Part and Parcel


Every so often, I read or hear something that activates my ‘grammar police’ gene. For those who don’t know me, I worked in communications before retreating to my acreage in Kansas. As a communications professional, my job was to keep a critical eye on the grammar of others. Lots of people hated me.

Still. I’d like a dollar for every time I corrected THEIR, THERE, or THEY’RE and YOUR or YOU’RE. When to use I instead of ME was always good for an argument. And the intricacies of THAT and WHICH caused me frequent heartburn.  I blame the current state of my health on verb usage with collective singulars like STAFF and the transformation of nouns-only like IMPACT into verbs. And let’s not talk about how to spell ‘a lot’ and ‘all right.’ ALOT and ALRIGHT are not (yet) words.

But without doubt, my all-time favorites are idioms that someone gets wrong. Today, a TV news pundit said, ‘part and partial’ instead of ‘part and parcel.’

Now how can I be sure? I played it back several times (thank you DVR) and heard ‘partial’ instead of ‘parcel’ every time. I’m as sure as can be about this horrendous misuse, meaning I’m not very sure at all. So, I decided not to call the person to account by sending a corrective email. But if you’re interested …

‘Part and parcel’ is a legal term, from about the 15th or 16th century, and is a long way of saying that you’re talking about ‘an essential element’ (Merriam-Webster).  As in, ‘sunlight is part and parcel of healthy plant growth.’

Frankly, I haven’t seen or heard this idiom used in a long time, and in my world, the phrase is anachronistic. I wouldn’t use it in writing or speaking.

But imagine my surprise when I heard ‘part and partial,’ which I take to mean ‘this part and this other part.’

Wait. Which part?

Idioms used incorrectly are part and parcel of my anxiety. Or hilarity.

And the photo? Just some tulips blooming in my pink garden. For those who like pictures with the words.


What is it?


I want to send a prize to the person who guesses correctly. I couldn’t figure it out. An alien octopus? A new kind of modern art? Five-year-old finger painting?

What’s your best guess?

Annual Trek for Annuals


Every spring we haul over gravel roads to Cleveland, MO to Sullivan’s Greenhouse, open to the public only in April and May, and only on Saturdays. Yesterday, we ran into several Extension Master Gardener friends also buying annuals at wholesale prices.

If you live in the KC area and you’ve never been to Sullivan’s, it’s worth the trip.

The photo shows one of 11 or 12 high tunnels of annual flowers and a selection of vegetables.

Times When I Thought I Needed Facebook

IMG_6440 (2)

I deactivated Face Book on April 1. Here it is, April 27, almost 30 days without FB, which before deactivation took at least an hour—and probably more—of my time each day. But. What have I missed?

  • Wishing happy birthday to my FB friends. One FB perk was the message it sends to remind me today’s so-and-so’s birthday. Wish them happy. I guess if I remember in time, I’ll wish folks a happy birthday here on the blog. Or send a snail mail card. If I forget, forgive me. I stopped keeping track of dates when FB started.
  • Finding out the hours of operation for some of the odder places I want to shop. Now you’d think I could ask Alexa or Siri or Google, but without FB, I couldn’t find out when Sullivan’s Greenhouse is open–only Saturdays, in April and May, 9am to 4pm. For that one I had to ask my husband to check his FB page.
  • Happenings in my groups. I especially miss all my African Violet and Daylily friends. I wish some of them had followed me here.

Will I reactivate FB for these reasons? Dunno. Maybe. But that extra hour a day is nice to have, and I surely don’t miss all the political wrangling.

In fact, I’m thinking of leaving Twitter…

Oh, and the red tulip? It comes up every year, it’s the only red tulip in the yard, and the blog gurus tell me to use photos to attract readers. Hope it works.