Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Daughter has been super cooperative, and we've accomplished quite a bit this week.  The freezer I the kitchen has been cleaned out.  The guest room is clean.  All the piles of paperwork have been organized.  I've been doing a lot of reflecting on this past year.  At first, I was feeling like 2013 was a bad year.  But upon reflection, I feel better about things.  I realize the mess at home had me avoiding it and spending too much time at the church.  Now that it is clean, I think I'll be more willing to spend time here.  I won't be as overwhelmed. 

At church, I finally have mastered the art of finishing my sermon by Thursday.  It means that I can truly take Friday and Saturday off.  It was a busy year at the church, and we are moving forward in exciting ways.  I've also finally managed to conquer the diet, after years of trying.  I am going to do more planning for my diet this year, so I have more variety and a better rotation in my meals.  I also intend to make some convenience meals for myself-- things I can put in the freezer and pull out for quick meals. 

For this coming year, I've been thinking of what the important things are for me.  The things that energize me and keep me moving forward.  They include spiritual and professional reading, exercise, a clean house, and healthy food.  At this point, we're scheduled to go walking tomorrow, but I may wimp out.  It is supposed to be very cold tomorrow, and I'm not sure I'm ready to walk when the temperature is in the low teens. 

I hope every one celebrates safely this evening, and that 2014 holds many blessings for you. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Restaurant Food

Eating at a restaurant is challenging.  I need to calculate Daughter's carbs, and figure out what I can eat with my various sensitivities.  Fortunately, there is pretty good information out there about carb content on food that I can pull up on my android.  The food sensitivities are a little more challenging, though a growing number of restaurants have allergen menus.  Of course, some of them have separate lists of suggestions for each allergen, so if you have multiple food sensitivities, it can be challenging to try to sort through the various lists to find something that is safe.

Daughter doesn't like the choices I set before her at restaurants.  I allow her to have a few extra carbs (which we cover with extra insulin) at restaurants, but I do limit her.  Yesterday we went to a wing place.  She wanted the boneless breaded chicken.  I told her that that was higher in carbs, so she wouldn't be able to have fries with that.  If she went with the traditional wings, she could have some fries.  I also explained that the sauce she chose would impact that, too, and suggested some of the lower carb sauces.  She was in a contrary mood.  She moved onto the chicken wraps, and I dutifully looked them up.  Once again, she had choices to make.  The wraps were a little above what she should have carb wise for lunch, but I told her that she could have one if she skipped the fries.  She finally made a choice, and fries weren't part of it (she didn't want any of the other side dish options).  When her meal came, she pouted.  The huge wrap wouldn't fill her up.  Eventually, she ate it all.  She tried to convince me she was still hungry when she finished, but by the time we got home, she'd forgotten her complaints. 

She told me that she has an outing coming up to a restaurant.  She wanted me to help her figure out what she could eat.  I instructed her to go to the restaurant website and figure it out.  I'm taking a perverse pleasure in watching her argue with the restaurant website.  She has actually been considering steamed broccoli as a substitute for fries.  Maybe she'll be more appreciative of me in the future. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hard Conversations

"This is not what I wanted my life to be."  "I just want to be normal."  "Why am I like this?"  I heard these words not only from Daughter yesterday, but from another young woman in my life.  It is heart breaking, and there are no good answers.  Both crises were triggered by abusive relationships. 

The Young Woman has autism, a genius level IQ, and an abusive mother.  She was visiting Her Mother, and HM asked her to do something.  YW didn't hear, and asked her to repeat herself.  HM started screaming at her.  YW is very sensitive to sound, and told her to stop screaming.  HM screamed louder.  YW began having an autistic meltdown, rocking and moaning.  HM began mocking her.  This escalated YW's meltdown, and she banged her head against the round, which escalated HM's screaming and exaggerated imitation of YW's autistic meltdown.  YW finally fled the house, and HM followed her down the street, continuing to scream at her. 

YW asked (again) why her mother doesn't like her.  HM most likely has a personality disorder, making it impossible to reason with her.  This is just one of many abusive incidents YW has endured.  I regularly reassure her that HM's behavior is irrational, and that it's not YW's fault, no matter what she says.  This one was of the more horrifying incidents.  I don't understand how a mother could respond that way, of course I also don't understand why they ignored the school when the school said she needed help.  They responded by pulling her out of school and "homeschooling" her.  It was a challenging conversation, as there are no easy answers. 

YW feels like a failure because she doesn't have a PhD and isn't working.  She was expected to accomplish great things.  She still might, and if she had had involved, supportive parents who were willing to seek the help she needed, I think she'd be in a better place right now.  I get so angry when I think about HM (I know HM pretty well).  HM saw any suggestion that one of her children needed help as a personal attack.  Several of them could have used help. 

Then there was Daughter's meltdown.  It turns out that when she broke up with Boy Friend, it didn't last a day.  We had an extended period in the car as we drove to Sister's for Christmas.  She had an incident with BF before he was BF in which he bent her fingers back and twisted her arm behind her back.  She's afraid of him.  She had decided to stop the pressure she'd agree to become engaged, but tell him it would have to be a long engagement.  She was afraid to go back to the workshop after vacation and see him. 

After a long  conversation, I suggested she break up with him by phone today, then he'd have time to adjust before she saw him in person.  She called him today, and wanted me to hear the conversation, so she put it on speaker.  I understand why it was so hard for her to break up with him.  He kept interrupting her, begging for another chance, asking what he'd done wrong.  When that didn't work he told her he'd already bought her ring and couldn't get his money back.  I finally told her to hang up on him.  He then called one of their friends and asked him to pressure Daughter.  She stood firm, and I hope will have the strength to continue to stand firm. 

We also talked about how this is not the way she wants to live her life.  She still would like to adopt a child.  She informed me all group homes are hell.  My heart aches for her.  They once again sent her to me without all her meds.  Her patch was supposed to be changed Tuesday, but we didn't get them until today.  I'm sure that contributed to her challenges yesterday.

On a more positive note, we had a good time at our family Christmas yesterday.  Today we cleaned the kitchen and ran a bunch of errands.  Daughter worked on the kitchen floor while I tackled the stove.  We delivered recycling, dropped off clothes Daughter is donating, went to the health food store, the warehouse club, and one other store to get things on our list.  It feels good to be getting these things done, and it was wonderful to have Daughter's help. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013


This morning I called a member, and he and his dad came and picked us up and took us to the church on their way to check on his dad's house to see if the electricity was back on.  I called emergency road service from the church, and the tow truck was there in less than 30 minutes. 

We dropped the car off, and then walked home, stopping for lunch along the way at the new Mediterranean restaurant.  Daughter was complaining about how she didn't know what to order, so I ordered for her.  She didn't stop complaining until she took the first bite.  Then she was too busy eating to complain. 

We walked about a mile to get home on interesting sidewalks.  We have another 3 inches of snow on top of the previous snow and ice.  I had another 3 members offer to take us back to get the car.  The news on the car was really good-- it only needed a battery, and the whole thing cost less than $155.  The better news is that Daughter has been super cooperative today.  I'm enjoying our time together. 

I'm doing some cooking tonight, as we will be heading to Sister's tomorrow for Christmas.  I'm looking forward to it. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Daughter and Christmas

Christmas with Daughter is always interesting.  She has a terrible time holding on to money, and then a few days before Christmas panics, because she doesn't have money for Christmas shopping.  This year, I told her I'd save the money she earned working for me for her Christmas shopping.  Between the weather and the work, we hadn't talked about Christmas shopping.  Yesterday I realized that, and asked her if she needed to go Christmas shopping.  "I'm just doing Christmas cards this year." 

I was tired and stressed, and that annoyed me.  Part of it is that I don't want her to think Christmas is all about her getting lots of gifts.  When she realized I was annoyed, she said, "I don't have any money."  I reminded her I'd saved money for her.  I had packed one meal for yesterday and clothes for last night, but decided we'd go out for one meal.  So while we were at lunch, I gave her the money she'd earned.  Her face lit up, "Maybe I can by something for myself!"  She could tell that was not the right thing to say. 

I was tired, the stores were jammed (and many of the stores at the mall were still without power and closed).  I was going to take her to the mall, and told her she could get me a sweater.  I gave her my discount coupons.  Then she said, "I want to get you something that will last and is more special.  I want to go to the Dollar Store!"  Time was running out, and I finally told her to go pick out something on amazon, print out the picture, and she could give that to me.  That's what she did. 

My siblings have been texting today.  They aren't receiving mine, and I'm missing some of theirs, so the conversation doesn't make much sense.  I just gave up on it.  I hope you all have had a blessed Christmas.  Please remember what it is really about.  I hope you all have had an option to worship Christ this Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

As we scrambled to get things done today (and decided the newsletter would have to wait) I realized that least week we spent a great deal of time preparing 3 very different services for Sunday-- and all of them were cancelled. 

Administrative Assistant and her family are still without power.  As are many others in the congregation.  They are now worried about the pipes freezing.  Patience is wearing thin.  Treasurer and his wife found a motel where power had just been restored and decided to stay there.  By the time they got back with their clothes, half the power was out.  They were still allowed to stay, but were told they could have either electricity or heat in their room, but not both.  They chose electricity, as the room was still warm.  By the time they showered this morning, it was pretty cold.  Another couple ordered a generator from amazon (there aren't any available locally) and had it shipped overnight. 

