Saturday, May 31, 2014


I have been looking for things I can delegate and places where I can cut back.  I've been spending a great deal of time at the church, and it's taking a toll on me.  So this past week the personnel chair met with me to share a shift in my priorities.  They want me to spend more time in one area of ministry.  They realize that means I'll have to cut back elsewhere.  I asked what it was they wanted me to cut back.  She said that was up to me.  I couldn't figure out what to cut before they added another responsibility.  I know that vacation is approaching, and I'm experiencing the level of fatigue that tends to hit me as vacation comes near.  I'm tired.  I've pushed myself all year, and now I'm grumpy.  I don't like being grumpy. 

At the last board meeting, we were trying to figure out when to schedule a new member class.  I suggested it might need to wait until after my vacation.  They didn't think that was a good idea.  I've scheduled it for next Sunday following worship.  I sent notes to 8 individuals, inviting them to the class.  I know that there are a couple of them who may not be able to come next Sunday, so that means I'll have to work something else out for them.  I have no clue what that will be, but I'll figure it out. 

Next week is Pentecost and the announcement of our new vision statement.  I've been having meetings almost every week on this since January.  There is still a lot of work to be done.  We're recruiting various people to talk about the vision statement and how they have experienced it.   We also have a new logo that will be revealed.  After the reveal on the 8th,  I need to begin planning for fall.  We will be exploring the new vision in more depth September-November. 

It's strange, not having Daughter here for the weekend.  It's nice not to have to lock things up, but I do miss her.  She hasn't been calling as often, which is usually a good job.  The current boy friend is going to come to church tomorrow. 

I mowed the lawn today, using my new mower for the first time.  I had a few challenges with it, but once I figured things out, it was fine.  I also spent some time weeding and pruning in my gardens.  I hope I can get some members to come help me with weeding and spreading mulch.  I know I can't do those on my own with my weak wrist. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Short Week

It was a short week in the office.  Home Owner took Daughter shopping today, so she wasn't in the church office until this afternoon.  Both Administrative Assistant and I were thrown off by this-- it felt like Wednesday, not Thursday.  I should be able to take tomorrow completely off, which will be nice.  I think I'll tackle the paper jungle here at home. 

Daughter had an appointment with the Psychiatrist yesterday.  Case Manager is still struggling to understand Daughter, but I think Home Owner is beginning to get her.  We talked about the insulin issues. 

I bought a new lawn mower on Monday.  I will use it for the first time this weekend.  I need to put the oil that came with it in and then buy some gas, and it will be good to go.  It's electric start.  There are still some people who are unhappy about my decision to go back to mowing.  I told them that mowing is easier on my wrist than some other things that need doing in the yard, so I'd prefer their help on the weeding and spreading mulch.  I think one of the men is actually going to recruit some workers to do just that.  '

I think my wrist is getting better.  AA and I were looking at it today, we think there was swelling that has gone down, so that's good.  Hopefully the next x-ray (in 2 weeks) will show it has healed completely.  Hopefully....

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My Gardens

Yesterday I spent some time outside doing one handed weeding.  I didn't want to kneel down (and push up with my hands), so I was bending over.  Today I have a sore back.  I'm also tired, as Daughter took extra insulin during the night and had a low at 5:30.  She won't be spending weekends with me for a while.

I have had three different church members use my lawn mower and mow my lawn.  They all thought it was terrible.  I had been thinking about buying a new lawn mower, and I began to think about it and realized that maybe, with a better mower, it wouldn't be the strain on my wrist and I could do it now.  Treasurer had recommended the kind of mower he bought last year, and offered to let me try it out to see if I liked it.  I went to talk to Treasurer about it today.  He said he'd bring it over tomorrow and I could try it, and then he'd mow my lawn.  He then went to talk to another man, D, who had volunteered to mow my yard this week.  D came over and informed me a major conflict was brewing in the church, as I was trying to mow my lawn and wouldn't let them mow it.  I told him that there is so much I can't do, and if I have a decent mower, maybe this is something I could do.  He's going to bring his mower over for me to try tomorrow.  His was also new last year, and has electric start and was less expensive than the one Treasurer bought.

Daughter did clean the kitchen yesterday, and I'm grateful.  I was going to post something about how well she's doing, but then she took extra insulin.  I didn't even have to praise her this time for her to sabotage herself.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Wrist

Monday afternoon I began wearing a brace on my wrist.  I have much less pain now.  I'm hoping the brace will be the final step to complete the healing.  I'm looking forward to the day that the fracture line is no longer visible. 

