Like, When Do I Use As?

November 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Grammar, Mini-Lessons

“Like” must be one of the most abused words in the English language.  Like, what’s up with, like, the overuse of, like, the word “like.” Like, I don’t understand how, like, people are actually, like, communicating with as many uses of the word “like.”   Like, the most used word in, like, most high schools in America is “like.”  Whoa, I can’t do that anymore.

I don’t know how that use of “like” actually started but I’ve been on a personal crusade to alleviate it for quite some time.  I assign a speech early on during the year in which I deduct a point each time “like” is used out of proper context.  Sadly, two out of 22 students earned an A on that speech this year.  Beside this annoying misuse, “like” is often confused with “as” when making a comparison.  This may be easier to correct.  Let’s try:

Like vs. As

This looks like the dog(s) I grew up with and the cat I now own.  I miss my doggie!

This looks like the dog(s) I grew up with and the cat I now own. I miss Prissy and Cindy!

 

Like is a preposition used for making comparisons.  (Like can also be a verb, noun, adjective, or adverb; but, GG is concentrating on comparisons here.)  Like must be followed by a noun or pronoun:

Roman looks like my dog.    My dog looks like him.

As is a conjunction.  As is followed by a verb:

Taylor does as her friend says.     Do as I say, and as I do.

When you are uncertain whether to use like or as, look for a verb.  If a verb follows, you’ll know as is the word to use:

Every day the child acts more like her father. (no verb)     He acts as if he saw a ghost. (verb = saw)

**Tricky point ~ In comparisons, the verb may sometimes be left out to avoid wordiness.  In that case, you need to pretend it’s there:

Linda loves the city as much as I.  (the verb, do, is left out)

Good Dessert, Bad Dessert

November 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Recipes, School's Out

I made this last night for tonight’s dessert.  It is actually good for you while tasting indulgently yummy!  I can’t take the credit for this concoction.  I stumbled upon the recipe in the November/December 2009 issue of Clean Eating – GG’s favorite cooking magazine, by the way!!!  It took me all of five minutes to mix all the ingredients in my blender.  This is my “good dessert” for the evening:

Spiced Pumpkin Mousse

Serves 10 (I cut this recipe in half.)

This luscious dessert contains 35% of daily rec for manganese and 15% for fiber!

This luscious dessert contains 35% of daily rec for manganese and 15% for fiber!

  • 2 15 oz. cans 100% pure pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 1-lb pkg silken tofu, drained well
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I used sugar-free)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 3/4 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/4 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (I eliminated this ingredient)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt (I used my very fave 0% Fage!)
  • 1 oz dark chocolate, cut into thin shards

In the bowl of a food processor (I used my blender), combine pumpkin and tofu.  Process until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt.  Process until combined, about 30 seconds more.

Transfer mousse to a resealable container, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Drain any water that has accumulated from mousse.  Give it a quick stir and scoop 1/2 cup mousse into each of 10 small glasses or ramekins.  Top each serving with 2 tsp yogurt and 1 tsp chocolate.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.  (for those extra sweet tooths, fat free Cool Whip works well too)

This tastes like a very gooingly good pumpkin pie without the crust and more of the scrumptious filling!!

Now, my daughter’s palate does not yet appreciate consistently clean eating as I’ve grown to love; her younger metabolism can afford more cheats.  Soooo . . . being the wanting-to-please everyone cook that I strive to be, I’m making this “bad dessert” tonight as well:

Thank you to my very kitchen-capable bro who introduced me to this easy sweet treat!

Pizzookies!

Pizookie

Serves 4

Place the cookie dough as one sheet in an 8 X 8 pan.  Bake according to package directions.

Immediately warm out of the oven, divide the cookie into four parts.  Place each warm “cookie” in a large bowl.  Scoop the ice cream on top and serve immediately!  Hmmmmmm . . . . .

GG Reads – Wesley The Owl

November 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Books, Reviews

Did you know that barn owls mate for life?  Are you aware that they are extremely emotional creatures and have many ways to express their feelings?  Could you guess that they practice birth control and will breed only when they perceive an excess of available mice for food?  These are some of the many intriguing facts about owls that readers learn in this little gem of a book.

This book was recommended to me by my sister-in-law.  I enjoyed its message so much that I am recommending this for my school’s next summer reading list.

I found myself laughing aloud reading this book!

I found myself laughing aloud reading this book!

Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien is a book about love and devotion.  It is a true love story about a woman and her owl.  Stacey O’Brien is a Southern California biologist who adopts a baby barn owl with an injured wing.  He could not survive in the wild so she selflessly takes him in, oblivious to the joy that stands before her in raising this creature.  Through the trials and triumphs Stacey experiences with this bird, the reader realizes just what a significant role a pet plays in our lives.  As Stacy states in her book, “When humans and animals understand, love, and trust each other, the animals flourish and we humans are enlightened and enriched by the relationship.”  (O’Brien 202)  Animals are more intelligent than we may give them credit for; this book reminds us of that intriguing reality.

The story chronologically follows O’Brien’s 19 years with Wesley from owl infancy when she weaned him into his “nest box” in her bedroom through the end of his long life with his battle with cancer.   She gives both her scientific, factual views and tender-hearted observations about Wesley.  O’Brien even shares the insides of Caltech and some of her interestingly eccentric colleagues.  I laughed when Stacey brought Wesley to the grocery store wrapped in a blanket as a baby, I gagged when she described how she killed endless amounts of mice for Wesley’s diets (yes, as much as I have much more respect for owls, I won’t be raising one any time soon), I melted when Wesley “held” Stacey with his wings, and I cried when Wesley tried to console Stacey through a horrible dehabilitating disease she contracted during Wesley’s later years.  I could sit here and let my fingers ecstatically fly off the keyboard with all of my favorite tidbits from the book . . . but that would take out the fun of reading this book.  You can definitely read this within a day or two; O’Brien writes her observations and feelings with fervor.  As a bonus, she includes “Some Things You May Not Know About Barn Owls” at the conclusion of the book.

We humans can learn from owls about devotion, trust and love.  I am inspired by Stacey O’Brien’s life philosophies and the devotion she returns to Wesley.  As she proclaims, she made a vow when she was very young to live life not by wading in the shallow water but by diving into the deep end as much as possible, no matter how dangerous.  The way she raised Wesley attests to her commitment to that vow.  As of the book’s print, she was contemplating raising another owl and beginning the whole process again!  If I am ever lucky enough to have a chance encounter with one of these magnificent feathered friends, I will stop and admire this feathered friend and be very grateful for the opportunity.  GG gives Wesley the Owl an A for the heartwarming lessons and touching account of this love story.  Extra credit for the wonderful photographs spattered throughout the book – most of which O’Brien took herself while raising Wesley.  They help illustrate just how funny, complex and beautiful Wesley was.

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