Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
We won, 45-22. GO INDIANS !! It was a drizzly night and the crowd was small, but the band looked great as usual. Tomorrow they compete in Bands of America at the Georgia Dome. Tickets are $30.00 so it will be attended by me alone. Not looking forward to riding the Marta train home alone tomorrow night @ 10:00 PM. Wish I had enough money for a can of mace.
No greater adventure than riding the rails of Atlanta on Halloween night by myself after 10:00 dressed as a ninety pound weakling. Hopefully all I will get is sand kicked in my face!
I just can't afford to drive to the Dome , pay parking AND buy a $30.00 ticket. Plus the band is eating dinner at the food court at the CNN center...you know that won't be cheap. I will pack me a bologna sandwich in my purse along with a pair of brass knuckles and num chucks.
Massey has been so excited about this event that I just CAN'T not go. At least she hasn't pressed for the whole family to go, but she wants her Mom there and her Mom WANTS to be there. Whether her Mom SURVIVES the trip is another thing altogether.
I didn't start worrying until tonight at the ballgame when I was talking to my new found buddies that grill the burgers and hot dogs ...great group of down to earth "Boys" that have treated me really nice during my stint as the "Funnel Queen." The grill pit is right next to my funnel cake stand and we have bonded over the football season.
They said to park at the College Park Marta station (already getting scary) take the train to Five Points (a little better with MY hair cut) go upstairs and take the West bound train to the CNN center. May have to walk a quarter of a mile and then I will be there. I am not worried about GETTING there at all. I am leaving at ten Saturday morning. What I am worried about is leaving Halloween night from downtown Atlanta by myself...riding Marta back to College Park and trying to get back to my vehicle in one piece. I have averaged in an extra ten minutes in case of being assaulted or robbed. I won't fight back and will gladly give up my bologna sandwich (I'll bring an extra) in exchange for escaping with my... as of late pretty depressing life. Maybe I can floor them with the details of the life I have been living and if they are an accepting bunch... I may ask for donations.
All is said in jest, but all of this is in the back of my mind...
I told my husband that I would call him on my cell the minute I arrived at a Marta stop going home and would talk to him the whole way back to my car. He'd better not pull a Klaus Von Bulow. I ain't no SUNNY and I don't wanna be WHACKED! Besides that who would vacuum the house?
Til Next time , Hopefully... Careful Cotton
P.S. If I do get whacked..at least I was funny one last time, don't ya think?
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Came home ... fed the pups and sat out back for about an hour reading in the glorious sunshine.
Got ready early for work (supposed to be there at four) and went in to roll my silver ware for my night shift so I don't have to do it after I get cut. That always cuts thirty minutes off the time it takes to get out of there.
Had an early pop and had about seven tables going at once. Everyone was really easy to wait on and by the time every one else came on the clock it stalled to a slow dinner. I was cut by 7:00 and walked out of the door before 8:00 with $82.00. Not bad in my book.
Called the kids to see if they wanted me to bring them anything. Massey said she wanted Wendy's. Zach had a girl over and I told Massey to find out what they wanted and call me back.
Of course she sent their order in a text. You gotta love that dollar menu at Wendy's!! Fed all three of them for ten bucks, and Zach eats like a small horse.
Zach's friend had wanted a chicken sandwich and once I doled out the food in the kitchen all the teens scattered with their food. Massey came back to the kitchen and said that I had given her bacon cheeseburger to Zach's girl and she was already upstairs chomping away on it. I went upstairs with the chicken sandwich in my hand and told her I had given her the wrong sandwich and she said "Really?" I wanted to ask if what she was eating tasted like chicken...but she seemed happy with her free meal or else felt bad about me goofing up her order.
She said she didn't even realize it was a cheeseburger. Thank God Tim had been at the house all night or I would wonder if they had been smoking something. Beef/cheese/bacon and chicken on a bun are about as far apart as you can get. The girl seems really sweet though...and I think she is sweet on Zach as well. I went back to Wendy's to get Massey a bacon cheese burger because I really should have gotten some gas on the way home but I like to live on the edge...the edge of the empty gauge. I can go 90 miles on five dollars worth of gas and have proven that point many times but was cutting it close tonight. So I swung through and pumped SIX dollars worth (I could drive half way to to California) and drove back through the Wendy's drive thru. The Latino guy at the first window who takes the money looked at me and remarked "We forget?" I told him no I had given the wrong sandwich to one of my teens and he said "I Sorry."
Got back home to my pouting daughter and gave her the obviously precious bacon cheese burger and my husband came into the room.
He said Great Clips had called , when I was in there today the woman took my $6.99 coupon but charged me the full $14.00 fee. I had not even looked at the receipt but had shoved it in my back pocket with my debit card. I had tipped her in cash and just didn't even look at what I was signing. It was really nice of her to call, I wouldn't have noticed it til I checked my account online and by that time it would have made me mad. She told Tim she had my seven dollars and to stop by and pick it up.
