Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Life Without Summer is Just S.A.D.

I wonder why I have such difficulty enjoying fall and the changing of the seasons? I have several friends and some family who think that fall is the greatest thing since sliced bread. They tell me what they love about it--the beautiful tree colors, the cooler temperatures, Halloween and costume parties, apple and pumpkin picking--and I HEAR what they're saying. And yet, those good reasons still don't convince me to appreciate the fall season very much. I sometimes feel guilty about that.

In my mind, fall represents the end of everything I love about the outdoors--green leaves on the trees, boating, fishing, camping, swimming, gardening, being outside until 9:30 at night, having all the windows open in the house, etc. People are much more healthy and hardy in the summer months. Well, at least in Michigan they are. Colds and the flu are pretty much non-existent during the summer in our state. Life is just so much fuller and enjoyable during the summer months.

Tom always tells me he thinks I suffer terribly from S.A.D.--Seasonal Affective Disorder. And I know he's right. I truly do not appreciate, and have no use for, the weather during the months of October through April. I don't like the colder weather. I don't care for snow. I can't stand the thought of the upcoming cold/flu season. And I absolutely hate the constant darkness that is there both when I leave for work, and when I get off of work. There isn't a lot of sun in Michigan during fall and winter, and I'm a person that NEEDS sunshine in my life in order to function normally and be my usual, happy self.

My response to the non-summer seasons isn't great. I get depressed and in a funk. I have no desire to leave the house or really do much of anything. I don't enjoy life much during these months. I just grit my teeth and force myself to go through them. Even worse, I find myself actually getting pissed off and angry at the cold temperatures, snow and darkness, as if they're a person or something! LOL

The older I get, I feel compelled, almost determined at times, to find some way to be a snowbird, to live in Michigan during May - September, and then move to a warmer, sunny state during the rest of the year. So far, I haven't figured out a way to make this happen since Tom and I aren't of retirement age yet, and snowbirds require a consistent source of income. Our income comes from our jobs, and I don't know of too many jobs where you can live in Michigan during the warmer months, and then head to, say...sunny Arizona during the winter months. However, it is a really nice dream that is always in the back of my mind. Who knows? Some day, we might find a way to make this work!  :-)

In the meantime, let me apologize up front to my friends and family who enjoy fall, winter and spring. If I don't respond favorably or joyfully to your Facebook posts of "I just LOVE this cooler weather," please forgive me. It's not my fault. It's a psychological thing. It's the S.A.D. thing. But one day, I hope to be able to turn that into a G.L.A.D. thing!  :-)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday Bits of Fluff

Hooray! No major stories today--bad or good! Just a bunch of bits and pieces while I'm sitting here at the computer waiting for my items in the oven to get done baking.

"What items?" you ask. Well, Tom & I volunteered to bring the "treats" for tomorrow morning's Coffee Hour/Bible Study after church, so I decided to make 2 cinnamon crunch cakes, a loaf of pumpkin bread and a loaf of banana nut bread. I baked the 2 breads earlier this afternoon, and the crunch cakes are just about done. "Did you make them from scratch?" you're wondering. Nahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Didn't have time for the homemade stuff today. But tomorrow I plan to use the latest zucchini from our garden to make 3 or 4 loaves of zucchini bread. Now THOSE will be homemade! (I think I can, I think I

We are babysitting Dante tonight, and he's sleeping right now on his grandpa while grandpa is leaning back in his recliner. They are so cute together. Dante will be up any minute wanting to drink his last bottle of the night. Then I plan to give him a bath, and he should be sound asleep by 10 p.m. or so.

We're babysitting because today is Angela and Jason's 1-year anniversary as far as dating. They went to a movie, then dinner. I hope they have fun. Angela deserves a good time since she's been working so hard at her new job this past week.

Speaking of her job, those people there are idiots, unfortunately. Early this week, one of the other Vet Techs that Angela really liked called the boss and quit on the spot (she'd been there for a couple years) saying she had another job. The owner FLIPPED OUT and started yelling in the office, telling the remaining employees, "Well I was going to fire here anyway in 2 weeks" and "I'm going to find out where her new job is and let those people know what a rotten employee she is. I hope they call me for a reference on her because I'm going to trash her, big time!" Wow. Angela was shocked. Can you say, "vengeful" and "unprofessional"? The owner could get sued for libel if she did those things! Angela DID NOT like hearing all that. She came home and told us, "Guess I better make sure I never piss off the boss!"

