Sunday, March 10, 2019

Language Learning Shows Up in Home Decorating {10 of 31 Slice of Life}

I'm putting together some new decor for our fireplace mantel.  I hung a few things last week and have decided to keep them.  I cut off the price tags from the wooden frame that possible looks like a window.  I rearrange the lambs ear and eucalyptus stems in the new tall white metal vases and cut off those price tags.  I added two topiary trees just purchased and a splurge made today.  I love them and love how everything is coming together.  I needed some books for a base for one of the topiary trees.  I thought I had some old books from my grandmother and must have given them away.  I went to my read pile of books and pulled some I've read and enjoyed.  It so interesting because my inspiration suggested I stack them with the page side out and not the spine.  I felt like hiding the spine could be a someday discovery for someone wanting to know more about me.   I added the last piece which was a substitute from the original idea and was feeling uncertain about it.  As I placed the ampersand, I fell in love with it and realized it was meant to be.  

In the past few months I learned a huge conversational language tip.  The tip is stop saying the word but and replace it with and.  For example, "You did the laundry but you forgot to empty the dishwasher."  When we use the word but we negate everything said before it.  In reality it's awesome the laundry was done and the dishwasher needs to be empty."  Another example is, "I passed the test but my score wasn't high enough."  Maybe this works, "I passed the test and I can do test corrections to earn a few extra points."

I think it was meant to be - this ampersand.  It's a reminder to accept the feelings and thoughts we have while adding an and to validate those thoughts.  Be kind to yourself friends, leave the but behind.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community. 


  1. I was really hoping for a pic of the mantel AND then I realized your words had created the pic.

  2. Thanks for this inspirational post about using and instead of but. I think I want an ampersand decoration.

  3. A friend of mine has an ampersand on her mantle (as well as letters and punctuation themed decorations all over), and I've always wanted to copy her.... AND maybe now I will!

  4. I loved this flip of words. It makes a huge difference.

  5. I want to see a picture!!! I talk all the time about AND rather than BUT. So important to hold ourselves to changing our language. Word choice does matter. I want an ampersand on my mantle. I might have to fly you to Boston to help me declutter and redecorate!

  6. Sometimes you just have to live with a bit of decor before deciding if it will stay or be returned. Wise thinking as you create your new look. I love the ampersand for hitting just the right note on the mantle. My Reading Recovery training always said to leave the but out of any feedback. The right word makes a difference.

  7. I always was interested in this topic and stock still am, thank you for putting up.

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