Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Just got home from work and am looking forward to a day off tomorrow.
The job is still great, screwing up less and less every shift and already have people coming in asking to sit at my table.
Tonight was kind of a bust...had a table of seven out for a business dinner. They had two bottles of pretty good wine and ate like horses. Unfortunately they tipped like a horse's ass. That kills me...when it is on someone else's dime you would think they could at LEAST leave 15%. My other tables were good though and I still came out of the place with more than I walked in with.
I felt like crap all day today. About a year ago I worried myself into an ulcer. It is a miserable feeling...just a dull ache in your gut that won't even subside long enough to get to sleep. I tossed and turned all night and the ache was worse this morning..."Welcome back, Mr. Ulcer."
Prilosec works wonders but you have to take it first thing in the morning before eating. I had moped around all day and ate before I left for work. I stopped by the drug store on the way to work and bought some of the wonder drug. The problem is I took it on a full stomach at 4:00 in the afternoon. It didn't kick in til after 9:00 tonight so I was pretty much miserable at the work entire night...NOT a good feeling.
It's a bit better now and will be LOTS better now that I have something to take first thing in the morning.
Tim just left for work. He finally got the job with Southeastern Freight that he had really been hoping for. This job is in logistics like his experience has been in for the last 20 some odd years. He is starting out low but the job has huge growth potential and I think once he gets in there and proves himself he will rise through the ranks swiftly. He goes in at midnight and gets off at nine...bad for him...good for me and the pups!! They love being smack next to me, even when I am sleeping and Tim doesn't allow them to sleep on the bed. I guess I'll have to start washing the sheets twice a week now and brushing the dogs more to keep our little secret from Tim.
The bulldog is too low to the ground to make the hop onto the king size bed but enjoys being directly underneath me in his little cave under the bed. The male boxer sleeps with his back against mine with his head on Tim's pillow...snoring only a bit louder than Tim does. The female boxer sleeps below the male at the foot of the bed and all in all we are our own little "Pack."
Hopefully tomorrow my ulcer will subside once I can start the Prilosec first thing. I am a worrier by nature and I have been lucky it hasn't resurfaced before now. I also think that I overdid the yard work gig a bit this past week on top of working nine shifts. Now that I have it all cut short I can keep it all neat and trim without having to weed eat so much and now have two days off a week and can split it up.
I am off tomorrow and will take the kids to school before starting my weeding. My flower beds need some serious attention and I love to pull weeds. It is the best exercise for the back of your legs and the results are great to see. (In your garden and on the back of your thighs.)
I have more than several thank you notes to write having put them off far too long and will also get them all done tomorrow.
The meteorologists promise a sun shine filled day tomorrow (although sometimes I think I could do their job just as easily) and will struggle through one more night of this feeling that someone has punched me in the gut to get up...medicate and weedicate !!
Tim is starting a great new job...I am finally getting the hang of my great new job...and the dogs are giving each other little 'high fives' when they hear Tim's car pull out of the driveway at 10:30 PM.
Life is finally looking up for the family AND the fido's.
Seems to be a "Dog's Life" here at the Cotton house hold.
Til next time...COTTON
Friday, April 23, 2010
and cut the front and sides...going over it with my trusty weed eater to make it nice and neat.
Enjoy my pictures and know how grateful I am that my life has been so blessed after it has gone through so many trials.
Til next time...COTTON with a smile (Geez it feels good to write those words.)
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
My two male dogs are more entertaining than circus clowns. There is a tree at the back of the fenced in portion of our yard with a limb that TJ and Zach have broken off but is still attached. The MINUTE my husband starts to walk to the back of the yard...the two males beat him there and sit waiting for him to pull the broken branch down so they can try to finish the job Zach and TJ started.
The bulldog gives it his best shot but obviously has lead pipe inside of him... "Literally." He probably found one in the yard and decided it looked good enough to eat. Remember, this is the dog that ate insulation that fell out of the attic when I brought down Christmas decorations. I saw a piece on the carpet and tried to get to it but his mind was saying "If SHE wants it first it must be good" and scrambled over and snorted it down.
