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. 


I'm back walking early in the morning with a woman in the church.  We've managed 4 mornings this week.  Daughter isn't too happy about it, as she is jealous when she calls early in the morning and I'm out walking.  Walker is divorced, and her youngest started college this year.  She invited me to come over for dinner and a movie tonight.  She's invited another woman as well.  I'm looking forward to it.  She's going to help me use my gift certificate for the performing arts center. 

I received a request from linked in from one of the board members in the church.  He's a retired banking executive.  He listed his vocation as "personal happiness architect."  I laughed, because that is so typical of him.  He has ADHD a super high IQ, and is constantly on the move.  He loves doing projects around the church, so we keep him busy.   This past week he worked on drainage around the church and set up the dehumidifier downstairs to run into a drain.  We've had an ongoing problem with a musty smell, and we hope this will solve the problem.  He was in the office yesterday, talking about last Sunday.  He loved the new graphics, and one of the hymns sent him home in search of a good version for his ipod.

He has taken care of several issues around my home for me.  He and his wife followed the ambulance to the hospital when I broke my arm.   Since he lives close to me, he and his wife will pick me up tomorrow morning to go work the concession stand at the football game.  We were short of workers this week, so I signed up. 

Walking in the mornings has increased my energy level, and my appetite.  I like the increased energy level, I'm not so sure about the increased appetite. 

Today I'm trying to get my kitchen cleaned, and I'm also doing some cooking.  I have some gluten free brownies in the oven right now. 

I'm enjoying playing in bell choir this year.  I think I'm beginning to master the bells, though I still am challenged when I have to change bells quickly, or go from bells to chimes quickly.  The bell choir is a great group of people, so I enjoy spending time with them.  I am also going to play piano for our Taize service on Oct. 27.  Fortunately, the keyboard part is very simple.  It feels good to be involved in music again. 

I'm connecting with people in new ways, and it's nice.  I'm also getting everything done for Sunday by Thursday evening, which means I have real time off.  I'm getting better and setting some limits and taking time to do the things I enjoy.  A lot of that is because I'm feeling so much better since I'm on this diet.  It also helps that Daughter is no longer living here.  She keeps telling me she wants to move back in with me.  Not going to happen. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Broken Engagement

Snippets of conversations with Daughter today:

"So you've decided you're ready for sex?"

"Mom, marriage isn't just about sex."

"I realize that, but it is a big part of it.  I know D will expect it.  I thought you broke up with him because he wasn't treating you right."

"Someone taught me it is important forgive.  I have forgiven him." 


"I've thought about it, and I'm ready." 

"Isn't this the guy you accused of harassing you?" 

"Yes, but this is different." 

"I want you to be married to someone who will love and respect you.  It seems to me that he hasn't treated you with respect."

(Discussion of the cycle of abuse.)

"How many times have you broken up with him because he wasn't showing you respect?"


"So how many times are you going to go through this cycle with him?" 

She finally decided to break up with him.  After she broke up with him, she told me how hard it will be on the bus, because he likes to sit next to her.  He puts his hand on her leg, and she tells him to stop, but he won't. 

As I was taking her home, she explained that she is jealous of her married friends.  I asked her to identify them, and she mentioned two women she knew when we lived in Tiny Village.  Both were adopted, had issues, and were also developmentally disabled.

"B is very happy.  She has a perfect marriage.  She's pregnant with her third child." 

"No marriage is perfect.  Didn't she tell you her life was perfect when she moved into her apartment?" 


"What did you find when you visited her?"

"It was a mess and she wanted me to help clean it because her parents were coming..."  She then went into a long description of how she went about cleaning (not very responsibly). 

"Do you really think this is any different?  Do you believe she has a perfect marriage?"

"No.  But M is pregnant with her 5th child." 

"Really?  She's 25 years old and she is going to have 5 children?" 

"Yes, and she's on her 3rd marriage."

"Do you really want that?"



