Sunday, July 31, 2011
Johnny is still in the ICU so I guilt-ed Zach with it being my birthday into cutting my neighbor's yard with his push mower. I used to push my yard when we first moved in but once you've ridden Johnny, pushing seems like punishment so I let Zach do it.
I came home from weed eating the front and Zach was down to seventy pounds and flat on his back on the sofa in the living room.
I crashed on the other couch next to him and tried to recover a heartbeat while letting Charlie and Ham lick all the salt and grass off my legs...they acted like I was a banana split and seemed to enjoy it.
I showered and went into work while Massey was attending my birthday party at my sister's house that I had to miss. (I heard it was an awesome party)
I was glad I worked, a great night and the tipping god's blessed me. I always have a good time at work and sometimes even a hoot of a time...tonight was one of them.
It was my birthday and I was working while the rest of my family was attending my birthday dinner at my sister's house without me so I was entitled to have some fun...right?
One of my favorite co workers was working with me. She's an actress and has been in many well known movies..."The Blind Side" to name one. She is cute as a button and a nervous wreck the entire time she is clocked in . Maybe she is preparing for her next role as a neurotic server in "Waitress II" but we love her anyway. She always has a funny story and is always in a good mood...MY kind of person to work with!
So at the end of the night she goes to the back to fill the oil and vinegar bottles at the work station where the chefs prep food.
She came back out to the alley way and said "I had a dream about Leon last night and he's standing back there finishing the creme brule' on the prep table and I keep thinking I am going to burst out laughing...can you go back there and do it for me?" I told her "Sure" and walked to the back area in the kitchen.
Leon is the owner's son and pretty handsome unless you piss him off, which is easy to do. (See above photo)
I walked back to the table and like the good friend I am, said nonchalantly "Sybil had a sexually explicit dream about you and felt funny about being this close to you so I came back here to finish filling these bottles for her." He cocked his head to one side and continued finishing his creme brule'. He's the silent type , very easy on the eyes unless he is pissed off and unfortunately working in 120 degree heat and having Italian/ French/ German/ Polish parents he is screwed.
I walked back out front and told Sybil everything was taken care of. After I told her what I had said she looked like she was once again going to dissolve into tears...her Forte'.
The bartender out front who has known me for over fourteen years said to Sybil "What were you thinking..how long have you known Kelly?"
Case in point...the bartender is beautiful and Portuguese. She has the biggest hoo- haas I have ever seen and one time even a little boy who was about three reached up from the table with his mother and grandmother and honked on one of them like a bicycle horn. At least we could comfort the mom telling her not to worry about her son's sexual orientation .
This bartender had a table next to mine tonight with a man at it and after he left I went to clear the dishes and took out my pen and wrote on his credit card receipt "GREAT RACK."
I was in the back two minutes later when I heard her yell "KELLY!!"
I've got to start changing my hand writing, it's very distinctive. One time my buddy Hoke had a table and after they left I wrote on the charge slip "You have a huge booger in your nose." He pegged me on that one too but I have gotten several other servers with my little comments on charge slips.
Barb was harping on us one night about leaving our personal drinks where we shouldn't . They have a shelf in the back where we are all supposed to keep our drink cups. I told Barb we had a new employee drink area and pointed to the booty of another one of my fave peeps to work with. She is an absolute doll and has a boo-tay J-Lo would be jealous of. You could sit a tray of cocktails on it! I wish I had her butt...as Massey would say "It's booty-lish-ush." (Hence the other above photo)
All these people put up with me, let me do my comedy routine nightly... sometimes two shows a day and even love me!
What more could I possibly want from a job?
Yes it was a good birthday...at least for me!
Til next time...or my matinee show tomorrow
COTTON the Comic
Saturday, July 30, 2011
I see a woman I vaguely remember... a happy skinny girl without a care in the world who had the greatest parents , family and existence one kid could ever hope to have.
I also see a girl who witnessed her mother's death while out shopping with her Mom and the oldest sibling. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I can remember the look in my mama's eyes as she looked at me one last time. I can remember the look of panic on my older sister's face and the look of resignation when my Diddy got there to see her carted off into an ambulance. She was gone...