The families with children are having a hard time.  The kids don't understand what is going on, and they want to be home in their own beds for Christmas, but with temperatures in the homes down to the 30's, it just isn't possible.  They worry about Santa finding them. 

Attendance at the Christmas Eve service was interesting.  In many families, one person stayed home to nurse the generator.  We had more visitors than members, many coming from churches where Christmas Eve worship was cancelled due to lack of heat.  The service went well, despite my worries that it wouldn't flow well or would be too long. 

After the service and all the conversations, Daughter and I loaded up the car to come home.  The car refused to start.  AA's husband brought me home.  He's very knowledgeable about cars, and his son is an automotive engineer.  The two of them tried unsuccessfully to get it going, and are stumped about what the problem might be.  I'll deal with it Thursday. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Aftermath

The church has its electricity back on-- probably because we are next to two buildings that house senior citizens.  Many in the congregation are still without power.  Administrative Assistant and her family are camping out at the church this evening. 

Many signal lights are still out.  Only about half the stores in the mall are open.  They say it will be the weekend before power is restored for some people.  Power lines are still going down, since the temperature has been in the 20's and we've had more ice and snow. 

Daughter was very cooperative today at the church.  She did quite a bit of filing, without complaining.  There is still quite a bit to do, but I think it will get done.  I hope so, anyway. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013


I went to bed last night, putting on my cpap.   The power became erratic, and every time the power went out, so did my cpap.  I'd be bolt up and pull it off, unable to breathe.  I finally got smart and left it off.  As I woke this morning, I began to hear crashes.  Tree limbs were falling under the weight of the ice.  I was delighted to discover we still had electricity (which was still erratic). 

We are fortunate.  There is a large tree limb in my front yard, but some of my neighbors have much more to clean up.  We still have power, and much of the city doesn't, including the church.  I called the church, and when voice mail didn't pick up, I suspected that was the case.  We salted the driveway before we left, and I was part way there when Administrative Assistant called.  They were without power, and I asked what the procedure was if we decided we had to cancel worship.  She didn't know-- it had never been done.  She called one of the men, who joined me at the church.  He had been out buying gas for his generator. 

The church was without power, and while it was still warm, and it was too dark to do anything-- we have very small windows in the sanctuary.  I reluctantly agreed we needed to cancel worship.  We put signs on the doors.  We couldn't call anyone from the church, as the phones were out.  I suspect they were out for many of our members, and we don't have a printed list of cell phone numbers-- the numbers we have were all trapped in a powerless computer.  I posted on facebook via my smart phone and came back home.  I had several calls, texts, and emails asking about worship. 

At this point they say it may take several days to get all the power back on.  I hope we can have worship Christmas Eve.  We are still getting more ice, and I wonder if we will end up losing power.  It helps that our utilities are underground, but I know that others with underground utilities are without power, so it's no guarantee.  The one power company you can't even reach, they are so overwhelmed with calls. 

I was supposed to do worship at the nursing home this afternoon.  They were dark when I drove by this morning, but I suppose I should call and check to see if they have power and what the plan is....  I'd rather deal with snow than ice.  Of course, the snow is coming later today, so I'll get to deal with both....

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Winter arrived early and brutal.  After last week's snow, we're now getting ice.  I picked up Daughter today so I wouldn't have to go that way to get her before worship tomorrow.  She has compiled lists of things for us to do over break.  All we've done so far is brave the grocery store.  I needed to get some food Daughter could eat.  I considered stopping some other places, but the parking lots were full. 

Tomorrow I'm involved with 3 different worship service-- 2 different sermons and I'm playing piano for the third.  At this point I'm not optimistic about attendance.  The ice storm warning ends a few hours before worship.  I'm trying to be optimistic, but it's not looking good. 

I made enchiladas for supper tonight, putting cow cheese on Daughter's and goat cheese on mine.  We both liked them.  I have a fire in the fireplace, and we're watching movies-- first Christmas Story and now the most recent Star Trek.  For now, it's nice having Daughter here with  me. 

Friday, December 20, 2013


I went into the office today, and it was a busy day.  We finished the material for this Sunday, and Administrative Assistant and I both brought some things home to work on to make next week a little easier.  We'll be in the office Monday and Tuesday, and then won't be back until January 2.  Next week the focus will be finalizing the January newsletter. 

This afternoon I tackled the paperwork I needed to get in for Daughter.  I also dealt with the pharmacy again.  I've called several times.  Each time they tell me there are mistakes in the bill.  Each time I ask for an itemized statement.  I've never seen an itemized statement or a credit.  Daughter's Case Manager tried to get the agency to deal with it.  They told me to wait until they got things straightened out before I paid the bill.  They never got back to me.  Today I sent them a check for $171.  That  was all of Daughter's allotted spending money for the last three months plus a check I got from the insurance company.  It paid less than 10% of her bill.  I've been avoiding this stuff, so I thought I'd feel better once I was done. 

A forum of clergy types that I am a part of was discussing a hymn with the following verse:

For just and unjust, a place at the table,
Abuser, abused, with need to forgive,
In anger, in hurt, a mindset of mercy,
For just and unjust, a new way to live.

The discussion was about whether the verse would be too hard for the abused.  Administrative Assistant and I marked the hymn in our hymnal so we won't sing that book, and I entered the discussion.  Someone said the hymn was fine and that anyone who couldn't sit across the table from their abuser had some work to do. 

I didn't like that comment.  I responded that I thought it was fine for the abusers to have a place at the table, but Daughter's abusers would never sit at the same table with her if I could do anything about it. 

Adoptive parents are told that with love and stability the child they are adopting will heal and be fine.  That's not always the case.  If there has been extreme abuse and neglect, it's not the case in most cases.  Daughter did not have enough verbal interaction when the language center of her brain was developing:  the result is Central Auditory Processing Disorder.  Her receptive language skills are at the level of a 3 year old.  She has severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  She doesn't understand cause and effect thinking.  She is permanently damaged.  She has done a great deal of healing, but it takes a bunch of psychiatric medications to keep her close to stable.  I sometimes wonder where she'd be today if she'd been with me since birth.  I suspect she'd be working and living independently. 

I think she has forgiven her abusers, but to be in their presence would trigger her PTSD, and the results would not be pretty.  She can't even handle phone conversations with them.  There are so many people who don't understand.  They point out she was too young, and doesn't remember what happened.  She was young, and she can't tell us anymore (though she told me about performing oral sex on a family member when she was much younger), but her body does.  Her body responds to triggers, and it's not something she can control. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Sometimes, ministry is all about juggling.  This week I led a joint board meeting, and wrote articles for the January newsletter reflecting on 2013.  I worked on the sermon for this Sunday, planned a Christmas service for the nursing home Sunday afternoon, worked on Christmas Eve, and finalized the bulletin for December 29.  I began preparing for the board retreat in January, ordering material for it.  We also designed and ordered bracelets for Lent.  There was a hospital visit in there, a staff Christmas lunch, and a clergy breakfast.  At the clergy breakfast I learned that the guitarist for Sunday evening's Taize service is sick.  The pianist had already backed out, leaving us with just a flute for instruments.  I began working on the piano music for that service. 

Daughter was in the office today, and she was a bit down.  She is upset because she won't have group therapy again until January 8.  She doesn't think she can go that long without it.  She's concerned about the unstructured time while her program was closed, so she was stressed about that.  So between writing and planning, I was offering her plans and diversions.  I suggested she make a list of all the things she wants to do while she's her on break.  That kept her busy for a while. 

We were feeling pretty good about our progress, but after bell choir rehearsal this evening I realized we hadn't printed the material for Sunday afternoon, so I will be in the office tomorrow.  The bulletin for Sunday evening needs to be printed, too.  We were readjusting musicians and vocalists for that service after bell choir this evening, so that will require some editing of the bulletin tomorrow morning.

I'm still working on paperwork for Daughter, too.  Right now I'm doing a great deal of juggling.  I hope I don't drop anything.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Shopping and Parties

In a few minutes I'm going to head out and do some Christmas shopping.  I do not like Christmas shopping.  I have ordered a couple of things online, but haven't been to the stores.  A member stopped by after shopping, and said the stores were crazy.  That certainly didn't increase my desire to shop....  Daughter hasn't been shopping yet, either, so I suspect she will be bugging me to take her.  We'll figure something out. 

We had our office Christmas party today.  The Administrative Assistant, Treasurer and I went to Denny's for lunch.   We enjoy one another's company, and don't get the opportunity to that very often.  It has been made even harder by my diet and food sensitivities.  We have a sign we can post in the door saying what  time we'll be back.  We were gone for less than 90 minutes, but during that time at least 2 people came by looking for us, and couldn't figure out why our cars were in the parking lot and we weren't here.  Neither of them read our sign.  We tried.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Great Meeting

Our meeting last night with the new and old board members was really good.  We talked about the accomplishments of the year and identified things that didn't get completed.  We talked about what it means to work together.  We discussed the next steps in our development of a new vision statement.  Someone suggested I needed to preach a sermon series on it.  As I was wondering when I could do that, I realized that I've already chosen "Follow Me" as the theme for Lent.  That will be a great opportunity to reflect on where Christ is leading us and what it means to follow. 

