Sunday, September 29, 2013


I'm still dragging some, but even dragging, it was a great Sunday.   Three couples were on a trip together (visiting former members who moved out of the area)  and we had other people traveling as well, so attendance was down some.  Even so, it was a great Sunday.  I love the energy that is in the church right now. 

We have a 3 year old who comes up for the children's sermon.  She is interesting.  She is in love with the 4 year old boy in the church, so last Sunday instead of listening to the man who was doing the children's sermon, the two of them were laying on the floor on their stomachs with their heads propped up on their arms gazing into one another's eyes.  This week her boyfriend was hope sick, so she was trying to answer every question, and ask a few of her own.  The only problem is that she is a young 3, and I have difficulty understanding everything she says.  Plus, there are times when it isn't really connected with what I'm talking about.  She was quite lively today. 

There were also a number of joys and concerns prior to the prayers of the people this morning.  One of  our members who had major surgery last summer was with us today, and thanked us for our prayers.  She has recovered well from her brain surgery.  There were concerns for the woman who had a seizure last Sunday.  I told them I'd talked to her this week, and she had told me that as they wheeled her out on the gurney, she could feel the love of the congregation surrounding her and supporting her.  We had visitors who were asking for prayers this morning.  One of the visitors was talking to the choir director about joining the choir. 

I had picked Daughter up prior to church, but she didn't want to wait around for me to finish leading the discussion group.  She asked if she could find someone else to take her home.  A woman overheard the conversation and volunteered to drop her off.

I cancelled the class I was going to teach this afternoon.  It's going to be a quiet, relaxing afternoon.  Hopefully by Tuesday I will feel like I've beaten this bug.  My throat is definitely better today, so I'm hoping. 


Saturday, September 28, 2013


My recovery from the sore throat is not nearly as rapid as I would like.  It still hurts quite a bit.  I really need to mow the backyard, but not today.  I think I'll cancel tomorrow afternoon's commitment, too.  I'm spending another day drinking hot tea and taking it easy.  Today I'm making Christmas ornaments with poly-clay.  I'm experimenting with penguins. 

Daughter called this morning, and the good news is she didn't bug me about getting her today.  I'm grateful.  I suspect that this is a virus, which is one of the reasons I'm not feeling much better.  The throat is not as sore, but I've also begun to cough....

It looks like a beautiful fall day outside.  If I felt better, I'd definitely be out working in the yard.  I'm enjoying the peace and quiet.  I'm a little surprised.  Daughter doesn't have her TV, so I'm not sure how she is entertaining herself today.  Maybe they are doing activities at the house today.  They do have a second staff member now, which is good. 

Friday, September 27, 2013


I was one of the recipients of a long email from House Manager this morning.  She is concerned about Daughter's eating and thinks she needs "professional help."  I honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry.  Does she think this is a new idea? 

I have told them since the beginning that Daughter has issues with foods.  I've outlined the various things that have and haven't worked.  I've explained that she has had a psychiatrist and therapist for most of her life, and that I have gone great distances to find professionals who were competent and could help Daughter. 

One of the things I find most frustrating is that they don't seem to give me credit for what I've done or the knowledge and expertise I have on Daughter.  I am cautiously optimistic that perhaps the loss of her TV is having an impact on Daughter (that consequence was my suggestion).  Yesterday she didn't try to watch videos on the computer or her DVD player, saying, "I know I'm not allowed to watch TV."  I also heard her tell friends that she made a mistake and has to live with the consequences of it.  Do I think she's cured?  No.  But maybe she'll do better for a while. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Power of the Z-Pack

Last night I had trouble sleeping.  Every time I swallowed, the pain woke me up.  I finally gave up and got up at 5:00.  I picked up Daughter at 7:30 for an assessment to start group therapy.  While I was waiting, I called and got an appointment with my Nurse Practitioner.  I took Daughter back to the church, did a bit of work, and then headed to the appointment.  Daughter went into my study to pout, and Administrative Assistant went in and told her she needed to come fold bulletins.  So she went out and folded bulletins. 

NP suspects strep because of the amount of pain I was in, so she prescribed a Z-pack and gave me suggestions for things to help ease the pain of the sore throat.  Part of the issue is I can't take aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol.  Of course, just swallowing pills is hard right now.  I drank lots of hot tea today.  I took a nap on the love seat in my study this afternoon, and then left right after bell choir.  AA was going to make sure Daughter got home.   I felt a bit better as the day went on, but my throat is still very painful, and I've now begun to cough.... 

