Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2011

"So, I went to confession, and ended up in a bar..."

Sounds like a joke, but it's what happened this afternoon.  I'm visiting my 86 year old mom for the holiday weekend, and suggested this afternoon that we head over to her parish for confession.  We went...and waited. No priest.  Really.   Huh.  (My mom said this was not all that unusual for the priest not to show up for confessions on Saturday afternoons.  When they are scheduled.  And published.)

So, we left and headed to the local tavern for a wet burrito, one of Mom's favorites.  Do you think we got points for showing up at confession?  Geez......

Saturday sighing....

Dark-haired Daughter has been home for about 3 weeks now, and we've had our first string of bad days.  Now, when we have bad days, I'm not talking about moodiness and being out-of-sorts; I'm talking about Daughter banging her head against the wall so hard it leaves a fist-sized dent because she is told she can't use the phone.  I'm talking about Daughter threatening to drown herself in a near-by pond.  Bad days.

The worst part for me is the stress it creates for the other kids.  I literally see them shrink.  They flee - anywhere but home is a good place, and that is exactly the opposite of what life is supposed to be.  I haven't been sleeping, so...here I am, up way too early on a Saturday morning (I've spent the last two hours curled up in a chair in the living room, listening to quiet music), and wondering if God hears my prayers.

Listen, God, to my prayer;
do not hide from my pleading; hear me and give answer. I rock with grief; I groan at the uproar of the …

Are you a 2/3rds Catholic?

Loved this article by Randy Hahn!


"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."

That quote from Samuel Beckett was probably never meant to reference one's spiritual life, but it sure applies.  Paul Shoemaker has written a book called Brilliant Mistakes in which he encourages (!) companies to use mistakes in a thoughtful way. 

From Forbes.com, here is a snippet of what the book suggests for corporations:

Brilliant Mistakes starts from the premise that 99% of successes come from failures. Therefore, he argues that it’s puzzling for failure to have such a negative label. And he believes that since mistakes are so valuable, people should learn from them. This observation leads Schoemaker to three implications for managers:
Mistakes should be planned. Companies go to great lengths to avoid mistakes. Instead, Schoemaker argues that organizations should not let them occur by chance but should actively plan to make mistakes. His common sense kicks in here and he suggests that companies should manage their mistake-making in a disciplined manner. Specifically, t…

Totally enchanted by...

the sculptures of Jin Young....

Religion, iPhones, church and apps....

This Wall Street Journal article shows that religion and technology are getting quite cozy. 


Some specialized apps help parents keep track of what their children are studying in Sunday school and offer discussion tips. Church leaders also hope the apps will entice teenagers to stay involved with their churches and will help provide spiritual guidance when they're away.
"That's their world: their iPhone. If it ain't in their pocket, it's not real," says Tom Wray, a consultant within the Archdiocese of Cincinnati who has promoted such apps to Catholic churches.
So far, mostly large, mainline Protestant and evangelical churches have had customized apps made, developers say. Typically, the apps aggregate information including a pastor's blog, church calendar and sometimes a public, digital wall on which congregants can request and offer prayers.

What about it?  Has technology impacted your faith life?

Yet another good reason to be Catholic...

From Hillare Belloc:

“Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!”


Addendum:  Unless you're in Utah, where daily drinking is set to be out-lawed in 2012. No kidding.

Three Good Things Thursday

1.  Okay, this first one is tough, since I've had this never-ending-tooth-saga for months now, but the good thing is that I have insurance.

2.  Another good thing is that I got to sleep in a bit today, even though I had to go to the dentist.

3.  Finally, it's a good thing that my friend Jeanna made me birthday cake truffles for Christmas.  You know when the little monk who made champagne for the first time declared,  "It's like drinking the stars!"?  Yeah, well, these little nuggets of sugary awesomeness are like that.  Yummmmmmm.

Delight in reading

Do you have a young reader, say 8 to 12 years old?  Are you looking for something that will appeal to either a boy or girl?  Want fun, wholesome adventure?  Have I got a treat for you!