Then Tim told me that Massey had forgotten to tell him she had practice today and when she didn't answer her cell phone this afternoon he had asked Zach's friend if she would drive up to the school to make sure Massey was there. Zach told Tim that his friend didn't have any gas and Tim said "Take your Mom's card and buy her $10.00 in gas." I was LIVID!! I told Tim she could be ALL the way to California for ten bucks!
Maybe that is an exaggeration, but at least now I have Zach's friend owing me a couple of trips to the high school "Pro Bono."
Just a day in my crazy life.
Tim got a job today with a Ford dealership in Griffin selling used cars. Straight commission, but it is better than sitting at home fretting and worrying. If good looks count..he should be a hit.
Shout out to my cousin Frances for finding the ad and sending it to us. I sent her an email thanking her and telling her that they DID hire Tim. Tim told me to tell her to come buy a car.
Guess I'm not the only funny one in my house.
Til next time...COTTON
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Tonight was Trunk or Treat at the high school for the band. All the parents had their trunks and vans decorated...monster mash booming over the stereo, and they emptied out the 18 wheeler that they take to games and turned it into a haunted house. You could hear the chain saw from across the parking lot.
My car wasn't decorated but I had two full trays of candy (the good kind.) I always hated it when people gave out crappy candy when I was a kid. No name candy or stuff you couldn't even GIVE away. So tonight I got Whoppers, Nerds and Milk Duds and set them on two trays in the back of the trunk.
It started to drizzle again as soon as I pulled into the parking lot and I saw Massey going back to the band room to get in her Halloween costume after practice finished. They practiced for two hours out in the parking lot in their tank top unitards. I felt like throwing up when I saw her soaking wet. I brought her two more antibiotics and a 500 Mg Advil and pumped them into her with a bottle of water. She swore she felt okay, but I knew it didn't help being out in the cold rain for two hours in a unitard.
Then she changed into her Halloween costume and the throw up feeling came back to me again. She had on a skimpy Vampire outfit that came to mid thigh. At LEAST she had a cape on that had a hood I could pull up over her already soaked head. Just as they began to go car to car the bottom fell out and it started pouring. I went and got her an umbrella and demanded that she use it.
There were so many cars and so much candy there that Zach and I took the rest of our candy and went home...telling her we would be back to pick her up. We came home and heated up some vegetable beef soup that I made last night and got dry ourselves.
The video is just a rambling short film of my pups gathered around Zach and me in the kitchen and a nice shot of Zach's gansta pants (boys...whadda ya gonna do but love 'em.)
My depression seems to come in waves, like when the phone constantly rings with bill collectors...we ARE paying, just late and their constant reminders just bring me down. My happiness comes in spurts, like when I am with my kids or my dogs and see that I am loved and appreciated. When I am at the high school surrounded by that great bunch of kids that all think I am a "cool" mom with a funky haircut, or at work when my managers tell me my life ought to be a reality show. I told them today that my life IS a reality show. A husband out of work, an oldest son that can't seem to get moving out right. A brother in law out of work as well living on my couch in the living room , two teens trying to act like this is all normal and three dogs just grateful no one has moved into their dog houses...YET!
My manager today asked me what was going to be the name of my show and I have given it a lot of thought since he cracked his little joke. Mmm... maybe "Too Much Cotton To Pick" or maybe "My Bale Runneth Over." How about "Even The Dogs Feel Crowded."
I still have faith that this is just a bump in the road of my life...but it is beginning to feel like a pot hole...or maybe a sink hole.
PLEASE...somebody throw me a rope, and don't let me put it around my neck!
At least I can still make jokes and laugh about the situation. When I lose my sense of humor I will know that I am really in deep doo doo. Keep a pooper scooper handy for me!
Til next time...Cotton and The Crowd (maybe THAT'S a good title for my show)
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Time to take a break.
Last night my husband was acting sick and sounding worse so I called my 23 year old who has graciously moved back in with us at JUST THE RIGHT TIME to see if he was coming home. You never know with a 23 year old. They can stay in their room for a couple of days without you ever seeing them emerge or else they disappear for days at a time with no warning or advance notice (I prefer THOSE days.) It was well after midnight and I really didn't want to sleep next to Tim with his sore throat and fever and thought if TJ wasn't coming home I could crash in his room (formerly MY den.) He said he had just gotten off from work and was headed to the house. I told him that was fine I was just wondering.
Zach had a boy over to spend the night, Massey and her germs were in her bed and Tim and his were in my bed. My brother in law was on the couch in the living room so I finally just got out an old comforter and slept on the dining room floor downstairs.
I woke to three dogs spooning me and snoring away. I guess they thought I had a sleepover for them and decided to chaperone. On top of that, TJ didn't even come home...I could have at least HAD a bed.
My neck is sore but I think it is from sleeping on the floor with three dogs right on top of me. Tim refused to go to the Doc in the Box and "thinks" he feels better. Men are so pig headed.
Massey is feeling a bit better, her cough still sounds like she is smoking three packs a day but her fever is gone and she is getting back her appetite. I told her she could NOT go to the competition tonight...too windy and too cool for her to be out in the weather. I actually think she was relieved. Her doctor said she wanted Massey to stay inside until Monday and NO outside activity. As Massey's nurse I followed the doctor's orders.