NP suggested I get someone else to preach for me Sunday.  I won't do that, but I am going to rest tomorrow and Saturday.  I was supposed to play cards Saturday evening, and I sent my apologies today.  It would have been fun, but Sunday morning is much more important.    Hopefully after resting for two days I will be up for that.  Standing an hour for bell choir this evening was a challenge....

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Case Manager was shocked to hear that Daughter had gotten into more food.  She was sure that after their conversation it would never happen again.  She has a lot to learn about Daughter.  I told them that I think in some ways this is a compulsion for her, and goes back to those first three years of not having enough to eat.  I don't think they understand.  They are used to dealing with people with developmental disabilities, and don't have as much experience with reactive attachment disorder and severe post traumatic stress disorder. 

Tomorrow I take Daughter in for an assessment for group therapy.  Daughter is not happy about the idea of group therapy.  However, if she wants therapy, that's what she'll be getting.  Her appointment with Psychiatrist that was scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled.  I am going to skip my breakfast meeting to take her to the assessment.  Doing it early in the morning made more sense than disrupting my day.  I've written a bunch of newsletter articles and am now working on Sunday's sermon.  I still have some calls to make and notes to write.  Tonight I'm teaching a class, and tomorrow night is choir.  I am doing bell choir this year.  It's challenging, but my wrist seems to be handling it okay.  Of course, they put me on the smallest bells, which helps. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I went over this afternoon and Home Owner told Daughter that she was losing her TV for a month.  Daughter had a whole stacks of videos she'd checked out of the library today.  She was angry, to say the least.  She screamed, she swore.  She tried to give me her meter because she's never eating again....  I was going to mow the backyard when I got home, but I'm tired, my back hurts, and I have a sore throat.  So I'm going to finish writing newsletter articles instead.  I think I'll go to bed early tonight....

Monday, September 23, 2013

Meetings and Hang-ups

Today I led a committee meeting at our regional office.  It is hard to come up with a good meeting time when 6 of the participants are ministers.  Our topic is church growth, and when I first went on the committee the meetings were excruciatingly long and nothing was ever accomplished.  We all tended to arrive late.  I took over last spring, and we are now making exciting plans.  It is really a good committee, and I've turned them loose to come up with creative ways to encourage growth among our congregations.  Members are now arriving early, and there is an energy in the room that I love-- which is something for a bunch of ministers on a Monday morning. 

Daughter hung up on me this morning.  She had decided that the only way to stop herself from sneaking food was to stop eating anything at all.  I told her that when she was done being dramatic I was willing to help her problem solve on this.  She informed me she wasn't being dramatic, said good-bye, and hung up.  I haven't heard from her since then.  I'm enjoying the peace and quiet.  I predict she'll be calling and apologizing by this evening. 

I still haven't heard anything from Home Owner about telling Daughter her consequences.  I'm getting more than a little frustrated by that.  Now I have to go get ready for this evening's board meeting. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Long Day

One of our members had a seizure during the worship service this morning.  She has a history of seizures.  She was sitting up front, and I saw her whisper something to her friend next to her, and her friend reached out and held her hand.  I thought she was getting ready to seize.  There was a nurse in the row behind her.  Nurse was looking over at her, hesitant.  As she started to seize, I nodded to the nurse, and things began moving.  She asked for someone to call 911.  Nurse's husband went to call Seizing Woman's daughter, who happened to be his next door neighbor.  I could tell everyone was freaking out, and I admit I was a little distracted.  I led us in prayer, and then went back to the sermon.  As I was coming to the key points, I saw movement in the back that meant the ambulance had arrived.  I paused the sermon, suggesting people go get a cup of coffee, and said we'd resume once SW was safely out.  She was conscious and had stopped seizing.  She thought the squad was unnecessary.  I told  her that she might not think she needed it, but we did, because we loved her and were concerned about her.  We needed to have her checked so we'd know she was okay.  The paramedics asked how long her seizure had been, and nurse in the back row announced, "7 minutes."  I was impressed that she thought to time it. 

SW was taken out, and we had another prayer for her, and I resumed the sermon.  The service was  a little long today.  SW's daughter showed up, and after the paramedics checked her out, took her home.  I saw Nurse this evening, and she said SW had slept all afternoon and felt that she was now back to normal. 

After worship I led reflections on our history, then came home and got lunch for Daughter.  She was quite dramatic about not wanting to go back to the house and confess that she'd been into food again.  I took her back and accompanied her in, and made sure that she confessed and apologized.  I offered Staff sympathy and some of the tricks I've learned over the years. 