Welcome to Patria offers a entire kingdom to explore, teasing one with the idea of "stout hearts and whizzing biscuits".  I personally joined Madame Mimi's Well-Ordered School for Ill-Mannered Girls (and Heaven knows, it's the place for me!), which promises to take me from an awkward flibbertigibbet to a poised and learned young lady capable of sipping soup at the Castle with the most delicate of slurps, and conversing with the King on subjects ranging from epic poetry to how best to prepare Mousse au chocolat. Perfect!  (There's a Knighthood of the Blue Sock for the young man in your life.)

There's a lovely map to explore online, and the books are available from a variety on sources and downloadable on e-readers.  Looks like good fun for young readers, and for those families…

Feast of the Holy Innocents

The Holy Innocents bore witness to you not by speaking but by dying.
Lest we get to caught up in the sentimentality of a baby borne in a manger, the Church, in Her great wisdom, gives us two feasts to ponder immediately after Christmas:  the feast of St. Stephen, the first martyr for the faith, and the feast of the Holy Innocents, the babies slaughtered by Herod's men as he seeks to kill off the rival he thought he had in Christ.
Christ's birth is a joy and a wonder, but we are to be careful not to make it into a syrupy, greeting card moment depicting a lovely poor family overcoming great odds to bring a baby into the world.  This baby is not any baby:  He's God, and He's come for a reason.  And the reason is to bring souls, at great cost, to God.  Christ says in Matthew:  "My mission is to spread, not peace, but division."  The division is God's side, and everything else, between which lies a great chasm.
The two feasts of St. Stephen and the Holy Innoce…

5 things you should stop doing in 2012

I am loathe to jump on the end of the year band wagon, but this IS a good time to take stock of where we're at in our spiritual lives.  With that, 5 things you should stop doing in 2012.

1.  Stop spiritual practices that don't work for you.  The Rosary is a lovely, wonderful meditation.  It doesn't work for everyone.  Lectio Divina is awesome - if it helps you develop spiritually.  Listening to Gregorian chant - uplifting!  But not for everybody.  If you've been struggling to do something because you think you SHOULD, but it doesn't work for your life-style, personality, spiritual life...then stop.  Do what works.

2.  Stop putting off the Sacrament of Confession.  Make it a regular part of your life.  Regular.  As in, at least once a month.

3.  Stop zoning out at Mass.  The new translation seems to be helping us be attentive, but we all have the tendency to "zone out" during the Mass.  Really practice being attentive - get a missal, follow along.  Work h…

Down time between the holidays

This is a very practical article on what to do this week when things are a bit slow at work.  Even if you work at home, and spend a lot of time on the computer, there are some things to glean here. 

Of course, my fave tip here is updating your work wardrobe.  If you've slipped into the habit of thinking greys and browns are colorful additions to your wardrobe, or keep that schlubby sweater at your desk to wear every day, or think that Ugg boots look good on anyone over the age of 12,  maybe you should take advantage of some after-Christmas clothing sales....

Total Rip-off Tuesday

Wherein I "rip-off" another writer.  I am going to be doing some reading from St. Teresa of Avila, so here is a bit from the beginning of her "Interior Castle":

I thought of the soul as resembling a castle, formed of a single diamond or a very transparent crystal, and containing many rooms, just as in heaven there are many mansions. If we reflect, sisters, we shall see that the soul of the just man is but a paradise, in which, God tells us, He takes His delight. What, do you imagine, must that dwelling be in  which a King so mighty, so wise, and so pure, containing in Himself all good, can delight to rest? Nothing can be compared to the great beauty and capabilities of a soul; however keen our intellects may be, they are as unable to comprehend them as to comprehend God, for, as He has told us, He created us in His own image and likeness.

Urbi et orbi 2011

Pope Benedict XVI's message for Christmas:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Rome and throughout the world!

Christ is born for us!  Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to the men and women whom he loves.  May all people hear an echo of the message of Bethlehem which the Catholic Church repeats in every continent, beyond the confines of every nation, language and culture.  The Son of the Virgin Mary is born for everyone; he is the Saviour of all.

This is how Christ is invoked in an ancient liturgical antiphon: “O Emmanuel, our king and lawgiver, hope and salvation of the peoples: come to save us, O Lord our God”.  Veni ad salvandum nos!  Come to save us!  This is the cry raised by men and women in every age, who sense that by themselves they cannot prevail over difficulties and dangers.  They need to put their hands in a greater and stronger hand, a hand which reaches out to them from on high.  Dear brothers and sisters, this hand is Christ, born in Bethlehem of the…

Did you hear what I heard?

