Tuesday, July 31, 2007


What happens when the person you've committed to love for your lifetime simply walks away? Buck and I are blessed to have one another still, but we ache for our friends and family experiencing the devastation of divorce. Here is a poem which perfectly captures my hope for those precious people.


You fell majestically
(the sound lost
in the violence of
hail and wind )
and laid your head
in the yard’s
most convenient place.

For days you were Exhibit A
Goliath lying prone,
your root ball
a Guinness contender
according to those who would know.
The birds and squirrels,
always at home in you,
rejoiced in a new-formed

I lost a friend
whose presence had anchored my seasons
with shade and blossom,
leaf-mold wealth,
and branches etched
against a winter sky.

Too often now
I’ve had to deal with space
left by the loss of friend,
and I have learned
sunshine can reach
into unused corners
where plantings
never tried before
will flourish.

©Bettie Corey
May 28, 2003
Today is the last day of the 40 Day Fast which Kat pulled together.

Applause to Kat for a job well done.

I've learned about the passions of bloggers through their experiences and picks of non-profits to benefit the poor. In some ways, the fast has made me more certain that we are all broken and needy. In other ways, I looked outside the abundance of this country into the poverty and injustice across the world. Both experiences teach me.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Can you help?

Shaun Groves, a well known Christian singer and songwriter from Nashville asks. If you are called to do something in this situation, let him know in his blog comments.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Let the rejoicing begin. I've returned home. My home is in wonderful order thanks to my husband and children. I can mostly walk through my garage- it's been a long time since I haven't hopped over chairs, bikes, Goodwill piles, boxes to get to the van or car. I'm ever so grateful. And as an extra bonus, Buck decluttered the walk-in closet we share. I don't know how, but he cleared a perfect path to the back wall.

The conference I attended, Montessori Essentials, offered me hope for my homeschooling, family life, and personal call.

I'll throw out a few quotes and thoughts here from the panelists.

On bringing a child to a peaceful, settled place- "Joy makes noise."

On considering things from a child's view- not a perfect quote but the heart of a story, "I was assigned to observe children at the zoo early in my Montessori training. The very first day I observed, I learned an incredible lesson. I watched as both sets of grandparents and a child's two parents brought an eighteen month old child to the prairie dog exhibit. The adults were pointing out all the fun activities of the animals, all the while, the toddler was strapped in the stroller. All the tiny girl could see from where she sat was the brick wall directly in front of her. The adults never once noticed the line of sight for the child and traveled on to the next exhibit with her still strapped in her stroller. It's essential to consider things from the child's perspective."

Commentary on making mistakes, also not a perfect quote- "Have you ever seen the poster of a child poised at an easel with paint on his smock, hair, arms, shoes, walls, floor, and no paint whatsoever on the paper before him? The caption underneath reads 'A mess is a sign that someone has tried to do something.' I say
'If there is no error, there is no learning taking place.'"

On building independence in children- "Whatever we do for the child becomes an obstacle for him. Whatever he does for himself becomes a triumph."

All these are credited in my notes to a miraculous Montessori teacher named Edna Smith.

The following, I believe, is from the lovely and gifted Montessori teacher named Anna Hurdle.

"The goal of education is independence and concentration. The goal of the atrium (Christian spiritual formation) is relationship with the Good Shepherd."

These goals fly in the face of the trends I see in most education and religion. Education and religion push fast and furious cram downs of the 3 R's and naming values. What if we actually guided children in such a way as to become independent and increase in concentration skills? What if we moved away from religion, identifying values, into relationship with God? Would the world be a different place? A better place?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tomorrow I'm slapping on my cowgirl boots and hat and riding into the Country Music Capital's sunset for a week of some meetins' and some trainin'. Grab your tissues 'cause I most likely won't be blogging till the first of August.

August will be quite full, and I might just find something to write about in the mix.
1. I'll be wrastlin' the children back to the scholastic grind right away.
2. Pooh Bear will have some hard dental work done.
3. Tater finally returns from camp the same day as Pooh Bear's dentist appointment.
4. My nineteenth wedding anniversary will occur.
5. Tater will turn a whooping 12 years old.
6. My husband will turn a young 44 years old.