I went back to the church, where I had a meeting at 3:00.  I did some work in preparation for the committee meeting I'm leading tomorrow morning at the regional office of the church.  I packed up and came home, ate supper, and then headed out for our Taize worship service.   One of our young women has felt a call to plan these services.  I've been her cheer leader.  I offer suggestions when asked, and then sit and enjoy an opportunity to worship without any responsibilities. 

I'm home, and I'm tired.  I'm going to bed early tonight....

Saturday, September 21, 2013

No Longer Vegan

As I've mentioned, people were alarmed at  how little I ate at the fellowship meal.  Last Saturday one of the women went  to a farmers' market on the other side of town.  She came back and told me I needed to go check it out, as I would be able to get preservative-additive free meat.  So this morning Daughter and I went.  I feel like I hit the jackpot.  Not only did I find pork and chicken I can eat, I found some baked goods I could have.  Of course, the prices were very high, but I don't intend to eat large quantities of meat.  I had a hot Italian sausage for lunch with grilled peppers and onions.  I'd have loved to put it in a bun and have some kind of Italian tomato sauce.   It's okay.  It was wonderful to have some meat, and not feel sick as soon as I ate it. 

Daughter and I had a long talk today.  She wants to move back home so she can take care of me.  She's distressed with the difficulty I'm having keeping up with the house.  It's true, I've been spending too much time at the church and have had too little energy for housework.  I told her I'm feeling better, so I'll be able to keep up now.  I don't know if she bought that or not.  I hope she did.  She provided powerful motivation to do a better job of keeping up with the house.  I don't want her feeling responsible for me and my well-being. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Consequences and Health Matters

Daughter still hasn't heard her consequences for stealing food at the house.  Case Manager wanted to take away choir, but I was opposed to that.  I said the consequences needed to be connected to her house, where the behavior occurred.  House Manager said there wasn't anything they could do there.  I suggested removing her TV for a while.  Case Manager wanted me to go take her TV and tell her why.  I said I would support the decision and bring her TV back home.  I said I'd be present when she was told, but I thought the consequences needed to come from the house, since it was their trust she broke.  Case Manager was okay with that, and asked when it could be set up.  House Manager hasn't responded.  I don't think she wants to deal with  it. 

Daughter was able to get into the kitchen yesterday morning, and the cookies had her blood sugar high for lunch yesterday and breakfast this morning.  I told her she will confess and apologize when I take her home, and I will  go in to witness it.  It would be nice if House Manager were there to tell her about her consequence and I could take the TV at that time. 

I continue to suspect that House Manager is overwhelmed with trying to run 3 houses on her own.  I think she is a control freak, and it is hard to control 3 houses....

Yesterday I saw my Nurse Practitioner.  We decided the anemia isn't a problem-- my hemoglobin is actually a little higher than it was a year ago.  I was more concerned about the low sodium, and I wondered if it could be connected to an endocrine problem.  I had a tumor removed from my pituitary gland 24 years ago.  NP agreed with my concern, so I will be having an MRI done to check the pituitary gland, if they can get it authorized by my insurance company.  She's also considering referring me to an endocrinologist. 

We reduced my blood pressure medication again, and we also cut my diabetes medication.  After skipping last night's pill, my blood sugar was 98 this morning.  By their records, I've lost 32 pounds in 4 months. 

Today Daughter and I had our annual appointments with the ophthalmologist.  Our appointments were at 7:50 and 8:00.  We had identical exams.  I was done almost an hour before Daughter.  Since we were across town, I ran all the errands I had to run over there.  We dropped off recycling and visited 4 stores.  We stopped by home for lunch, and after a quick lunch, went over to the church so I could finish the things I didn't get done yesterday.  From there we went to another store, and Daughter decided we were done for the day.  I agreed. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


After my overnight retreat, I arrived back at the church with a small idea for worship in November.  By the time Administrative Assistant and I were through discussing it, we had a big idea that has us both excited.  When we come to the Sunday in the story of the Exodus where the people cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land and construct a memorial of 12 rocks to mark the place, we are going to make a banner in worship.  We will have some people who will pin large felt rocks to it after telling a story from the history of the church that they think should be remembered.  Then we will invite the entire congregation to come forward and write a memory or thanksgiving on a smaller felt rock with a marker and pin them to the banner.  We will sew them on, creating a banner that we will be able to hang in our sanctuary as a reminder of the many ways God has been at work in the life of this congregation. 

I love the fact that AA and I can build on one another's ideas and come up with creative things like this. 