I don't know about you, but I am finding the language of the new translation of the Roman Missal to be beautiful and up-lifting.  Of course, you have to be paying attention - actively listening - or little you miss little gems.

This was the prayer after Communion at Midnight Mass for Christmas:

Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God,
that we, who are gladdened by participation
in the feast of our Redeemer's Nativity,
may through an honorable way of life become worthy of union with him.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


I latched onto that "honorable way of life".  It makes me think of  the great saints:  Teresa of Avila, the Blessed Mother, Augustine.  It makes me think of the little saints, patient in their humility:  Andre of Montreal and Solanus Casey.  It makes me think of my dad and my sister-in-law.

As we near the end of the year, we are going to be seeing a lot of those lists that get trotted out at this time:  the best-dressed of 2011, the top ten movies of the …

Mary Cassatt Monday

Blogging Break

Be back after Christmas. May you enjoy a blessed Christmas, and I'll be back to blogging next week!

December 23 Nativity

"My Heart is Bethlehem"

Eternity stepped into time,
And drew a mortal breath.
Mystery so clearly seen
The world could not forget

That in the town of Bethlehem,
In the most unlikely place,
God, the father wore
A child's face.

There's something in the heart of God,
So purely meek and mild
That finds its best expression in
The longings of a child.
For every child's heart is hungry,
To be found and loved and known
A someone who would make their heart a home.

My heart is Bethlehem
I will make room for him.
This humble dwelling place
Made worthy by his grace.

This child is still adored,
Because he still is born
Deep in the hearts of men,
(To love and not condemn)

My heart is Bethlehem
I wish for you this Christmas Eve,
That you would find true peace.
But silent nights are holy nights
And wonders never cease.
There's no remembering,
The ghost of christmas past
For God's forgiveness finds your heart at last.
(lyrics by Michael Peterson, recorded by John Berry - look it up, you won't be sorry.....)

December 22 Nativity

Putting on your elf

I am the first to admit that I have not been in the Christmas spirit this year.  Our financial strains have been enormous this past month, we've had to replace a vehicle and I've had root canal surgery - twice, same tooth.  But, by golly, yesterday I was determined to do some decorating and get the house looking like Christmas.  The vicodin from the dentist probably helped.

I wrangled Curly-Haired Daughter and Youngest Son and put them to work.  They dusted and put out Nativities, hung some ornaments from light fixtures, swept and generally made merry.

Tallest Son was assigned to dish washing and general kitchen cleaning, and we scurried around him.  He was a grouch, a grinch, a general pain.  He was (as determined as I was to make merry) determined to be a brat.

Finally, after the umpteenth grumpy remark, I told him,  "Look, either you get in the Christmas spirit RIGHT NOW, or you have to find another ride to work."  His response,  "You're kidding?!  You&#…

Expanding your vocabulary, and making friends with Wil Wheaton

Oh, the joy of words!  How much fun to increase one's vocabulary, learn something new and fly one's freak flag!  From the Mental Floss website, a list of words one MUST know - just for the sheer fun of it!  Besides, who wouldn't want to know a word that literally means "grief bacon"??


1. Kummerspeck (German): Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.
2. Paper-belly: A person unable to drink liquor straight, or one who grimaces after drinking.
3. Petrichor: The clean, pleasant smell that accompanies rain falling on dry ground. It’s from the Greek petra (stone) and ichor (the blood of Greek gods and goddesses). The term was coined by two Australian researchers in 1964.
4. milliHelen: The quantity of beauty required to launch just one ship.
5. Dysania: Having difficulty getting out of bed in the morning.
6. Karoshi (Japanese): Death from being overworked.
7. Lawn Mullet: A neatly manicured front yard and an unmowed mess in the back.
8. Koi…

December 21 Nativity

Thinking about blogging

Blogging can be hard.

Okay, it's not hard like childbirth, or walking barefoot on Legos, or teaching a teen to drive without losing your mind.  But still hard.

Actually, it's only good, relevant blogging that's hard.  Anyone can make a blog, throw up pretty pictures day after day, and call it it a day.  But most of the bloggers I know really want to make a difference, start conversations, have some fun, be creative and delve a little deeper into issues that are important to them.  And that's hard.