I know the compettition was a big deal but her health is a BIGGER deal to me and I just couldn't let her go.
The towels are almost dry in the dryer and I have about three more loads to do so I guess my break is over. Dang...being an unpaid nurse is HARD work.
Zach just left with two boys to go out, Tim is still in bed and Massey is in her bed. My other boy who still hasn't come home is back at work and my brother in law is off somewhere. Just me and my doggies who are all gathered around my feet hoping for another sleepover tonight.
I just took out my cam corder and recorded what surrounds me at this moment...three hounds that love me like nobody's business. There isn't a brain between all three of them but I love them to death and just wanted you to see how tightly they cling to Nurse Cotton.
Guess I must being doing something right.
Glad that Massey is better and glad that I had a day off to clean some germs, cook a good meal and chat with ya'll!
Til next time...Nurse COTTON
Friday, October 23, 2009
I had to go into work at 10 this morning and worked til almost 10 tonight.
I got a text from her around 1:00 saying that she had to have her Dad check her out. I called my husband and told him to get the Peach Care card we had just received and take her to HER doctor and just sit in the waiting room until they could see her.
They were there for several hours, but got to see the doctor. She has Strep throat and an ear infection. She has always had problems with her ears and had tubes put in when she was younger.
Thank GOODNESS we took her when we did. She was also prescribed an inhaler for her lungs and at least we fought off obviously impending Pneumonia.
She is upstairs snoozing and I know that she feels better already just having some antibiotic pulsing through her bloodstream.
Good news is that it didn't cost us a dime (except for the $7.50 premium a month.)
Bad news is that my husband is now sick in bed with a terrible sore throat and fever (wonder where he got THAT?)
Tomorrow I will send him to the Doc in the Box at CVS to have a Strep test and send him to Publix to have his antibiotic filled for free.
I couldn't catch a break if you tossed it to me gently!
I have all the toothbrushes boiling away on the stove and have pulled all hand towels , dish towels and have started Lysoling everything.
At least tonight was a bonus shift and that will pay for Tim to go get checked out.
Massey has a band competition tomorrow and the color guard coach has already sent me an email asking if she can perform.
I know that Massey is worried about being in trouble for missing a game AND a competition...but what do they want? Everyone to come down with Strep?
She is contagious for twenty four hours after starting her antibiotics...not to mention that she has been sick for a week while I tried my "Mommy Prescription."
I am just going to wait and see how she feels in the AM...see what the weather is going to do, and do what is best for my daughter.
Going to scrub some bathrooms, door knobs and phone receivers...sleep with my head turned away from my husband since I can't sleep on the couch (see previous post) and pray that I don't come down with it as well.
If I hadn't signed my kids up for Peach Care...I would be out at LEAST $200.00.
I guess THAT is the silver lining in this cloud of germs into which we have all been thrown.
I feel terrible that I let it go on for a week. But when you are raising your third child...you tend to try every avenue you can before running to the doctor.
Instead I put it off too long and have made my girl suffer unnecessarily.
I can already tell you that I am leaning towards keeping her home, letting her get some well deserved rest and letting the "Guard" chips fall where they may.
She was a trooper, she tried her best and I feel horrible that I put her through this.
Just wish I hadn't kissed her on the lips this morning when she left for school...UHH OH!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
We will call her the "Enunciator."
She lives In Tennessee and comes to visit Frances regularly. She has an older sister who lives in Texas and can't come visit quite as often but is just as wonderful a person as Barbara is and they remind me so much of my sister and me that it isn't even funny.
Elizabeth is the older sister who is a very stately and dignified lady very quiet and serious while still charming and warm.
Barbara is more like Phylis Diller with glasses and without the cigarette holder and Mu Mu.
My sister and me are just the same with our our differences.
I call Cindy "Hard Hearted Hannah" whereas I am a bleeding heart always looking for the silver lining and hoping it is close enough to touch. Cindy is more realistic and keeps me as grounded as she can.
Barbara was a teacher for years and I can tell she was a terrific one.
She is an absolute hoot and I can't imagine anyone not loving her to pieces.
She came to visit Frances the day she was released from her stint in re hab and Zach and I were at Frances' house when Barbara arrived.
She blew in like a tornado and immediately took over the room (usually MY job.)
She commanded Zach to "Look" at her when speaking, and Zach has been under her spell ever since.
She came into the house and immediately began firing questions at Frances. She asked how the release had gone at the re hab and told Frances that she looked really cute. Frances responded that she didn't feel cute.
Barbara clasped her hands together, put them on her knees , perched forward and said "Tell me why you don't feel cute."
Frances was at a loss for that one or either she had so many reasons she just couldn't nail one down .
Barbara is so ME and her sister Elizabeth is so CINDY. Poor Frances is getting the double whammy from our family, she may be placing secret calls to re hab to see if she can get back in!
My brother in law has been at Frances' house putting on a new roof and has gotten to meet and know Barbara over the past couple of days...he too is under her spell.