I led the second class on medieval mystics tonight, and it went well.  The resistance is melting and they are beginning to get it.  Plus, one of the women was quoting a sermon I preached over a month ago that she was still contemplating.  I love it when I hear that something I said in a sermon is continuing to work in their lives.  I've got a lot of work to jam into tomorrow.  It should be an interesting day....

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I had a regional meeting today for our denomination.  I got to worship without any responsibilities.  I sat with Sister Best Friend, and she helped me write a verse for a hymn for Sunday.  I got some other work done as well.  The host pastor kindly shared their Wi-Fi password.  He said he'd had more questions about that than the location of the restrooms.  This one was only 45 minutes away, which was nice.  As meetings go, it went pretty well.  There was one call I didn't answer-- I don't know if it was Daughter or not.  It's a definite possibility.  Whoever it was didn't leave a voice mail.  One blessing from today was a chance to talk to a woman who was in a new pastor group with me over 25 years ago.  We were in different states then, and somehow ended up here in the same region.  There is going to be a reunion of people who were in the new pastors' programs in November, and I think I may go, especially if I can hitch a ride with her.  It will be interesting to see what became of our group. 

Tonight I have our peer group retreat.  Of the 6 of us in this peer group, one was preaching today, two did a presentation, and two of us were involved in leading discussion groups after lunch.  That leaves just one who didn't have any leadership responsibilities today.  I truly am blessed with the people who are in my peer group.  They are good friends and have much wisdom to share. 

I spoke to Administrative Assistant twice today, and sent some emails in between.  It was another busy morning in the office, but this afternoon she had time to work ahead on one project.  I shared my latest schemes for Advent, and once again she was encouraging me, not reining me in.  I told her she's supposed to slow me down, not egg me on.  She just laughed.  It's one of the reasons we work so well together.  We feed on one another's ideas. 

I'm looking forward to 18 hours away to enjoy fellowship and reflect on ministry.  I need that time, and I treasure it.   Attending something like that is one of the gifts of Daughter living in a group home. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Seeking Attention

Daughter is frustrated because she knows I have a busy week.  She is aware I will not be available to her all the time due to meetings/commitments.  She was with me Friday-Sunday, but that doesn't make up for the fact that I have an all day meeting on Tuesday and an overnight retreat Tuesday evening.  She'll be with me Thursday-Sunday this week, but that doesn't change the fact that I will be hard to reach from Tuesday morning until Wednesday afternoon.  I had a couple of phone calls from her today.  She's claiming voices/flashbacks.  I reminded her of coping skills.  That wasn't what she was looking for.  I asked her what she wanted, but she hung up on me, angry.  Of course, this evening she called and apologized. 

I feel sorry for the staff that will be working with her.  She will survive.  She doesn't need me all the time, despite what she might think.   She's not going to succeed I her attempts to manipulate me, and I know that will leave her very frustrated.  That's her problem, not mine. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013


We had a fellowship meal last week, and apparently what I ate was being carefully scrutinized.  Those doing the scrutinizing have decided I'm not eating enough.  I'm not sure when they got their medical degrees, but they certainly consider themselves to be experts.  I decided this week it's time to enter the maintenance phase of my diet.  That means I need to figure out a 3 day rotation so I'm not eating the same foods 2 days in a row.  The challenge is going to be finding enough variety and figuring out adequate protein for each day. 

I had scoured the shelves of a health food store on Friday, and found some granola I could eat.  It was very expensive.  Today I pulled out a recipe a friend had given me and made some modifications.  I added extra nuts and sunflower seeds to give it a little more protein.  I replaced the brown sugar (which I can't have) with real maple syrup (which I can have).  Instead of margarine or butter, I used pecan oil and coconut oil.  I have a peer group retreat this week, so I will take some of that for my breakfast.  I also bought some small boxes of non-dairy milk to make it easier to travel. 

I also found some vegan cheese I can tolerate.  If' I'd tried it 3 months ago, I would have thought it was terrible.  After 3 months without any cheese (and I love cheese), it tastes good.  Unfortunately, it does not provide any protein.  It tastes good melted on top of corn tortilla chips and refried beans for some nachos. 

Prepared products, even in the health food store, are a challenge.  I haven't found any bread I can eat.  Sweeteners are a problem.  I'm sensitive to cane sugar.  Some of the things that are sugar free use apple juice for sweetener, and I'm sensitive to apples.