The boxer seems to be made of springs and can easily jump over six feet without trying too hard. They will continue this vertical fetch game for thirty minutes at a time and only stop when they are panting so hard they absolutely HAVE to take a rest. The female boxer barks at them the whole time in "dog speak" seemingly telling them they are both idiots and have no sense of depth perception. I'll have to hand it to Ham (the boxer) he gets pretty close...Charlie (the bulldog) just gets an "A" for effort.
Just thought you might like to see "Dumb and Dumber" in action!
Had another great day...I could get used to this and hope I do!
Stayed up way too late blogging after picking Massey up from Prom and doing laundry ... woke up 30 minutes before work this morning. Thank the Lord for my easy hairdo and the fact that I always get a bath at night. I got to work exactly on time and worked the brunch shift. Now THAT'S some good eating... French Toast, Strawberry pancakes, Eggs Benedict, Spinach Frittata, every kind of Omelet you can imagine and homemade biscuits with gravy, grits and home fried potatoes. It wasn't too busy and I was almost glad after last night's barn burner shift. I got off by 2 and had to be back at 5:30.
I came home and put on some shorts and a bathing suit top...Mr.(slow) Lee's favorite outfit and washed my car and cleaned all the windows. My brake light has been out for months and I decided to attempt replacing it myself. Whadda know??? I'm a mechanic too! One of my driving lights was out too but once I open the hood of a car I tend to get nervous. At least I can open a hood...Tim is a lot of wonderful things but mechanical he is NOT. Remember this is the man that pushed my mower to the neighbor's years ago before I got my riding mower because it wouldn't start and my neighbor told him it was out of gas.
I pulled my car one driveway over ...not Mr. (slow) Lee's way but the other side to ask my next door husband (see previous post) to help me. He fixed me right up (after I went back to Auto Zone and got the right bulb)... I have GOT to stop asking Tim to go to Auto Zone for me. While I was there exchanging the bulb I told the man "For future reference, never listen to my husband when he comes in...I'll just send a hand written note with what I REALLY need."
Case in point: Our hot water heater went out a few years back and after my next door husband fixed it twice he said we needed to get a new one. A good friend of ours who has a handy man type company and has helped us many times, pressure washing our house, cleaning the chimney etc. told Tim to go buy a new water heater and he would come over and install it. When he got there, Tim had hauled the new one up to the third floor ready to hoist it into the attic (what idiot builder puts a hot water heater in an attic?) When our friend got there to install it.... Tim had bought an electric water heater when in fact we had a gas one. I love him anyway and he is a great dad and husband, but couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag if all he had to use was a wrench.
Luckily Tim doesn't read my blog unless I force him to. I won't bring my blog up for a while til this one gets buried by others. I don't mean to hurt his feelings but he will be the first one to tell you the extent of his knowledge about repair work is Flathead vs. Phillips Head.
Car washed, lights fixed. Headed back to work. Had a pleasant night and feel more comfortable with each shift I work.
The owners of my new restaurant know of our situation and have me scheduled for 9 shifts this week. I have people at work asking me if I want to give up shifts but will forge on and get myself ahead while I have this opportunity.
A new job. A great job . Tim starts his new job in the morning with Pepsi/Snapple.
God, family and friends...even strangers have gotten us this far, to the other side. The place I needed and wanted to be.
Enjoy the video of my dogs...I am thinking about "YouTube" for them. I have one even better where they actually sit underneath and howl at the limb above them.
Lovin' life, and for once I will sign off as..."LUCKY LEACH"
Saturday, April 17, 2010
She came into this world in a BIG way , my placenta rupturing and having an emergency C-section at 4:20 AM...almost three months early.
She was a tiny thing barely 4 pounds and didn't make a peep until she was almost a year old. She was a pensive quiet toddler who came into her own by first grade and hasn't stopped talking or going since.
She has blossomed over the years into a young woman who is not only my favorite daughter but my best friend.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
We started off at Children's Healthcare for a rigorous first round of physical therapy for Massey's bum knee. Therapy must be a synonym for "torture." We ended the day in our new favorite store...RAG-O-RAMA. I bought Zach a pair of $65 jeans for $16 and he got five new (vintage) tee shirts to wear with his new uniform pants.
Massey enjoyed the sunglasses collection, they had HUNDREDS of them.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I have been so blessed with the government help I have recently received I decided to use that Peachcare plan I have the kids on to finally get her some help for her knee that has been bothering her for months.