This morning I had conversations with a several people about some possibilities for expanding our ministry.  Two people who had said something could not be done are now excited about doing it and talking about how to make it work.  The Holy Spirit is definitely at work in our midst.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love serving with this congregation? 

Monday, December 16, 2013

New Officers

Tonight is my first meeting with our new board members.  We will review the year, thank those who have served, and look to the future.  I was warned this morning that a new board member was gathering material to advance his personal agenda with the board.  My policy is to train the nominating committee and then step aside and trust them to follow God's leading.  Sometimes, I question the wisdom of that policy.  To make things even more interesting, we have a board member who is vehemently opposed to this individual's agenda.  I've prayed for both of these individuals as I prepare for this evening's meeting. 

It will be interesting to see if the new member brings up his agenda, and if he does, how the board responds.  Parenting Daughter has taught me much about ministry.  I will be able to respond calmly, and I know that any anger expressed tonight is not about me.  I am exceedingly patient.  Of course, knowing how to handle it doesn't mean I enjoy handling....

Sunday, December 15, 2013


It's been snowing for the last two days.  Daughter shoveled the sidewalk clear at church this morning without complaining, and did a good job.  I was impressed.  I didn't get involved because of my wrist, which has been complaining since I sat down to play the piano the other evening. 

When we got home today, I couldn't get the car up the driveway and into the garage.  I parked in the street, and told Daughter we were going to have to shovel the driveway.  It's not a big hill, but it's enough of a hill that it can be hard to get a vehicle up it when it is icy or snowy.  Daughter went out and began, but her competence of this morning had vanished.  I finally went out to help her.  I suggested it would work better if she didn't throw the snow into the west wind, but she insisted she was doing it the only way she knew how.  I picked up a shovel and told her to watch.  As she watched the wind blow the snow I tossed to the west back across the driveway, she finally understood.  I tried to show her how to loosen up the packed snow that had been driven over, but she refused to figure that out.  My wrist complained, but I suspect I did most of the work.  It took almost 2 hours with both of us working, but we got it done.  The car is now safely tucked away in the garage.  It is still snowing  and we will be heading out again for Christmas caroling in about half an hour.  Hopefully we won't get too much more.  I don't know who much we've gotten, but it came over the top of my boots when I walked in the yard.  It's supposed to continue snowing through Tuesday.  It looks like it could be a very long winter. 

Friday, December 13, 2013


Last Friday Daughter insisted that she didn't want to do any more outings.  She wanted to stay at the workshop and work so she could earn more money.  She wanted that written into her plan for the coming year.  I suggested that she should keep her options open, and there might be outings she wanted to do.  She insisted she wouldn't change her mind and wasn't interested in any more outings.  We finally decided that there would be the option of attending outings.  I warned them that once she made up her mind, she couldn't be allowed to change it.  If she said she didn't want to go on the outings one week, she needed to live by that decision, not change her mind at the last minute and be allowed to go.

This morning she called me.  She told me she'd made a mistake, and should have signed up for today's activity.  I told her she had to live by the decision she'd made earlier in the week.  She was not happy, but she didn't go on the outing.  (I don't know if she asked to go or not.) 

In one week's time, both of my prediction have turned out to be accurate.  She is so predictable....

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


In Daughter's current home, which is much better than the average group home, mistakes continue to pile up.  In less than a week there have been the following issues:

  • Inadequate protein in her lunch.
  • Running out of her anti-psychotic without taking action to secure more.
  • Giving her half of the insulin she should have had at supper, resulting in blood sugars in the 200's the next day. 
It's frustrating, to say the least.  It's hard to trust her health and well-being to strangers.  This house has some real advantages:
  • It's smaller.
  • There is less staff turnover.
  • It has a much better location. 
  • The staff is more competent and more caring.
So she's in a good house, and there are still major mistakes.  I choose my battles carefully.  I work at equipping Daughter to be her own advocate, and avoid getting involved whenever possible.  I did get involved with the antipsychotic, and I have raised the issue with lunch.  I haven't decided what to do about the insulin yet.  I will look at her blood sugars Thursday when I receive them.  I will probably have some comments at that point. 

Part of the challenge is that on paper, she doesn't qualify for the level of care she needs.  She can do many things independently.  She requires constant supervision, though, due to the diabetes and food issues. 

The mistakes and problems are taking a toll on me.  I'm still trying to figure out what to do about it all.  I'm trying to convince myself that I'm trusting her to God's care.  It would be easier, though, if the humans involved with her care were a little more competent. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Another One Bites the Dust

Daughter has broken up with yet another Boyfriend.  We had a long conversation about it yesterday evening.  They had been together less than a month, but he was pushing for marriage.  I have told Daughter I won't talk about marriage with her until she's been with a man for a year.  That is very hard for Daughter and her friends.  They seem to begin talking about marriage in less than a week.  I think Daughter is grateful for my rule, especially since I tell her that is the advice I give all couples considering marriage.

She said Boyfriend already had figured out his guest list, and was telling his friends they were invited.  Daughter said that his friends were going out and getting dresses and tuxes for the wedding.  Really?  Daughter has a hard time discerning what is realistic and what isn't.  I assured her that one man had not gone out and purchased and tux and had it altered for their wedding. 

Boyfriend had come to the Blue Christmas service we had last Wednesday night, and also was at yesterday afternoon's Christmas concert here at the church.  I was a little surprised it had lasted this long.  I'd overheard a conversation Daughter had with him when she was with me at Thanksgiving.  She obviously did not want to talk to him. 

She had begun to pick up on inconsistencies in his story.  "He says his mom won't have anything to do with him, but he just saw her." 

We talked about how needy he was, and I tried to explain what I saw as an attempt to control her by convincing her she was the only one who loved him or cared about him. 

We talked about how our culture tries to make you feel like you have to be in a relationship, and how it is okay not to be in one.  We talked about how I'm happily single.  I do feel sorry for these men.  They don't understand that Daughter is not ready for a serious relationship, and they don't know how to take it slow.  I'm grateful that Daughter seems to grow a little more independent with each relationship.  I hope the time will come when the relationship doesn't begin, when she is content to just remain friends, and is able to insist on that from the beginning. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Annual Planning Meeting

We had Daughter's annual meeting today to come up with her plan and goals for the coming year.  She handled it well, and set some good goals for herself.  Case Manager wants to take away choir the next time Daughter gets into food.  I have told  her that is the only place Daughter feels normal, and I will not take it away from her.  I pointed out that I took away the privilege of coming home, so I am willing to do meaningful consequences, but not that. 

The good news out of the meeting is that the agency will take over Daughter's finances.  Her pharmacy bill continues to be a mess, and I haven't been able to get it straightened out.  I will still be her guardian, they will be her payee.  It gets rid of a big stress for me.  I'm very relieved....

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Comedy of Errors

Daughter saw Psychiatrist Friday.  On the way out, Home Owner dropped her prescriptions at the pharmacy, and they promised they would be delivered to the house on Monday.  Daughter came to our Blue Christmas service last night, and then went home with me since today was her day to volunteer in the office and stay for choir. 

I noticed last night she was out of her antipsychotic.  She'd had it yesterday at supper, but didn't have any for today.  Daughter was concerned.  I assured her we'd pick it up from the house today.  So, this morning she called the house.  Staff informed her that the pharmacy hadn't delivered it and they didn't have any more at the house.  I asked if staff was going to talk to Home Owner, and she said she didn't mention it.  I told her to call Home Owner.  She did.  No answer, voice mail full.  I told her to send a text.  She did.  Several hours later Daughter hadn't heard anything, so I sent a text (I try to stay out of these things, encouraging Daughter to be her own advocate). 

Finally, this afternoon, I emailed Case Manager.  Daughter has her planning meeting for the year tomorrow.  These meetings are always stressful for her, and to ask her to sit through it without her antipsychotic isn't fair.  I finally got a text from Home Owner, who dropped the medication off at the church for us.  It turns out the pharmacy lost the prescription.  Home Owner didn't know it hadn't been delivered (this issue has been addressed with Staff).  Home Owner went and got the copy of the prescription the pharmacy had made and given to her.  Then she delivered it to the pharmacy, waited for the prescription, and brought it here.  She'd been in meetings and court most of the day, so didn't know what was going on. 

Daughter had been getting increasingly stressed, but once she knew the medication was on the way, she relaxed.  I'm grateful the situation got fixed.  The pharmacy is going to investigate how the prescription got lost.  I hope they figure it out so it doesn't happen again....

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


We have a sign at the church.  You can put messages on it the old fashioned way-- we have a box of letters and a key.  We also have a volunteer who was regularly putting inspirational sayings on it.  With an emphasis on communication the last few years, we've recognized the sign as a way to communicate with the general public.  So, we've been asking the volunteer to advertise certain events. 

He was asked to advertise the bazaar, and didn't.  After he put a new saying up, he was again asked to advertise the bazaar.  He did.  Recently the sign was empty.  I wondered if he was frustrated that we were now telling him what to put on, and it was a from of protest or something.  Last week he was asked to advertise the Blue Christmas service tonight and the Christmas concert this coming Sunday.  He dutifully came in to post those last week.  Both Administrative Assistant and I were in the office.  He was worried about how he'd fit it all on the sign.  "I suppose you won't let me use Xmas?"  We all had a good laugh over that. 

