Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Good Day...

I did a catering job for work today and Zach helped me. I didn't have to work until five and the restaurant had three different caterings this morning so I did one of them. We picked up the food at  the restaurant at 11AM and delivered it to a doctor's office right off the town square. By 11:45 we were back at the restaurant dropping off the catering bags...talk about easy money!!

I talk a lot about Massey, mainly because I am with her most all the time. Boys tend to shy away from going places with their Momma after the age of eleven. Today was the exception to the rule and I was pleasantly surprised.

Zach's had a tough time finding his way and it worries me constantly. I can never seem to remember the "Catch more flies with honey than vinegar rule" when it comes to talking to him. I have a sharp wit and even sharper tongue...what makes it worse is that we are so much alike (except that he is borderline genius yet refusing to use his God given talent.) I know it is God given because he sure didn't get the smart part from me!

He's made some really bad decisions in the past and not too many good ones but I still love him. He  just recently started to realize that maybe in fact he DOESN'T know every thing and may need some help and guidance.

It started with baby steps. After he totaled my car it was hard to hand him a set of keys even if it was to drive three doors down to the neighbor's. He worked a part time job for a while but has mostly been "My bitch" around the house. As much as I work that has been okay with me. He takes Massey to school when Tim has to go in early and picks her up when I have to work a late day shift. He vacuums a room with the best of them and has fixed many things around the house for me. He has cleaned my kitchen and mopped my floors. He walks the dogs every day and bathes them every two weeks. He's replaced shower heads, cleaned my garage and just finished totally rebuilding a computer some kid gave him.

We spent the entire day together and didn't have one fight or argument.

I was horrible when I was Zach's age. I didn't get into the trouble he has gotten into but I certainly wasn't a blessing to my Diddy. I partied away at college like nobody was having to pay for it, bounced checks my Diddy had to cover and gave him gray hair WAY before his time...but He still loved ME.

That's why they call them KIDS!
Webster's defines "kid" perfectly "The young of a similar animal."

Zach and I are just alike, only seperated by thirty two years. Unfortunately a lot of things change in three decades and in this society not much of it is for the better.

He has a great lead on a job and is going by to talk with them again tomorrow. I actually have enjoyed having him around and getting to know him again. He seems to be coming into himself and maturing.

I have three kids,  all totally different from each other. Raised by the same two parents yet all choosing different paths.

Sounds like somebody's looking for a short cut!

Take it from a fifty one year old...I've been looking for one for over half a century!

Til next time...COTTON

Monday, January 30, 2012

I May Be a Freak But I'm Not a Clean Freak!

I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing...but the thing is it's just the way I am. When my kids were first born was the closest to being a clean freak I ever got. Boiling not only the water I made their formula with but sterilizing seemingly endless bottles nipples and pacifiers, cleaning  humidifiers daily and even washing their little booty's with a warm washcloth every diaper change...regardless of it being a number one or number two. I quickly learned that wet wipes were just as effective as warm washcloths but kept up  the bottle sterilization for at least six months. Then I switched to washing the bottles in the dishwasher adding a cap full of bleach with all the nipples and rings in a dishwasher net bag. My kids never really liked pacifiers much anyway so instead of sterilizing them, I just threw them out .

I am almost fifty one now and my kid's are 25... 19... 16 and all three still alive and healthy. I taught them the basics as they grew up. Wash your hands often, always with warm water and soap. Brush your teeth twice a day. Take a bath and change your underwear every day and don't eat boogers.

So  far it has worked out pretty "well" for us. (small pun intended)

I used to clean my house (dust vacuum, wash sheets mop floors) every Friday just like my Mama did. The big difference was my Mama was a housewife until her youngest child was almost in junior high school.  Once MY kid's got old enough (high school) to clean and do  for themselves and I was still working six days a week I let them live in squalor if they chose. I would clean my own bathroom and the guest bathroom. I kept the living room clean in case company arrived unexpected and cleaned the kitchen after every meal. Between meals they were on their own. The past year or so I have been working sometimes 14 day work weeks...sometimes 20 day work weeks.

I have let the home dust and dirt fall where it may..."Everywhere." If they get disgusted enough they pitch in and clean.
 What do I care? I work over fifty hours a week and work more than I am at home. I work in the cleanest restaurant I have ever worked in (and I have worked in a LOT) so I feel pretty secure about my living environment. I seem to live at work and therefore live in a very clean place.