For now, she's decided not to get married.   Will she remember this conversation the next time she wants to get married?  No. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Daughter's Latest and Odds and Ends

I received a text from Daughter a little while ago.  She wants to get married this summer, to the guy that she has accused of harassing her.  I told her we'd talk tomorrow.  Part of me is tempted to say, "Sure, go for it!"  because within a month, the engagement will be off.  

I told her we'd talk about it tomorrow.  If I'm lucky, the engagement will be off by then.  If not, at least I have some time before I have to deal with the drama. 

I have continued to disengage as much as possible with the agency.  I'm tired of dealing with them.  They are upset with the doctor because she hasn't sent orders.  I called the doctor today.  They haven't received a request for orders.  I'll fax them info tomorrow, and they'll get it back to me. 

On a cheerier note, I bought some size 12 slacks last night.  Before the diet I was in size 18.  It was kind of nice.  I finally turned on the furnace last night.  It was 62 in the house.  As several people have pointed out, I have less insulation than I used to have. 

I have a breakfast meeting tomorrow, so I will be late getting in.  Administrative Assistant is taking a woman in the church to the hospital for a procedure, so she will be late getting in.  Treasurer has a doctor's appointment, so he will be late getting in.  We laughed-- people will wonder what happened-- we are very good at having the office open at 9-- no matter what. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Taking a Break

Daughter says she confessed her latest transgressions.  I hope that is accurate.  I have not sent out an email about it.  I need a break from dealing with all of that.

So I have sat in my study today, enjoying conversations with a variety of people who have stopped by for various reasons.  I think I had my longest conversation ever with one man who stopped in to change the sign.  My IT genius finally has my android talking to Outlook, so my calendar now automatically syncs.  Now I have no excuses for missing appointments. 

Yesterday the congregation celebrated my 3rd anniversary and pastor appreciation Sunday.  They gave me some assorted foods I can eat and a nice gift certificate for the performing arts center on campus.  I walked this morning, and my walking buddy's kids are both at college now.  She agreed to go with me to an event.  I decided I didn't want to take Daughter and deal with her drama, and I didn't want to go alone.  Now I just have to find an event that isn't sold out, sounds interesting, and fits my schedule.  The woman who did the presentation mentioned my "innovative ideas."  I liked that, it sounded much better than "weird ideas." 

It's been a good day, with a couple of meetings tonight that I hope will also be good....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Once Again....

Daughter's blood sugar was high yesterday evening.  Once again she denied doing anything wrong.  This morning she got belligerent when I pointed out that every time she denies having been into anything, she is lying.  I told her to cut the c**p and stop playing the victim.  I told her I didn't deserve her abuse. 

When we got to the church, she wrote me a note confessing to getting into the kitchen and taking ice cream bars.  They have a relief staff person this weekend, and apparently she doesn't have keys.  Daughter is taking full advantage of that.  I told her she had to go back and confess, and that I'd be sending out an email to assure she really did confess. 

After church I took an individual who has visited for several Sundays out to lunch.  I heard the story of tremendous evil done by people who claim the name of Christ.  It was a troubling conversation.  I'm honored to be entrusted with these stories, and it is unsettling to ponder them. 

Now I'm going out to mow the lawn.  I'll be doing a lot of praying as I mow as I seek to be an effective pastor to this individual. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Homecoming Reflections

I went to my college homecoming today.  I spent some time with 3 women I knew in college.  I realized, as I was driving home, that all 4 of us have the same hair style we had in college.  Our styles are very different, but they are identical to what we had 30+ years ago.  It was really good to see them, and to be back on campus. 

The campus has changed since I graduated.  It is a very different place.  They've gone from 3 dining halls to 1.  They recently remodeled my favorite dining room, and I think it lost some of its coziness.  The house I lived in senior year has been torn down.  It was a beautiful day.  I managed to find a few things I could eat at the lunch on the quad.  I think the band was better 30+ years ago when I was in it.  I understand that enrollment is down over all, which is sad. I bought a lanyard for my church and pantry keys.  It replaces one I got at a conference at another college I've been using for a number of years.

