January 6, 2015

Test Your Knowledge on the 2014 Word(s) of the Year



ON THE 2014


The word of the year for 2014 has been selected.

Rather, the words of the year have been selected.

Take the following quizzes to test what you know about these words.


Match the words (on the first list) with the dictionaries that chose them as their word of the year (on the second list) and then match the words (on the first list) with their definitions (on the third list).

Before you begin, I wrote a sentence using all six words: During 2014 we have had exposure to the vape culture, have overshared the heart emoji, and photobombed many photographs.


  1. Culture
  2. Exposure
  3. The heart emoji
  4. Overshare
  5. Photobomb
  6. Vape


  1. Oxford Dictionaries
  2. Merriam-Webster
  3. Chambers Dictionary
  4. Collins Dictionary
  6. Global Language Monitor (GLM)


  1. Variations of the symbol for love; an ideograph, not a word at all
  2. To inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device”  as a noun for the e-cigarette and for the act of inhaling itself.
  3. A nation, a workplace, an ethnicity, a passion, an outsized personality. The people who comprise these things, who fawn or rail against them
  4. Too much information
  5. Variations of the symbol for love; an ideograph, not a word at all
  6. The condition of being exposed to danger or harm; the act of bringing to public attention, especially through media coverage; publicity; an act or instance of bringing to light, revealing, or unmasking crime, misconduct, or evil; disclosure of something private or secret.

April 4, 2011

The Church Role in Child Abuse Issues



With The Rev. Monte W. Holland

     The trend of modern times is toward specialization in dealing with life issues. If there is a physical ailment, go to the health care professional, and further, to a specialist in the specific type of ailment that is exhibited. If there is a spiritual problem, go to a pastor or pastoral counselor. If there is a family problem, go to a family counselor or therapist.

     This has its advantages in many cases, because the expert has a deeper knowledge of in a very small issue. Yet there are disadvantages. Many physical and relationship problems cannot be boxed into a narrow category. What ails one segment either emanates from or affects another segment. It can take a well-rounded, multi-knowledgeable person to see the interconnections and resolve the issues. Secondly, persons are often reluctant, or financially unable, to go to the specialized person for help—at least over the long term. Thus, the generalist has a strong role to play in resolving many family issues.

     The first line of encounter with family problems is the lay person—a friend and/or a neighbor. The church’s first role in dealing with a troubled family or individual is one of preparing (more…)

April 2, 2011

A Theological Perspective on Child Abuse



With The Rev. Monte W. Holland

     Some important questions arise when speaking of theology and violence, abuse of children, spouses, family and friends. Below is an attempt to answer some of them.

  • Children must be MADE to OBEY (their parents, their caretakers), right?

Obedience IS important. Ephesians 6:1-4 and Colossians 3:20-21 instruct children to be obedient. But this directive does not stop there. It goes on to instruct PARENTS not to PROVOKE their children (to wrath). Implied is a mutual RESPECT: respect that begets respect. “Nobody ever hates his own flesh, but rather nourishes and cherishes it just as Christ does for the church…” (Ephesians 5:29) Our children are born out of our love, part of a continuation of our flesh. We should not treat them with hate or hateful actions.

  • Does not the Bible state that to spare the rod is to spoil the child? (Proverbs 13:24)

     Nowhere in the New Testament—the “new law”—is abuse justified. Rather, the opposite is expected, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12) The Great Commandment directs us You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-40) Our family members—our spouse, our children, and sometimes our parents—are our (more…)

February 11, 2011

My Mother’s Secret: An Adoption Story


MY MOTHER’S SECRET: An Adoption Story

I’m certain my mother would have strongly opposed SB335 as it progressed through the New Hampshire Senate and House in 2004. The Bill, which became law effective January 1, 2005, concerned access to records available to adult adoptees who were born and adopted in New Hampshire. These adoptees now can gain access to their own original, pre-adoption birth certificates…

 Why would she have opposed this law?

Because she had a secret.

Her secret was revealed to her family on January 19, 2011. (more…)

November 8, 2010

David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 4



To read David, Our German Exchange Student Part 1, click on David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 1.

     I interviewed David at the end of his year 2000 stay as an exchange student from Germany.

     “My reason for coming to the United States was to learn the language, to speak it fluently. I think I met that goal,” David said. “I also came to get to know a different people and their culture.

     “My biggest impression is that the United States is big. I didn’t really expect it. You can drive twenty hours in one direction and still be in the same country with the same language. In the same driving time in Germany you would pass through four to five countries.”

     There are not so many churches in Germany as there are here, “where on one street there are ten churches and two are the United Methodist. Church…People go to church in Germany but not really that often like here.”

     According to David, almost everyone in Germany is in the church, “I am, but I go once a year, on Christmas Eve.” He said he is still at work at 10:00 a.m., or he doesn’t go because “I am just tired.”

     “Here, Sunday is just about church. In Germany, Sunday is to (more…)

November 4, 2010

David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 3



To read David, Our German Exchange Student Part 1, click on David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 1.