When life went in the crapper for us, cleaning my house was bumped way down the list,  KEEPING my house worried me a heck of a lot more and became my main priority. I also learned how to pinch a penny til it screamed. I learned how to sometimes beat the banking system (so I like to believe) learned how to keep utilities on WAY past due dates while still  keeping the kids cell phones activated.

When Barb (my boss) eats a meal at  work she always has at least half left over. She  gives it to me and I  take it home and put it in the fridge. Tim wakes up the next  day for work thinking he is eating yet another PB&J for lunch and spots a box of Chicken Picata or Veal Marsala in the refrigerator with "COTTON" written on the box. I will admit, sometimes Barb's best  friend eats dinner with her and has over half her dinner left and asks if I want it? I thank her and put the food in yet another box  label it "COTTON" take it home and tell Tim Leon sent him some food. (Leon is the owner's son)

One time Tim came in to eat some first go around food with Massey and  I mentioned to Leon "If Tim says thanks for the food just say you're welcome."

Skip to today.

I worked a double. Zach took me to work this morning and kept my car because he actually has a job that wants him to come in and talk about employment with their company. I told him to go pick up Massey after school and then come pick me up for my luxurious one hour break. They both got there and announced they were hungry. Monday night is "Pasta Night" at Mama Lucia's.  All pasta entrees are $9.99. They ordered to go. Zach got spaghetti with meatballs and Massey got an order of three meatballs. Our meatballs are ridiculously good and like the good people they are   discounted everything and I had dinner for both kids a bag of warm bakery baked bread with extra virgin olive oil, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning for under eight bucks.

I drove home, for a thirty minute power nap with Zach riding shotgun and Massey in the backseat with the food on her lap. We got behind an older tiny Toyota pickup with about twenty huge garbage bags bulging out of every corner of the truck bed when Zach casually said "Don't get too close, if he picks up speed one of those bags might come flying out."

Not one minute later the tiny truck put on his left blinker and started to turn, then  slammed on his brakes just like I had to. The bags shifted but stayed put.  Behind me I heard Massey say "OH my God I think I'm gonna cry!" The bag fell off her lap and her three delicious meatballs were deposited on top of her brand new snow white New Balance tennis shoes her Dad had just bought for her. I told her not to move...we would be home in four minutes. My motto is  "Don't cry over spilled marinara."

We got home , I got out of the car and looked in the seat behind me. Massey still looked mortified but had two meatballs resting on top of each shoe. I told her to wait for me to go get a beach towel but first scooped each meatball up into my hand , went into the kitchen and rinsed them off... put them on a small plate and covered  them with my cheap store brand plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for Tim.
The kids were appalled.
They both said "We'll tell Dad."
I told them  being married to me would kill their father long before anything I fed him did and they better keep their traps shut.

So what I've cut a few corners? It's not like I sterilize Tim's every meal.

 I told Massey they could drive me back to work in thirty minutes and I would get her some more meatballs...she seemed happy with that and I was beyond happy with my thirty minute nap.

On the way back to work I called and ordered Massey's replacement meatballs. She ran in and picked them up when they dropped me off and all was good.

Zach came back to pick me  up from my dinner shift three hours later and when I was checking out with Len (the owner) Zach said "Dad didn't eat those meatballs he went to bed early." Len said "They will be fine, rinse them off and cook them at 250 degrees for ten minutes."

Zach (in total Zach fashion) said "Well then we'll just bring them back here for you to eat."

Len just chuckled...he is married to a woman that makes me look like Aunt Bee on Xannax. I love Barb to death and she is my mentor as a working woman but absolutely everyone is either in awe of her or fears her tremendously.

The meatballs are still in the fridge...if the kids ratted me out they will be sorry, trust me!

Catering for work in the morning. Going to bed thinking how lucky I am to not only have a job that helped save my family but a job that has helped feed my family.

Yes I  aptly named our email address...

Til next time..."Kelly Mae"

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Overloaded at Work...

Okay, so I don't have a desk job but if I did this is the way my desk would have looked tonight.

Had a good morning, slept til ten... watched the news and caught an episode of "Full Throttle Saloon" featuring my high school friend's son who is a wounded warrior. He was featured on the episode. I've never been a huge Harley fan although I have a very nice women's Harley jacket I bought from a friend in 1982 after he split up with his girlfriend. (Thank the Lord she was tiny) It's my favorite jacket and is soft, worn and fits like a glove.
After watching the FTS episode, it made Toddlers & Tiaras look like a VBS talent show.