Perhaps the best thing is that Daughter didn't call and bug me all day.  That was truly a gift.  She's here now, as I picked her up this evening. 

It was a very pleasant day. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

The End of Silence

Case Manager called.  She had cc'd me in an email to Daughter's day program reminding them that they are not to be taking Daughter home when she complains.  She pointed out there was a signed statement from me laying out criteria for Daughter leaving program early:  documented fever, or witnessed vomiting.  She called to ask me not to respond to it.  I asked her why.  Was I satisfied with her answer?  Not really. 

What I did learn:

1. Home isn't planning to kick Daughter out at this point.  (Yes, there have been discussions.)

2. They can't control how long it takes to get Daughter into therapy.

3. She will take Daughter's cell phone away from her if she continues to be verbally abusive to me.

4. She is aware Daughter is playing the staff at her program, and is seeking to address that. 

5. She claims they recognize that I have provided care and resources for Daughter and they're not disputing that.  I'm not convinced.  I still see a power struggle, and think they want me to have less say.  Her call asking me not to respond to emails has more to it than that she is going to take care of it so I didn't need to get involved.  Yes, I'm paranoid. 


I asked in one of the team emails what the Home Owner suggested regarding Daughter's need for test strips to cover lows.  She not responded.  The silence has been deafening.  Yesterday the dietitian emailed me privately for my input before she goes to the house to address the issue with lunches.  I thanked her for contacting me, and we are definitely on the same page.  Maybe they will hear from her what they refuse to hear from me. 

It is frustrating.  The Case Manager is also silent.  She was at the house Wednesday evening, and I half expected a phone call from her yesterday telling me I had to move Daughter.  She is silent, too. 

Daughter was distressed yesterday by my unenthusiastic greeting.  I told her that her behavior and verbal abuse of me had hurt, and that she had a lot of work to do to earn my trust.  She was super cooperative yesterday.  She did some shredding, folded and stuffed over 100 bulletins, cut out crafts for our Friday evening children's program, and helped construct a time machine out of 2 furniture boxes. 

I will pick her up this evening for the Friday evening children's program, and then take her back.  I'm going to my college homecoming tomorrow, and will pick her up tomorrow evening for Sunday.  She's not thrilled, but continues to be cooperative. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Home Owner continues to ration out Daughter's test strips, and claims there aren't enough for her to test and treat for low blood sugars.  She also is insisting on taking Daughter to a podiatrist--because she has diabetes. 

I have explained that I am concerned that Daughter will seize on her need for a podiatrist as another opportunity to say "Woe is me.  I am a diabetic."  I have explained that the more they seek to control, the more Daughter will feel the need to rebel and prove she can't be controlled. 

Apparently, though, since I am the mother who failed to consequence her and get her the professional help that would cure her, I am not credible.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Today's Accusation

Daughter called me around lunch time.  She yelled at me and hung up.  Today's transgression?  I had updated the team on what I knew about the food issues.  Case Manager was all over it, and so one of the staff at her program had had a conversation with her about it. 

Now Home Owner wants to search her bags when she comes into the house.  I suggested that she could try that, but I thought that Daughter would probably see it as a challenge and come up with new ways to sneak food into the house.  We're also having an ongoing conversation about specialists.  Now they think she should be seeing a podiatrist quarterly.  She isn't having any problems with her feet.  Taking her to lots of doctors gives her lots of opportunities to complain about how hard her life is and how bad she has it.  I try to emphasize her health and her abilities, so I don't seek out specialists unless there is a need. 