Blessings on your next week. See ya when I return.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I wish it wasn't so, but this year, before homeschooling even begins, I'm dreading it. There are a variety of reasons, but bottom line is that I feel worn out. This will be my seventh year, so maybe it's human nature screaming, "Sabbatical!" at me. However, I don't have time for that. For me, at this time, homeschooling is a commitment more than anything. I don't get to take a year off cooking, laundry, marriage or parenting simply because I feel worn out. When any those things gets overwhelming, I seek God's help, and so I shall with home school. In the meantime, before inspiration, I drag.

This summer break, I've gotten my home in order- lotsa painting and decluttering. This makes me feel settled and peaceful, and it helps me feel together enough to collect my scholastic thoughts.

While preparing my teaching plans, I realized some of the essential language arts books are missing, so I must wait until the company I've ordered from gets me the correct texts. So far, I messed up my order once, and the company has sent the wrong items three times. Sigh. The weeks of back and forth with them do not help my lagging attitude.

I actually considered putting my children in school next year and quickly changed my mind when I heard a story from our neighborhood school. A friend told me her daughter spent her fourth grade year in class with at least two eleven year old girls are sexually active. I am of the strong opinion that a sexually active eleven year old is another word for sexually abused. Why, oh, why doesn't someone do something on behalf of these children? Who could know about this and not be considered an accomplice to child abuse? Why isn't the Department of Human Resources investigating, because the school wouldn't allow these things to happen?

Please, don't get the idea that I home school, because I'm afraid this would happen to my children. I don't think it would, because my children are appropriately puzzled by children who come from chaotic homes. I am not interested in the exposure and further innocence lost in a particular school not working diligently against child abuse. If you think differently and need to set me straight, bring it on.

My reasons for homeschooling at this point come from responsibility to four little people whom I love dearly even though I don't feel like doing so at present. Feelings pass, and I pray the results of my commitment win in the end.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A night full of talking that hurts,
my worst held back secrets. Everything
has to do with loving and not loving.
This night will pass.
Then we have work to do.


Feels like I've been here for a few days. Only I'm mixing talking, reflection, and work together.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Saturday was a doosey for me. In the morning, I approached unresolved conflict which left me utterly reeling and wrung out to dry like a dingy old wash rag. In the afternoon, I got a some truly sad news. I worked a little through both issues prayerfully to find my feet in preparation for an evening soiree- a lovely party for a dear friend. I witnessed a beautiful thing- a husband honoring the life of his incredible wife. Also, someone I'd never met before, but we shared some things in common, revealed a painful struggle she'd recently experienced.

Even though I'm 41 years old, I am still astonished by brokenness and beauty offered to me side by side as the blue plate special for the day. I'm hoping today's menu consists entirely of comfort food like warm macaroni and cheese, salted fresh tomatoes, and chocolate pie.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

What happens when chocolate chip muffins are broiled instead of baked?

Mushy on the inside.
Burned on the outside.

What a terrible waste of perfectly good chocolate chips, Buck!

Disclaimer: My husband is a much better cook than I am. Today was a complete fluke.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Shhh. It's a secret. While our son Tater is away at camp, we are giving his room an extreme makeover. He and Wise One used to room together, and we brought a somewhat dorky and incomplete boyish cowboy theme from our former residence four years ago. Wise One recently moved into his own space, and now we can think "Tater" designing thoughts exclusively for this room.
He's a guitar lovin', soccer playin' tween who favors fashionable black Underarmor. He'd love nothing more than a cell phone, game cube, his own apartment, and car right now- except for the fact that he's only eleven. No more superhero or animal themes for this guy. As the primary decorator, I decided to paint the walls silver, hang black silk curtains, purchase a grey and black camouflage bed in a bag, hang his guitars and banjo like pictures on the wall, and top it all off with a black bean bag chair. Mind you, I've never seen a room quite like this, but I think the design should last until:
a) he's off to college.
b) is capable of changing it all himself with his own money and time.