I am going to try some quinoa.  At this point I have pinto beans, garbanzo beans, pecans, and cashews as protein sources.  It would be helpful if I could eat soy.  I need to look at the information again and remember why it is I'm supposed to be staying away from soy.  I purchased a bunch of semi-healthy frozen dinners for Daughter when she's here.  They were on sale.  I've decided I'm not going to try to get her to follow my diet.  Yesterday she had nachos with me, using real cheese on hers. 

There are some things that are out of whack in my blood work, and I'm going to go talk to my Nurse Practitioner about those this week.  I suspect the dietitians at the church may have a point.  I do need to begin eating more.... 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Getting It

Daughter doesn't understand that the theft of the food is not about the monetary value of the food, but about trust.  She thinks she should pay for the food and that will be it.  I tell her it's not about the money, but she is refusing to understand that.  She can quote me, "I'm sorry is not an eraser," but doesn't seem to comprehend what that means.  She lives completely in the moment.  She's decided she's not going to do that anymore, so everyone should just trust her now.  It's over, at least in her mind.  I'm going to take a piece of paper and have her crumple it up and stamp on it today, and then see if she can make it look like new again.  I don't know that even that will help, though.  That's one of the challenges of consequencing the behavior.  She doesn't seem to be capable of making the connection.  Cause and effect are often challenging for kids with histories like Daughter's. 

Today she's cleaning her bedroom here.  She found some jewelry she had set aside, and was ready to get rid of it.  Then she started looking at the individual items, and remembering who had given them to her.  She's decided that rather than get rid of them, she's going to start wearing them.   I think that's a good plan....

Friday, September 13, 2013


Case Manager called me today.  She thinks they've cured Daughter.  I hope she's right.  They're looking for meaningful consequences, and wondered about taking away choir.  Choir is the only independent activity Daughter has with the general public, and is a wonderful support for her.  I said I had concerns about doing that, and suggested that it might be better to take away her TV for a while.  I don't know what they'll decide.  I said I'd support whatever decision they made. 

I also shared some of my concerns regarding communication.  I have intentionally stayed out, telling Daughter she has a voice and needs to use it.  I'm going to encourage Daughter to start telling CM her concerns.  CM says one of the staff members left because she's pregnant.  I said Daughter needs to be told what's going on.  She says they can't tell her due to confidentiality.  I suggested they could tell her that this staff member has resigned and moved on to other things.  After our conversation, I realized that for them this is simply a staff member.  For Daughter, it's a family member.  You shouldn't find out a family member isn't coming back by seeing their bedroom emptied of all of their possessions. 

We had our children's ministry at the church tonight.  I had a blast leading singing and building Noah's ark with the kids while I told the story.  The kids had a great time.  Daughter helped with the crafts, and didn't complain.  After I did the opening.  I sat in my study and read. 

I saw the orthopedic doctor today.  He's delighted with my arm.  He said he didn't need any more x-rays.  I'm supposed to go back in May to talk about removing the hardware.  We'll have another discussion about it then-- I might consider it if I didn't have to have general anesthesia....

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Let Me Know How that Works out for You

Case Manager called this afternoon.  She heard about the food Daughter was taking at the house.  They are replacing locks and one door to make things more secure.  CM was shocked by the planning that went into this.  She wants my advice on how to get Daughter to stop.  I tried for years.  All I succeeded in doing was teaching her how to be sneakier.  I finally disengaged.  I secure the food as best I can.  I call Daughter on it when she gets into food.  I leave it at that.  I can't control what she does.  The harder I try, the more she resists. 

Case Manager, Home Owner, and staff are confronting Daughter.  I dropped her off early (she'll miss choir tonight) so they could do that.  I told them I would not be a part of it.  I didn't have the emotional energy for it.  I warned them of all her lines.  She's going to threaten to kill herself.  She'll try to run away.  She's going to say she'll hurt herself.  She knew what was coming, and was not thrilled.  I was not sympathetic.  Actions have consequences.  She can control what she does, it was a choice she made. 

Do I think they'll be successful?  No.  I wished her luck, pointing out I hadn't succeeded in 13 years. 

It continues to be very busy around the church.  Very busy.  Lots of good things are happening.  I'm hoping I will get all day tomorrow and Saturday off, provided I can get the sermon finished tonight.  It's close to being done.  Very close. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


One of the saints was sitting in the office this morning.  He'd come to do a project outside.  It was hot, and he was debating waiting until another day.  Instead he went to my house and fixed my garbage disposal.  He is going to mow my back yard.  I am grateful.  Those things were really stressing me out, and it's a wonderful weight off my shoulders. 

I'm beginning a new class this evening on contemplative prayer.  I have no idea how many people to expect.  I asked people to register, and about 10 did.  Today I've heard from 5 more who are planning to attend.  I hope I have enough books.  I hope the attendance is that good. 