Sunday I thought something was off about the sign.  I looked again.  He'd left the H out of Christmas.  AA and I talked about it, but didn't do anything.  It wasn't high on the priority list.  Someone called the church Sunday to tell us about the mistake.  Today the property guys were meeting.  One stopped by, then left.  Then he came back.  He'd had a phone call from his wife.  "How do you spell Blue Christmas?" he asked, grinning.  "With an H."  I replied.  He looked amazed.  "You know about the mistake?"  "Yup."  "Are you going to fix it?"  "There's a box of letters and the key in the next room.  You are welcome to go grab 4 H's and fix it."  "Four?"  "Yes, 4.  It is misspelled two times on each side of the sign.  That makes 4."  After a brief protest and trying to convince me I should never trust an engineer to spell, he and one of the other men went in search of the box.  It is now fixed. 

I am still pondering how I ask our volunteer if he'd like someone else to take over the sign responsibilities.  He is a very intelligent man-- a medical professional in private practice.  I suspect there is a bit of the passive-aggressive coming out the last couple of weeks.  I suspect he may not like being told what to put on the sign.  Of course, if he says he'd like to give it up, we'd then have to find someone who would be willing to do it.  If I wait long enough, maybe someone else will fix the problem.  For now, I choose to find the humor in it and wait....

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Seven Miles

When we lived in Tiny Village, I regularly drove 10 miles to get to the store-- or almost any place I needed to be.  After just 3 years here in Capital, I am spoiled.  I need some things from a store that is 7 miles away, and it just seems too far to go....  I am going to head over there this afternoon, since this is the one day I don't have an evening commitment. 

Administrative Assistant is out of town, and the office has been very quiet without her.  I've had a few people come by today, including the activities director at the local nursing home.  I lead worship there once a month, and the number of people attending worship has been shrinking.  Last time there were two people.  I'm supposed to go again on December 22.  I don't mind doing it, but I'm questioning the expenditure of time and energy for such a small group.  I shared my concerns with her.  She had lots of excuses, but finally decided that she would issue special invitations and move the service from an out of the way conference room to the main living room for Dec. 22.  We'll see if that helps. 

Daughter had an appointment with Psychiatrist yesterday.  There was agreement that she is doing well.  I had finally remembered that fall is always hard for her due to anniversary events.  Psychiatrist agreed with my theory, which was nice.  Daughter is in a good place right now, and I hope it will last.  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Program

Today we had a Christmas program.  When I arrived 3 years ago, we had 3 children, all from one family.  Now we have 7 children who regularly attend.   This is the second year we've done a program/play as part of the first Sunday in Advent, which is traditionally hanging of the greens.  I decided that we had enough children this year to have them form the nativity.  I had 3 boys and 3 girls who seemed old enough to do it, so we had Mary, Joseph, 2 angels and 2 shepherds. 

We were supposed to practice last week, but there was miscommunication, and when I went to get them to do their part, they'd finished practicing for children's choir and gone home.  More emails went out, and we went forward. 

The angels and Joseph arrived first.  One angel carried the manger, one a blanket, and Joseph carried baby Jesus.  All went well.  Mary arrived, and I explained what she was to do, and escorted them to the office, where Administrative Assistant was waiting with costumes.  The shepherds arrived, one of whom announced at the very beginning he wasn't participating.  Joseph was refusing to put on a costume.  The other shepherd decided not to participate.  I went back to the sanctuary, where the angels had shed their costumes.  One of the angels has sensory issues, and the costume was bugging her. 

The grandmother of Mary came and asked if they could substitute a different doll for baby Jesus, because that was the only way Mary would agree to participate.  In the end, one nervous Mary and two costumed, scowling angels participated.  I suggested to the lay leader that she keep everyone away from a very grumpy, coughing pastor.  The congregation, of course, was delighted to once again have a children's pageant.  I was reminded of why it is I find Christmas pageants involving children to be exceedingly stressful.  

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lazy Day

Today has been a very lazy day.  We've watched football and movies, and that's about it.  I'm still coughing and don't have as much energy, but at least today my skin doesn't hurt and I'm not getting chills. 

Daughter has been amazingly patient with this.  Of course, she's been blowing her nose quite a bit, too. 

I realized at some point that we hadn't finished one of the bulletins.  We are having a Blue Christmas service Wednesday evening, and Administrative Assistant won't be in the office until Thursday this week.  I had decided that I wouldn't mention it to her, and I would just finish it.  Today I received an email from her, with the bulletin attached.  She said we could talk about it tomorrow.  I wasn't surprised that she remembered, or that she has a plan to finish it before she leaves. 

We're having a fellowship meal after the program tomorrow.  I think I'll stop at the store on the way to church tomorrow and buy some ready made cole slaw or something.  I don't feel like cooking, and I'm not going out today.  I don't feel up to it. 

Hopefully another good night's sleep and I'll be ready to go tomorrow.  Hopefully. 

Friday, November 29, 2013


We spent yesterday with Brother, Sister, family and friends.  It was a good day, though exhausting.  I drove 190 miles, picking up Daughter, then Sister and Short Niece, and going on to Brother's home.  I took my own food.  When I arrived and Brother hugged me, he lifted me off the floor.  He was impressed with my weight loss.  Sister took a picture of me and posted it on facebook.  I hate pictures of myself, but decided to make this one my profile photo.  It's nice to feel good about the way I look.

Today Daughter and I went out to breakfast and then to the grocery store and health food store.  She would have loved to do some other shopping as well, but once she saw the parking lot at the mall, decided maybe I did know a thing or two about shopping on Black Friday. 

My cough and cold is now taking a toll.  Earlier this week I had been proud to proclaim that while I sounded terrible, I didn't feel bad.  I can't say that anymore....  Daughter has been cleaning.  I've done a bit of cleaning, and a lot of sitting. 

Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be improving.  The extra sleep and rest through the day will hopefully speed the healing process. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I was out of the office part of last week, and Administrative Assistant will be out of the office part of next week.  This is a busy time of year.  Basically, we were struggling to get 2 weeks worth of work done in 3 days.  To say it was a busy week would be an understatement.  At one point we were ahead, but this week we were behind. 

I have picked up the virus that's going around, so I've been coughing and don't have a voice.  I sound horrible, but really don't feel bad.  I am very grateful I'm not preaching this Sunday, since we have a drama and hanging of the greens. 

Tomorrow we're going to be with Brother and Sister for Thanksgiving.  I've told Daughter that she can come home with me tomorrow evening and spend the weekend.  I also warned her we will be working.  There is a lot of cleaning to do, and I'd like to get some decorations out and up.  I also hope to get some extra sleep. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013


The reunion this weekend was my first attempt at eating in this type of situation.  Breakfast was fine, because they were making custom omelets, so I could order mine without the meat or cheese that cause me trouble.  Lunch and supper was much more challenging.  For lunch the only thing they had that I could eat was gluten free bread.  I went up to my room and brought the pecan butter I had made down and put that on it.  One supper the only thing I could eat was a baked potato and the diced onions they had to put on top of it.  Again, I went to my room and got some goat cheese and almond cheese I had brought along.  It was a little frustrating, but it worked.  I think the most frustrating part was having no idea what might be in some of the foods they were serving. 

Here's what really interested me.  I was with 3 colleagues from my original group.  We are all well over 50.  3 of the 4 of us have been diagnosed with serious food sensitivities/allergies.  I am also amazed by the growing number of restaurants that are beginning to offer allergy menus.  It would seem that are issues with food sensitivities/allergies are growing.  I think it might be worth it to do some research as to why that is the case. 

I suspect that all the additives in our food and various other modifications we have made to food has something to do with it.  As I have been able to wear smaller sized clothes, I have made a discovery-- each size is bigger now than it was at one time.  I have some older slacks that are size 14 and tight.  I have some newer ones that are size 12 and loose.  I think our obesity epidemic is related to all these chemicals and such, too.  I had dieted many times, and never with much luck.  I had about given up, as I'm at the age where it is so hard for women to lose weight.  I changed my diet not to lose weight, but to deal with other health issues brought about by my body's reaction to foods to which I am sensitive.  The result:  weight loss.  The weight loss has come without hunger.  As I've added more food, I've figured the weight loss would stop and I'd have to be care if I wanted to keep it off.  I was delighted this morning to step on the scale and discover I'd lost another pound.  The weight loss may have slowed down, but it hasn't stopped. 

This diet isn't easy.  In fact, this diet is hard.  I haven't found a fast food restaurant with things I can eat.  It's challenging to find any restaurant that offers options of food I can eat.  I have to plan ahead and do more work to have food available that is convenient.  Even food that I am not sensitive to may cause issues depending on how it is prepared.  I bought some cashews recently and then discovered they'd been cooked in peanut oil.  I can eat a few, but not very many. 

I'm fortunate in that my mouth tells me when I'm eating a food I shouldn't eat.  I'm sensitive to black pepper, and yesterday morning the chef added a little black pepper to my omelet.  I could feel my mouth getting a little bit sore.  I was able to finish the omelet, but made a note to specify no black pepper in the future. 

Some people I know have taken the food champ challenge, and are eating on a food stamp budget.  I haven't tried that, and I doubt I could make it work.  The food I need does not come cheap.  Fortunately, I have access to it and can afford it. 