The thing about Massey is that she is so dramatic I never know when it's real or just her earning another academy award for "Best Actress in a dramatic role." Her nickname on the Guard is even "Drama" and that pretty much sums her up.
I poo-pooed it for a while but when she came down with strep a couple of months back and Tim took her to the doctor they examined her knee as well and said she needed physical therapy. GO FIGURE...the little stinker was legit with her complaints!
The first time she told me she needed glasses I took her to "Claire's" and bought her some clear glasses just figuring she wanted to have some glasses to look all "Glamorous" and she would be satisfied. When I took her for a sports physical when she wanted to try out for the middle school track team she flunked her eye test and I felt like "Worst Mother of the Year."
You never know with girls...they are either on top of the world or drowning in despair.
The closest place to take her is Atlanta in North Druid Hills...45 miles from home.
I have done a lot for Massey, granted she makes great grades ...is really a sweet girl but with our misfortunes of late I feel I have neglected Zach .
He will NOT allow me to buy clothes for him and would rather go to school buck naked than to wear clothes I pick out for him. He has one pair of cords that he likes and several tee shirts that I bought him two years ago off "InterPunk.com" and a Ramones hoodie that my brother bought him for Christmas last year.
Every morning I say "Zach, get up and put on your uniform...it's time for school."
When he was younger (probably 8, my sister was taking him somewhere in her car when they passed a private school just letting out. He made the comment to my sister as they drove by...'Do they wear the same costumes every day?"
That's what Zach wears every day of the week...his costume and I bet the teachers wonder how poor his parents are that he owns one pair of pants and three tee shirts that all look alike.
So tomorrow we are all headed to Atlanta together.
We will take Massey for knee therapy and Zach for fashion therapy.
Zach is a different kid...DEFINITELY.
He marches to the beat of a different drum...sometimes I even wonder if it IS a drum.
I came home from work tonight and googled thrift stores in Little Five Points in Atlanta. If any one is a " LittleFive" guy, Zach is. He has never been there, but it is place that he will probably see and say to himself "I HAVE FOUND MY TRUE HOME."
You can find some really cheap vintage and classic clothes for a steal. Two bucks for a pair of pants and shirts for fifty cents.
Maybe I'll get REALLY lucky and he will refuse to come back home with me. (TOTALLY KIDDING !)
So Massey will get her much needed therapy and Zach will get some much needed new "Uniforms."
Little Five is an eclectic and funky area that Zach will fall in love with I am sure. My boy needs to have something to smile about and after all I have done for Massey (guard, chorus and even those glasses I fought against) he is due.
Headed off tomorrow for a day with the kids and to enjoy some "ME" time. Isn't it nice that you can consider a day with your teens "ME" time?
An outing and an adventure with the kids...let's see how far I can stretch twenty bucks...I'm guessing pretty far and the reward of being with my kids will be even greater...worth millions!
At least my teens will still go somewhere with me...
Til next time...CURRENTLY COOL COTTON
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
It started as a mole you might feel was suspicious and need to get checked out.
Then you just think it is nothing and keep on going.
Months down the road the mole turns into a wart that luckily is in a place you can hide from others. A few more months and OMG the wart has hairs growing out of it and you begin to feel disgusted.
Suddenly you feel overwhelmed by the hairy wart but think that if you just keep on hiding it...it may go away.
Finally some low life points out your hairy wart and begins to pluck the hairs out at your own expense...one by one, leaving you with nothing but a wart.
It's still not a good feeling but at least it's just a wart.
Then you find out the wart is not just a wart but a virus that is encompassing your whole life. You feel like you are secure, have had the same job for over 12 years and feel that at least you have that to fall back on.
The next day you wake up and your wart is a land slide blocking you with no other way out.
At first you just lie under the rubble hoping someone will wake you up and tell you it is all a bad dream. Then days later you realize that your worst nightmare has become a reality and you are on your own...literally financially and emotionally.
That is when true friendship and the love of God comes into play.
You've always been a decent person and always helped others...suddenly your true friends show their true colors and WHAM... lift you up with prayers , e mails calls and monetary help.
They send you gifts... they feed your family and take care of your kids.