I still have some personal business items hanging over my head.  I'm going to address them tomorrow morning.  I tried to deal with two late this afternoon, but couldn't make the phone connections.  I'll keep trying....

The good news is that the discussed updates are moving forward on the website, Sunday's sermon is coming along nicely, and it will begin to cool off tomorrow, for which I'm very grateful.  By the time I finished mowing the front lawn yesterday evening, the heat was really getting to me-- and it was almost dark. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It's a Good Thing....

It's a good thing I love my work so much.  Yesterday I went into the church a little late, arriving about 10:00.  I dumped my back pack and lunch in my study and then headed to the sanctuary to put something away.  As I headed back to my study, the doorbell rang.  I opened the door for one of our board members.  He wanted to talk about Sunday's worship.  He thought the sermon was great, and it had started him thinking, he wanted to share those reflections with me.  Another board member showed up, and the first invited him to come join the conversation.  They were trying to remember the name of an early leader in the church.  I finally went to the office and brought back the record book.  Finally the first leader left.  As the second leader started to leave, the treasurer showed up, so the second leader followed him back in to get a question answered.  Second leader left, and website coordinator arrived for a noon meeting with me.  Treasurer had some questions/suggestions for her.  Treasurer left.  Website coordinator and I discussed some changes to the website.  She left.  I grabbed my lunch and ate quickly, as I had an appointment with a recent retiree who was willing to consider leading up a video project for us.  We also talked about some computer issues, and then we discussed some other church things.  By the time he left it was 3:00. 

I sat down and tried to do some work.  I ate supper.  The members began arriving for a 6:00 meeting.  The 7:00 committee members were arriving as they left.  It was after 8:00 before I left the building.  This morning I sat down around 9:00.  People started dropping in quickly.  I think it was 10:30 or 11:00 before Administrative Assistant and I were alone.  We talked a bit, and a little after 12:00 I headed out for a lunch gathering/program with colleagues.  When that was over, I dropped a colleague off and came home, getting here a little after 4:00.  I have to mow the lawn tonight.  It is very hot.  Daughter's comment, "It's too dangerous to mow in this heat!"  Unfortunately, this is the only evening I'm home this week.  I was too tired Saturday and Sunday.  I keep hoping it will cool off a bit.  The current heat index is 94....  By the end of the week the overnight low will be in the high 30's.  Fall is such fun here. 

I'm just glad I love what I do so much! 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fall Kick Off

Today was the fall kick off.  Sunday School started back up, we had a fellowship meal, and I began the sermon series I will be doing this fall on Exodus.  I did another one of my weird sermons.  A series of women took turns interrupting one another as they told the story of how they saved Moses (all of them seeing what they'd done as an unimportant little thing.)   There was no indication in the bulletin it would be anything other than a normal sermon, so the first interruption was a complete surprise to the congregation.  I think by the 4th woman, they'd probably figured it out.  I had an introduction and then tied it all together at the end.  The congregation loved it.  What I loved was some of the specific comments after the sermon:

"I'm going to go read Exodus this week."

"Why didn't I know that story?  I don't remember hearing it before."

"I did a little thing this week that made a couple of children happy.  It made me feel so good."

"I remember a little thing someone did for us our first Sunday here.  It's why we came back."

I love those kinds of specific comments, because it tells me people connected with the story and are applying it to their lives.

The church timeline also made it's first appearance today, and a lot of people spent time reading it.  There were stickers people could add to it to mark a place where a little thing made a big difference.  I was delighted to see several people had placed stickers by various events. 

After the fellowship meal, I had a workshop on making your own spiritual timeline.  Daughter had to come, of course.  She didn't start at the table, but in a chair along the wall, where she pulled out her ipod.  She quickly joined us at the table, and while we were talking, she began writing down events from her life on the page with questions for people to use for reflection.  She was very excited about it as a I drove her home.  I was impressed by her reflections on faith. 

I used a picture of her from her first Easter with me when I wrapped it up.  I said a little thing that made a difference in my life was when I agreed to take a member's young daughter "for the weekend."  The congregation loved seeing a picture of her when she was that young.  She got lots of comments after the service (she knew my plans and gave me permission to use the illustration).  She confessed to some of the members that she'd found the kitchen keys and had been raiding the kitchen at night.  It was heart warming to hear them assure Daughter that they loved her, supported her, and knew she would turn things around. 

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my life?