 The difference was Todd is a 21 year old man who lost three limbs to an IED and for him to have half naked women all around him was a heck of a lot less than he is due but probably a lot of fun for him!

Then Massey and I headed over to the booming town of Griffin to the Sock Shoppe and replaced my husband's disgusting briefs (Thank  the Lord he hasn't been in a car accident) and picked up socks, tights for me to wear to work, tee shirts to upgrade Zach's daily uniform and even dress socks that my color blind husband could match. It's a mill store and the prices are ridiculously low. Maybe some items are slightly flawed...but that fits right in with our family theme!

We left and stopped once back in our own county to give the lil' bidness some $$ too. We ate at the Redneck Gourmet. One of Zach's friends works there...a cute little girl who if I could, would pay to be my future daughter in law. The food was great, the fries were right up there with The Varsity's (a big compliment from a girl from the Atlanta area) and it was nice to get a belly full before having to head into work.

Got to work (with Massey in tow, she was busing tables) and the bottom fell out.  I walked in thirty minutes early and ran into a couple who wanted me to wait on them. My manager said I could wait on them so I clocked in and took off running. I had another table of five that had made a reservation requesting me as their server at seven and got slam banged right up til then with tables. (not that I'm complaining...just setting up the story) At the Sock Shoppe I bought  new tights for work and knowing it was going to be cold tonight bought some sock tights that are thicker. As it got busy I felt like I was wearing long johns.

In the meantime I had three other tables go down and then a party of four... two couples in their sixties. As I half ran to the table to get their order one of the men asked "It's really chilly in here can you  turn the air down?'  In hindsight maybe I should have re thought my response but like the talker I am said "Are you out of your mind? I'm a fifty year old woman, I'd lift my arms up to show you my sweat stains but instead I'll just  tell you I haven't been chilly in over a year and I don't even think I've peaked yet. Did you  bring a sweater with you?"

The look I got was what I would call mid way between shocked and mystified. The women were amused, the men not so much. I doted on  the men after that and promised I would have the air adjusted. (not)
It was only one hour of chaos but seemed like an eternity as sweat poured down my back and I hustled from  table to table to table.

It's crazy waiting tables. When it all hits at once...you gotta go with it... at least it's "Hitting."
I got lucky and wowed the chilly folks and it settled down  to a rhythm I could deal with.

I love my job...the thing that I hate is when people say it isn't a REAL job. Well I've been doing it for over thirty years. I have raised three kids by doing it, saved my family by doing it and actually like doing it.

There are a lot of people working jobs they hate but have a degree for. I have my PHD in BS, put it to work every day and come home with a paycheck every night. The better job I do the better I am compensated. It may vary but if I am consistent...it all averages out to my advantage.

A year ago I couldn't even pay attention much less my bills. With help from many and the ability to work day after day after day, I spent the day with my girl picking up bargains...had lunch and helped support another local restaurant, went into work and had my butt kicked but came out the door with a Verizon payment, gas money  and a bank deposit.

Life is good..life is HOT. Growing old as a woman seems to have more set backs than growing old as a man...but then again I don't have to scratch myself constantly or worry about the "Boys."

I tend to worry  more about the boys I am raising, their sister and the ceiling in the kitchen that looks like it is falling through...the leak in the master bath  and on and on and on.

Good thing Tim married me. He works really hard (he does) but I am a tom boy and don't mind taking over. As long as he brings home that check, I'll do more than my fair share. Heck, he should get a medal for just staying married to ME!
breaks. I have changed my schedule to have a day off every week and sometimes more. It's been a long haul but it has been totally worth it.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. It's all about Karma...what goes around comes around. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Live life as if there is no tomorrow...because there isn't until it happens and if if does be grateful you've been given one more chance.

Til next time... COTTON

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

And to Think I Was Worried About the Teens of Today...

 I fell asleep in front of the TV the other day between shifts at work while watching some show on TLC. I woke up to the most bizarre show I have ever been witness to. I thought someone had added TPC (The Pedophile Channel) and I had rolled over on the remote and switched it to that channel.
 Low and behold I was watching Toddlers & Tiaras. I guess I've heard of it but watching it was totally mind boggling. At first glance I thought it was little girls with women's faces superimposed over their own. Nope!
I don't blame the kids...heck some of them aren't even old enough to write their name much less know right from wrong. On the other hand, What in the heck are these moms thinking??