I remember the years of getting over my remorse of being a brat to my mama. I remember how many years it took me to get my life back on track. Most of all I remember how my Diddy loved me while I fumbled my way through my twenties and got me out of jam after jam after jam.
Years after that I watched my Diddy die in ten days...West Nile Virus ain't a real pretty way to go but it sure brings you closer to your brother and sister. It is a bond that has remained vivid, strong and made us a tighter albeit smaller family.
I know now what it is to be an adult. I know now what it is to love your kids so much that it is an actual physical ache and often an emotional heart ache.
I know now that life is a heck of a lot tougher than I thought it would be.
I know now that I have earned every gray hair on my head... every wrinkle and even that ONE curly hair that sporadically sprouts out of my chin seemingly coming out of nowhere, totally grossing me out.
It seems insane to me that I was so well off financially three years ago and since then have applied for food stamps, put my kid's on medicaid and not only drawn unemployment for the first time in my life but had to file for bankruptcy to just keep my house.
I feel like firing everyone in Washington...they are obviously idiots. They don't think about US but tend more to think about how THEM . (Sore spot with me)
Luckily I am a strong southern gal with so many friends and so much family that love me, that I muddled through. I have so many people to pay back it may make the national deficit look smaller.
As my brother in law has pointed out..."When you wake up on THIS side of the dirt it's a good day."
I have been put through the mill but have been saved by many. I have been shown love like no body's "Bid-Ness."
I may be getting old and I am... but I am one BLESSED old person!
You can dye your hair, you can pluck out random gross facial hairs but if you can return to being "Un-poor" (as my daughter calls our future status) you have made the milestone. You are living the American dream.
I am living the American dream because in the past two years I have been shown more love and generosity than a person should be given in a lifetime.
I've had people, churches, strangers , family and friends give freely and unconditionally.
So I'm older today...If it wasn't for all of you, I wouldn't even be here!
Don't tell "ME" Happy Birthday...let me tell you all "Thank You."
Til next time...COTTON
Friday, July 29, 2011
My surgeon doubles as a flight attendant and has a trip tomorrow...obviously he doesn't understand the dire need I have to hear ole Johnny cranked and cuttin'. I don't have a lot of spare time and what spare time I DO have has to be used wisely. Guess I'll have to show ole Johnny some special attention when he gets back on his feet/ tires. Sounds like a Lube Job is needed!!!
Is it sad that I almost love my lawn mower more than my car? Is it sadder that my kid's are barely ahead of my car and lawn mower ? Is it even MORE sad that my husband comes in sixth? I actually love my husband more than life but rarely tell him (no reason to spoil him when the lawn mower and car can't tell on me.)
Hoping for a firm diagnosis this weekend and we can all can go back to the normal pecking order. Me in charge, Tim thinking he is, the kid's hoping I am and the dog's just grateful to be fed and petted. So far Johnny and Betty haven't complained about having to sleep in the garage...
Til next time Crazy Cotton!
Sunday, July 24, 2011
It's been slow at work. Good shifts and not so good shifts but that's just part of the game. It's a slow time of year, lots of people on vacation and even more pinching pennies. Can't blame them...I feel their pain!
I was born and bred in the south. I wouldn't exactly call myself a southern belle, I'd say I'm more of a cotton ball that's been part of a few bountiful crops and lived through some boll weevils.
At lunch today I walked past the bar and another server who I am pretty tight with was sitting on a bar stool chatting with one of the regulars who was eating lunch with her husband and son. She was sitting sideways and had one leg on one side of the stool and the other hiked around to the other side. Being the sweet girl I am I said "That looks graceful." The wife laughed and my co worker said "Hey...I got on a apron." That started talk about southern women and how different we are. The woman who was eating with her family said that she had a friend who moved to the south after living up north most of her life and had commented to her "What's wrong with women in the south? It's the only place where a woman you don't even know will come up behind you and tuck your tag in if it's showing from the back of your collar without even thinking about it."
I think that describes southern women perfectly!