One final thought:  there most likely are people who are obese not because of laziness or lack of willpower, but because they are struggling with food sensitivities.  When are we going to hold companies accountable for the things they are putting in our food?  When are we going to say enough?  I hope that I have changed my diet soon enough to improve my health significantly.  For others, it is already too late. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013


I'm home from the reunion I attended this weekend.  It was a wonderful event.  I was able to reconnect with old friends.  Children who hadn't even been born when I last saw them are now off to college.  I was able to sit and worship without any responsibilities, a wonderful gift. 

A friend who was minister of music in a neighboring community back in my Inner City days was there to lead the music, and introduced us to some wonderful new hymns.  Because these were friends from my Inner City days, I found myself reflecting on those days and remembering things that happened there.  After 17 years, the pain is not as great.

My friends thought I looked great-- they confessed that they had worried about me back then.  I think they were pleasantly surprised that I am healthy, happy, and enjoying ministry.  Many pastors leave the ministry within their first five years.  I think that this program and group were a big part of the reason I was able to survive and continue.  We'd all experienced pain, and those of us who attended are all still engaged in some form of ministry.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Down Memory Lane

28 years ago I was ordained.  27 years ago I was invited to join a brand new program for new pastors.  We had several retreats with a large group, and then met monthly with a smaller group from our geographic area.  Today I drove a couple of hours to meet up with a woman from the group, then we drove 5 hours to a reunion.  I'm seeing people I haven't seen in over 20 years. 

It's great to reconnect with them.  It's hard to believe I've been doing this for so long.  It's hard to comprehend how much we've all aged....  We've been catching up, sharing pictures of our children, telling stories of ministry.  We'll head home Saturday.  I'm looking forward to taking more trips down memory lane tomorrow....

Monday, November 18, 2013


Cindy Bodie shared a link to this blog post yesterday.  It goes along with some of the things I have been reflecting on recently.  I get frustrated with those who think that what happened to Daughter was a long time ago and she should just get over it.  I've been accused of making her worst by seeking counseling and help for her.  If I didn't keep bringing it up, I'm told, it wouldn't be an issue.

I have been reflecting on it more because of my own fear.  There are times when I am terrified of going down stairs.  I passed on a tour of a lighthouse, because I was afraid to face coming back down the stairs.  I know my fear is irrational.  I get that.  Last night I went to a national touring company performance of a Broadway musical.  We were in the second row of the balcony.  I was terrified.  Once the show started I was fine, but we were in the center, and getting to my seat and back out was challenging.  I was holding the seats beside me.  My companion was behind me, and put her hands on my shoulders to steady me on the way out. 

So why am I so afraid?  As a young child, I fell down our basement steps.  I was a toddler.  They were open wooden stairs to a poured concrete basement.  There were some shelves next to the stairs with some of my toys on them.  I have one flash of memory-- I hit a toy train that was on the top of the shelves and knocked it off on the way down.  (That is the only memory I have of that particular toy, so it wasn't a toy that stayed around through my childhood.)  I don't remember how I fell, how far I fell, what happened when I got to the bottom, if I was hurt, what my mother did, or anything else.  When I was older, I mentioned something about falling down those stairs and my mother made some comment about being terrified.  I didn't ask her for details. 

There are times when I can handle stairs with no problem whatsoever.  Other times I go out of my way to avoid them, and cling to the hand rail all the way down when I can't avoid them.  This fear has been a bigger problem since I fell and broke my arm.  I worry about falling again. 

Does Daughter milk her PTSD and play it up to her advantage?  I'm sure she does.  Does that mean it's not real?  No.  There are times when an experience I had over 50 years gets in the way of me walking down stairs.  Her trauma was much worst and over an extended period of time.  I fell down the stairs once.  She was molested and beaten by family members on more than one occasion.  I know it still has an impact on her.  Yes, she is manipulative.  That doesn't mean there aren't times when her terror is real. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Calm Outside, Screaming Inside

Daughter called this evening.  "You know how you told me my insulin was going up by 1 unit at supper?  Well, my blood sugar was 121 and Staff gave me 9 units."

"How many units?"


She was supposed to get 5, hoping I misheard her, I asked, "She gave you 9 units?" 


I asked her to put Staff on the phone.  She begged me not to talk to her, because then she'd get yelled at.  I asked if she was lying to me.  She assured me she was telling me the truth.

I was screaming inside, but remained calm as I exchanged pleasant greetings and inquiries with Staff.  "It sounds like there might be some confusion about the insulin.  How much did you give Daughter at supper?"

"9 units." 

She gets 60 grams of carb at supper.  She had been getting 1 unit to every 15 grams of carb, so she was getting 4 units.  I changed it to 1 unit to every 12 grams of carb, which means she'll now get 5 units with supper. 

Staff figured out the 5 units, and then added it to the 4 units she was getting.  Sigh.  She said she thought it seemed like too much.

I explained what might happen and told her she had to give Daughter a double snack at bedtime, no matter what her blood sugar is.  She has all my phone numbers in her phone now, and I am going to send careful instructions home with Daughter tomorrow. 

It's still hard to trust other people with my Daughter's health.  The good news is that Staff will now come directly to me with concerns.  I assured her I'm willing to answer questions at any time.  Inside, though, I'm still very concerned about the danger the extra insulin poses for Daughter. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Catching Up

It's been a busy week.  Even so, I was surprised to discover I hadn't blogged since Tuesday. 

Daughter is wearing a ring on a chain around her neck.  She insists the new guy is "just a friend."  He wanted her to ask me what I'd say if he asked her to marry him--but not right now, some time in the future because they are taking it very slow.  I informed her I would comment on that some time in the future, but not now.  I also told her she had to give him his camera back.  He wanted her to sell it for him for "lots of money."  I don't anticipate this lasting long. 

Daughter had an appointment with her Primary Care Provider this morning.  I picked Daughter up and took her, and Home Owner was also there.  Daughter's evening numbers are high, and some of them don't make sense.  I have explained several times that if the bedtime blood sugar isn't several hours after her supper, it won't give us an accurate picture of her blood sugar.  HO has ignored those emails.  So I brought it up with her today.  She was defensive, insisting this was not an issue.  I tried to explain the importance of it, and she was dismissive.  Then I pointed out the records, and where there were problems.  She pulled out the page that listed meal times, and discovered the correlation of those problem numbers with a late supper, meaning the bedtime check was less than 2 hours later.  She agreed to explain to staff that there had to be at least 3 hours between supper and the bedtime blood sugar, even if it meant waking Daughter up to get it.  I asked PCP to order longer needles for her pens, as I want to make sure insulin isn't leaking out because the needles are too short (and some of the needles she has are very short). 

PCP was supportive of the plans, and as I explained the time it takes for various insulins to peak and the variety of factors that can impact blood sugars, I think HO began to see that I really do know what I'm talking about. 

Daughter was stressing out over some of the conversation, and she saw me addressing that with Daughter, too.  Daughter was quite frustrated at the thought of a physical with pelvic exam next time.  I told her no woman likes that, and then turned to her PCP and said, "Dr. H, do you like having your physical?"  She said she didn't, and Daughter finally relaxed some.  By the end of the appointment Daughter was happy. 

I hope there will be more cooperation moving forward.   I hope. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Trying New Things

This evening I baked some gluten free oatmeal cookies.  The original recipe called for butter, raisins, and chocolate chips, none of which I should have.  So I substituted earth blend and coconut oil for the butter, and then substituted dried cranberries and cashews for the raisins and chocolate chips.  They are very good.  I will definitely make them again.

This afternoon we did our first bit of Facebook advertising for the church.  We have a bazaar this Saturday, so we paid to boost a poster we put on church's Facebook page advertising it.  We were able to pick out the demographics we were looking for, so we went for women in the area.  It's getting  lots of views-- we'll have to see if that translates into customers. 

I cancelled out on a pastors' lunch and discussion today.  I stayed in the office to write the program for December 1.  I'm making good progress on it.  It's going to be fun.  We have a detective investigating a disturbance in Bethlehem, and he runs into an angel he questions.  "What's a king doing in a stable?"  "Sleeping." 

Next week I'll be out of the office half the week, the following week will be a short week because of Thanksgiving, and the following week Administrative Assistant will be out of the office for a day or two.  There is a lot going on, so we have to cram a great deal of work into the time we are in the office.  Today was productive, even though the phone was ringing much more than usual.  Several times I answered line 2 because AA was tied up on line 1.  We ignored most of the toll free calls. 

Even with the stress and heavy work load, we have fun in the office.  We always find something amusing that gives us a good laugh.  Daughter is not calling as much, and that helps.  She seems to be in a fairly good place right now.  I'm glad. 

Monday, November 11, 2013


I continue to seek after balance in my life.  After talking to the committee leaders, I decided not to attend 2 committee meetings this evening after the church.  I stopped at the health food store on the way home, and also at the grocery store.  This evening I need to do something here at home.  I haven't decided what I'm going to do-- there are a number of things demanding my attention, some of them rather rudely.  I also want to do something creative, but haven't decided if I'll make penguins, play the piano, or experiment with gluten free cookie recipes.

I was late getting to the church today.  I saw my Nurse Practitioner and then got my hair cut.  NP had some suggestions that necessitated the stop at the health food store.  My mouth gets sore when I eat some foods.  I thought it was because I was reacting to them.  She thinks I may have some yeast issues in my mouth, and suggested I try some chewable acidophilus and see if that helps.  I'm willing to try anything that will enable me to eat tomato sauce again! 