In the span of one episode I learned  these moms take these girls for facials, adjustments at  the chiropractor, manicures and spray tans. I also learned every mom sounded like an idiot when they  talked to OR about their daughter. It was kinda like "Hee Haw does Hollywood."

One mom took her toddler to the local paint and body shop to get her daughter's spray tan. The goofball guy said "It's just like painting a car...that moves."

Then I learned what "Flippers" were. Stupid me thought they were what you wore on your feet to scuba dive. One of the girls was so excited when her idiot mom came in the house from the mailbox shouting "Yer Flipper's here!!" The little girl was jumping up and down as they ripped open a box containing toddler dentures. Then it shows the dentist who made them talking about the gap in  the little girl's teeth caused from sucking a pacifier for too long.

Now I'm all about getting rid of a pacifier but isn't replacing it with a set of uppers kind of an extreme way to make up for your obviously lacking parenting skills?

After one full episode I think my favorite part was the crowning ceremony. After standing behind the judges, yet directly in front of the entire crowd pantomiming their kid's entire routine while they were onstage performing (Mom always dressed in ratty jeans a tee shirt and hair from hell) it was time for the awards.
I learned quickly if you won the title of "Princess" you were in fact a loser and could pack up your kid's square dancing dress and go back to the trailer park.

Then they have a multitude of other "Loser Awards."

"Best Costume of Choice"
"Most Beautiful"
"Best Talent" (unless you're raising a prodigy there is no talent in a four year old other than not pooping in their pants or wetting the bed)

Then after giving awards to all  the other losers and shooing them off the stage they bring out the 'big guns.'

The title names are the best part. First you have a "Grand Supreme" in every age group. Then they have a "Mini Grand Supreme." (still not sure what that one was for but the kid WAS really short)

Then (drum roll please...)
Congratulations to number 34, you have won the "Ultimate Grand Supreme." Then they plop a crown  about five times too big onto the hair spray plastered bouffant hair of the little diva and give her a sash that won't stay up either since it was made to drape across boobs not baby fat.

The sad thing is,  these grown women are taking away their kid's ability to just "Be kids" and the kids are too young to even know it. The make up is "Play boyish" to say the least and  the outfits make square dancing oufits look chic. Granted I never had a toddler in a pageant but then again I never had $100,000 to spend on them just to bring home a trophy and a crown and sash that don't fit. So what they won a thousand dollars? Is it supposed to make you feel better that now you're only $99,000 in the hole?

I'll take my three kids just  the way they are. Living with rules, getting smacked when they need it and hugged when they have a bad day.

And by  the way..."Ultimate Grand Supreme?" I can think of three adjectives that would mean a heck of a lot more to a four or five year old in the long run. How about "Happy Carefree Innocent?" 

It was a disturbing but creepily entertaining show to watch and I assume that was the selling point  when pitched to the network.

I'm still happy with my three kids. They drive me crazy,  sometimes they drive and inspire me and sometimes they drive somewhere FOR me. Maybe I need to pitch a show "Teens & Tirades."

Today Zach won  "Grand Supreme" for fixing my broken door knob. Massey won "Ultimate Grand Supreme" for getting an "A" on her Spanish II test and I gave myself  "Mini Grand Supreme" for taking the day off!

Til next  time...(drum roll please)
COTTON

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm Starting to Get Used to This!

That's right...I am off again tomorrow!! WooHoo, Hooty Hoot and Yee Haw. I am standing firm on this New Year's resolution. We're at  the point where we can actually see the corner where we will finally turn. It's still down the road a piece, maybe even a mile but we can see it if we squint! After much soul searching and a firm talking to from my sister (momister) I have decided that I can take at least one day off a week. The cob webs in my house seem nervous, the dust seems unsettled on the furniture. The house seems to know "She's BACK!" I attacked the living room the other night and I thought I heard a tiny squeal when I walked into it with my Murphy's Oil Soap and bottle of Mr. Clean. I cleaned places that have been ignored for way too long and it felt great to be able to see out the front windows again.

I used to be at a point where I felt guilty for taking a day off,  but the feeling was totally justified..."I couldn't afford to so I didn't."

It's not like we're suddenly rich...but after over two years of totally and completely struggling it feels wonderful to have one day off a week. I was almost at my breaking point and for what? So what I take one day off...will it change the past two years? Will it make us millionaires if I work 18 days in a row? The answer would be "No" and "No."

I have been helped by SO many that my once total embarrassment turned quickly to gratitude and turned again to Thanking God so many people loved me and my family. I realized I wasn't pitiful (although I felt that way) but in fact I was an extremely lucky woman. I guess I felt that if all these people were doing so much for me, how could I (with any kind of conscience) take a day off?