One of the hard things is that you sometimes feel like you're talking to yourself.  Some of the "big" bloggers get a lot of traffic and feedback, but most of us scrape by and aren't really sure what people think of what they're doing. 

Jennifer Fulwiler had this conversation at the National Catholic Register, as to why there weren't any Catholic mom blogs on a "top 100" list of mom blogs.  There was a lot of speculation about what makes a g…

Total rip-off Tuesday

Wherein I "rip-off" another writer, artist, etc.  No taking credit - just sharing good stuff.

Today, from Fr. Erik Richtsteig at the Orthometer blog, on Random Liturgical Gripes:

Advent Police. My first year at the seminary, the Ice Queen (tm) decreed that there would be no Christmas decorations at all during Advent. (I think she was descended from Burgermeister Meisterburger.) It made for the most depressing December EVER! Jesse Trees just don't cut it. I hear more and more of similar bans. Get a grip folks. I understand the desire to appreciate the Liturgical Season of Christmas, but get a grip folks. Saying Merry Christmas does not destroy Advent and neither do Christmas lights and trees. This problem can addressed by the gradual introduction of Christmas decorations culminating on December 25th and by leaving them up until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Liturgical Puritanism in not the answer.

(Later addition) Liturgical Newspeak.  "Eucharistic …

December 20 Nativity

December 19 Nativity

10 really good points

....from an Orthodox website, on how to get your spiritual life in order:

1. Praying Daily
Have a regular prayer rule that includes morning and evening prayer.

2. Worshiping and Participating in Sacraments
Attend and participate in the Divine Liturgy receiving Holy Communion regularly as well as regular participation in Confession.

3. Honoring the Liturgical Cycle of the Church
Follow the seasons of the church and participate in the fasts and feasts of the Church.

4. Using the Jesus Prayer
Repeat the Holy name whenever possible throughout the day or night.

5. Slowing Down and Ordering Your Life
Set priorities and reduce the stress and friction caused by a hurried life.

6. Being Watchful
Give full attention to what you are doing at the moment.

7. Taming the Passions
Overcome your habits, attachment to your likes and dislikes, and learn to practice the virtues.

8. Putting Others First
Free yourse…

December 18 Nativity

Your Saturday listening pleasure

"Dervish":  I Buried My Wife and Danced On Top Of Her

December 17 Nativity

Rocking the cradle AND ruling the world

Read how women's roles in the developing world are changing economies and lives.

December 16 Nativity

Scene from Langston Hughes' "Black Nativity"

Christ in a cab

I don't ride in cabs very often.  Hardly ever.  But I did today.  And I met Christ there.

My driver was loquacious.  He had Christmas music playing, which sort of annoyed me, since I've been avoiding Christmas music.  I'm just not in the mood.  But there you go.  Then he mentioned that he hadn't always celebrated Christmas:  "before I knew Jesus".  He told me that he'd been driving a cab a number of years ago, Christmas Eve, waiting in a Rite Aid parking lot for a fare.  The radio was on, and the announcer said, at the stroke of midnight, that many people were now celebrating the birth of Christ....and then it started to snow.  The cab driver said,  "That's when I believed."

He said he'd spent a Christmas in San Diego,  "Crazy....heh....lights on palm trees."  He mentioned a Christmas in the Marine barracks when he was a young man, "We made the best of it."  He laughed and said "All I want for Christmas this year…

It's still 43 people too many, but good news about the death penalty in the US

Death sentences dropped dramatically this year, marking the first time in more than three decades that judges and juries sent fewer than 100 people to death row, according to a new report from the Death Penalty Information Center.


Just 78 offenders were handed capital sentences, and only 43 inmates were executed — almost half as many as 10 years ago.

Read the whole story here at NPR.

December 15 Nativity

This is from the Glencairn Museum collection.  The description of this piece and the artists is terrific: The Petershams were a husband-and-wife illustration and writing team who produced many books for children. In 1931 they published a Nativity book, The Christ Child, with text taken from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (Garden City, NY: Doubleday). This pop-up paper crèche, produced in 1933, is adapted from illustrations in that book. In 1949, while living in Glencairn, Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn gave over 100 copies of The Christ Child as gifts to family and friends. The Pitcairns also commissioned two watercolor paintings by Maud Petersham that they used as Christmas cards in the 1960s. Collection of Glencairn Museum.