She is so vibrant that a halo seems to hover over her head and her spirits are always so high that you WANT to be her friend or ask her what she is smoking. (Totally kidding, but you get my drift.)
A nicer woman I have never met.
A more upbeat and inspiring woman I have never encountered.
A better friend I have never gained.
Kudos and love go out to this woman that has been related to me for 48 years before I had the chance to meet and immediately love this new found niece of my Dad's cousin .
As my family has dwindled...it has also grown.
She is a joy and a bright spot wherever she shows up...no wonder it finally quit raining when she came to visit.
To impress my 17 year old son is impressive in itself. To be able to make people love you the way this woman can is incredible...once again I feel really lucky.
Maybe I can get her to talk to my bill collectors.
Til next time...COTTON
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Work was easy tonight, pretty slow...but thanks to a couple of friends from high school who tipped me outrageous and thanks to my son's doctor who did the same, I did pretty well AND got home by 8:30.
My son's doctor and his wife are always nice to have at my table because I can pick his brain for free medical advice. I asked him what he thought of the swine flu vaccine and he said that he was getting one and recommended it for me and my kids as well.
That will be next on my "to do " list.
He said he hadn't seen us in a while and I told him through unfortunate events my husband had lost his job and we had lost our insurance. I told him as embarrassed as I felt I had enrolled my kids in Peach Care and been accepted so that I could take them for check ups and have them taken care of by the doctors that normally treat them. I told him I was greatly relieved to see his name in the providers book and his wife was very nice to say that I was smart to use Peach care for my kids when I needed it.
My daughter's doctor is in the book as well so I am booking appointments for them both tomorrow and plan on having all of us take the flu shot.
I told my son's doctor that I had heard arguments on both side of the fence about the swine flu vaccine and he asked me if I had ever seen kids with Polio or Meningitis ? If there was a vaccine that prevents these illnesses, would I get them for my kids? Well there are and I did.
Guess he answered my question of hesitation on getting the swine flu shot.
He is a very down to earth doctor who shoots it straight. I told him I was bringing my 17 year old in for him to slap around....and he said "bring him."
Zach has been off of his ADD meds since sixth grade and that is when all of my problems with his school work started.
Zach has even said recently that he is willing to go back on them to help him in school...HALLELUJAH.
Now I can take Massey to have her knee checked out, get Zach back to making the grades he is capable of and have them both vaccinated against the swine flu.
Massey has finally recovered except for a slight cough she still has but I feel relieved that I now have the option to make them appointments with the doctors that know them and their history and don't have to worry about the cost.
One more thing off my plate to worry about.
I feel overwhelmed most days and down right depressed some days.
Today was a GOOD day and I appreciate it to the fullest.
This Friday the football game is an away game so I was able to pick up a double shift at work, not having to work the funnel cake stand.
I keep telling myself that everything will be alright...I just have to keep believing it.
Thanks Kathy and Rick, Dr. Roberts and all the people who have taken care of me with money, prayers and good thoughts. It will never be forgotten and will most certainly be payed forward.
I just need to keep reminding myself how lucky I am...
Til next time...COTTON
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
During the meeting my cell phone began buzzing in my back pocket. The server next to me reached for hers and I quietly told her it was mine. I looked discreetly at my phone and saw that it was Massey calling. I put my phone back in my pocket only to hear it buzz again...this time with a text: "When are u coming home?" I put it back into my pocket once again only to hear it buzzing again not five minutes later with a voice mail. After two hours they gave us a bathroom break and I took the time to call Massey back and see what was the emergency was.
She wanted to know where the throat spray was...her throat was really sore. For Pete's sake...I am at a meeting in Peachtree City and the throat spray is somewhere in the house in Newnan. Should she ask her dad who is in the living room or should she call me in a meeting at work where the Vice President of the company that I work for is speaking to us about a million dollar renovation of our store?
If you have a teenage daughter, I guess you already know the answer to THAT question.
So back to the draining, droning meeting I went. My doofus co worker (the one who most likely owns an UZI) asked the most inane and idiotic questions time and time again adding at least thirty minutes to the meeting. I started to say "You know, you probably won't be here that much longer so don't bother with the stupid questions."
If I could have been sure he hadn't already brought the UZI into work with him , I would have said it, but since I am the only currently employed person in our household, I just bit my tongue and continued to screen my constant texts from Massey.
I went home after the meeting to see Massey sprawled across her death bed. Cleopatra came to my mind the minute I walked into her room. She is such a drama queen that I never know when it is actual pain or just the angst of a 14 year old girl making everything more dramatic than it needs to be.
She did had a slight fever and I gave her some Advil and a glass of water.
I cleaned house for the two hours I had to spare before I had to be back at work at 3:00. My manager had already called and wanted me to go by the Newnan store to pick up some Swiss cheese and to go bags. That meant I had to leave thirty minutes before I planned to.
Zipped by the Newnan store and went to work.
My husband told me last night that his brother was coming to stay with us for a night from St. Augustine. That is why I went home and cleaned like a demon.