One of my friends thinks I'm a bit nuts not to include him in on the plans, but I believe he'll go nuts like the people on the Home Extreme Makeover show. Yes, I expect screams, bear hugs, stomps, and tears of joy. And I'll go all Ty Pennington with "We knew with the tremendous pressures of being a sixth grader in family as crazy as the Vyne's, you needed to be a place to express yourself." Only I'm not adding on an indoor soccer field to his room or buying Led Zepplin's original "Stairway" guitar like Ty would.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I crinkled my forehead in concern for a sobbing Pooh Bear. Her huge blue eyes streamed the kind of tears I associate with real indigo bruises and scarlet bleeding scrapes of everyday life.
Me: "What's wrong, baby?"
Pooh: "Mom! It's the cat?" ooh, ohh, oooh
Me: "Did Patches scratch you, honey? Let me see."
Pooh: "No! It's not a scratch. He did something TERRIBLE." sniff, sigh
Me: "What in the world did he do?"
Pooh: "He ate my black eyed peas all gone."
Me: "Huh? He never eats from the counter. How did he get to your bowl?"
Pooh: "I put them on the floor(?!), because I didn't think cats ate black eyed peas."
Me: (somehow managing to suppress laughter) "Neither did I. Sometimes we leave bowls on the counter or in the sink."
Pooh: "Yes, but I didn't know where else to put them when I finished. Now I don't have anymore dinner."
Me: "Wise One may let you eat the rest of his. Right, Wise."
Wise: "Sure, go ahead. I'm full."
Pooh: "Thanks! We just never have black eyed peas, and I love them so much."

I want to personally thank Svetlana for introducing this smashing new food into the Vyne family diet the last overnight Pooh Bear spent with Svet's daughter, Anna. I'm ever so grateful it's the food and not the music.
Yesterday and today the Vyne's children swam in the Smoky Mountain Invitational. Translation- True and Buck sat endless hours in a smoldering tent dripping sweat in between a handful of 30 second races. The highlight of my day happened when someone poured ice cold water down the back of my clothes at my request.

All of us roll home from these events ready to drop. Last night, I unwound from the long day by watching The Painted Veil with one of my favorite actors, Edward Norton. I've tried to catch all of his films since I first caught up with him in American History X. The Painted Veil get a thumbs up and an almost 9 on the terribly scientific Vyne 1-10 scale. The themes hit my favorite subjects- the truest kind of love and forgiveness framed in humanitarianism.

Tonight PBS should serve to relax me with Masterpiece Theater or Mystery!.

Friday, July 06, 2007

I'm better today.
The airport was a bit chaotic, but the families enjoyed our last few hours before the children flew into the sunset. I'd hadn't met many of the siblings nor talked to a few of the parents, but we had ample opportunity as we waited. Tater and the other boy, Moses, stuck like glue the instant they saw one another. I told his parents we needed to be prepared to be family friends for life.
A teen aged brother of another camper, Mindy, sported a t-shirt on which I commented. The first words I ever spoke to this guy were, "Hey, you! Give me back my t-shirt. It obviously belongs to me." Across the front was written "God's favourite". However, he insisted the shirt certainly was his. His mother explained he'd gotten the shirt on a mission to Mozambique. Mindy is the youngest of seven- one sister, five brothers.
Mother of camper Sophia mentioned to a few of us to watch her on the reality hair dressing show Split Ends on July 28 at 6:00 pm. I've never met anyone who has actually done anything like that.
Just before boarding the plane I asked Tater to give me a hug to last me a month. He looked up at me and laughed out loud, "Hey, everyone. My mom is crying.", but he didn't let go for a very long time. When he finally did loosen his grip and walk down the breezeway, I called out,"Don't fall in love!" His laughter rang out again.
This morning the phone buzzed at 6:40 am, "I'm here, Mom and Dad. I can't talk long, but every one's luggage besides mine and our leader's was lost. I didn't sleep a wink yet, and I'm about to get lunch. Can you believe I'm not even tired?" No surprise there, right?
I remember praying that I would grow a true mother's heart for this child when we adopted him 9 years ago. There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that I have that now. I'd describe my love for him as fierce. Though I'm not worried any longer, I notice the dull ache of longing and missing an important part of myself. It occurred to me that this is preparation for a time not so far in the future when my boys start finding their wings and flying the nest to magnificent destinies.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I am anxious. I wish I wasn't. I know I shouldn't be, but I am. Tater leaves for France this afternoon. He's the kind of person who can't sleep if anything at all is going on, and the flight is so very long and the other delegate children he finds very interesting. There'll be fun people everywhere everyday at camp. I worry he'll tell people he drinks coffee at home all the time, (he has had a few tastes in his lifetime) and he'll burn his engines past exhaustion on a caffeine high. The more tired he becomes the more unreasonable. Yesterday, he tested all of our family with some blatant disrespect before our guests arrived for our big July 4th wing ding. He missed some serious friend time as a result, and I hope his leaders are able to keep him in the road if necessary. I woke up several times in the night thinking about the Euros and host family gifts I hadn't purchased yet. I'm not a good procrastinator for this very reason. Thankfully Buck and Tater are taking care of these things this morning.
His first host family sent a lovely email this morning with pictures and lots of details to give us all comfort and ease. What a kind gesture.
But how do I say goodbye for an entire month? I'm holding back tears just thinking about it. In so many ways, he's made for this, but I'm a train wreck letting go. He's a very lovey guy, and I'll miss his tight hugs and his incredibly energetic being. I will not miss his arguing nature, but I actually worry if I'll subconsciously resent the return of it after so much time without.
Enough whining. I need to skip off here, read some encouraging words like "Do not worry about your life. What you will eat or drink...Consider the lilies of the field. They do not toil or spin...", and go for a nice long run. Perhaps these things will take the edge off.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Little Emperor Syndrome?

