Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter Blues

I'm still here. Thank you to all of you who have asked if everything is OK. I suffer from SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder - and 2010 has gotten of to a rocky start. I have started to write several times but they were all whiny posts that I decided not to publish. So another edition of Apple Whine and hopefully I'll find something pleasant to write about.

We had a very relaxing Christmas holiday. My first day back to work found me doing driver training and the weather conditions were awful. I have done skills training in the winter before but never taken a new driver out on my route with me in bad conditions. He did wonderfully but I found the stress exhausting. I have also worked with several drivers his age before, however since he used to play football with my son it made me feel ancient to work with him.

Mom has hit another bump in the road where I feel like I am dealing with a child rather than my mother. She's been forgetful and stubborn. Thankfully my sister deals with her stubbornness better than I do. She doesn't leave her chair unless she has to. She is forgetting to take some of her doses of medication and though she is very unsteady on her feet she only used the walker now and then. After the weeks of physical therapy for her good arm she has stopped doing her exercises. I'm hoping she just has the winter blues too and this will all pass, as it has before.

She has been obsessed with a Meals on Wheels bill that she didn't pay. As soon as a bill comes in she writes a check so she couldn't understand how she missed it. It turns out that she didn't miss it, I did. It came with a meal that was delivered when we were out, probably at physical therapy, and was put in the cooler with her meal since we weren't home yet when they came. I saw only the meal, not the white envelope in the white cooler. We used the cooler again this week when she had a doctor appointment and there it was. She feels much better knowing that it was my screw up and not hers. And I also screwed up in not reading her Medicare Part-D stuff closely at the end of the year. Her plan stopped paying for two of her prescriptions January 1st. Her other plan will cover them but only one month at a time so that will cost her more this year.

Twig started going to a preschool class for three year-olds and is so excited about it! He's only made a few classes so far because he keeps getting sick. His sister has been getting sick too. When Bean called school to say that Sprout wouldn't be there Friday the school secretary said to her, "She's sick AGAIN!?" The latest - Twig has Croup.

It would be nice if other parents would keep their little ones home when they are sick, like Bean does. I had three kindergartner's that coughed all over everyone they could all week, including me. I was constantly disinfecting handrails, seats and windows. They have learned to cough into their elbows but it seems to take three before they get their elbow up.

I've has to endure several meetings at work. Training, scheduling and cut backs. Gov. Paterson is cutting aid to schools and transportation is an obvious place to look to make cuts. I have enough seniority that I will be OK but may have to drive a new route. Others are understandably upset and need to talk about it. I've always had broad shoulders but I'm feeling weighed down.

On a positive note, I started dieting the 1st of the year and have stuck to it reasonably well. I'm down a few pounds and hope to fit into my bathing suit and shorts by winter break ;-)

I also have done fairly well at keeping up my genealogy blog, Apple's Tree. Several of John's family members have joined me in working on his family tree and on another happy note I have been corresponding with one of my cousins. She is connected to the line from which the letters come so it will be fun to swap information and opinions.


  1. Most kids get sick a lot when they are first exposed to groups. Glad you are down a few pounds, that is happy and optimistic even in gloomy January. One foot in front of the other, and break will be here before you know it.

  2. Apple, I can relate to SAD. Winter is my one of my least favorite seasons. I don't know which is worse, fighting through weeks of too much snow and icy roads, or having a winter like this with little-to-no snow and gray, gloomy skies.

    Maybe it's time to find a tanning bed! :-)

  3. I can soooo relate to the SAD. I've got it too. Bad. Each winter seems to get worse as I get older. We've had a mild but exceptionally grey, gloomy winter this year. I like the mild temps but oh how I'd like to see blue skies and sunshine! Sadly, there's none of that in the forecast short or long term. :-(

    Congrats on the successful dieting! I've had lots of good intentions but the SAD has kept me from being successful at losing weight :-(

  4. My kids also went through that constant cold thing. It was really bad with my second daughter, who developed asthma when she was about 18 months old (we initially thought it was croup). When she got sick from other sick students, she would be sick a week with the cold and then another week or two with asthma. And on the SAD thing - I hope it helps if you think of your readers and fellow researchers sending all the good wishes your way they can.

  5. Sounds like you have been busy. Our state (Michigan) is cutting funding per student state wide so we are feeling the pinch here too. We only have 4 routes now and don't see how we can get any less so I think we will all still have our jobs. They are just talking about changing up the routes still which would leave me running a longer route. :(

    I'm glad to hear you are keeping up on your genealogy, it inspires me to work on mine. I really should do up a blog like you have to get distant family members active in the information I need.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a safe week.

  6. Thanks everyone!

    Heather - a genealogy blog is a great way to share and save your family history. And we have a great community of bloggers who are always willing to help and encourage!

    My high school route will have to be longer next year and I'm already at an hour now. They will most likely take my elementary route and split it up so I'll have to drive a longer route out in the country for that one too. At least I'm (hopefully) close to retirement.

  7. I find winter really hard too. There's that urge to hibernate!! Everyday trials become that much harder to handle, but it helps to remember you're not alone!
    It's good that your sister shares the responsibility of caring for your mom. At least you have each other to lean on when the going gets tough.
    Hang in there and keep focusing on the positives, Apple. Spring is getting closer all the while :)
    Sending hugs.

  8. So glad you posted Apple...and shared your struggles with SAD. I also struggle - especially during the gray gloomy days when there is next to no sunshine. I know that's a huge part of the reason why I prefer a job that has me "outside" instead of in - not to mention that I do love the kids (most of the time).

    So glad you have some help caring for your Mom. I am too far away to be much more than moral support for my's frustrating.

    Hang in there...Hugs

  9. Wonderful sharing. SAD is such a challenge. I keep 100 watt bulbs in every room of my house. I can not handle dim light or extended cloudy days.
    I will not talk about school, that is a forbidden soap box for me.
    I do identify with you regarding your mother. I am an only child. I wanted to keep her at her home as long as I could, but when she started storing her shoes in the refrigerator and stuffing her meals on wheels down the drain pipes, we had to give in and have her move to an assisted living home. It was hard at first, but she being a teacher decided it was her duty to keep the aides on their toes and make sure they didn't forget anything. LOL... She just can't make decisions for herself or stay on track in a one on one conversation. Don't you love them.

  10. SAD, yep, Carol has it too, might I suggest to all, the wonderful OTT light! I have a HUGE one, floor lamp model, can swing the light around and get it right over my head. And, it helps. I have even found that some nights I have trouble falling asleep if I leave it on tooooooo long. So I do research instead! LOL

    As far as the mom thing, you have my empathy, we are just beginning to deal with this with Man's mother. We may have to go back north because of it. She now says that she talks to Man 2 o 3 times a week on the phone. HA! More like 2 to times a day, and sometimes, that is 2 to 3 times an hour. The last week we have spent up to 5 hours in one day on the phone dealing with her situation. We are in a current state of shock, it happened so fast. Man being an only child makes it even harder.