What the HEY...one more person to feed, that is JUST what I need. I felt like asking my husband if he might want to ask his brother to bring a friend? Maybe by that point we could get some help from "Hosea Feeds The Hungry."
I love this brother in law...he is my favorite of the five brothers that my husband has...but this is not the greatest of times for an impromptu visit.
With the house clean enough for a man (that doesn't take much) I flew back to work my 3 to close shift.
When I came home, I almost started crying before I pulled into the drive.
I had already thought about the parking...Tim knows I get ticked if people come over and block my entrance to the garage. I am not picky about a lot of things (well maybe I am ) but I hate it when people come over and park like no one else has to get into the garage .
I keep my space clear in the garage so that I can pull in , get out of my car and walk four feet to the kitchen door.
Tim "Kinda" helped me...KINDA.
I pulled into the driveway with my headlights shining on the horrible tracks I had left in my side yard when Zach's friends had made me squeeze out of the garage the other morning running late for work and got stuck in the mud.
I pulled in and my brother in law had driven a van up from St. Augustine...an "Econoline." It was the size of van that a church would use to go pick up invalids or orphans.
Guess where he had parked it to give me access to my garage?
Not on the street...like a sane person. He had pulled it into my FRONT YARD....you know , the one that has seen five inches of rain in the past three days.
I could see the tracks where he had backed up and re positioned the big clunker (Dang, just park it once if you're gonna "F" up my whole front yard.)
I was sick about it.
I truly love this man and he is a great brother in law...but doesn't ANY man notice how trim, neat and carefully cut I keep my yard...and maybe parking a Shuttle Van in my grass may cause some damage to MY lawn?
While I was cleaning the kitchen tonight my husband came downstairs and I told him that I almost broke into tears when I came home and saw the Land Yacht on my grass. He said he would go tell his brother to move it and I said "NO...I'll look like a bitch."
I mean the damage is already done..I told my husband to just ask him to park on the street tomorrow...so I can get a landscaping rake and try to save what I have LEFT of a yard.
Why is my life this way?
Am I just destined to ALWAYS have something to write about?
I thought the horse messed up the football field on Friday night...You should SEE my yard now...Maybe Princess Senoia brought "Chief" over for a tromp while I was at work.
It sure looks like it.
Til next time...COTTON
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
If you aren't a dog lover you just won't understand how this kind of news hits you. It hits you like a ton of bricks in the chest.
Boxers are the most wonderful dogs you could ever have. They are always smiling and good natured (except Maggie when she got older...she could be a BEE-AACH .) They are happy, playful and are very protective of their own (in my house that would mean ME.)
As I type this post I have both of my Boxers and the Bulldog that my son brought back home with him arranged around my feet. They know who feeds and loves them and their devotion is never ending.
When my husband gets up in the morning and I have worked late the night before...the minute he leaves the bedroom, my Ham jumps onto the king size bed and snuggles down next to me. Rosie is older and too lazy to make the leap , but if she does she is there for the afternoon. Ham will pop up and down as Tim moves about the house, Rosie just thinks that it was so hard to hike her fat butt up onto the king size bed that she will stay there unless she hears Caesar Milan ring the door bell.
My heart breaks for my sister. She loves her Boxers just as much as I love mine and if I had to make the decision she has to, I would be wringing my hands in despair.
She had a paint job today so I went by to check on Bear for her. He was curled up on a blanket and barely lifted his head when I came in. I tried to take him outside but he resisted so I let him be. I just patted his head and rubbed his coat and let him know it was okay and that he could do what ever he felt like..which turned out to be just lay on his blanket and not move much.
I know they are dogs, but when you love your dogs like my sister and I do...they are family and almost just as important to you as the kids you have sucking you dry and always needing something. These dogs never ask for any thing but are grateful for every thing that you give them and show such tremendous love in return that I sometimes wish they could tutor my kids in showing respect.
My sister has decided that they may have Bear put down tomorrow (I HATE that term) but if it happens I told my sister that I wanted to be there. He is a great dog and he has wormed his way into our life and we all love him like he was one of our own kids...in a way he is.
It breaks my heart that he is so sick and has no chance for recovery...what hurts me even more is that we have to watch him die.
My sister's husband already has a plot for him ready.
Dogs come into your life and become one of the family. When they leave you it is like losing a family member. They never complained they never griped or asked for something special, they just loved you for loving them and for them that was enough.
At least we give them a good life and for the years that we have them we love them RIGHT back.
Go rest, Bear...and know that even though you are a canine...you are one of the family and that you will be dearly missed.
I will never forget those Bronze eyes and long legs...you will be remembered and always be missed.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The last few years she has been battling Alzheimer's and has been living in a Nursing Home that specializes in Alzheimer's care.
She was quite the "Grand" Lady...always, even from my earliest memories of her. A divorced Mother of three that raised three great kids and they were always the center and focus of her life.
Her two boys were older and long gone from the nest by the time her daughter and I became really close. Her Mother rode to cheer leading camp with my Mother to pick me up that fateful day in 1977 two days before my own Mother died. The last picture taken of my Mother was sitting on a bench next to this wonderful woman...now they are sitting next to each other again.