I came back into work tonight and was standing at the bar talking to another server who grew up in Augusta and is originally from the outer banks of South Carolina. She said with no hesitation at all, "You have a hair sticking out of your chin, want me to pull it out for ya?" I said "Yes please" and then we both examined it closely after she eradicated it from my face. I now have one less flaw! (Thank you, Marvel Kay)
This same server told me about growing up in a southern Baptist church where one Easter morning an elderly woman who couldn't see well was sitting behind another elderly woman who was hard of hearing. This was back when hearing aids were larger than a blue tooth and had the wire coming out from the ear, running down your neck to the battery pack tucked in your shirt . The elderly woman with bad eyesight only saw a friend sitting in front of her on Easter Sunday with what SHE thought was a tag still attached to the poor hard of hearing woman's dress in front of her. She quietly leaned forward and took out her nail clippers and snipped the wire to the woman's hearing aid as the woman turned around and said "Huh?"
That's what it's like to be a southern woman. We don't mind rooting around in your business....we consider it helpin'. There also seems to be a lot of things always broken in the south because we are constantly "Fixin' to do something."
Our mother's taught us to wear clean undies in case we were in an accident and used a tiny slip of Ivory soap up your booty as an enema when you were constipated . At least the soap bragged to be 99% pure...pure what I don't know, but it worked! Paregoric was used for ear aches and fresh produce was bought off an old truck driven through our neighborhood by a black guy (that's what we called them ... no African American for us)
Only in the south... you had square dancing classes in elementary school . I know they don't have them now but when I was a kid I learned the "Virginia Reel" LONG before I learned "The Hustle."
We're not total dolts... we just tend to follow tradition more and remember our manners, even if it's painful.
I got "Whup-uns" when I did something bad as a kid...and my Diddy always started them off with "This hurts me more than it's gonna hurt you." "Yeah, RIGHT" always came to mind as I leaned across his lap while he sat on the closed toilet lid with the bathroom door closed. If you were in the 'green bathroom' with my Diddy, it wasn't gonna turn out in your favor...but at least punishment was given and it was over.
Dang...I wish we'd had a green bathroom when my kids were little!!
I am proud to be from the south. I am tremendously sorry for what my predecessors did to slaves. I bet they ALL regret THAT cruise, and I am ashamed of the ignorance of my own race.
As my husband says "You can't change yesterday...you can only change tomorrow."
My friends, those are some powerful words to live by.
I have three blogs backed up in drafts and AFTER my fourth double in a row on Monday I am going to relax and post and post and post!
As always, thanks for reading and as we say down here "Yer Sweet ta do it!"
Til next time...COTTON
Monday, July 11, 2011
The owner of my restaurant won a Prosperity Award from the local chamber of commerce recently. They came to the restaurant , took a picture of him and had a life-size cardboard cut out made. They presented it to him at a chamber breakfast. He brought it to the restaurant and we servers have had a BALL with it. It first stood in the lobby area, then we moved it to the bar area . We thought about propping it up in the women's room but decided we all wanted to keep our jobs.
Then we had his wife pose lovingly next to him. Trust me, she looks happier than she does by the real deal when we are at work. She is tough as nails on him....a trait I use with my own husband. After decades of being married to women like Barb and me, they have been beaten into submission realizing we are always right, even if we are really wrong, and if we ARE wrong it's most probably their fault for not doing something.
Then we decided to move him to the back section of the store and have him peer out from behind the wall of a back dining room. I am the one that put him there but every time I walk by it catches my eye and I immediately think I have forgotten about a customer in the back and they are trying to catch my attention.
Len said when he came in at 9 the women told him they came in the front door at 8 with the key he gives them and turned on the lights in the dining rooms. They were terrified when they spotted the man leaning out of the back dining room.
Both of them were off yesterday and didn't know I had moved 'Waldo' to another section of the restaurant. We all had a good laugh...what a great way to start a long ten hour shift! (and I mean that with all sincerity) Had I still be working in the corporate world I would have been sent straight to HR and maybe even fired. Working in the family owned business world, it was a good laugh and a great way to start the day... with a smile.
We have big plans for Waldo... Halloween costumes in October and Santa outfits in December!