Angela has been busting her butt for these people, but today, all of the techs got pulled into the owner's office separately, and then Angela got called in. Apparently, the owner asked the other techs how Ang was doing. Two of the three said she was doing great; but the head technician, who is a really b*tchy and mean woman, said Angela was too slow at doing certain things yet. Well, HELLO! Ang hasn't worked at all in over a year because she was pregnant, and she also has to learn all the procedures and protocols of this new vet too. She's only been there TWO WEEKS! I think it's going to take a little longer than that for her to get up to speed totally. On a positive note, the owner told Angela that she really liked her, and that Ang was a really hard worker, had a great attitude, and learned quickly. However, then she said, "But if we had to decide today whether you were going to be hired on as a permanent employee, we'd have to say, 'no.'" She just couldn't believe it.

Another problem is that the 3 remaining techs are long-time good friends and live in the same city (hang out together on weekends, etc.). So Ang is the "outsider" just like the gal that quit was before she quit.

Now Ang is wondering if she'll even have a job at the end of her 30 day trial. And she is SO angry because she is working SO hard for these people. She literally has sweat on her forehead and upper lip some days because she's cleaning the rooms so hard, or they're running her around like crazy. The sucky thing is, this vet has a reputation for always having a Help Wanted sign out front, and the sign got put out there again today. That leaves Ang wondering if they are going to hire one more Tech because some of the girls are working O.T.right now, or if they're hiring a tech to replace her. And it makes her VERY ANGRY because she is such a conscientious employee. The other techs move faster than her because they've all been there 10 years +, and they are sloppy. They draw up too much or too little medicine for injections, they're supposed to take each animals temperature and pulse when they're in the exam room, and they don't, etc. Lots and lots of shortcuts. Ang isn't used to working that way. It's all about getting as many animals thru the rooms as possible and the almighty dollar.

So we'll see if, after the remaining 2 weeks of Angela's trial period she gets hired on permanently. She's so irritated with this new place that she plans to start sending out resumes again now.

As her mom, I just want to go to her office and tell off the owner and that nasty head technician, ya know? But Ang is 25 years old, and she has to learn how to take care of herself in life. Still...mamma don't like when folks mess with her baby girl!!!!!!!!!!!!  LOLOL

Well, I have more work to do tonight, so I better get going. Hope all of you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Healthy Test Results

 On this day of remembrance for those who lost their lives on 9/11/10, I find myself being EXTRA thankful that recent test results have come back with good news as far as my overall health is concerned.
A few years ago, I felt like my body was starting to fall apart as initial physicals and test results showed several potential and scary problems. I put off having the necessary tests done (6 different ones) for two years, because I didn't want to hear any "bad news." However, this fall I decided to face my fears and have all the tests run. And so far, thanks be to God, all of the results have been great, with only one test left to go. What a relief!
I found out today that the stress test I had last week was totally normally. My heart is doing what it's supposed to do, and there are no blockages. Woo hoo!
Tomorrow I'll have the final test done, and I'm praying it will come out well also. And then I can sit back, relax, and wait for all the lab, x-ray and doctors' bills to come in! LOLOL 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Always Such a Busy Bee!

I don't know why I always feel like I'm so busy in life. I always mean to read other peoples' blogs and post updates to mine, but somehow, just never get around to doing it. I think there is just so much activity in our house right now that I don't have the "quiet time" I need to be able to sit and concentrate on my blog. Plus, it takes time to post pictures (as well as semi-intelligent comments), and time seems to be the one commodity I'm always short on. In any event, I'm sorry I've been so lax lately, and ask for your patience as I try to find the time to post regularly.

I don't have any pics to post right now. I'm sneaking in this update while at work. Nine times out of ten, it's more quiet and peaceful here than it is at home! LOL That's how life is when you have 4 adults and one baby living under the same roof.  :-)

Things are going ok in our lives for now, and I'm thankful for that. Angela started working at an area vet last week, and she's been thrilled to begin receiving paychecks again. We thought she had been hired in permanently already, but she told us that the owner has all new employees work on a trial basis for 30 days, and if that works out well, then they will be hired and given a raise to boot. We're keeping our fingers crossed that Angela will do well and be hired permanently. Then she can stop borrowing so much money from us so we can pay OUR bills better.