      He didn’t like Alex, the exchange program coordinator, and he didn’t feel he could respect the rules.

     “I can do what I want,” he said.

     Back at our house, he demonstrated some skate board moves, showed me a skate board magazine and showed me his paint ball gun.

     “I’m against war, but paintball is a game,” he said.


     One of the rules was that David had to do his own laundry. After all, my kids had done theirs since age 13 (albeit by their choice). He seemed surprised at this.

     “I didn’t do theirs, and I’m not doing yours,” I stated.

     On Thursday, David said he was ready to do his laundry.

     “I’ve never done it before,” he said, using his magnetic smile, I am sure, to convince me I should do his for him.

     I couldn’t be cajoled into doing it for him, but I would teach him.

     “I hate you but (more…)

October 11, 2010

David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 2



To read David, Our German Exchange Student Part 1, click on David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 1.

    We laid some ground rules—basically, we weren’t going to do things for him we didn’t do for our own children. We wouldn’t play a wake-up game with him. He would have to get himself up in the mornings. We presented him with an alarm clock.

     Neither would we drive him to school. As my children learned, if they didn’t get ready on time, they would have to go without a note the next day.


     It was Wednesday when Jared knocked on our door. It was dinnertime at his house, and David was expected. David was sleeping, so we had to awaken him, and he doesn’t wake up easily.

     I walked across the street to the neighbor’s house later that evening.

     Rene and Tom said David spoke about getting a driver’s license during dinner. Rene seemed in favor of the idea, and was encouraging Tom to take him out for practice. I was less enthusiastic, wondering if he could get a Social Security card.

     Jared, David and I played Uno for a while. David asked if he could spend the night at the neighbor’s house, since there was no school the next day due to an ice storm. He told me Rhonda said he could, and I responded sarcastically (in fun) that I was in charge. He replied that sometimes old people think (more…)

October 4, 2010

David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 1



     Perhaps if I’d retired to my porch rocking chair, spending my hours catching up on all the old magazines and books piled in my study “for future use,” I wouldn’t have had a teenager living in my house. But then, David, our German exchange student, brought much excitement into my life.

     My husband, Monte, and I, had just returned from a visit to Germany, where our son, Nolan, held a post-doctoral position at the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science (German: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften Eingetragener Verein).

     My teeange neighbor, Ryan, a junior high school student, was studying German. When I handed him a pile of fliers and thick newspapers he could use for (more…)

August 12, 2010

Coffee Hour at “Echoes on the Lake”


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Scene 1: The Yearbook

Scene 2: Mr. Roach

Scene 3: Elderly Suicide

Scene 4: My last day

     While visiting Edwardsville, New York, and staying at the Sunnyside of Black Lake cottages*, I walked across the street for my morning coffee at Echoes on the Lake, a small-town Mom & Pop store. Following are scenes gleaned from my visits.

 Scene 1: The Yearbook

     Local customers, sitting around a table in a small-town corner Mom & Pop store in Edwardsville, New York, scrutinized on photos in a small book—the 1962 Erie County Technical Institute yearbook.

     Two were 1963 alumni who had met at the coffee machine two days


previously. They never met while students at the community college in Williamsville, New York. Nancy was a resident of Morristown, New York, who studied to be a dental hygienist. Carolyn was a transient, staying in the cottages at Sunnyside of Black Lake, across the street from the store. Nancy had invited Carolyn, to join several persons—other locals—sitting at the two tables in the back of the store, conveniently located by the coffee machine and sandwich/pizza  counter. Locals wandered in and out, sharing the camaraderie which characterizes “coffee klatch” gatherings found in many corner stores where people gather for their morning coffee. Later, someone described Nancy as the (more…)

June 15, 2010

Emergency Responders Act to Save Animals



      On December 16, 2009, a black cat, rescued from the flames of a fire in Herminie (PA), was administered oxygen at the scene. During a January 8, 2010, barn fire in Bullskin Township (PA), a trapped pig that was rescued from the fire, received oxygen.

Could this cat need to be saved from...

     After Herminie firefighter Joseph Marincic rescued the cat, he delivered it to Jonathan Jobe, Sewickley Township Ambulance assistant chief EMS personnel. It was “frothing at the mouth, lying there lifeless, but still breathing,” according to Jobe.

     Emergency medical worker Barry Walters worked on the cat for about thirty minutes.

     “I cleaned it off and gave it oxygen. I just kept it wrapped it in a blanket and kept rinsing its mouth out. It responded to the oxygen,” he said, noting that the cat’s owners were “very appreciative….We told them if it has trouble breathing to take it to the vet.”

     Walters said that “Saving any life gives you a good feeling, I like helping people, animals, whatever.”

      Volunteer firefighter, John Stillwagon, who administered oxygen to the pig, would likely concur.


     It was truly a dark and stormy night, filled with rain and lightning. When I heard a loud crash, I raced to (more…)

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