I've heard this Little Emperor Syndrome phrase via a friend who just adopted from China, and I knew immediately what she was talking about. However, the negative connotations don't sit perfectly with me.

Children in China are raised differently than here in the U.S. It is a different culture after all. Parents give their babies, toddlers, and young children few boundaries. It appears that the little ones run the family and not the other way 'round. Americans, especially those with baby schedules and strict family routines, might view the Chinese to be spoiling their children. I wonder if I'd change my parenting knowing I had ONE chance to enjoy babyhood? Chinese moms know this child is their one and only hope for the future and have been accused of treating young ones like little emperors.

When I observed mothers in China with their children, I saw something a touch more than attachment parenting. I saw deep love and respect for the children. Everyone's children. I also saw some unattractive tantrums and coddling. I noticed the same deep love and respect in the caregivers at the orphanage. From a southern woman's point of view, the children weren't MADE to mind. It was more Montessorish in the way children were mostly redirected instead of chastised. My son, Peace, believed some of the grumbling little ones needed something different than simple redirecting, "Why doesn't that mother take that whiny child home? Or put him in time out?" He pointed out small children being indulged along the way. I'm not sure if it crossed his mind that perhaps he too has been blessed beyond abundance.

I asked my hostess if I had worry of Peace being kidnapped for ransom while in China. Her reply? "All children are the hope and future of China, and so they are beloved. If your son became lost in Xian, he'd be treated like a prince and returned to you in about a minute. Both of your 'stick out' like a sore thumb and everyone talks about you when you pass by. Peace is probably safer here than most any street in the U.S."

She was right about the "sore thumb" thing in Xian. It's the largest city in the West part of China, and it's not frequented by Westerners. In Beijing, Peace and I weren't the only white faces, but here I didn't run across any Westerners by accident. When Peace and I would pause on a walk through the city, we unintentionally drew a crowd. They'd gather around us and speak to us in Chinese. I only knew how to ask the onlookers not to take pictures, because it would not benefit our hosts. I secretly kinda felt like a rock star, but Peace was bothered by all the attention. Though I tried, it was difficult to keep a low profile. Curly red and thick blonde hair were a dead give away in a sea of straight black.

Back to the Little Emperors. At some age, babyhood abruptly ends and expectations and limits hit hard. Towing the line becomes essential. Children go to school from 6 am to 6 pm, because education is the key to a better job. Remember, education costs and parents would want the most for their money. Since school is a luxury, teachers actually get to teach instead of solve discipline problems all day long like some teachers in the U.S. Against a billion other people, job competition is steep! The older children and adult population as a whole seem incredibly humble and well mannered. I suppose unbelievable penalites for crimes might have something to do with the need to whip children into shape at some point. But that is another human rights conversation.

My fast ended this morning with a home made muffin. I kept thinking of those who will not have a choice to end their hunger today. My growling tummy kept reminding me to pray for this incredible country and Compassion International. We might have to do this 40 day thing again sometime.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Why so cruel?