"D'oh!"

I may be the only person in America who has never seen an episode of  "The Simpsons".  I'm okay with that....I mean, they are ubiquitous, so I get the cultural references.  And today, I had a Homer moment - pure "D'oh!"

There's a little sticky note on my desk, right next to my computer.  It says, "D.B.A.I.", which reminds me:  "Don't be an idiot."  Despite this, I am still an idiot.  I make dumb mistakes, I make non-dumb mistakes, I speak before I think, I leap before I look, I assume I know when I don't.  I am an idiot.

I am in good company.  I think this is why I so love the Communion of the Saints.  They often did dumb things.  Look at Peter - first pope, sure, but complete and total dummy.  Got three chances to stand up and say, "I'm with Jesus" and blew it each time.  Fell into the water when Jesus was standing RIGHT THERE to catch him.

St. Thomas Aquinas:  the Dumb Ox.  (Okay, maybe he doesn't count a…

December 14 Nativity

In the category of "Don't you people have anything better to do?!"

North Korea threatens military action over Christmas lights 
North Korea has threatened South Korea with a “sea of fire” because the Communist state views large tree-shaped Christmas lights placed on the border as “psychological warfare” and a “provocation.”

Total rip-off Tuesday

Where-in I "rip-off" another writer, artist, etc.  Not taking credit - just passing along something good.  Today's choice is a song that I've been trying to hold in my heart lately:




Building 429 "Where I Belong"

December 13 Nativity

December 12 Nativity

"Schnerenschnitte" is German for silhouette, and is a form of paper art.  This one is from Kathryn at the Kitchen Table Crafter.

Gaudete Sunday...and not really happy about it

Today is Gaudete Sunday, the "halfway mark" of Advent that focuses on the joy of the nearness of Christ.  In fact, the readings virtually shout "rejoice, rejoice" at us - He is almost here!

And I'm not very happy about it.

Let's be clear.  Today is not about "happiness".  Happiness relies on external stuff:  your belly is full, you've got the stuff around you desire, you're comfortable, etc.  Joy is a whole other state:  it's about being able to rejoice DESPITE the lack of these things.  Joy is about recognizing that I'm never going to be completely happy in this life - because I'm never going to have all I want here.  It is only in Christ that we find joy.

All that being said, I'm not very happy today.  Our van got totaled this week - right after we borrowed $600 to have it repaired.  I spent the week scrambling to find a school to take Dark Haired Daughter, who got released from residential treatment about a month earlie…

December 11 Nativity

"Tramp art" is a uniquely American form of craft, popular in the Depression and often made by men who rode the rails and wandered the country - "tramps".  I imagine the soul who made this knew a thing or two about not having a place to lay his weary head.

December 10 Nativity

This is done with a technique known as "mola", used by Central American textile artists.

"The Way": wandering aimlessly or seeking the eternal?

I finally got to see "The Way" last weekend, the movie with Martin Sheen as a dad who carries the ashes of his son on the pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago.  It was written, produced and directed by Emilio Estevez (if you've been living under a rock for the past twenty years or so, Emilio is Sheen's son in "real life").

First, it was sheer pleasure watching Sheen.  He's really a fine actor, and this is a nuanced role.  His character is a pretty unhappy man (although he doesn't seem to realize it), a very thin-lipped, constrained man.  Sheen does a superb job of keeping it subtle in a very affecting way.

The rest of the cast is terrific too, although it almost - almost, mind you - slips over the line of buffoonery and caricature.  However, the fine acting and the humor with which the other actors (Debra Kara Unger, Yorick Van Wageningen, James Nesbitt) embody their roles keeps this in check.

The idea of pilgrimage is one that has attracted art…

December 9 Nativity

December 8 Nativity

On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, I thought I'd feature the Nativity of Mary:
Holy Child Mary, mystical dawn, gate of heaven,
you are my trust and hope.
O powerful advocate, from your cradle stretch out your hand,
support me on the path of life.
Make me serve God with ardor and
constancy until death and so reach an eternity with you.