Some college friends were arranging a reunion for a weekend in June.  I rearranged my vacation plans to be there.  Today they decided to postpone the reunion until October.  I'm not very happy, and neither is the one who'd already bought an airline ticket.  We may just have a smaller gathering.  It will be nice to have the 15th off.  That's the Sunday after Pentecost and the big reveal of our new vision statement and logo.  I'm sure I'll be tired. 

With Administrative Assistant back, it's been a productive week.  In addition to sermon and PowerPoint, I've also picked worship themes through the end of August, done some work on interpretive material for the new vision statement, and written a bunch of newsletter articles.  I shouldn't have to do any work on Friday or Saturday, which will be very nice. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

She's Back!

Administrative Assistant was back in the office today.  We had asked her to come back with a memory, as we needed someone with a good memory in the office.  Today I had to let her into the church, since she had forgotten her keys.  I told her it wasn't a promising start.  She had a wonderful vacation, and is glad to be back. 

It was good to have company in the office.  We had several people drop in today.  With one of the visitors, we turned our backs on him and went to work (after we'd taken care of his reason for coming in).  He continued to talk for a while before he finally got up and left. 

Daughter seems to be doing well.  She has really has cut down on the number of times she calls me each day.  It's nice.  She has asked to come spend the weekend with me.  I told her I'd think about it.  I'll probably have her come. 

Monday, May 19, 2014


For the first time since I broke my wrist over a year ago, it is now immobilized in a brace (which I requested over a cast).  It looks like the bones are healing, but the pain is a concern.  I'm confident that the brace will help.  When the doctor saw me, he announced he was going to South America.  I know this has frustrated and puzzled him. 

Administrative Assistant is back in the office tomorrow.  One of the men was talking about something he needed her to do.  I told him he had to wait until Wednesday.  Just the mail on her desk will be a little overwhelming. 

Daughter and I have cleaned my office at the church.  It is wonderful!  I am enjoying working in it again.  Now it's time to go do some work....

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Restaurant Game

It's been a while since she played it, but today Daughter decided it was time to play the restaurant game.  We went out to eat after worship.  Daughter zoomed in on the highest carb portion of the menu, knowing I would veto anything she chose from that area.  That gave her the excuse she needed to spend the rest of the meal pouting. 

Overall, it was a good weekend with her here.  She did a lot of cleaning.  Friday  I was going to go outside and pull dandelions.  She decided she wanted to stay inside and clean.  She handed me the bicycle lock for the refrigerator door before I went out and asked me to put it on.  I did.  I'm glad she's asking for that support, and sorry she still needs it. 

Administrative Assistant is back in town.  Her daughter was in worship this morning and offered that assurance.  I was pleased.  I look forward to seeing her on Tuesday. 

Now I get to enjoy a quiet Sunday afternoon.  I may even take a nap. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I Made It!

Administrative Assistant returns to work Tuesday.  I officially survived her vacation. Daughter folded bulletins and announcements for Sunday today.  AA had done most of the work before she left, so all I had to do was add a few things. I still have to finish the PowerPoint and do some stuff for the Monday night board meeting, but this week was better in terms of getting work done, even though I had a lunch meeting and an overnight retreat.

In other news, I am having an increasing amount of pain in my left arm, and it has moved from the wrist to the area of the break.  It's been raining all week, so I'm going to wait and see if it improves with the weather.  I suspect I will be going to see the surgeon next week.  I am very discouraged.  I'm going to ask him about alternatives other than surgery if there is a problem.  It has now been over a year.  I broke the arm on May 11, and the first surgery was May 12.  The second surgery was February 18.

Daughter has a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning, so she came home with me today, and will be with me all weekend.   I'm hoping she will help me get the house cleaned up.  It looks like it will be too wet and cold to work in the garden.  I am hoping for a productive weekend.  Bringing order to my chaos would certainly be a mood booster, and I need one right now. 


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

Daughter drew me a picture for Mother's Day.  She informed me she wanted to go home right after lunch, so I have a quiet afternoon alone-- well, almost alone.  Kitten is determined to sleep on me.  I'm going to work on laundry and do some things in the kitchen.

Yesterday we went to see Brother and his family.  Baby Nephew is wonderful.  He weighs less than 7 pounds, so he is very small.  It was a very pleasant day.  I spent all day Friday in the office, so I haven't had an opportunity to do any of the things I normally do at home on my time off.  I will be able to get some of it done this afternoon. 

It's another busy week, and once again I'm flying solo.  I won't have the drop-ins this week, as the property guys are headed to a camp to build a deck and seating.  Tomorrow they will begin installing the new carpet downstairs.  That will complete the renovations from ice dam damage back in March.  The final cost will be over $15,000 for the repairs.  We are still seeking a solution for the issues that caused the ice dam.  Of course, it would be easier to fix if we knew what had caused the problems.  We suspect there are several different issues contributing, including some design problems.  We are going to have some engineers come in and give us proposals. 