I was away from my computer for an extended stretch today, and when I came back to it I discovered that there had been a bunch of emails from various team members about the whole situation.  I'm so glad they think they can control Daughter's eating.  I wish them luck.  I did remind them, though, that every time they tighten up Daughter takes her frustration out on me.  She makes them promises and then calls to tell me I have no right to talk about her and I'm horrible and she hates me.  I limit her opportunities to do that and am very firm about cutting her off.  It does take a toll, though. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

"Back Stabber"

Daughter called this morning, outraged because Staff didn't believe her when she insisted she hadn't been into any food that caused her blood sugar to be high this morning.  She was playing up the persecuted victim.  I cut her off and told her to stop it.  I pointed out she'd claimed she wasn't into any food after she bought the candy, and when she was taking food out of the pantry.  I told her I agreed with Staff, and suggested she tell the truth about the food she'd been into.  She yelled, "Back Stabber," and hung up on me.  That should guaranteed me a day free of phone calls from her.  It will be evening before she cools down enough to call and apologize. 

I think she's trying to get herself hospitalized.  This is the longest she's gone in years without a hospitalization.  She hasn't been in the hospital in the three years we've been here.  I was hospitalized with a broken arm in May, and last week she couldn't come for the weekend because I had a sore throat.  She wants some of the attention.  It's not going to work, and tonight I will inform her of that. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Another Good Sunday

I'm enjoying the sermon series on Exodus that I'm doing this fall, and the congregation seems to be enjoying it, too.  People are beginning to add events to our timeline, which is nice.  Our attendance is steadily growing.  When I arrived, we had several families leave because I was a woman.  The first year was rough, as both giving and attendance were down.  It's wonderful to see the congregation moving forward. 

Today we had a fellowship meal, and at my suggestion we had a baked potato bar.  From the number of people who stayed for the meal, I think we will do this particular meal again.  There is an energy and excitement which is great.  We had a man who worshiped with us for the second time today.  He is a minister on disability, and unable to drive.  He is living with family 13 miles from the church.  He would like to join the choir.  The choir decided today if a family member brings him to choir, one of them will take him home.  The choir director is excited because he's going to have to add some chairs to accommodate the new choir members this year. 

I'm excited because we have more children who are attending regularly.  One of our young women shared with me that she felt God calling her in a new direction.  Today she completed some training that gets her started in that new direction.  It's wonderful to see her stepping out in new directions in response to this call. 

This is pastor appreciation month, which is nice and I appreciate their kind words.  I keep telling them, though, that I am very grateful to be serving with them.  It's a wonderful place to be.  They are so good with Daughter.  Once we get to the church, I don't see her, as she is off collecting hugs and singing in the choir.  I'm rambling-- I think it's time to head to bed....

Saturday, October 5, 2013


I received a text this evening that the house was concerned about the very high blood sugars Daughter was having today  (over 300 before supper).  When I picked her up this evening, I asked her what she'd been eating.  She did the standard denials, and then confessed to buying candy while on an outing yesterday.  She told staff it was for the house.  I made her call the house and confess, and tell staff where the candy was so they could removed it. 

I get so tired of this.  So tired. 


Daughter wanted to come cook supper for me.  I informed her that until she could keep herself safe around food, she wouldn't be cooking.  She is not happy, but she did not dispute that she has somehow managed to get into food this week.  She has informed me she just won't come here today.  That's fine with me, though I suspect she will change her mind. 

I'm finally getting some work done in the kitchen, which is nice.  I'm also figuring out my diet rotation.  It is challenging, as I knew it would be, but I think I'm coming up with something that will work for me.  I have to rotate food over 3 days, so I'm not eating the same things, which can cause new sensitivities to develop.  I'm going to have meat one of those three days.  One day my protein will come from nuts, one day it will come from beans.  I'm going to have to do some tweaking, but I think I have something that will work. 

Yesterday we ate out, and I chose a Mexican restaurant.  I had bean burritos and asked them to use corn tortillas.  I also had rice and salsa.  I suspect there was something I was sensitive to, as I had some cramping in the afternoon, but it didn't create problems.  It was nice to know there are restaurants where I can find food I can eat. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Day Off

A member of the congregation and I went to an art show today.  We thoroughly enjoyed it.  We did lots of walking and took lots of pictures.  We saw some amazing works of art.  It was a wonderful way to spend my day off.  I haven't decided what I'm going to do about Daughter this weekend.  She wants to come tomorrow, but I may wait until Sunday morning. 