Re-Branding "Women"? Another stupid idea takes hold

In the course of a day, I read some stupid stuff.  I read a lot of inspiring stuff, a lot of uplifting stuff, a lot of  mundane stuff.  But there is plenty of stupid stuff out there.
Today I read this:  Ads To Rebrand Girls
Yeah, apparently, we females aren't good enough on our own.  Major parts of the world  want to get rid of us before we're even born, and now even Americans are 'fessing up to the fact that they'd prefer a boy.  Fast Company thus asked some ad companies to give us - the fairer, weaker, less-wanted sex - a boost.  And the results are horrifying.  Click the link above to see for yourself.
Apparently, you should want a girl because she's funny and high-performing.  We live longer, so perhaps we'll be able to support you in your old age.  We're not very strong, but we are unique. Also, we don't tend to set things on fire. So there.  Have a girl;  they are a great "brand" of human.
What a bunch of hooey.  Hooey, I say.  All this doe…

December 7 Nativity

Le' Advent

Or should it be Adlent?

It seems like my Advent is more Lent this year.  I'm not feeling the joyful anticipation, laced with humble resignation of sinfulness, that Advent is supposed to signify.  Instead, I'm feeling a bit.....hmmmm....penitential.  Is there a word for when penance is thrust upon you?  Perhaps Shakespeare knew something of that:


O! for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
That did not better for my life provide
Than public means which public manners breeds.
Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
And almost thence my nature is subdued
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand:
Pity me, then, and wish I were renewed;
Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink
Potions of eisel 'gainst my strong infection;
No bitterness that I will bitter think,
Nor double penance, to correct correction.
Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye,
Even that your pity is enough to cure me.


Maybe I'm just looking for pity, as the Bard sa…

December 6 Nativity

Total rip-off Tuesday

Wherein I "rip-off" another writer - not taking credit, just passing along something good.

Today's choice:  Fr. Robert Barron on "being good".  If I "feel" like I'm good, am I?

A team of sociologists, led by Catholic University professor William D’Antonio, recently published a survey that has gotten quite a bit of media attention, for it shows that many Catholics disagree with core doctrines of their church and yet still consider themselves “good Catholics.” For instance, 40% of the respondents said that belief in the real presence of Jesus in the eucharist is not essential to being a faithful Catholic. Perhaps the most startling statistic is this: fully 88% of those surveyed said “how a person lives is more important than whether he or she is a Catholic.” In a follow up piece in the Chicago Sun-Times, a reporter asked a number of people on the street for their reaction to these findings. One man said, “I’m a very good Catholic bec…

December 5 Nativity

Joke for the day: you'll have to be Catholic to get it....

A guy goes to a Franciscan church, knocks on the door, a Franciscan opens, the guy says, “Will you say a rosary for me for my intention?” Franciscan says “Sure, what’s your intention?”  Guy says, “I want a Lexus.” And the Franciscan says, “What’s a Lexus?” And the guy says, “Well forget it, I’ll go to another church.”  Goes to the Jesuit church, knocks on the door, a Jesuit opens up and he says, “Father before I ask you something, can you tell me, do you know what a Lexus is?”  And the Jesuit says “Sure, top of the line car. A lot of my parishioners drive it.”  He says “I want one.”  Jesuit says, “I don’t blame you.”  He says, “Will you say a rosary that I get one?”  The Jesuit says, “Sure…what’s a rosary?”

December 4 Nativity

From the University of Dayton Nativity Collection

December 3 Nativity: Just for fun!

Fairfax Church of Christ:  "Bethlehemian Christmas".

December 3 Nativity

From the University of Dayton Nativity Collection

That light at the end of the tunnel: it's a train, isn't it?

After months of being out of our home, Dark Haired Daughter is set to return next week.  Back in January (while on probation for another matter), she assaulted me and her sister and was arrested.  She stayed in detention for months, as Dear Husband and I fought for a residential treatment placement for her.  She's been in treatment since early spring, where she was diagnosed as bipolar.

She's done well in residential.  She always does well in residential - she's been through this a few times.  You see, residential is a place that is staffed 24/7, with strict rules, limitations and limited choices.  For someone with her depth of mental illness and limited cognitive abilities, this is just the type of structure she needs to be successful....and just the type of structure that two parents in a two-job house can't provide.  A staffed facility offers eyes and ears and limits we just can't sustain.

And just to add insult to injury:  for the first time in YEARS, she is d…