Today Len was in the office working when the bartender told him there was a woman out front that wanted to talk with him. She met him at the chamber breakfast when he had been awarded his "Waldo" and sat at his table. I told him "It's hell being popular."
The man works so much it makes ME look like a part time employee. He had ten things going at once and was just coming off a busy lunch, with him on the line cooking in 120 degree heat. On our side of the expo line the temp is ninety and almost unbearable. On the cooks side it is an EASY 120 degrees. A pizza oven raging at 500 degrees , open flame char-grills too numerous to count and ovens set on varying degrees from 350 to 450.
It's like grilling out in the middle of Death Valley in a snow suit.
He leaned back out of the door and said "Just sit her by my cardboard cut out." He was kidding, but we all agreed and I walked to the front to greet the woman and asked if she needed to see Len? I led her to the back of the store and said "He's right back there" motioning to the back dining room where I had Waldo peering out from the wall. She threw up a hand and waved at him and after about three seconds realized it was Waldo. She laughed harder than we did.
Dang it's nice to work in a place that doesn't have to conform to corporate rules. We have a good time...we work hard and sometimes we get our butts kicked. It is a a family owned business and what's even nicer is we are ALL family.
Til next time...COTTON
P.S. you gotta click on the pics..they will be bigger!
Saturday, July 9, 2011
I'm also putting "Sturdy sports bar" on my mental shopping list... my right boob looks like it is in dire need of a lift!
It's been a long week. Being fifty one is not conducive with working almost fifty one hours a week on tired old fifty one year old feet. I mean...look what it has already done to my right boob!
At least work is a pleasure now. Sometimes I still dread going in when I am worn out but after clocking in and four cups of coffee and cracking a few jokes my Mo-Jo meets the Go-Go and I am fine.
My latest victim at work is my new dear friend who's "Pregger-osity" has really started to pop! It's so much fun to make fat jokes when it's someone having their first child. It's not like they are doing anything wrong and is so easy to crack about.
HEY I have three kids...Been There!!! I gained seventy pounds with Zachary, I had Little Debbie Swiss Rolls for lunch every day and the largest Icee they sold at the gas station to wash it down with.
By the time Zach was two months old I was back down to my normal size. I mean... they don't grow UP inside of you...they just START to. I am not a big fan of women using pregnancy as a reason to get huge, remain huge and blame it on having a baby. That's some heavy crap to lay on a little baby that at the most probably weighed nine pounds, when you gained seventy!
My friend is known at work as being kind of clumsy for lack of a better word. She spills stuff on herself and drops more stuff than she picks up and I've decided to nick name her "Oopsy." It's probably her third or fourth nick name (I like to nick name) and a few others have been but are not limited to..."Cookie, Biscuit and Big Girl." She has a great last name...Greek names are the best!
She is now officially "Oopsy Balafas" pronounced in southern speech "Oopsie Bah LAH fus." Dang, if her gig as a new mom doesn't work out she will totally rule as a star on "Jersey Housewives."
I pick on her... but like I always say, "I don't pick on you unless I like you"...and I like "Oopsy" a LOT!
I don't waste my humor, wit and sarcasm on people I don't love, but tend to "Shower the people I love."
Massey is working on getting an "Oopsy Care Bear" online for my clumsy friend, so we can give it to her at the baby shower.
I've already booked the male stripper for the shower. He weighs 450 pounds and will be wearing a "Onesie."
Til next time...Cracking myself up COTTON
Friday, July 8, 2011
I waited on a couple of regulars today at work that live in the subdivision across the street from it and asked them what they thought about the new cell phone tower, to which they replied "What cell phone tower?" (and they weren't kidding)
Of course they are both ninety years old and may not be techno savvy. I should have said "How do you like the new Jitterbug tower?" I told them about it and they seemed all excited to have something new to look for on their road trip back home (all of five miles)
They are a precious couple, both veterans of WWII. He was a bomber pilot and she was in the Navy. They are both in amazing shape and consider doctor appointments to be like hair appointments. They had just come from the doctor where she learned she had high cholesterol. Her husband was already on medication for it and it's a good thing because he ordered the antipasto for lunch. He thought he was being good ordering a salad. The problem is it has salami, cappicola, prosciutto and cheese. I guess if you live to be ninety you can pick your poison. It's not like your going to wake up tomorrow morning and suddenly and be thirty again.
