Saturday, April 26, 2014


Okay, I admit it.   I have been struggling with depression for several months.  I'm able to function pretty well at the church, but that uses up all my functioning ability, and I'm worthless when I get home.  The house is mess, I'm behind on paperwork.  I do think I'm improving, but it has been very frustrating. 

I saw the surgeon yesterday.  The arm is healing, though the fracture line is still visible.  It's thinner and lighter.  I have some pain, but it's not at the point of the fracture, so he's not sure what it is.  He said I can try mowing the lawn, but if it hurts, I need to find someone else to do it.  He wished me luck on that one. 

He said if I had any pain, I needed to call right away.  He said he'd probably shoot himself, but I should call.  I asked to see the original x-rays, which I hadn't seen.  He pulled them up on a computer from the hospital website (he hasn't gone to the digital x-rays in his office).  He said, "It doesn't take any training to see they are broken."  The bones were pushed back beside themselves-- he said there was about an inch of overlap.  They were rather dramatic images.  I said, "No wonder...."  He told me that was why I had had so much pain. 

I have begun walking again with my walking partner, though not daily.  As I spend more time outside, I'm sure my depression will continue to improve.  The fact that I have permission to try mowing the lawn really helps.  Yard work is very therapeutic for me.  I have had to acknowledge the second surgery on my arm was very difficult.  Starting the healing process over again was very discouraging.  I'm losing a second summer--  I'm not going to be able to do all I'd like in my gardens. 

I have also acknowledged I've got to cut down on my work time.  It's hard, because I really love what I'm doing.  However, it's not healthy.  I  hope I will feel up to updating more frequently here. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Christ is Risen!

A cartoon has been floating around Facebook that shows Easter morning and Easter afternoon.  Easter morning, the pastor is standing in front of the congregation and says, "Christ is risen!"  Easter afternoon the pastor is sitting in a chair with a vacant look.  The spouse says, "The pastor is dead."  Not quite dead, but certainly exhausted, on a variety of levels. 

I took most of the day off today.  I didn't get dressed until it was time to get ready for the meeting at the church this evening.  Most of the day I sat in my recliner, looking like the pastor in the cartoon.  Easter was good.  Worship went very well, and included a wonderful anthem written by our pianist.  Attendance was good.  We had a very pleasant time with Sister Best Friend in the afternoon.  Daughter was cooperative all day. 

I received a couple of emails from Case Manager this evening.  She'd gone to Daughter's house, and wants me to talk to Daughter about a couple of issues.  I get really tired of the triangulating.  If the house has a problem with something Daughter is doing, they should talk to Daughter directly.  CM also emailed the workshop.  Daughter claims she was physically threatened last week.  I believe she felt threatened, and I know she has a pattern of exaggerating in situations like this.  CM wanted to know what had happened from the workshop.  Daughter told me she'd used her voice and reported the incident.  I trust that the staff handled the situation appropriately.  I think I'm going to remind CM of my stock answer when Daughter comes to me with that kind of story, "I have confidence in your ability to keep yourself safe."  When I read the emails, I was exhausted all over again.  I did ask Daughter not to walk around in her heels at night, as they claim she is waking up the entire house by walking around.  (I think the house might be exaggerating a bit, too.)  I haven't responded to the email.  I will, but I needed to let it sit for a while.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holy Week

Holy Week always takes a toll on pastors.  We had worked ahead, and it was still a hard week.  On Thursday there were so many people coming through the office, we finally closed the door.  People were working on 4 different projects.  Daughter was there and was very helpful.  She really does a good job for us in the office.  She even helped clean my office. 

I was at church every evening.  Today I was over there to help decorate for Easter tomorrow.  We made some new banners.  We are really pleased with the way things looked when we left the church.  Tomorrow afternoon we'll go have dinner with Sister Best Friend and her husband, mother-in-law, and a friend.  It will be nice to spend some time with them. 

Daughter keeps trying to draw me into drama, but it's not working.  Overall, she's happy and doing well.  She was helpful in the office, and today she was doing some work here and singing.  Last night I heard her talking in her sleep, and she was thanking someone repeatedly and telling whoever it was how much she appreciated whatever they'd done. 