After my own Mother died, this woman treated me just like a daughter. She took me to her workplace...Fashion Garment and let me pick out my graduation dress and paid for it. She had me and my Father over for dinner many, many times my senior year in school and helped fill a big gaping hole that my own Mother's death had left in my life.
This woman ALWAYS dressed to the nines (I've often wondered where that expression came from ...but it befits her) and every hair on her head was always fashioned into something you would see Lisa Douglas wear around the farm on Green Acres. Her make up was always perfect and I never saw her in a pair of sweats or one of those loose cotton print frocks so prominent with southern women while in their home.
Once home for the day, she would change into her Leopard print floor length velour bathrobe and somehow look just as regal.
When her daughter and I would go out gallivanting with boys or just other cheer leaders on a weekend night and miss our curfew...she would be standing on the back porch in her leopard robe glaring at us and our comment to each other was always "Oooh...the 'Lep' is riled."
Once I went away to Georgia Southern to college and my friend went to UGA...we weren't as close but she came to my wedding and I went to hers and we always exchanged Christmas cards and saw each other through the years.
She is the most caring and thoughtful daughter I have ever known and her own place is reserved in Heaven just for the love and kindness she has shown her Mother throughout the years. Once her Mother was moved to the home, she visited her regularly and took amazing care of the woman that had taken care of her for so many years. While in the home...the staff called her mom "Miss America" because she still put on that make up and still had that hair done. She may have lost some of her faculties, but she knew she needed to look good no matter where she was.
My sister went by to visit her one day in the home and she said that "Frances" (we'll call her that for this post) sat and said nothing while my sister just chatted with all the women in the day room and talked to Frances as well. My sister said some of the women asked if it was lunch time or dinner time or what day it was...they were all living out their life in the fog of Alzheimer's and just happy someone was there to chat with.
My sister made the comment to the other chatty women that her younger sister Kelly and Denise (we'll call my friend that for this post ) were close friends in high school and were just crazy girls back then into all kind of things .
My sister said that Frances' eyes opened up and she lifted her head as she shook it slowly side to side, and sighed... "Kelly and Denise."
A fleeting memory came back to her ...she remembered us and our shenanigans and my sister had brought her back for a moment.
Denise has loved this woman with the heart, devotion and caring that every Mother wants to have from their child. Denise was lucky to have Frances...but Frances was equally lucky to have Denise.
I told my friend that the greatest thing about their relationship was that her Mother had loved her from before Denise was old enough to remember and that Denise had loved her Mother until even after her Mother COULDN'T remember.
That my friends... is a well raised child... that has remembered the way she was brought up, remembered what an amazing Mother she had and has supported her every step of the way and stuck by her to the ugly end.
Frances is up there in Heaven RIGHT now, sitting by my Mother and probably asking if her hair looks okay. My Mother is probably telling her that she can sew her a new leopard robe and they are both smiling...while my Dad is most likely saying "Good Night A Livin' , Ann (my Mom's name)...she just GOT here!"
We miss our loved ones.
It is hard when they leave us with just our memories and tears.
It is harder to realize they have gone on to a reward earned and well deserved.
Denise would not be the great person she is today without having had the great Mother she did for almost fifty years.
She will be with Denise every day on her shoulder and in her dreams every night as she sleeps...I have no doubt.
Heaven HAS to be popping at the seams by now...It must be a wonderful place to be and I am glad all my loved ones and their friends are there waiting on me.
I hope I make the cut!
Til next time...COTTON
Friday, October 9, 2009
Ten feet up he began to look nervous..twenty feet up and he began to look for a way down. He had on a harness and had a safety line attached so we knew that even though he was scared he would be okay.
Some days I wake up and forget that I have my own harness from God keeping me safe.. It's always been there and sometimes you just seem to take it for granted.
The harness holds you but what happens when you take a fall?
I found out today at work.
I went in for my thirteenth day in a row and was lucky enough to get an 11 top of investment bankers having lunch together. They were probably scheming how to bilk old people out of their savings..but it was over eight people so I got to add an 18% gratuity.
The hostess came up and said I must be popular because I had a party that wanted to eat with me as well.
I quickly sent in the order for the 'Schemers" and went to find a girl (I call her that because she has always seemed like that to me) with her daughter and grand child sitting at my table.
I grew up in East Point Christian Church and her older sister was one of my best friends from the nursery on up. My best friend was the middle sister of three ... the girl at my table was the baby sister and has remained that way in my mind for all these years.
I always call her giggle box because she has the most delightful giggle I have ever heard and I seem to bring it out in her every time I wait on her.
In server speak, she is a "PHAT" tipper and is one of the easiest people to wait on. As long as she can sit and dote on her grandchild and visit with her "mini me" daughter she is happy. Her daughter looks just like her mother and has the same wonderful qualities.
She told me she had read my blog about my Mother's birthday and that she had loved it (another reason I love her.)