They remind me of the Schumakers from the movie Dirty Dancing...remember the old couple that stole the wallets ? Of course this couple is honest and above board, but shuffle along at a slow pace and take five minutes to get from the front door of the restaurant to their table to sit down. (chalk up another road trip in their day)
I don't want to live to be ninety on a respirator. I want to live to be ninety just like them...fully alert (they catch all my funny quips and think I am funnier than Phyllis Diller) and in great health considering they will hit the century mark in less than a decade...that's like a week from now to them!
It was painfully slow at work tonight but on the upside I got off early and got home in time to blog, do some laundry and relax before my nightly sweat session starts.
I am fifty one... only a little over half way to the Schumacker's milestone. Better a milestone than a head stone!
Til next time...COTTON
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
He can out think , debate and pummel you with facts (environmental, financial, historical, social and political) you never knew about but always wanted to and leave you wondering why we can't have a guy like HIM in the White House ? I mean this in all seriousness.
He floundered about this past year...having to make up credits to graduate on time, having a couple of scrapes that seriously worried me... and learning some valuable lessons from not using the spectacular brain God gave him.
I can sit and talk/debate with him for hours...many people have. He knows a tremendous amount about so many things and something about everything. He can tell you how to solve poverty and how we are doing it wrong. He can tell you what is wrong with government and his ideas on fixing it. They make more sense to me than anything I have heard discussed and tossed about by current politicians or potential candidates. He has a genuine appreciation for the environment and can fascinate you with facts and stats that make you feel ashamed for not doing more.
His incredible vast knowledge continually amazes me...his lack of using it wisely, amazes me even more.
He's made some mistakes...what kid hasn't?
He has a sense of humor exactly like mine... except he sounds a lot smarter with his zingers, backing them up with facts when I back mine up with "That's right!"
It's one of the reasons we butt heads...the kid is just like me but really smart.
He has more potential than any young person I have ever met, and my other two kids are FAR from being slouches. I am a proud momma, I am a tired momma, I am an old momma but I am a happy momma.
He is turning nineteen. That's thirteen in male years...fifty four in dog years and a long stinkin' road in momma years.
I have tremendous faith in Zach, and confidence that he will do something great , explosive and meaningful with his life.
Happy Birthday buddy!!
May you always remember the lessons and morals we taught you and may you succeed beyond your (my) wildest dreams!!
I still remember he was the only kid in kindergarten who wrote such an eloquent "My Gift to the World" letter at Christmas. He was five years old.
My Gift to the World
If I could give the world any present this is what I would give.
I would give money to the poor.
I would give homes to the poor.
I would give clothing to the poor.
I would give caring to the Taliban.
That is what I would give the world."
"Out of the mouths of babes" comes to mind.
By the tender age of five he knew we needed to not only take care of our fellow man but hope that our enemies realize the far reaching impact of terrorist retaliation.
I am proud of all my kids. I am proud of the people they have become. I am proud they have sometimes stumbled but not been too proud to ask for help.
I am proud they have appreciated my help and proud that they have learned from their mistakes...as I have.
Two kids down...one to go.
I better have the coolest room at the retirement home. I have at LEAST earned a "Rascal" or "Hoveround" a "Jitter Bug" phone and a walk in bath tub! Think of it this way...I got three kids, the bill can be split three ways . I'll tell them to just take Tim to a golf course, sit him on a bench and tell him "Teeing off in a few minutes, we'll come getcha!"
Til next time...COTTON
Monday, July 4, 2011
Shucking corn is exhausting work, especially when you have to sit up to do it. I somehow struggled through and crashed back onto the couch to recuperate from my shucking. Tim got home around 6:30 and fired up the grill and I opened a beer. NOW it was a holiday!
I tend to push myself to limits that Wonder Woman would shake her head at and then crash like the Hindenburg. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing but it is just the way I am geared..."All or nothing."
Day after tomorrow is my middle child's birthday. He will turn nineteen going on twelve making me feel sixty five. At least we are both still breathing and he still tells me he loves me.