Saturday, September 7, 2013


I had registered for a painting class at a local craft store last night.  After working all day, I totally forgot about it.  Then the computer and cell phone beeped reminders.  I still had time, and made it in time.  It was a fun evening.  There were two of us in the class, and we learned how to paint a landscape with acrylic paints.  I will probably sign up for another class in the future.

When I talked to Daughter this morning, she reported her blood sugar was 300.  I asked what she'd been into, and she said, "Nothing!"  I said her name, and she stopped her denials.  I informed her she was to go downstairs, get the key she'd found in the empty staff room, and deliver it to the staff.  She was mad, but she did it.  I was impressed she actually did it. 

I worked the church's concession stand at today's football game, so I haven't picked her up yet.  I'm not sure I want to go get her, but it's probably better to get her tonight than to wait until tomorrow morning.  The football game was long, but fun.  I was on ice cream.  We sold lots of ice cream. 

I'm glad I have everything done for tomorrow, because I'm tired. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Not Quite a Day Off, but a Good Day

I spent most of the day at the church today.  We have been putting together a timeline of the congregation's history.  Today was the day we were going to mount it for display in the sanctuary.  We will be reflecting on it all fall. 

When I arrived, 2 volunteers were already working on it.  One had to leave, and another arrived.  It was after 3 before I left.   Around 1:00 someone stopped by to check in.  I sent him to the store to get lunch for us, and then he came back with his wife, and they helped, too.  It went relatively smoothly, and we were a good team, it just took a great deal of time.  In addition to getting the timeline mounted and displayed, I also heard some interesting things:

We have a Friday night children's program once a month that enables parents to have a date night.  One of the women who has been sending her two boys said it was the first time she and her husband had been able to do date night-- and their oldest is in first grade.  One of the boys is autistic, and both have been having a wonderful time.  My favorite 4 year old was there with his mom.  He accompanied me downstairs, and was intrigued by the labyrinth that has been taped to the floor downstairs.  After seeing how it fascinated him, I suggested to the program coordinator that we include it as an activity at our next Friday children's program. 

One of the men in the church has been rather contrary and negative the last few weeks.  Both Administrative Assistant and I have noticed it and commented on it.  Today he informed me that irritability is a side effect of a medication he is on.  He was apologizing (sort of) and promised to be more aware of it in the future. 

Even with all the work we were doing, it was a fun day.   Lots of conversation and laughter.  I needed that, as Daughter was in the midst of a bad day.  Her 3rd or 4th call ended with her hanging up on me.  I wasn't willing to go rescue her, and she wasn't happy about that.  I once again told her I was sorry she was having a bad day and had confidence in her ability to cope.  She didn't like my response. 

On the way home, I stopped and donated two trash bags of clothing at the thrift shop.  It felt good to get them out of my house....

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Yesterday I sent a quick email to Case Manager asking her if something was going on with Home Owner, since she wasn't responding to my emails or texts.  Case Manager emailed this morning asking if I'd heard from her.  I told her I hadn't.  Very quickly after that, I had an email from her explaining she'd cut her right hand and needed stitches so she was having difficulty using the computer.  To I buy this?  No.  She also claimed she'd tried to call yesterday.  She didn't leave a message if she did, and all my phones have voice mail. 

At least she has now emailed me and assured me that they have fixed the issue with Daughter's statin. 

I decided I was going to try eating out today.  I figured the oatmeal and fresh fruit would be safe.  Wrong.  I took Daughter to one of those 24 hour places for supper.  I ordered oatmeal and a banana.  I'm getting a headache and have cramps.  I checked the restaurant's allergy menu, but it insists the oatmeal doesn't have any dairy or other bad things in it.  All I know is that oatmeal at home doesn't bother me, and this oatmeal did.  I guess I won't be eating out again for a while. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


I adjusted Daughter's insulin over the weekend, and she did beautifully while she was with me.  I took her back, and her morning blood sugars have been over 200 ever since.  I have no clue why this is happening.  The kitchen door is supposedly kept locked, and Daughter insists that she is not getting into things and that she is getting appropriate snacks. 

If Home Owner were speaking to me, maybe we could trouble shoot this together.  However, she still has not acknowledged the email about adjusting Daughter's insulin, nor has she responded to the text message.  One possibility is that Daughter has been lying to me about her blood sugar numbers.  I will download her meter while she is with me tomorrow.  That could be interesting....

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Silent Treatment

Home Owner has not spoken to me since she cashed the check she'd lost, overdrawing my checking account.  I sent her an email yesterday about Daughter's meds and asked her to respond.  Nothing.  I sent her a text last night about the change in Daughter's insulin.  Nothing. 