After my fiasco with the bad shop at work with the dreaded secret shopper she sent me an email telling me how great a server she thought I was.
We chatted about her Mom who is the most emailing and forwarding woman I know. Where do they FIND that stuff? I couldn't even begin to know where to look on the Internet for the things this woman sends me..but along with a couple of other friends of mine, they seem to do all the searching for me so I don't have to worry about learning how.
Anyway, we had a nice visit and I had a free kids meal coupon I gave her daughter and set them up with drinks to go in our to go cups that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Big 22 oz. cups that I have about thirty of in my cabinet at the house. When my kids leave the house and want a drink , I always say put it in a "GO" cup. Cups always seem to leave my house but never come back.
I started to get busy and when I went to pick up the check she said she didn't need change so I kept on working my section until I got a break to go by and pick up the payment book from the table.
Her tab was $33.00. Inside the book was a hundred dollar bill.
She had been gone for fifteen minutes when I went to pick up the check so I knew she was long gone...but the tears fell from my eyes so fast it almost hurt.
As soon as I got home from work I sent her an email to thank her for her wonderful gift. You know, just when you think the harness is going to break and you don't think you can hang on any longer...another Angel comes swooping in and saves you.
I was embarrassed...again, but her wonderful gift brought my bank balance back into the black...a place it hasn't been in a week. I am the proud owner of $1.42 and could just POP!!
How am I ever going to re pay all these wonderful people that keep pushing me on and helping my family to survive?
I don't know what I have ever done in my life to deserve this outpouring of love and support...but I have been truly humbled and learned that family, friends and caring are probably the three things that come right after "GOD."
When I went into work today I was a broken woman..when I left I was an uplifted woman.
Thank you to my readers, thank you to my family, thank you to my friends and Thank YOU to the Good Lord above.
I can hang on...you just wait and see !!!
Shout out "S.T.B" You made my day!!
Til next time...a revived COTTON
PS Be sure to click on the picture of Zach..he seems to be looking for an Angel (or ladder) as well!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I open the restaurant in the morning and after my day shift I finally have a day off. I wake up every day and don't even know what day it is...just know that I have to iron a work shirt and go into work at some point in the day.
These past few months have been incredibly hard on every one in our house and in our lives. My brother, sister and brother in law have been so supportive that I don't think I will ever live long enough to re pay their kindness, love and generosity.
I have always thought of myself as a person that would do anything for anyone...but lately these roles have seemed to reversed.
I have been humbled, I have been sometimes embarrassed but I have also learned how to accept help from the people that love me and be truly grateful for their love and compassion.
Heck...I feel like I have been working hard! These people are probably working harder than me just to help us keep afloat while maintaining their own lives as well.
I try to keep my depression down to a minimum. I had a small breakdown the other morning but felt better after I let the tears flow and cried myself silly in the bath tub and came out actually feeling a bit better.
I know that my husband will find work soon and know that I can hang on til that day arrives. I have lost more weight than I would like and can take my jeans off without even unsnapping them. I notice more lines on my face every day and more gray hair sprouting out of my two inch hair every time I run my fingers through it.
We've been through our savings and been through our 401K and now are simply living off of a server's salary...but at least we HAVE that salary and it seems to be getting us through with help of my touchstone (my sister) and the grace of God.
I know that when one door shuts, God opens a window. I just wish I could send him a can of WD- 4o, because our window seems to be sticking and I feel like I am suffocating.
At least I still have my sense of humor and I think that is one of the things I am most grateful for.
I got my kids approved for PeachCare and am just waiting for their cards to arrive. Then I can begin to use all the money I have paid into the system since I was 15 years old to help my kids be able to go their own doctor without worrying how I am going to pay for it.
All I need is ONE DAY OFF to re group and re think my next strategy.
I sleep probably 5 hours a night max, waking up at least twice...once to go pee and once to try and remember what time I have to go into work.
I say all of this because I want to remember all of this .
I want to remember this feeling of despair and this feeling of worry so that when we DO get back on our feet I will appreciate it to it's fullest and know how it feels to be in this situation.
There are so many people around the globe that don't have family and friends that can help them through the tough times, help them survive and give them unyielding support.
Yes, I am one of the lucky ones.
I don't live in Dafur or Afghanistan . I live in a country where people reach out and help, and where if you forge ahead and work your hardest...ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.
Granted I pray for that "something" to happen soon...but I have full faith it will and one day down the road ...years from now, Tim and I will be sitting on a porch with grand kids scurrying all around us and we will be laughing and holding hands saying to each other "Do you remember back in 2009..."
Til next time.. a humbled and grateful COTTON
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Guess who came shuffling through the doors on their walkers to have lunch with us? "The Girls From The Home!" They clucked around in the lobby, wandering off in every direction they could while the hostess got their table set up.
If you are a follower of my blog you may have read about this group in a couple of other blogs I have done.
They live in the Alzheimer's Care Facility in the town where my restaurant is located. They come in several times a year and it is ALWAYS a pleasure and a treat to wait on this cute little group of ladies...one of them even brought along a beau today (I thought maybe he was the male stripper, but it turns out he was just on a lunch date.)
