rock home longer than we have lived elsewhere during our married life; maybe longer than either of us has lived anywhere. So it has to be comfortable. It has to be right. It will reflect who we are, and how we live. (Crap – no wonder I stress about this!)

Over time, changes will surely be made. We already have a few projects in mind for next year (to expand the back patio and add some shelves and lighting to the fireplace/entertainment wall). I can’t even think about that right now. Overload.

Today we’ll continue to churn through the boxes, bubble-wrap, and paper. Ron’s brother and sister-in-law arrive for a visit next week. They’ll still be a few boxes stored in the garage, but we’ll be in good shape for company and are excited that Tim and Emily will be able to experience how we live and see the home we have created.

Back to work!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Headed Into Town

Gone are the days when I could stop for a jug or milk or something for dinner on the way home from work, or walk to a local market in our Chicago neighborhood. Now we live in a private community that’s kind of out in the “boonies”.

Google Maps shows we are 17.7 miles from downtown Prescott and 23.8 miles from the Gateway Mall, around which are clustered regular destinations like Costco and Trader Joe’s. We consolidate our shopping in town into one day a week to save time and gas. Often we have lunch somewhere and make a half-day of it.

The closest restaurant (not including our own club’s) is Bonn-Fire Chillin’ & Grillin’ – 11 and ½ miles away in Chino Valley. Our Safeway is over 14 miles from home. Fortunately, there is a gas station and quick mart just 5 miles down Williamson Valley Road.

None of this is really an issue; just an adjustment. It’s not so easy anymore to say, “Oops, I forgot an ingredient for dinner – I’ll just run to the store”. We’ve had to make creative substitutions for a recipe on occasion, or visit a kind neighbor to poach something from their pantry. Once I went to Coops (the club’s version of a mini-market and gathering place) to beg a cup of milk for a meatloaf already under construction.

You know those projects that require multiple trips to the hardware store? Better create a good plan and a complete shopping list. There’s an Ace Hardware near Bonn-Fire, but Lowe’s and Home Depot are all the way in town. It stinks to drive an hour, round-trip, because you forgot 50 cents worth of molly bolts.

Some first impressions of Talking Rock Ranch are that it is “too far out” from town. It may take a little longer for people to realize that the beauty of this place is not just the phenomenal landscape, but the community of people. There is always something to do, right here. Many social events are organized by the club to take advantage of the facilities – the golf course, the restaurant, the fitness center, and the pool. Members, neighbors, and friends then instigate countless other activities that keep one’s social calendar full. You have to hunker down and hide in your home to be left out. We Talking Rock Folk are good at making our own excuses to celebrate life.

Time to hitch up the wagon and head to Chino Valley for supplies. Yee-haw!