I am taking Monday off.  Normally I'm in the office alone on Monday, as it's Administrative Assistant's day off.  Well, I say I'm alone, but there are usually several people who stop by to chat.  I've decided I'm staying home until my evening meeting.  I will sleep in and be lazy, and it will be wonderful.  I need it after Holy Week. 

I hope everyone has a blessed Easter. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014


This morning at church a man who lives in my neighborhood came over and told me he'd survived his gardens yesterday and was willing to do some work in mine.  He walked over this afternoon and spread all my wood chips.  I did some more clean up in my butterfly garden.  We've filled the 6 cans I have for yard waste again this week.  It's been great to spend time out in the yard this weekend.  Now I need to spend some time in my house working. 

With Holy Week, it's going to be a busy week.  I could easily spend 5 nights at the church this week.  I think I'll skip the Tuesday night event-- we're recording a skit we will be using on the Sundays following Easter.  Administrative Assistant (who has a background in theater) is going to be there to handle things. 

Daughter was helpful again today, though I think she's tired of working in the yard.  She doesn't enjoy it the way I do.  I figured out some ways I can work that don't put a strain on my wrist, which is good.  The weather is going to turn bad again, so I don't know when I'll next be able to get out there to work in the gardens, but I'm looking forward to it, whenever it might be. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014


My neighbor had major tree damage in an ice storm this winter.  Today we came home from the store to find another neighbor had a chipper and was going to clean up the damage.  Daughter and I helped, and received fire wood and a bunch of wood chips from the damaged trees.  We spent over 3 hours working outside.  It was a beautiful day, and it was wonderful to be outside working in the yard.  I may have done a bit too much with my weak arm.  Hopefully I didn't do any damage. 

Daughter was super cooperative.  Of course, I had planned to work in the kitchen today, but after all the outside work, I didn't feel like working in the kitchen.  We came in and watched movies, which was also pleasant.  I'm so glad that spring has finally arrived.  All the snow in my yard has now melted.  There is still tons of work to do in the yard, but I will work on it gradually. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

At Last

I'm finally getting my energy back following my most recent surgery.  I am relieved, to say the least, especially since this coming week is Holy Week.  It was a very productive week in the office.  Administrative Assistant and I have all the music selected until Pentecost on June 8, which means we can get those bulletins done.  I still have to write a few liturgical elements, but those don't take much time.   

AA is going to be on vacation the first two weeks in May, so we're working ahead.  We do have some money budgeted for subs, but it's easier if we get most of the work done and I finalize the bulletin and announcements each week.  We've had workers in the building all week working on repairs from our ice dams.  They've been hanging dry wall and painting.  We have carpet samples to make our selection and place that order.  The paint fumes and dust were not fun, and we ended up closing the office door to try to cut down on them. 

Daughter seems to be doing well.  I'm noticing an interesting pattern.  She's happy until the time approaches to go home, and then she begins telling me how terrible her life is and how depressed she is and how she just can't handle it.  I've been calling her on the behavior, and she's not getting any sympathy from me, so hopefully she will stop doing it.  I told her that when she behaves like that I don't want to spend time with her. 

Thursday will be the 19th anniversary of the adoption.  It's hard to believe that Daughter is 27 now.  I've been her parent for over 24 years.  My parents have been dead for almost 5 years.  I thought when I moved here I would have the opportunity to see Sister and Brother more, but that hasn't happened.  Sister now has a boyfriend, and Brother is expecting a second child.  They are busy with their lives, and I'm busy with mine.  Most of the time, that's okay. 

The Friday after Easter I will go back to the surgeon and have another x-ray of my arm.  I'm confident that this time it is healing.  I can feel the difference.  That may sound strange, and I may be wrong, but I'm fairly confident the x-ray will shone the bone has healed.  It feels more stable.  I'm regaining strength in it, and the pain is lessening.  I'm hoping he will ease the restrictions.  I really want to get out there and work in my yard.  The winter took a heavy toll on it.  The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend, and Daughter will be with me all weekend since we have our children's ministry this evening.  She seems to be looking forward to helping me in the yard tomorrow.  It should be a good day. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Sunday afternoon I got Daughter to help me out in the yard.  She did some raking, and I picked up sticks, trash, and the piles she raked up.  It was wonderful.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time out in the yard.  The sunshine felt so good.  I'm frustrated with my limitations this spring.  I'm going to have to recruit some help to do all the things I want to do out there.  It's another spring day, so I plan to spend some more time in the yard this afternoon. 