This is getting old.  I cc'd Nurse and Case Manager on yesterday's email.  Nurse has responded, telling me I needed orders from the doctor on the change.  I pointed out Home Owner had given the doctor the paperwork to fill out, and I assumed it was there.  I haven't seen the paperwork.  Nurse was going to look for the documentation, but I haven't heard anything back from her. 

I'm a bit frustrated with this.  I've sent several emails asking direct questions and have had no response.  I know from past experience that it's very hard to get her to answer her phone, and her voice mail box is perpetually full, making it impossible to leave a message. 

In the midst of this busy week, I have some paper work I need to take care of for Daughter, including calling the pharmacy to straighten out the insurance mess.  Administrative Assistant's son was offered his dream job last week.  He has been doing contract work since he graduate from college, so they are very happy that he now has a permanent position doing what he loves.  It's nice to have good news to take my mind off my frustrations. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

New and Different

Daughter and I cleaned out my closet today.  When we'd sorted through the clothes and decided which to give to Sister Best Friend, what ones to donate, what would go in the trash, and what I would keep, the outcome was pretty amazing.  I don't have many clothes left in my closet.  I don't feel any need to fill it in, though. 

I found the dress I bought for Adoption Day.  That was 19 years ago.  It was a size 18.  I haven't been smaller than that since then.  Today, some of the clothes that fit are size 14, some are size 16.  After sorting through everything in my closet, I decided I could use another sweater or two.  Daughter and I went to see the Smurfs 2.  She thought it was great.  I wasn't as thrilled, but it made her happy.  Then we went shopping for my sweaters.  I went into a store I've never shopped in before (the clothes were too small).  I tried on some sweaters.  One of them was too big in size large, so I had to go down to a medium.  I liked the way they looked on me.  I enjoyed shopping and trying on clothes.  I don't remember the last time I enjoyed shopping for clothes for me.  Daughter was helpful.  She didn't complain or ask to get anything.  It was buy one, get one for half price.  I also had a gift card.  I walked out with 2 sweaters which cost me less than $6 after the gift card.  It was nice. 

Then we went and got pedicures, which was also nice.  Since I can't eat out anymore, I can afford to spend money on other things.  Daughter and I enjoyed a good weekend.  Today was a mini-vacation.  I liked it. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

One Weekend a Year

There is one weekend each year I miss Tiny Village.  Labor Day weekend was the biggest weekend of the year.  It was the Big Event, which was a homecoming.  We'd have 500 people in the church Sunday night, and it was one of the highlights of the year.  Then on Monday Daughter and I would make our annual trip to the County Fair, where we'd check out the kids' 4H projects and visit with people. 

It's getting easier, now that we've been gone 3 years.  On this Sunday night, though, I still find myself remembering.  Remembering and longing.  One of the wonderful young women who came with her family every year for the Big Event posted a couple of videos from tonight on Facebook.  It was bittersweet, watching the videos.  I was glad for a glimpse, and wish I was there.  I shared the videos with Daughter, she was nostalgic, too. 

Most of the year, I'm delighted to be right here in Capital.  Things are going well.  I'm feeling blessed.  One weekend a year I miss the place we spend 14 years.  I'm grateful for the time I had there, and I'm glad I'm here now.  I love my life. 


So after my lament the other day, it's time for some praise.  I stripped my bed and washed the linens yesterday.  When Daughter headed to bed last night, she saw I had remade my bed.  "Come on, Mom, I'll help you make your bed before I go to bed."  There are times when she's wonderfully helpful and considerate.  I love those times.

This morning I got on the scale, and my weight, which seemed to have plateaued, dropped again.  For years I had not been able to get my weight below 200, so when I passed that milestone, I was excited.  The weight seemed to come off quickly for a while, and I breezed down below 190.  Then I seemed to get stuck.  On August 15, I was at 185.  It seemed to get stuck around 182-183.  This morning it was 180.  It makes it easier to stick to the diet.  This morning I put on one of the dresses I was going to keep, since it was a slightly smaller size.  It's too big.  I may keep it for a while, but it is going to have to go soon. 

Daughter is willing to help me clean out my closet this afternoon.  She was quite distressed this morning.  She saw one of the blouses Sister Best Friend gave me hanging in the laundry room.  "Mom, you're wearing THAT?"  I assured her I was, and what's more, it looked good.  She was skeptical, to say the least. 

I've decided I'm going to  have to buy some new underwear.  A wonderful problem to have.  Right now, we're both relaxing.  Then we'll get busy....