Yes it is humiliating in the beginning but welcomed in the end.
I still had a job and was keeping our heads above water.
Then the black hole sweeps in and you are lost. The job you had dissolves. All the work you have done for the past 12 years is nothing and you are left with a gape of wonder and a sense of "What the hell happened."
Then your family and your friends kick into overdrive...keeping not only you but your family afloat.
It doesn't pay your mortgage but allows your family to survive and concentrate on MAKING that mortgage.
I got a new job...a job that I love and a job that loves me.
Until today I did not know that in actuality we were close to being three months behind on our mortgage. My husband talks to the lenders on our mortgage...I don't need any added stress. He told me he was sorry that he had told me and didn't mean to add to my burden.
The thing is...we are a team. He has been overwhelmed as I have by all the gifts that people have sent us...but losing a $700 a week job has set us back even further and I had no idea til today that we were that close to losing the house that is over our heads.
The bank was in the process of trying to debit the monthly payment from my account...for the third time and after failing twice had nothing to show but the two $37 charges for returning the check .
I went to my new job to pick up my paycheck...the one for training and probably the last check I would get...most servers never get a paycheck because taxes are taken out of their tips and the tips are what you live off .
I had a $251.oo check and drove straight to the bank to deposit it along with the money I made last night.
I had to go by and pay Charter because we were late with their payment and my Internet wasn't working.
Came home and got online to check my bank balance and there it was!!
Unemployment had finally been approved and paid me for the last two weeks...one deposit of $330 and another or $285. With my paycheck the house note cleared and now we are only two months behind.
Baby steps...a little at a time. One foot in front of the other.
When I went to the mailbox...a task I dread lately...I had an debit card from DFACS for food stamps...over $500 for food for my family and the sweetest thing I have had happen in a while. Now I can put all of my tips toward paying bills and the mortgage.
Granted we are still behind but now they know we are making the effort and hopefully we will keep the house.
Without the help of so many we wouldn't have been able to make a house note clear...without the help of so many we wouldn't be in our house at all.
I went and bought groceries...LOTS of groceries and took my coupons with me. I had $40 worth of coupons and if I didn't have to buy dog food would have walked out without spending a dime. My dogs have been downgraded to Kibbles and Bits, but didn't seem to mind. There was a short time that I thought my kids may be eating Kibbles and Bits so it worked out really well.
I know God is never late to answer prayers but he sure can keep you in suspense...
Thanking God, my all my friends and family and a new job for letting me feel like that hairy wart is finally going away. When you're 50...a hairy wart doesn't help.
Getting up in the morning to start paying forward...look out people I intend to make all your love not only justified but well deserved.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
TIL NEXT TIME... Cotton with a black hole behind her and a hairy wart fading fast
Monday, April 12, 2010
Paid forward some of the many acts of kindness I have been shown and cut my elderly neighbor's yard before work. You know, Mr. (slow)Lee. As usual he stood with his arms crossed over the bed of his huge diesel truck and chain smoked while he watched me cut his front and back yard. I'm not sure why he watches me but he seems to enjoy it so I just wave to him every few turns. I'm not much to look at but I do have a better figure than Mrs (slow)Lee but of course it is hard to see what kind of figure you have in those flowered smock house dresses that women over 80 seem to have a closet full of.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
The picture above is the saber spin and one of my faves. The guy to the left is the hard nosed leader that makes them the champs they are.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
No server likes prom night. It's amateur night...people that would normally never go out to a nice restaurant but have been forced (by Mother's Day or prom) to spend money on a fancy meal when they would rather be cooking a frozen pizza or eating microwave popcorn.
The two young girls sat down at my table...perfect hair, manis and pedis freshly done and hair do's that set their parents back as much as the meal was going to cost. I went to greet them and told them they looked beautiful (which as 16 year old girls they already knew) and took their drink orders.
When I came back with their sweet tea I asked what prom they were going to? They replied with such a southern drawl that it made me sound like a Southie from Boston. They were from about an hour south of Newnan...a small town (and it showed, bless their hearts.)
I asked if they wanted to start out with something and OF COURSE they said "Just some of that bread y'all bring." The table was set for four and I asked if they were waiting on other girls or dates?
