Like a walking time capsule, I use old-fashioned expressions frequently. Some of the words and phrases that bounce around my head are: buggy, baby buggy, horse and carriage, horseless carriage, old swimming hole, gee whillikers, Red Rover (a now-banished kids' game), bigger than a breadbox, ice-box, cook-stove, three-layer cake (a treat forgotten except perhaps in the Deep South, where sugar is king), no better than she should be, mutton dressed as lamb, butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, on his uppers (i.e., the soles of his shoes are worn out), aping one's betters, and tinker's dam (as in "I don't give a tinker's dam").
Searching for the old-fashioned things I often say is a fruitless exercise right now, because I'm functioning on less sleep than usual today. Then I got up later than usual and had no time for tai chi, Swimming Dragon, breathing, stretching, or anything else that might have settled my mind and moved me into writing mode. So I sit here empty. Running across the back wall of my mind is last night's composition riffing on lie and lay.
When I don't sleep at night what do I do? For the first 90 minutes I lie there pretending that sleep will arrive soon.
Then I get up to read. After 90 minutes of reading, I go back to bed, though not necessarily to sleep. Last night I wrote these instructive lines in my head:
I lie awake two nights a week.
I lay awake last night.
I have lain awake four of the last twelve nights.
When I lay me down to sleep
I lay my book on the floor.
I laid it there last night.
I have laid it there before.
I have lain awake for the better part
of the last two nights.
I tell no lie.
And if you are still confused, remember that
the hen lies in her nest
to lay an egg.
Many thanks to Sister Mary Alma of the Sisters of St. Joseph based in Tipton, Indiana, for clarifying these two verbs for me when I was 11.
Food blog: http://fastandfearlesscooking.blogspot.ca