I didn't fully understand the Chinese plight I wrote about yesterday until I visited the country myself. Like the commenter's, I felt only the cruelty behind the rules before I set foot on Chinese soil. I can't say I fully understand it now, but I have better grasp on the treatment of children in China.

Poverty forces individuals and nations into a dark corner. The kind of abject poverty China experiences I have never known. A billion people scrambling for the same limited resources cannot look pretty, and might be likened to a lesson in Darwin's "natural selection of the species". The toughest, the strongest, the most resourceful win.

Overpopulation existed only in books for me, but visiting I witnessed the result. Don't just think New York City at rush hour- I've been and it's not really a parallel. Picture yourself as you come out of the most crowded concert, a college or major league ball game, any packed stadium of some kind. Imagine the snail's pace of your progress to get to your car and join the endless traffic jam following. This is what it's like in Xian everyday most of the day, and Xian is only one of hundreds of overpopulated Chinese cities. The sidewalks were so crowded that I clung to the back of my son's shirt nearly all the time. No time or room for cloister phobics. Now imagine what happens to grass when millions step on it all day everyday. It dies and only dust remains.

I stepped off the plane into Beijing and later in Xian and noticed a nice layer of brownish black dust covering everything in sight. It was spring and the trees were supposed to be vibrant green, but the dust slightly diminished their colors. I noticed grass and other things green I take for granted in Tennessee were scarce, and the little I found was also covered by the grainy film.

There are literally thousands of Chinese hired to sweep, spray and scrub the streets and walls of Xian dusk to dawn. In terms of litter, Xian was very well kept.

What else is in this dust besides dirt? Pollution. Imagine coal being the source of heat and fuel to support the masses. Imagine the amount of pollutants in a less than regulated country from millions of factories built to sustain the Chinese people's daily needs and churn out additional trinkets to sell to Americans at peddle through the almighty Wal-Mart to boot. My hostess showed me the black water in her clothes washer coming from my garments worn about the city. The fourth washing the water was only grey. Imagine the health problems which result from breathing this stuff in. Thank God the Chinese diet and exercise routines are much healthier than ours in America, or they'd be goners. Workers lined up every morning outside their places of employment to exercise together. Wouldn't that be an excellent addition to the McDonald's employee's workday in America?

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, that the elderly literally must depend on their children for retirement. It's been this way for thousands of years. Yes, thousands while America can only boast of 200 years of history. Think of the meaning of "set in your ways" and "teaching old dogs new tricks" when it comes to living a certain way for a thousand years. American social security and 501K plans are relatively new inventions. The Chinese are looking into it, but like Americans in poverty, the majority of Chinese do not have the money they need to survive today much less save for old age. Imagine having a billion population and searching for government rules to control it. The "one child rule" made worlds more sense to me in the midst of sweltering crowds. Why do parents strive for their one child to be a healthy and whole boy? It's survival. Males have historically and internationally been the ones to provide. You think eating dog food and living in American public housing sounds like a bad plan for elderly care? Imagine starvation and begging on the streets of China as the alternative. Yes, I saw heartwrenching begging on the streets of China. It's almost too painful to write about. Particularly the curved old woman who pulled on my arm and fell to her knees before me.

Suppose you were a penniless young woman, and your child was born with a double cleft palate. Your aunt says, "If you let someone from America adopt your child, the family will have that fixed, and your child's face will be beautiful. You cannot even provide for yourself. Let a rich American give your child a great new life. Try for a healthy child to help you in your old age." On a desperate hand, it makes sense.

Consider the ease of abortion weighed against the cost of government penalties for a second child. Also, there is no free public education in China. Everyone, no matter how poor, must pay for any schooling. Another reason to think of aborting. One of my favorite quotes on abortion comes from Mother Teresa- "It is a poverty when a woman chooses to take the life of another for sake of convenience." How could a nation possibly make abortion convenient? Americans have no room for finger pointing on the matter.

Why in the world do these billion people accept godless communism? Why not seek another form of government with different rules? A short trip into Chinese history will make that apparent. The ancient corrupt dynasties plowed their treacherous paths well into this century leaving a nation starving and uneducated. Communism provided answers for hunger and educational advancement. Surprisingly, today the word in China is entrepreneurship. It's an eek toward democracy and a different way of thinking.