One of the girls replied that it was their dates and the other girl said "They gone to get diesel." I kept a straight face and made it away from the table without cracking up. "Gone to get diesel"...I think I would have just said they were at the gas station.
I immediately pictured them pumping diesel into a monster 4x4 trying not to spill it on their pants.
The boys arrived shortly thereafter and I began to take their order. The first girl pointed to the "Adriatica'...scallops, shrimp and Maryland blue crab meat cooked with lobster broth, sherry and marinara sauce served over pasta (excellent choice) but she ordered it this way: "I ain't got no clue how to say it but this is what I want."
On to the first young man...he ordered Chicken Alfredo. I asked him what type pasta he wanted and he said "I guess them noodles like they have at Olive Garden." I replied "Let's give your the fettuccine."
They were really sweet kids and I wish I could tell you how long one of the boys took figuring out the tip on his phone/ calculator. At least he put in 15% and that's what I got. The other guy was cheaper, probably saving money for some Sloe Gin later on if they could find someone to buy it.
The night picked up. Although it was slow I sold three bottles of wine ($120.00) to two tables and made a $20 tip on a $70 tab and made a $44 tip on a $242 tab. In my 12 years at Longhorn I NEVER sold three bottles of wine in one night.
This is the place I needed to be years ago. A place where the food is fresh, custom made...specials every night of the week and owners and staff that are like one big family. MY FAMILY now!
How about these for specials?
Steel head Trout: Fresh steel head trout lightly dredged in corn flour and pan fried in olive oil. Served with lemon tarragon aioli, smashed red bliss potatoes and asparagus with chili vinegar.
Or...Roasted Pork Tenderloin: spice rubbed pork tenderloin, roasted and served with fennel, caramelized onions, sauteed apples, walnuts and an anisette and brown sauce. Served with roasted red bliss potatoes.
Or even my daughter's favorite... Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia: Fresh Tilapia topped with herbs and Parmesan then baked with diced Roma tomatoes, lobster broth and cream sherry. Served over spinach.
Just one more...
Zach's favorite... Seafood Crepes: Crepes filled with shrimp, scallops and salmon in a sherry lobster cream sauce. Served with deep fried green beans.
I have found a new home and a job that doesn't FEEL like a job. Life is looking up, and so am I every time I thank The Lord for taking care of me and leading me once again in the right direction.
Til next time...Contented COTTON
Friday, April 9, 2010
She is my best friend. She stepped in when my mother died and raised me to be the woman I am today (I hope I have lived up to her standards.)
She will probably want to kill me for a lot of these pictures, but who WAS cute in elementary school? I can guarantee that my mother sewed most of the outfits we are all wearing as kids...she was a "Demon" with a Singer sewing machine.
My brother stepped in as my Dad as I have grown older but my sister has been my best friend, mentor and saving salvation as I have traveled the road of life and steered me in the right direction numerous times...she is my personal GPS.
So she started out cute as a button in the baby picture...curly pig tails and all. Once her permanent front teeth came in it was a whole different story!
At least my parents had the sense (and cents) to send her straight to the orthodontist once those "Chompers" grew in. I was always a gawky ugly sort but at least I couldn't eat corn on the cob through a picket fence!
Once those braces came off she was a true beauty...still is.
She was a high school teacher out of college, taught my college room mate in high school... introduced us and gave me another life long friend.
She left teaching to become a flight attendant with Delta...for thirty plus years, and retired to follow her calling as a "Professional Volunteer."
An avid Braves fan, an excellent painter (rooms not canvases) and a friend to every person she has ever met...her heart has no depth.
She volunteers at a Thrift store and is one of the greatest things to ever happen to her church, volunteering so much her tithe ought to be cut in half.
She helps out her two boys (who are really men, but when they are your kids they will ALWAYS be kids.)
She is a dog lover, just like me...has a boxer but has lost several over the years. She even has a "Hell cat" that I can't for the life of me understand why she loves so dearly. But that's my sister.
Full of love and good grace.
Full of compassion for others (including me) and would take the entire world under her (left) wing if her arm pit was big enough.
The things she has done for me and the immense love I feel for her simply cannot be put into words, but don't need to . They are a feeling, an emotion and a sense that is indescribable but felt in the heart , soul and mind.
My mother left this world when I was 17, my father when I was 42.