They come in with two care givers that are amazing in their own right. They treat these women with total respect and gracefully administered tact. If a woman forgets what she wants to drink the care givers prod them gently...not pushing them or losing patience, but trying to let them do it for themselves. If they get flustered the care giver simply tells me what to bring them...they seem to know each and every woman very well and I admire the wonderful care they are giving these women ...some who have all but lost their minds to this terrible disease.
Sometimes I will bring back what they ordered to drink and either they have simply forgotten what they ordered or had a quick moment of clarity and remembered that they really like coffee. Some of the women are better off than others... and some are simply toddlers in an eighty year old body. They are all at varying stages in their dementia and some are hopelessly lost in the fog of what used to be a quick and sharp mind.
Some of the women come in dressed impeccably, some look like they had to be dragged into their clothes. At least they have someone to make sure that they are presentable enough to go out to eat. Some shuffle in on their own with walkers with tennis balls attached to the bottom...some are scooting themselves along with their feet in wheelchairs and some have to be led by the arm.
But they ALL get to go out and have a nice lunch... even if they don't remember it by the time they get back to the home at least they had the chance to get out and have some semblance of a normal life for a couple of hours.
I absolutely LOVE waiting on these precious ladies and the care givers that are giving them the best life they can have while this disease rips away their mind, memory and emotions.
When the van pulled up to the door today, my manager said to me "Your girls are here" and I knew immediately who he was talking about.
As I wallow in my own despair, seeing them shuffle in reminded me of how truly lucky and blessed I am and quickly brought me back to reality.
My husband is out of work , I am working myself to death, I worry constantly...but at least I CAN worry. At least I am AWARE of what is happening in my life and can DO something about it.
These women have no say or choice as to what is happening to the person they have been their entire life. They simply have to continue to breathe and be guided through every step of every day for as long as they can hang on to the last scrap of life they have left.
I needed to see these women today.
They will never, ever know...even if I told each and every one of them individually how they uplifted my day and made me step back and once again look at the big picture.
I think God must have sent my "Girls" in today to help me realize how many others are so much worse off in their life than I am in mine. At least I have a life that I can remember, a childhood that I can remember and a family that I can remember...screw the financial problems.
In the grand scheme of things...I seem to be doing pretty good .
Picked up a dinner shift to try and get my bank account back into the black and God smiled on me once again.
All my customers drank lots of alcohol, ordered big and tipped bigger.
Just a mere twelve hours after I left for work, I am back home typing on my blog...feeling a LOT better thanks to "My Girls" today and my "Drinkers" tonight.
At least when I wake up tomorrow to do it all again...I will know what I have to do and will know what I did yesterday...YES! I am TRULY a BLESSED person...I just have to keep remembering that... HEY, at least I still have the capacity to remember.
Til Next time....COTTON
Monday, October 5, 2009
He introduced me to them all but by now all the names were running together. I had never met the girl so I asked casually "What was your name girl?" She replied "My name is Beth, what's YOUR name, girl?" I told her I was Ms. Kelly and it was nice to meet her. They all enjoyed my Fajitas and bragged on my food so much that I dismissed the fact that Zach brought three people home for dinner without telling me.
Today when I finally squeezed my car into the garage and came in the house my son shouted from the living room "Hey Mom." It was immediately followed by another boy shouting "Hey Mom!"
I started to cook dinner while the three teens played Beatles Rock Band in my living room (the only one that could sing was the girl...the boys were pitiful.)
After an hour I noticed no one was acting like they were leaving anytime soon and my son called down "When will dinner be ready?" I told them it would be 15 minutes and they all just sat there drumming, strumming and singing away.
I fed all of them and they all gave me such great compliments that I felt bad about griping about feeding three extra mouths when I was constantly worried about being able to feed my own family of five.
After they left (bellies full) I told Zach he needed to let me know when friends were staying for dinner so I could be prepared. He said that was the reason they were all there. He said his friend Brad said I was the best cook he had ever known and that he had never tasted better cooking than mine.
They seem like such good kids and I truly do appreciate the compliments... but if this party grows any bigger I am going to have to bring in a caterer.
I guess this is what I get for encouraging Zach to get out of the house and meet people. I just forgot to tell him not to bring every one of them home for dinner.
He said I was their favorite mom and that they all looked forward to what ever I was cooking ...and they really liked my hair.
My house has always been a kid magnet and I truly like that...at least I know where MY kids are and that they are all safe.
I had a few years reprieve since TJ is older than my other kids, but now that my younger two are both teens I have been put back into the spotlight and obviously I am a hit!
Kids... whadda ya gonna do?
I guess I will love these kids too and feed them and let them call me "Mom."
Or maybe I will start cooking Brussels sprouts and rutabagas for dinner.
At least I seem to still be popular with the teens even though I am pushing fifty ... guess it could be worse....like one of his friends having a van. How many kids they could squeeze into that I don't want to even think about.
Gotta go shopping for tomorrow....
Til next time...COTTON