I still had 3 people stop by to chat (though all were there for other purposes), even though I was late getting in today.  I had some good conversations, and also got quite a bit of work done, which is nice.  Daughter wanted to "help" me today, since her program was closed.  I declined her kind offer. 

Now it's off to be creative, productive, or ideally, both!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Text Drama

I had an all day gathering of the regional church today.  I had explained this to Daughter.  Some members were picking her up to take her bowling with the church this evening. 

As I was on my way home from the meeting, I received a text from Daughter.  I didn't open it, but saw enough scrolling across the top of the screen to know she'd been into food again. 

When I got home, I read the text.  She wanted me to come get her TV and DVD's and sell them for retirement.  She'd made a mistake again.  She was going to kill herself after bowling.  No, she'd go ahead and skip bowling and kill herself immediately. 

I decided I needed to call her.  I asked if she was feeling better.  She said she was.  I did not ask for details.  She said she'd been caught by the fill-in staff person who is there this weekend.  I reminded her that she can control what she eats.  I left it at that. 

It will be interesting to see how Home Owner and Case Manager react.  I think they are convinced they've cured her of taking food at the house.  You can't control her eating, and if you try, she will do everything she can to prove you can't. 

The meeting today was good.   I sat with Sister Best Friend.  She was wearing my old clothes, and I was wearing her old clothes.  Friday Night Fun last night was good.  However, I did not get a day off this week.  I'm going to check with commitee leaders tomorrow to see if they need me at their meetings Monday night.  I don't think either committee has anything that requires my presence. 

Friday, November 8, 2013


Last night I emailed Home Owner and thanked her for the information.  I asked 2 questions.  She responded this morning.  She agreed to begin including information on Daughter's bedtime snacks on the blood sugar log.  She acknowledged Daughter's feet are healthy and she doesn't need to go back to the podiatrist for a year.  She told me to let her know when I decide to adjust the insulin.  I'm relieved. 

In a little while I pick up Daughter to go help in our monthly children's ministry program.  After it's over, I will take her back home and then pick her up for worship Sunday morning.  She's not complaining this week-- at least yet.  I'm grateful. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013


When I dropped Daughter off this evening, staff came running out to the car to give me an envelope.  Inside were blood sugar records, the report from the podiatrist, and a note saying here they are, let me know if you have any questions.  I am glad I finally have the blood sugar records, though they don't provide all the information I need.  There is no indication as to what time the tests were actually done, and the column for information on her bedtime snack is completely blank.  Still, it is progress, and I am grateful. 

An Email

The dietitian on Daughter's team emailed me privately today to tell me she thought I was doing a fine job managing Daughter's diabetes, and didn't think she should be seeing an endocrinologist.  She agreed that going to one would more likely complicate things.  I still have not heard a word from Home Owner.  Case Manager has gone silent, too. 

My prediction:  Case Manager is desperately looking for someplace to move Daughter.  I'm trying not to think about it. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ignored, Again

Yesterday I requested that Home Owner send me blood sugars regularly and stated the importance of allowing sufficient time between the supper time and bedtime blood sugar checks.  I received no response, of course.  There was a long email to the team outlining all the wonderful work she was doing with Daughter. 

I had not said this to the entire team, but I decided that since she was ignoring the emails I was sending to her, maybe if I replied to the entire team, she would respond.  So I wrote an email (which I had Administrative Assistant read to make sure I wasn't being ugly-- though I'm not sure how effective that was, as she thinks I should be ugly) stating that since Daughter is unreliable, it was important that I get reliable records of her blood sugars.  I said they could be scanned and emailed, faxed, or given to Daughter to deliver on Thursday or Sunday.  I again said it was important that the bedtime blood sugar check was at least 2 hours after she finished supper.  I said that from Daughter's reports, she seemed to be running high at bedtime. 

I acknowledged that there were those who thought I should be taking Daughter to an endocrinologist, and told them I'd consulted with her Primary Care Physician on this question.  I also reminded them I'd successfully managed Daughter's diabetes for a number of years. 

Her day program asked if I would like their blood sugar records.  Case Manager called me.  She was concerned that I had to defend my decision not to take Daughter to an endocrinologist.  She wanted to know what my concerns were.  So I outlined the fact that my emails were not being answered.  I pointed out I'd had no official report on Daughter's visit to the podiatrist.  I talked about the confusion as to whether Home Owner would be involved in PCP appointments.  I told her that while I didn't want to move Daughter, if there was not better communication, she would have to be moved.  She announced she was going to call Home Owner immediately to address all those issues and get them fixed.  She also said she would inform her that I was to be given Daughter's blood sugar records every Thursday.  I haven't heard anything since then.  I'm not surprised. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Frustration with the House

Last week I realized that I will be out of town on the day of Daughter's next scheduled appointment with her Primary Care Provider.  House Owner had informed me she would not be going to future appointments with Daughter's PCP.  She was mad because I was going, too, and she didn't want me involved.  I had informed her that I thought it was good that she was there, but as long as I was managing Daughter's diabetes, I needed to attend those appointments.

So early last week I emailed House Owner and told her that I was now going to be out of town for that appointment, and asked her if she wanted to take Daughter or if she wanted me to reschedule.  I didn't get a response.  On Friday I sent the message again, this time including the Case Manager.  I still didn't get a response. 

Yesterday I had a voice mail from PCP.  Daughter's blood work was back, and they wanted to make sure that I would be at her next appointment because they wanted to discuss it with me.  Her A1C, which measures average blood sugar, had gone from 6.5 to 7.4, meaning her average blood sugar had gone up about 30 points.  I called and rescheduled the appointment, and told them the increase was because Daughter had been into food.  Then I emailed House Owner and Case Manager and told them I had changed the appointment and why.  Case Manager immediately forwarded it to Nurse, who then sent out an email to the team (taking my name off-- I only found out after Case Manager added it back on.)  Today, I had a response from House Owner, informing me she would be attending the appointment, too. 

I know that my involvement and strong opinions are not appreciated by everyone.  I work hard at not being offensive.  I have said repeatedly I don't expect perfection, and I know how challenging Daughter is.  When the house has made mistakes, I have gone to them directly and not included anyone else on the team, not wanting to embarrass them.  When Nurse insisted Daughter's diabetes needed to be managed by an endocrinologist, I checked with the PCP.  She said her control was excellent, and she didn't need an endocrinologist.  She thought going to one would just complicate things, and definitely did not recommend it.  I keep telling them I'm not an expert on diabetes, I'm an expert on Daughter, and have been successfully managing her diabetes for over 13 years. 

Case Manager informed the team that she and the House Owner had cured Daughter of sneaking food by their firm approach.  I'll let them keep believing that for now. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

"I Miss You."

Daughter wanted to know if she could come spend the weekend with me this coming weekend.  She's telling me she misses me.  I told her that she would be with me all day Thursday.  Friday evening she'll be with me as she helps with the children's program.  Saturday I have an all day meeting, but some members are picking her up for the church wide bowling event that evening (which I am skipping in recognition of the reality that I do have limits.)  Sunday I'll pick her up for church and then take her home after lunch (I have to be back at the church at 2:00 for a new members class).  So she won't be at my house again next weekend.  She's asking every time she sees me, but remarkably, she's accepting it when I say no. 

They had a very busy day in the concession stand yesterday.  The game was sold out, and it was cold they sold almost 1100 cups of coffee and hot chocolate.  They had a very difficult time keeping up, which doesn't surprise me.  You can only pour it so quickly, and each cup needs a sleeve and lid on it.  To make matters worst, the stadium ran out of coffee-- they didn't even have any in the warehouse they could go get to distribute.  I'm sure that didn't go over with anyone.  There were some other issues as well, such as the stadium giving them moldy buns and finding a mysterious object in a package of hot dogs.  We won the game, but the people in the concession stand had no idea what the score was.  They were too busy all day.  Administrative Assistant and I were planning what we'd wear to stay warm when we work on the 30th.  At this point we have less than half the people they will need to work the stand that day. 

Of course, that means that Daughter won't be with me that day, either.  I'll probably pick her up on Thanksgiving and let her spend Thursday night with me.  I'll take her home sometime Friday.  We are entering the season when I find my location to be most inconvenient.  There is a major shopping area between the church and my house, including a mall, two large discount department stores, and a large electronics store. 

We had another good Sunday.  The pianist was applauded after the prelude again this morning.  He really did outdo himself.  He takes the hymns and choruses we're doing in worship and improvises on them for the prelude and offertory and such.  This morning he was in the mood for jazz, and it really was amazing. 

We had a fellowship meal following worship.  The main course was lasagna, so I took some pasta I could have-- pasta that didn't have any tomatoes and no dairy.  I contributed cole slaw, that way I knew there would be something else there that I could eat.

Administrative Assistant is going to alter my winter coat for me.  As Daughter said, I looked like a little kid playing dress-up with a parent's coat.  It's a long coat that I can wear to the cemetery after funerals, and I want to wait until coats are on clearance sales before I replace it.  I think that's all the news from here.  Now I'm off to make clay Christmas trees....

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Podiatrist and Yard Work

Daughter went to the Podiatrist this week.  You may recall that Home Owner insisted that as a diabetic she needed to be seeing a podiatrist every 3 months.  I said her feet were fine and it wasn't necessary at this point in time.  I finally told Home Owner she could do whatever she wanted, but I wouldn't be involved.  So she made Daughter an appointment with the Podiatrist.  They sent the paperwork to me to be filled out, and I sent it back, blank. 