It's about time to begin my countdown to vacation.  I'm ready.  I'm tired.  I need some time off.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Week One

I survived Administrative Assistant's first week of vacation.  Of course, I was in the office most of the day today, and I still have to finalize the sermon.  I met a young colleague for breakfast, and then headed to the church.  I picked up Daughter when she got home, drove through to pick up supper for her, and was back to the church for our Friday children's ministry. 

My house and yard are a disaster, and will remain that way for a while.  Tomorrow Daughter and I are headed to the City to meet Nephew.  Brother and his wife welcomed their second son early yesterday morning.  I promised to bring food and also have to get gifts for my two nephews.  I'm looking forward to seeing them, and it will be a long day. 

My wrist has been bothering me more since I mowed my lawn last Sunday, so I took one of the men at the church up on his offer to mow my lawn for me.  I'm very grateful for the support they provide.  I will be even more grateful when AA returns from vacation....

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Yesterday my Office 365 decided that my computer did not have a licensed copy of the software, so it wouldn't let me do any work.  I went online to customer support and began looking for answers.  I uninstalled the software in 2 different ways.  I reinstalled it two times.  I used various versions of the program that was supposed to repair problems.  None of them worked.  I came home and pulled out my old computer.  Office was supposedly installed on it, but wouldn't work.  I uninstalled and reinstalled it one more time, and at least it worked on that computer.  Of course, the reason I retired the old computer was that it was no longer starting reliably and was very slow. 

When I got to the church, I once again went searching online for solutions.  I finally went to a different website, and there was a simple fix that worked.  There was a time when I didn't think there was any use for computers in the church.  Now I can't function without my computer.  Of course, the time I spent on the computer issues means I'm behind on my other work.  I'm missing Administrative Assistant.  I hope they are enjoying their vacation. 

We continue to have people coming through the office, and that helps. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Wonderful Problem

The communion servers usually sit in the center sections of the front row.  One of them came up to me and said, "Where do you want us to sit?  We have people sitting in the front row now."   We agreed it was a wonderful problem to have, and we quickly solved it. 

I think most of our snowbirds are back now, so it must be spring.  One of our couples opened their summer cabin this past week.  I mowed the lawn this afternoon for the first time.  The surgeon gave me permission to try it, but told me to stop if it causes pain in my arm.  Daughter came home with me after church to help me.  Except she was in a mood.  She didn't help, she watched and kept asking me to take her home.  I made her wait while I finished mowing.  I think my wrist tolerated it well. 

Administrative Assistant is on vacation for the next two weeks.  I'm not looking forward to that.  Tomorrow, though will be busy.  We put in the bulletin that people should check with me before coming to the church this week, as there were times I would be out of the office.  I had two people check with me today about tomorrow morning.  I promised to be there.  I do enjoy the conversations when people stop by.  I'll need those conversations with AA gone. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Good Intentions, and Better News

I had intended to start blogging more regularly this week.  Obviously, that didn't happen.  However, I do feel the depression is lifting.  I continue to be very busy at the church, and I am beginning to function a bit at home, too.  Today is Administrative Assistant's last day before a 2 week vacation.  She needs this vacation, as she has been tired and a bit grumpy lately.  Treasurer and I are both a bit worried about managing without her.  We will manage-- we have before and will again.  I did warn her, though, that with our memory issues, we might not remember her when she gets back.  She thought that was hilarious.  It has been an ongoing conversation that we need someone with a younger brain and better memory in the office.  Treasurer brought in a section of the newspaper to show us an article this week, and then couldn't remember what he wanted to show us. 

I let my phone at the church last Sunday.  AA and her husband (Sound Guy) were leaving at the same time, and AA suggested I go back in and get it.  The door was already locked, and I decided I could make it until I returned to church for the special evening service.  When we got to the restaurant, I was talking to some members about vacation plans.  Except I couldn't give them dates because I didn't have my phone.  I stopped back by the church after lunch to retrieve my phone. When I confessed I'd gone back for it that evening, SG turned to AA and said, "I told you!"  I guess I'm predictable. 

Daughter helped me clean my office at the church.  I am eliminating paper, so the notebooks I had for each committee were emptied of documents and stored.  All of the documents are in my computer, so there is no reason to keep paper copies around. 

I still have a great deal of work to do here at home, but I've made some progress on the piles of papers that were overtaking the kitchen.  I hope to get some more done today.  What I'd really like to do is be out working in the yard, but it is gray day and looks like it is going to rain. 

Daughter seems to be doing well-- she continues to impress us with her growth in the office.  She comes in on Thursday morning and gets right to work.  She  is completing her 4 regular tasks in less time each week.  It really is impressive, and we are grateful.