They knew what they were doing when they left me in the hands and heart of my sister and brother.
Life has finally sent me a few bumps and ruts in the road. My siblings have been my paving crew. They have not only paved the way but given me the gift of love, support and the chance for some breathing room while I take a breath , plunge ahead and move on to survive.
Hopefully you will click on all the pics because even though she was geeky and buck toothed in her adolescence...she has turned into one of the most beautiful women I have ever known and feel ridiculously lucky to have her as a sister.
Happy birthday, Cin.
Know that I love you and that you have made a difference in literally hundreds of lives...if not thousands.
Thank you for giving me the honor of calling you my "Sis."
Happy Birthday, wishing you many, many more!
Til next time, COTTON
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
How do kids grow up so quickly and kill us so slowly?
It's ALWAYS something with your kids; The girls AND the boys. Granted the girls are always more dramatic and intense and the boys are much easier to please...but I love them all and couldn't imagine my life without them.
Massey left this morning...they were to meet at the school @ 6:30 and Massey was riding with a girl on guard who has her license so I wouldn't have to take her. Massey is an early riser so I knew I wouldn't have to wake her up. I set my alarm for 6:10 so I could see her off. I woke up and called to her but she didn't answer. I figured she was probably downstairs on the computer or in the kitchen eating breakfast. I wandered downstairs to find an empty kitchen and no one on the computer. I went back upstairs and saw she hadn't taken her pillow so thought she might be out in the driveway waiting on her friend.
I got her pillow and a blanket for her to use on the bus and went out in our driveway to find it dark and empty.
My heart dropped. How could she leave without even waking me up to say good bye? I immediately got dressed and threw her pillow and blanket in the car and zipped off to the school. I sent her a text "Where R U?" She sent one right back "I am on my way to OHIO!!!"
The thought of her leaving for Ohio without me being able to hold that sweet round face between my hands and sink my fingers into that mass of curls while I kissed her good bye and told her I loved her gave me a sickening feeling.
I arrived at the school and there were about 5 guard girls standing around their cars in the pre dawn light. I got out of my car and asked if Massey was there and they said "No."
Panic began to sink in and my "Parent Paranoia" took over. Zach says I am the most paranoid mom he has ever met (lucky boy in my book.)
I immediately started thinking "What if something happened to her OR me while she was gone and I hadn't had that last look into her clear blue eyes and told her face to face how much I loved her?" ...Maybe Zach IS right, but I don't care!
The little stinker had left early to go to McDonalds with her friend and wasn't even to the school yet. I sent her a text telling her I was at the school and she text back "Be Right there."
WHEW!!! I hadn't missed her after all.
The car came rolling into the school parking lot and Massey came bouncing over to the car. I asked her why she left without waking me up and she said she was going to but Jill got there early and was already in the driveway so she had to leave.
I asked her if she had her pillow , she rolled her baby blues and said she had left it on her bed.
BAM! Mama had the pillow AND a blanket in the car to make that 9 hour drive comfy and warm. I have to hand it to myself, I know how to make kids feel guilty and make myself look like a hero all in one fell swoop.
She was so excited about this trip and teens have no concept of the meaning of paranoia or concern...they are all invincible and live strictly "In the moment."
I told her she couldn't leave me without a hug and kiss for luck and she sweetly apologized ; I got out of the car and we held each other tightly and I breathed in the wonderful smell of my little girl who is quickly...too quickly becoming a woman and making her way into young adulthood.
What a feeling of relief to see her, hold her and give her a kiss as she starts this first big journey of her life. I know there are many journeys trips and adventures in store for her and I want to kiss her goodbye at the start of every single one and be the first person she smiles at and hugs tightly when she returns.
HEY!! She owes me that much and as a mother...that is all I need.
I drove back home with a feeling of serenity and a sense that "All will be okay now."
My paranoia went away, I worked a double shift with no worries or regrets , knowing that she is having the time of her life and MY eyes were the last ones that held hers in a look that says ...
"I LOVE YOU"
Dang being a parent is tough...Thank the Lord the rewards are so sweet.
Til next time... Constantly Cautious Cotton (or as Zach says...Just a Freak)
P.S. As always, click on photos to view in original size...she's even cuter close up!