My sister helped me to come to the realization that working week after week without a day off wasn't going to change our situation ...but  may in fact kill me.

Well THAT one got me thinking! I made a resolution to take one day off a week. I kind of slipped the first two weeks in January but have already had one day off and will have another on Wednesday.

I look in the mirror every day and  seem to be aging more rapidly than I would like but it still beats the alternative.

Got home from work tonight at 11 PM. I manually shut the garage door that Zach broke the opener for years ago and fumbled my way over to the kitchen door. It's always unlocked, we have 200lbs of dog living in our house, you ain't robbing us unless you want old, used crap or want to get tore slap up by two dogs.

I turned the knob and the dogs started barking. It was locked. As my Diddy would say"For Pete's sake!" I turned my cell phone on so I could see to put  my house key into the door knob but when I did I heard the door knob fall off into the kitchen floor on the inside of the house. (I heard Charlie bark at it)

I swear I live in a cartoon! I went back and pulled up the fifty pound garage door and went around to the front door to let myself in. The dogs met me as I shut the front door.

 I am meeting a dear friend from the Western Sizzler I used to work for at Mama Lucia's on my day off for lunch. In Clampett fashion I am dragging Massey and Zach with me. I have a free meal once a month with another half price meal for a guest. It will be cheaper than ordering pizza to be delivered and be three times as good.

Coming home and finishing scaring off all the cob webs and dust bunnies. Cleaning the bath rooms and ceiling fans. Cleaning baseboards I have totally forgotten I had and even cooking dinner late when Tim gets off.

It may seem insignifiscant but one day a week is all I need to keep on keeping on. I have always been a work horse (Tim tells me they call that a bitch...or maybe that's just what he calls me... and I can't much blame him.)

Tomorrow will be great. Meeting Miss Donna for lunch, letting my kids entertain her and coming HOME! Cleaning, fluffing and getting things back to normal...if  NORMAL can ever be used to describe my life!

Even if I had the chance I wouldn't change a thing. It's my life. It was in the cards. We played our hand, our family raised and my friends matched.

I'm still taking a day off on Wednesday and feel pretty pumped!

It's getting better, it's getting much better, it's not getting ALL CAPS better but it's getting better.

Monday, January 23, 2012

OOPS!!

Got home from a double shift on Sunday night. I should have gone to bed but of course I didn't. Tim needed the computer for work so I headed to the living room with a bottle of Murphy's oil soap, a bottle of Windex and a bottle of my buddy,  Mr. Clean. I dusted and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. Front windows, TV, mantle and fireplace, tables lamps and the kid's game systems. I watched Grand Torino while I did all this and was exhausted by  the movie more than the cleaning. Cleaned cobwebs from the walls with a broom and plucked dead leaves from all the plants. I finished cleaning and cried like a baby at the end of Grand Torino like it was the first time I had watched it.

Went to bed after a snack of peanut butter and crackers and that is all I remember...

Woke up this morning to the sound of rain pounding my house like a wake up call. Unfortunately it WAS my wake up call. The clock by  the bed said 10:36.  I was supposed to be at work at 10:30.

I HATE waking up that way! I ran into the bathroom to wash my face and screamed into Zach's room "Get up...you gotta take me to work, NOW!"

I called Barb and told her I overslept. I slapped on some more deodorant and wet my hair down, stuffed my make up into a zip lock baggie and was in the car five minutes after waking up. I got to work and by  the grace of God we didn't have anyone come in right at opening. I went in the restroom to put on "My Face" and couldn't see what I was doing. I use a magnifying mirror at the house which almost helps. At work...I was as blind as Helen Keller. I need my glasses to see anything close up, but how do you put on mascara with glasses ON?

I just stood far back from all my tables and tried to smile a lot, smiling always helps! Zach and Massey picked me up after my lunch shift and I went home and assumed the position for forty five minutes between shifts. That would be assuming I was flat on my back ,  to not muss my pitiful make up job or hair do. I woke forty three minutes later and screamed downstairs to Massey  to bring up the zip lock baggie with my make up in it off the kitchen table. I put on a little more blush and wiped away the smudges from my blind mis guided mascara strokes from earlier this morning.

I touched up my face in  my magnifying mirror (an old woman's bestie) and headed back to work. Had an excellent night at work. It was slow but I waited on four tables and walked out with a pile of money... maybe they were pity tips for the pitiful way I looked but "I'll Take'em" any way I can gettum!