I don't want to leave anyone with the impression that the Chinese people are cruel. I was taken in by the warmth, good humor, friendliness, and kindness of each person I met on my journey there. I was invited open armed into homes and businesses. The Chinese won my heart in the respect my son and I were freely given.

Does this post bring any clarity to my cause- fasting for Compassion International with an emphasis on the children of China?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

40 Day Fast

Fasting for me is usually a very private matter. Normally, I fast secretly with a specific focus on a prayer intention. Not today and tomorrow, however. I will be tooting my horn and fasting from now until July 3 for Compassion International, because all day long I believed in my heart of hearts it was June 30, instead of July 1, the day I am on for this important 40 Day Fast.

I ask you not to think about it and forget soon after, but go now and sponsor a child at their website. Any charity watchdog organization knows these people are all about releasing children from poverty for real. Our family sponsors three boys and a girl just like my own little brood. It's a little like adoption without all the work.

I'll focus the rest of my post on a particular day I gained perspective and longed to see a nation released from poverty. My son and I took a trip to China a few years ago. One day we spent holding babies, blowing bubbles, spooning food, comforting toddlers, and looking through books with older disabled children in an orphanage there. It was privately paid for by Americans with half given to the Chinese. The grounds, the buildings, the rooms ,full of toys and fun, were pristine. The children were clean, well loved, and well cared for. My son and I were only permitted inside the upstairs part of the orphanage still run through American funding though we were guided to lunch through the Chinese section. The construction of open windows allowed us to view the children downstairs as well. It was a stark contrast to the upstairs in that nothing was painted brightly, there was nothing in the rooms at all except a table and chairs, and there were not nearly as many staff members tending children. Still the experience in no way screamed "tragic" like the depictions of horrific conditions of Russian orphanages my husband has visited.

But here's the tragedy- the "why" behind Chinese children entering an orphanage in the first place. The Chinese "one child per family" rule creates a system of doom for smallest most vulnerable. Children with any problems at all are sometimes dumped, because they have some imperfection. For example, a child might happen to have the misfortune of being a girl. Boys grow up to be parent's means to "social security", and a girl certainly could not be expected to provide for parents in old age. So Chinese orphanages house many more females than males, and generally only healthy girls are to be adopted from their country. Special need boy adoptions are the exception, not the rule. Children with a cleft palate or another medically treatable disease become orphans, because parents simply could never afford to pay for surgeries. Also, physical imperfections lead to second or third class citizenship just like they do here in the U.S., so parents look for a healthy and whole boy to secure their future and abandon the lesser. The worst poverty of all is the children who are aborted, because parents cannot afford the government fines imposed for second children.

My son, Peace, looks a little pale in these pictures. Though he'd been full of life and exuberance on our adventurous mission, the orphange drained the color straight from his face. I had to pry a bit to find out why. Peace was completely embarrassed to tell me he'd never been around children with so many handicaps- eyes missing, helmets for seizures, holes where there weren't supposed to be in faces, missing arms or fingers. He hated passing by the children in the Chinese section of the orphanage believing those children were terribly neglected. He felt particularly uneasy while we fed the babies with cleft palates a greenish yellow goo, and thick globs would push back through the holes in their lips. He'd never seen anything so startling before, and I hadn't thought to explain things to him. Once I shared my insights and that most everything could be medically fixed or least made better when the children were adopted, he became much more comfortable. These children were the children with great promise for a future. I failed to mention to Peace the unborn aborted babies, and abandoned babies not found until too late or not at all.

All China's children are the ones I fast for tonight and tommorrow.

One of the children we sponsor from Compassion International is a Chinese boy who lives in much more dire circumstances than we encountered at the orphanage.

Should I?

I was wondering if I should:
1. squeeze into a blue denim jumper(I'd have to borrow one) and crisp white t-shirt
2. shove my massive amounts of hair under a head scarf
3. lace up my pristine white tennis shoes with starched white socks underneath
4. bring along a ruler
5. put on my schoolish school marm glasses
6. squeal my tires on my way into the parking lot of the little country church just down the road in Loudon, TN
7. slap the ruler sharply on the secretary's desk
8. demand she march out with me immediately into the parking lot to correct the misspelled word on the church sign

In Loveing Memory of...

9. then explain how I irritable I become when someone has forgotten to drop the "e" when adding an "ing"?