It's been tough for Ang to go back to work and leave Dante. But most of her hours are afternoon and evening, so Dante only has to stay with the sitter for a few hours each afternoon, and then all day on Friday. At least she got to stay home with him for 4 months before heading bacak to work! The company I was working for when I had her made me come back to work after only 6 weeks, and that was tough!

Ang & I are sharing my car (her fiancee, Jason, drives HER car to work each day as he doesn't own a car, but he has also taken over making the payments and insurance, which has been helpful for us), and on the days she works, Tom has to pick me up on his way home from work (he doesn't mind). If Jason has to work late, then Tom has to go get Dante from the sitter's first, then pick me up at work. This sounds complicated, but has actually not been much of a problem as my work, the sitter's house, and our home are all in our town.

Ang continues to see various docs in search of help for her anxiety, depression and "focus" problems. She finally found a good Psychiatrist/Psychologist combined doctor earlier this month, and after her first (or maybe second) appointment, he diagnosed her with ADHD and possibly bi-polar disorder. (Tom & I had always wondered if she had ADD when she was a kid, but the doctors always shrugged off that idea...idiots!) The doc pulled her off some meds she'd been on, and is trying her on some new meds. Of course, while this is going on, she NEEDS to be able to work and function in life, and the transition between meds can sometimes make that difficut. The doc also scheduled her to see a behavioral specialist as Angela has nervous tendencies like picking her cuticles until they bleed and twisting her hair constantly. As a parent, you always wonder, "Why does she have these problems? Where did they come from?" and you hope that it's not due to anything you did while raising her. We're hoping that eventually, the various forms of therapy and meds will allow her to function normally in life.

The good news is that Ang has finally "crossed over" from being the party animal she was last summer, to the wonderful, loving and responsible mommy she is now. Woo hoo! That's certainly a relief for Tom and me. She's doing a great job at being Dante's mommy!!

Tom still has almost no work at his job, and he keeps wondering when "the hammer" is going to come down with folks losing their jobs (maybe him included). It's stressful for him to be "in limbo" like this. He continues to search for other jobs in his field, but no such luck yet. Also, he has an appointment with a diabetes specialist on Sept. 26 because his diabetes has been fairly out of control this past year. A lot of that is due to stress, I know. Hopefully, this new doc can help get him back on track.

I finally went in for my stress test last week too. I've had 2 docs tell me in the past few years that they hear a slight heart murmur in my chest. I'm waiting on the test results and hope to hear something this week.

Tom & I spent a couple of days up at the Rifle River on our friends property over Labor Day weekend. The weather was wonderful, and we enjoyed a 2-hour tubing trip one day, and then sitting in our chairs IN THE RIVER with our friends the second day. Of course, the river was ICE COLD as always; but it certainly was refreshing. Tom & I even dug out our 2-room tent and blow-up queen-sized bed (on a fold-up frame cuz I HATE sleeping on the ground) for the trip. It was cozy in there, and fun to tent camp again. Since we had left Rocco at home with Ang, we were able to stop at some cool stores on our way home too. We didn't buy much, but the window shopping sure was fun!

This past weekend, we attended a wedding reception for a guy Tom has worked with for 20 years or so. The bride and groom didn't have a ton of money, but they did some clever things with what they did have, and their wedding (on the beach in East Tawas two weeks ago) and reception Saturday night were really beautiful. Gave me some great ideas for making Ang's wedding and reception more affordable if they get married like they say they're going to next year.

Yesterday, we attended church at a sister congregation about 1/2 hour from our house because one of our godsons, who is 12 years old now, was taking his First Communion, and he wanted us to be there for it. We got to go up to the altar with him and everything. It was a beautiful service. Afterward, his folks (his dad is the pastor of the church we attended) invited us back to their house for lunch. We had been VERY close friends with this family in the late 1990's and early 2000's, but once the dad became a pastor, he got so busy that the 4 of us couldn't find time to get together these last 4 years. Things in his life are finally settling down more now, and it was just wonderful to be able to hang out with each other again and share a lot of laughs and good times. We left their house feeling really happy and refreshed, and they made us promise to start getting together with them again regularly. What a nice morning and afternoon!

Geez, I better get back to work! The time has just slipped away from me here. Have a pleasant week, my blogger friends!