Her blood sugars indicate she has found a new way to get into food.  I'm going to let the team figure it out.  They are convinced they can cure her-- go right ahead.

All the walking wore me out, so I think it will be an early night for me.  I think I will do more artsy things with the woman I went to the art show with.  We had a wonderful time. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013


As  I anticipated, Case Manager was all over the strip situation.  She called Home Owner, and informed us in an email that there were other issues here and it was being addressed.  I dropped Daughter off after choir, and she quickly called me to tell me they had received the strips.  "Now I can relax." 

I guess we'll find out in a month if Home Owner has dealt with the issues that are leading to the monthly strip crisis. 

We have a man in the congregation who just retired as head of IT for a major insurance company.  He is bored, and looking for things to do.  He has offered his IT expertise to us.  I have been frustrated with my inability to sync the calendar on my android with the calendar in Outlook.  I've attempted several different things, and done a little research, but have never been successful.  So, I took him up on his offer.  He spent several hours at the church today trying to figure it out.  He went home and did some more research.  Next Thursday morning he will come in and get my phone talking to Outlook.  I am delighted to have this close to being resolved.  I thanked him for not solving it immediately, as it made me feel a little less incompetent to see that there isn't an easy fix for it. 

With my new computer I subscribed to Office 365.  My IT retiree sold me on the usefulness of SkyDrive, and yesterday I installed the new Office on my old computer.  That took some time since I kept getting different error messages, but I finally managed to fix the issues so it would install.  I think my computer will be spending more nights in my office at the church now.  I like being able to pick up where I left off on multiple computers....

Daughter's Wisdom

Yesterday evening Daughter informed me I needed to give her some test strips for the old meter, as she only had enough test strips to last today.  I informed her that they should be able to order them from the pharmacy.  She said Staff told her that the pharmacy wouldn't deliver strips anymore. 

To say I was unhappy would be an understatement.  I sent out one of my emails today to Home Owner, Case Manager and Nurse.  I pointed out that Daughter should always have at least 3 extra strips to cover low blood sugars and that relying on me to come up with strips at the last minute was not a good plan. I  said I was getting tired of the monthly strip crisis.

I picked up Daughter this morning for her volunteer day at the church.  I explained to her that I'd spent hours trying to straighten things out last month, and I was frustrated that they were not planning ahead and figuring things out before the crisis.  She said, "They're just like the government."  I thought that was good insight on the current shutdown.....

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I mowed the back yard this afternoon.  It's not pretty, but it's mowed.  I also found enough ripe raspberries to make a raspberry crisp, which tastes pretty good.  I have a bunch more tomatoes and some more peppers, too.  I'll make tomato sauce with the tomatoes.  I'm now eating some tomatoes, and so far haven't had any problems with them. 

I woke up at 4:00 this morning to empty my bladder, and then began wondering when it was I was supposed to be writing the stewardship letter.  I couldn't remember, and was afraid it was this week.  I laid there in my bed trying to figure out what I would say in the letter.  Administrative Assistant and I sat down with the calendar this morning to map out what needs to happen between now and the end of the year.  We even listed out the newsletter articles that need to be written for November.  I'll write the stewardship letter the week of October 14, which is 2 weeks before it needs to go out.  We have the graphic and theme for this year's campaign, so we're in pretty good shape.  I think the treasurer has all the information he needs to put together the preliminary budget.  The past two years we've had major increases due to growth in staff.  This year our program growth is fueled by volunteers, so we won't have the increase in budget.  So, as of now, I'm optimistic about this year's campaign. 

Daughter seems to be doing well right now, so I'm getting fewer phone calls.  I like that.  It enables me to get more work done, and come home and do things like mow the lawn.   I even stopped by the grocery store on my way home. 

My throat is still a little sore, but I'm drinking hot tea and not letting it slow me down.  It's nice to feel better and be able to move forward.