Raising kids is the hardest job I've ever had. Sometimes it is a cake walk and sometimes it is a pile of steaming dog do that only a mom can clean up. Dad will take the bag out to the can but the stinky part falls into my hands...no wonder I have such rough looking hands.
I was no angel as a teen and have kept that in mind. My parents would wear me out with a belt, I tend to wear my kids out with my sharp tongue and sarcastic but even sharper wit (two of my better qualities as a parent.)
I am happy to be off on the Fourth. I am happy to be alive. I am happy to have teens and young adult children. They are happy they were born in a country that frowns on parents beating the crap out of them when they do stupid stuff.
You take the good with the bad. I am married to a wonderful man that somehow loves me. Being married to me is like being married to a ninety nine pound Roseanne Barr when she first began her TV career. We drive each other nuts because we are so polar opposite but both realize each of us signed up for the long road trip of marriage and parenthood over two decades ago and have settled into our perspective seats, turning the mental radio up when you want to drown the other out to catch a short rest. You married them because they were sexy and cute to you but after years start to blur together and life throws a few curves you tend to sometimes forget. But wonder if you split up and they meet someone else, started acting all "Perfecty" and ended up married to THEM? I say hang in there and take your chances, trust the instincts you felt decades ago and know that when you finally grow old together it may just be the best part! (Will someone copy and paste this last paragraph and email it to my spouse?)
Dang...that ought to be the definition of parenthood in the dictionary!
Glad to be an American this Fourth...great feeling. With all our problems and infighting it is still hands down the absolute best country in the world. Glad to have a God that loves me even with all my faults. Glad to have a husband that is still hanging in there after over twenty years with the lunatic I call "COTTON." Glad to have three kids that have brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined and enough drama and sporadic emotional trauma to have paid back how bad I was as a teen ten times over. Guess we'll call that parental inflation! Glad to have a job I love and that for some bizarre reason loves me right back. Mostly after God loving me...I am grateful that I have a family that loves me. I mean they love "ME."
I've never been the greatest daughter, sister, aunt , cousin , co worker, friend or even adversary but I think I have given it a pretty decent shot after a few youthful fumbles and a few late life hot flashes.
Hoping my writing will one day soon pay off and I can buy them all the mansions they deserve!
Then I could still act like Roseanne and they'd have to act like they still liked me...I gotta get busy with this publishing thing...it may be my way back into the will!
Have a happy Fourth.
I live in a great country.
I have a family that loves me unconditionally and literally tens of thousands of men and women protecting my freedom, something we all too often take way too lightly.
YEP...I'll call it a good day!
Til next time...COTTON
Friday, July 1, 2011
Massey got home after I left for my dinner shift but of course we text back and forth when I could sneak off to the rest room at work. It wasn't hard to do, it was a slow night at work.
Fourth of July weekend and gas prices dramatically down...not a good combination for a server in an upscale restaurant.
The entrance ramp to the highway leading out of town was a traffic jam and gas stations were packed when I headed back for my dinner shift. Kroger has cheap gas prices but you can get shot if you zoom in front of someone waiting for the next available pump or at the least get screamed at and given the finger. I've seen the latter happen and often worried about the first.
Zach has tested me of late and like the good mom I am tested him right back ! He learned a valuable lesson and so did I.
I can't speak for Zach but the lesson I learned is, your kids are your kids and you love them. You love when they make you proud and seem to love them even more when they royally (THIS love tends to make your heart physically ache) screw up.
Zach seems happier with his life which makes it a whole lot easier for me NOT to want to smack him on the back of the head every time I see him. He's taken his smacks on his own and they seem to have worked.
My motto is:
"Don't even THINK life is tough when you are just nineteen or you will most surely be devastated by the reality of being an adult AND a parent."
My kids are safe and sound in the house as I type...the adopted one will be home from work in a bit and the doors will be locked. Kid's can drive you crazy but can also give you the drive to succeed as a parent.
They haven't killed me yet... they are giving it a good shot but I think if I get the jump on them I can take them. I'm skinny but I'm scrappy as heck!
Til next time "Momma Hen"