I asked Daughter how it went with the Podiatrist.  "Oh, I have flat feet.  He said my feet are very healthy and I don't have to come back for a year."  She said he tested her sensitivity (looking for diabetic neuropathy) and she could feel everything.  I am smiling, and refraining from saying, "I told you so."  Administrative Assistant thought it was hilarious. 

I spent several hours working in the yard today.  I cleared out my vegetable gardens and put leaves and grass clippings on them.  I mowed.  I swept most of the locust leaves out of the driveway (it's impossible to get them all).  I'd like to say it felt good, but it was still a gray day.  I'm grateful it didn't rain, though I did feel a few drizzles as I was cleaning up.  It does feel good to have that done, because it was becoming a source of stress.  As busy as November is going to be, I'm glad I got it done today. 

I'm having more pain in my left wrist, probably because I'm using it more.  I've been playing piano and handbells.  I'm carrying heavier things.  I hope that the pain is because it's getting stronger. 

Busy Week

I was surprised to see I hadn't blogged since Tuesday.  That is more evidence that it has been a busy week.  I ended up spending 4 nights in a row at the church, and then last night, when I was home, I had trick or treaters coming to my door.  Daughter did her volunteer work at the church, folding bulletins and shredding old financial documents, but I took her home before choir.  It was meeting late to accommodate Halloween, and I decided I didn't want to take her-- 5 nights in a row at the church would be too much. 

Daughter has apologized and asked if she can come spend the weekend with me.  I've told her not yet.  I enjoy the freedom that comes with not having her around.  Eventually she'll spend the night with me again, but it may not be until Thanksgiving.  We'll see.  I'm going to spend today and tomorrow cleaning around the house.  It's a gray, wet day, which may prevent me from doing the yard work I desperately need to do.

I looked at my calendar for November, and it's going to be very busy.  Tomorrow is probably my only Saturday off this month, and most Sundays I have activities in the afternoon or evening.  Though in all fairness one of those Saturdays will be spent at a reunion for a new pastors' program.  I participated in it 27 years ago.  Mine was the first group, and there have been many groups since.  It was designed to provide support and slow the trend of new pastors leaving ministry within the first five years.  It certainly worked for me!  I haven't seen most of those people since our program ended, so it will be nice to see them and catch up with them. 

Administrative Assistant has also looked at the calendar, and she has informed me that I can't go to the reunion until my newsletter articles are written for December.  Unfortunately, she's probably right.  We figure both of us will end up working the final football game.  I told her I'd sell ice cream and hot chocolate with her.  The final game this year is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so we know some of our regulars will be out of town, which is why we anticipate having to work.  It will be challenging, as I continue to struggle with the cold.  Sister Best Friend pointed out that I'm not as well insulated as I have been, which is contributing to my lower tolerance for cold.  I guess that's a good problem to have, though it means I'm going to have to find some slacks that fit, as skirts aren't going to work for me on very cold days....

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Last night at the board meeting, I was talking about the current sermon series and discerning a new vision for the congregation.  I was seeking their input/suggestions.  As always, they took the seed of an idea, and improved and grew it.  On November 10, I will be preaching on the Israelites crossing the Jordan River and entering the Promised Land.  Joshua had them pile 12 stones as a memorial-- they were to tell their children what God had done when the children asked about the significance of the stones.  I wanted to do something with distributing stones. 

One board member is a retired corporate vice president and veteran of many visioning processes.  He suddenly became very excited.  "To determine vision, we have to know the congregation's values.  You can't change values.  We ask them to think about what they most value about the congregation, and then write that on a rock.  We'll build a memorial during worship and then sort the rocks following to see what the congregation most values!" 

We decided to put an insert in the bulletin this week to explain what we're going to do and encourage people to think about what is most important to them about the church.  We'll have tables with rocks and sharpies set up at strategic places on the 10th so we can get people to write what they value on a rock.  Following the sermon, we will invite them all to come forward and add their stone to the memorial. 

Retired VP was in this morning to talk about rocks.  His wife found some at a dollar store this afternoon, and then he came to the church to collect some more from the landscaping.  He sent me a picture of what he wants to do, and is planning to set up something with a tall stone that we can pile the other stones around.  He is so excited, and it's great to see him running with it.  Administrative Assistant is just as excited.  She's calling it a non-survey, and thinks we've found a sneaky way to do a survey.  She has been working on the bulletin insert.  She's drawn out some rocks, and is going to put text in the center.  She plans to print it on gray paper to follow through with the stone theme. 

The congregation really is beginning to understand and find a vision for the future, beginning with gaining perspective on the past.  One of the members who had worshiped the founding pastor told me I'd explained the dangers of that very well in Sunday's sermon.  He gets it now. 

Daughter has had another good day.  She sent me a picture of herself dressed up for a Halloween party this evening.  She was wearing the poodle skirt I made her several years ago (which she insisted she couldn't wear) and she looks very nice.  She was enthusiastic, too.  It's nice to see people so enthusiastic about these things. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Real Progress

I only spoke to Daughter once today.  We had a brief phone conversation this morning, and then exchanged some texts with her late this afternoon.  By the time I got home from my board meeting, she had left me a message telling me she loved me, good night, and she'd call in the morning.  I'm pleased with her progress.

It was another good board meeting.  They had some very good ideas.   I really enjoy working with this board.  We are facing some major expenses, but they know that we'll find the money, so no one is panicking about it. 

In very good news, I learned that a new health food store is coming to a building between the church and my home.  It will be very convenient, and hopefully will have more variety than our local store.  I'm getting tired of driving across town to find things I need....

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Daughter's Confession and Sunday Morning Weirdness

Daughter's blood sugar was high this morning.  She insisted, of course, that she hadn't been into anything.  She said it was because of the supper she had last night.  Of course I didn't believe her, so she was mad.  Her blood sugar was still high at lunch time. 

I just got off the phone with her.  She explained some of her high blood sugars.  Friends at her program have been giving her food.  She also told me that the weekend staff had not counted her carbs.  I believe her.  She's promising to do better and be honest.  For right now, she means it.  We'll see how long it lasts. 

This morning everything was just a little bit off.  The computer in the sanctuary wouldn't connect to the internet.  At first, they were blaming the modem, but my computer could get on without any issues.  I gave them my slides on a flash drive since they couldn't get them online.  The remote I use to advance slides wouldn't work.  Then the computer wouldn't record.  They finally rebooted the computer, which solved some of the issues.

 Super Usher was late.  He is always one of the first to arrive.  We commented on how strange it was, and finally became concerned enough that we called to check on him.  He's an older man and lives alone, so we wondered if something had happened to him.  He had turned his clock back a week early.  He got here before the service began, but was out of his routine, so he forgot to get me fresh water, which was a minor inconvenience. 

Pianist was late, too. They didn't have time to run through the singspiration numbers.  Administrative Assistant and Daughter were the song leaders today.  Daughter was horrible, but AA's husband had been told he had to be on the soundboard and be prepared to turn off Daughter's microphone.  He did, and I thanked him.  Pianist raced through the first number, which didn't help Daughter. He always speeds things up when he's nervous. 

There were several people who needed to have significant conversations with me prior to worship.  We had forgotten to put the mission minutes on the website for tomorrow evening's board meeting.  A retired regional church staff member wanted to talk to me about some concerns she had with regard to the regional church.  Unfortunately, her concerns are justified, and she doesn't know everything that is going on.  With all the things that were just a little off, I forgot to turn on my microphone.  AA's husband told me as he headed to the choir, so I was able to turn it on prior to the Scripture and sermon. 

This morning I shared an insight I'd gotten at the conference I attended in July.  Today I was preaching on the golden calf in Exodus, and I had suddenly noticed that the people had given up on Moses, not God.  I realized that the golden calf wasn't their first idol, Moses was.  I then realized that many congregations (and pastors) get in trouble when they idolize the pastor.  This congregation idolized the founding pastor.  I didn't talk about him specifically, but people got the message.  The comments were interesting, "They really needed to hear that."  (We preachers love that comment, often from the people who most needed to hear it.)  "That sermon needed to be preached here years ago."  "I was worried when I realized where you were going to go with the sermon, but it was okay."  "That was the best sermon ever." 

In the discussion following worship, members named other idols the congregation had had.  It was a good discussion.  I'm pleased with the way God is at work in the congregation right now.

In other news, they don't need me to work in the concession stand at the football game next Saturday, for which I am very grateful.  They have 24 workers lined up.  We had a Taize worship service tonight, and I played keyboard for it. We had 3 vocalists, keyboard (set to harpsichord), guitar, flute, and cello.  The service was very nice.  The daughter-in-law of the previous owners of my house was there.  I'd met her a couple of times before.  It was good to see her again.  We had some other people from the community who came for the service.  I was not involved in planning it, but the selected Scriptures went well with this morning's sermon.  I wasn't the only one who noticed. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

"Boring Weekends"

Thursday Daughter was complaining about never doing anything at the new house and wanting to move back to the old one.  She was quite concerned about spending the weekend at home, and worried about being bored.  I didn't hear from her today until after 4:00.  She sent me a text telling me she'd be sending me a picture soon.  The picture was of a new hair style.  Then I received a picture of her manicure.  The staff who is filling in this weekend does these things with the women.  Daughter, obviously, loves it. 