I'm still fighting a bug, which means my need for sleep is even greater.   I'm sleeping over 8 hours a night, and I'm still dragging.  I continue to feel overwhelmed at the church, though it has been a productive couple of days.  Between Easter and our visioning process, it is just a busy time.  There are lots of good things going on, though, so that is good. 

Daughter seems to be doing well.  She's not calling much, and seems to be handling things better.  Her favorite staff person is still off for medical reasons, and last night she told me she may not be able to come back, and that's okay.  I was amazed to hear her say that. 

We still have some snow, but I told Administrative Assistant today that maybe the snow would be off the parking lot by this Sunday.  That would be nice.  Very nice.  I'm glad we are finally experiencing spring weather.  So glad. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Better Day and the Email from Daughter's Program.

My plan Thursday was to take Daughter out to supper, and then take her back to the church for choir.  By the time early afternoon I realized I didn't have the energy to wait at the church until choir was over, so I asked Administrative Assistant if she would be willing to take her home after choir.  She readily agreed, commenting on how she'd watched my energy level dropping.  By 4:30, I realized I wasn't hungry and didn't have the energy to go to a restaurant.  I took Daughter to a sandwich shop and let her run in and get a sandwich, then we went back to the house.  I called a choir member who lives close by and asked if he would pick up Daughter.   He readily agreed. 

Yesterday it was noon before I got up.  I wasn't hungry, and basically did nothing all day.  I never did get dressed.  I ate a bit, but not much.  Today is better.  I was up at 9:00.  I've filled my pill boxes for the next 3 weeks and ordered refills.  I'm hungry, and actually cooked a meal (though it was noon before I ate). 

I have been really down on myself, convinced I was gaining weight and my blood sugar was high.  I was delighted today to discover I've lost more weight and my blood sugar was excellent.  There is still snow in my yard, but there are also some purple crocuses blooming.  I'm still low energy, but today is definitely a better day.  I told Daughter I'd pick her up after supper tonight.  My early morning meeting for tomorrow is cancelled, so it should be an easier day.  My goal for today is to find my dining room table.  I'm making good progress, and when I succeed, it will be another boost to my mood. 

The other an email went out to the team from a staff member I don't know highlighting Daughter's concerns.  Daughter was complaining that she didn't feel safe at program, and was talking about what kind of community job she wanted.  The staff member suggested a team meeting was in order.  I waited a couple of hours to respond.  When I did, I said it was interesting Daughter hadn't told me any of this, but not surprising, in that she knew how I would respond.  I suggested that before we have a team meeting we make sure we are all giving her the same messages:  "You have a voice and keep yourself safe."  "You have to show you can be responsible around food before you get any more freedom." 

A staff member I know responded the next day.  She had spoken with Daughter, who was no longer complaining about feeling unsafe, and reminded her she had a voice.  Daughter does continue to find new audiences for her drama, and she is convincing.  I'm glad this one was so easily addressed.  I wonder if Home Owner and Case Manager will continue to talk about how I don't try to teach Daughter to be a responsible adult and she manipulates me by complaining that she doesn't feel safe.  Probably.  It's easier to blame me than to deal with the much more complex reality that is Daughter. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014


On Sunday, Daughter was one of the music leaders (with Administrative Assistant).  She did a very good job, even reading the Scripture.  One of the women was talking about how well she'd done at an education event last night.  "She did such a good job, and looked so confident.  I was remembering when you were here for the reception that gave us a chance to meet you before you were called.  Daughter had to be right next to you and had her head on your shoulder."  She was also wetting the bed back then. 

Today was her day in the church office.  She filed bulletins, choir music, and catalogs.  We then showed her how to work in the excel spread sheet for choir music and hymns.  She went through the bulletins and added dates for choir anthems from the beginning of December on. Then she did the same for the hymns, and that involved 3-5 a Sunday.  She loved doing it.  Now she's in my office, singing as she does other things.  She is happy, and it is wonderful. 

I got an email from her program today, but that's will have to be another post.  

AA will take her home tonight.  I have had some kind of sinusy thing going on and as the day has gone on my energy level has dropped to almost nothing.  I don't want to be out until after 9:00 tonight.