I've spent the day making clay ornaments for the upcoming bazaar at the church.  I've enjoyed it. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Feeling Old

I'm feeling old this year.  I'm having a tough time adjusting to the cooler weather.  For years I didn't even wear a winter coat most of the time.  I kept the thermostat down and was perfectly comfortable with jeans and a sweatshirt.  This year, I'm feeling the cold.  I'm wearing long underwear and two sweatshirts, and still turned up the heat.  Of course, I'm still fighting a cold, so that certainly doesn't help matters. 
  I've had a lazy day, though my walking partner and I did go out and walk one of the parks this morning.  It was a beautiful day.  It was in the 30's when we started out, but the sun was shining and the fall colors were brilliant.  Normally, we walk when it was still dark, so we don't get to see the colors.  I love the wonderful parks we have in this area, and it's probably been over a year since I walked that particular park.  We were surprised, because there were lots of cars in the parking lot and we saw about 10 others out taking advantage of the wonderful trails. 

Daughter has been apologetic today.  She isn't bugging me to come get her.  She recognizes that I'm not going to pick her up before Sunday morning.  It's kind of nice not to have to worry about locking everything up....

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Red Tags and BS

Yesterday evening a group using the church building reported smelling gas.  I called one of our property guys (the second time he'd been summoned for a problem that day), who called the gas company.  The end result is that one of our large furnaces is now red tagged.  We suspect it will need to be replaced, but won't know until the service company gets here tomorrow or Monday.  We aren't thrilled, but are grateful it was discovered before there was a major problem. 

Daughter is in full Drama Queen mode today.  Home Owner told her they could talk  yesterday about her TV, but then didn't make time to talk to Daughter, and didn't respond to her text.  I reminded Daughter that she needs to control her eating if she wants her TV back.  She responded by announcing she doesn't want the TV any more and is going to give away all her DVDs.  She's also going to get rid of her library card (which she uses to check out DVDs). 

Then she informed me she wanted to move back to the old house.  I told her it wasn't happening.  She is complaining because there aren't activities at the new house.  She claims the old one had lots of activities (not true).  She has conveniently forgotten the problems with the old house, and all the times she complained or refused to participate in what activities they did offer.  I pointed out that she gets activities at her day program.  She insisted that was all work.  I pointed out that as part of the inclusion program she gets to go to the mall and go bowling.  She insisted that was work.  I told her that was Bulls---.  I don't often speak that way, but I was not buying into her story. 

She has had a bit of an attitude most of the day, but has done some work and avoided interaction with us, so I didn't take her back. I think the big problem for her is that she's looking at staying at the home on weekends since she lost the privilege of coming to my house.  She doesn't like being home on the weekends, and they don't do outings.  Getting into food has consequences, and right now, she's not liking those consequences. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I continue to search for balance in my life, which is the topic for this evening in the prayer study we're doing this fall.  Fall is always a busy time at the church, and Daughter's drama has not helped with my stress level.

Last night I didn't have any meetings, so I left early.  I took my computer home, but left it in the car.  I also left the TV off, though I did listen to some CD's.  I cooked some pasta for supper, and then worked on ornaments for the holiday bazaar here at the church next month. 

I'm back walking early in the morning several times a week.  We're looking forward to the end of daylight savings time, as we'd like a little more light.  The moon has helped some this week, but we're going to need to start taking a light source with us.  At one time the walks caused me a lot of pain in my feet, but they don't bother me anymore. 

Daughter has reminded me that her month without a TV is almost up.  She wanted to know if she could have it back.  I told her she had to take that up with the Home Owner, but I did remind her she'd continued to get into extra food.  After a predictable response, "Fine, I'll just get rid of my DVD player and DVD's then," she dropped it. 

I will be picking her up tomorrow morning, so it will be interesting to see what kind of mood she is in then....

Monday, October 21, 2013

November 20

Daughter will have her first group therapy session on November 20.  We started asking for this when her last therapist retired January 1.  This is how long it has taken to get Daughter into it.  I'm frustrated by the lack of urgency on the part of the agency.  Daughter has felt like her requests are being ignored, which has caused some of the behaviors.  She's sought to prove to us she needs therapy.  I'm trying to focus on just being grateful it is finally happening. 

I had my monthly meeting for the regional church today.  I am now the committee leader, and we find ourselves unable to get through the entire agenda during our two hour meeting.  Today I told them I thought we needed one longer meeting to do some planning and set some goals and priorities for our work.  To my amazement, they all agreed.  Now we just have to coordinate the schedules of 7 ministers and find a place that isn't too far from anyone.  Hmmm.  Agreeing to the need and scheduling the meeting are two very different needs.  I wonder if this is why the therapy group has been so slow in getting started.....

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Answer Is Blueberries

Anonymous asked what food Daughter would get into while she was at my house.  I confidently stated that the food would all be locked up.  Unfortunately, I forgot that I had some dried blueberries by my chair in the family room.  Even if I'd remembered, I may not have worried, because when she tried my dried blueberries a couple of months ago, she didn't like them.  I forget that if all she can find to sneak is something she doesn't like, she will eat whatever it is she doesn't like. 

She confessed quickly this morning (her blood sugar was over 200).  I apologized to her for failing to keep her safe, and told her that she wouldn't be able to spend time here until I could keep her safe.  I told her I'd pick her up for church on Sunday morning.  I didn't accuse her or yell.  My approach had an impact.  She told me not to bother picking her up, "It's not worth it." 

Remember a pastoral counseling class many years ago, I responded, "You are worth it." 

She insisted she wasn't, but I didn't get sucked in.  When she came to me after church, wanting the keys to my study so she could put things away, I refused to give them to her, telling her I had to keep her safe, and there was food in my study.  She didn't like that. 

She was going to come back to the house with me and do some work to earn some money, and then I was going to take her home after the worship service at the nursing home.  Instead, I took her home right after lunch.  From the calls I'm getting, she's having a rough afternoon.  She's threatening to go live on the streets.  I keep telling her I have confidence in her ability to turn things around.  She's not happy that I'm refusing to engage. 

I hope she figures out how to turn it around soon. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013


I worked the concession stand at the local university football game today.  Actually, I was outside, on ice cream and hot cocoa.  It was cold.  We sold lots of cocoa, and more ice cream than I expected.  I enjoyed working the game, though it was cold out there today.

We picked Daughter up on our way home, as she's only a couple of blocks off the road we take.  I put her to work when we got home, which doesn't thrill her.  I'm making chicken curry for supper tonight.  I'm doing more cooking now, and it's nice.  She brought 4 test strips.  Enough to last through lunch tomorrow.  She gets 200 strips a month, and has 32 scheduled tests a week.  I think she has enough to allow her to have extra strips to cover for lows.  But what do I know?  I never did get a response when I asked Home Owner to make a recommendation for covering lows. 

Daughter brought home medical forms to be filled out for the podiatrist.  I told her that Home Owner could fill it out.  I'm not in the mood to be cooperative. 

I'm gradually returning order to my kitchen, for which I'm grateful. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Passing of a Generation

I received a text from Sister a little while ago.  Mom's sister died yesterday.  She was 80.  She was the youngest of 3 siblings, and I know from conversations how much she missed her brother and sister.  She is with them again, as well as her beloved Daddy.  She was diagnosed with cancer 4 months ago, but didn't want anyone to know.  She chose not to have chemo, a decision I admire and respect.  I was thinking of her last week, and now I wish I had called her.  When I last spoke to her a couple of years ago, she seemed in a hurry to get off the phone.  I wondered if it was too painful for her to talk to me-- she told me often how much I sounded like Mom on the phone.  I didn't want to add to her pain, and I was busy, so I didn't call. 

She lived across the country from us, so we only saw her when we made our annual pilgrimage to visit the grandparents.  I grieve the passing of that generation.  Mom, the middle child, was the first to die just over 4 years ago.  Her brother, the oldest, died a couple of years ago, and now the youngest.  On Dad's side of the family, he has one sister still living.  He was also one of 3.  When a cousin called this week to get contact information for a family member, I wondered if she was calling to report that surviving aunt's death.  I was relieved when she wasn't. 

In my generation, I have lost a cousin on each side of the family.  Sometimes it weighs on me, and I worry who will advocate for Daughter when I'm gone.  Will anyone understand her and offer her the support and limits she needs?  I have no fear of death, I do, though, have a concern for Daughter.  I wouldn't want to add the burden to a family member, yet I also worry about what will happen to her without a strong advocate.  It is a problem faced by many families.  I have two members who serve as guardians for siblings.  One man got the job after his sister died.  It has been a burden, as he has struggled to figure out what treatment his mentally ill brother, who is now showing signs of dementia,  will be most beneficial.  We've had many conversations about it.  The other man has been his sister's guardian since his mother's death.  As she ages, the challenges involved increase.  Greatly.  He came to talk to me after he broke a tooth grinding his teeth in frustration after a conversation with her.  He has been clear:  he will not pass the burden on to his wife or sons.  If she outlives him, she will have a public guardian. 

I am grateful that the knowledge of my challenges with Daughter opened the door for these conversations, and I'm sorry so many families find themselves struggling with such challenging issues.  I regret that we don't have a better system with more support to meet the needs of mentally challenged adults.