Heading back to bed...dang this old age is creeping up on me sooner than I would have liked, but it still beats the alternative!

Setting my alarm now...COTTON

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Modern Technology Has Ruined Our Thinking Process (Or maybe just our ability TO think)

When I was a kid the above photo WAS modern technology to me. I liked the Flintstones okay but dreamed of being a Jetson! I mean when you turn sixteen would you rather borrow your parent's car   you have to push with your bare feet or borrow their super nifty pretty cool looking flying spaceship?

Woke up this morning after working late last night and blogging even later. It looked like it was around 7:30 outside. The street lights were still on. I looked at  the clock by the bed and saw it was almost noon. Then I heard the Tornado siren start. Five minutes later the door bell rang and my ole codger of a neighbor came over to tell us there was a tornado on the ground heading our way...like the siren didn't alert us (but it was still nice of him.)

I immediately ran downstairs to where we keep our homeowners insurance policy and returned upstairs to bed with it to see if we'd finally get that new house, or at least a makeover! No such luck, it blew by... still leaving us with a house that needs more work than my wrinkled old face.

After my mini stay cation of the past two days I felt pretty good. Tim fixed breakfast (earning yet ANOTHER gold star) and we all watched the news as the tornado left the county. I was secretly hoping for a U turn and at least a new roof. No worries, Spring is right around the corner, there's still hope for us!

I fixed some yummy fish tacos with fresh pico de gallo, salsa verde, fresh avocado slices and sour cream for an early dinner for the family and late dinner for me when I got home from work. My sister came by as I was getting ready  to go upstairs to shower for work. She helps run a thrift store for her church and my brother had donated some clothes. He had a raincoat  he told my sister was too big for him and he thought maybe Tim would want it and if he didn't, take it to the thrift shop.

She brought the coat in and said my brother had been out of town on business when it started raining really bad so he bought the raincoat because he didn't have one with him. It was a bit big for him and he meant to have it altered when he got home but never did. I looked at  the coat and said "It's a London Fog!" It was a beautiful long raincoat with lining you could take out. My sister said "I know!  Had it been you or me out of town and it started raining, we would have gone to Wal Mart and bought a two dollar plastic poncho." I laughed and then my sister commented that we should look through all the pockets in case he had inadvertantly left a hundred dollar bill in one of the pockets. She reached in a pocket and pulled out a nice scarf as I shouted "That's MINE you already gave us the coat!" We didn't find a bill but it was still a great coat for Tim (the scarf is still mine.)

Went into work and halfway through a BUSY dinner shift the computers crashed.
 OH MY GOD!!!

Now we ALL had to think. We had to write out orders and special instructions, figure up tabs and taxes, split checks with a lowly manually operated battery powered calculator which seemed to us like using an abbacus. They were only down maybe eight minutes but in the middle of a busy dinner shift it seemed like hours.

We are spoiled products of modern technology. Years ago I used to know a young girl that couldn't read a watch or clock unless it was  digital, how sad of a statement is that for her school system?

Of course I am almost fifty two and felt thrown under the bus having to think on the fly. We were all scrambling around like mice in a maze and sweating bullets. Some customers had to wait maybe five minutes to get their bill but it seemed like an eternity to us servers (and to some of the grumpier less patient customers.)

All said and done... after we were back on line it made me realize how much we all depend on modern technology and how lazy we have gotten in the 'Thinking Department." Technology is great but we need to all remember the time we had to "Use our noggins" and do it a lot more often if you ask me!

Heading to bed...but not before I use my oven timer to let me know when my frozen pizza is ready, they ate all the fish tacos while I was at work.

Til next  time COTTON Jetson!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Give That Man a Gold Star!

So I had a day off this week and did absolutely nothing until after four PM. I should have been good to go for another two weeks. Truth is "I ain't."

I have worn myself down and having a bit of trouble bouncing back.

Today I didn't have to be at work until 5:30. Today also happened to be my husband's first day off (yeah that's right he gets two off in a row... boy is HE spoiled)

He took Massey to school and when he came back I rolled over and said over my shoulder "Breakfast sounds great if you'd bring it to me up here in the bedroom." He replied "That ain't happening" and walked out of our bedroom. Five minutes later I smelled sausage cooking. Ten minutes later I propped up on two pillows and chowed down. He seemed a little ticked when I mentioned he hadn't brought me a napkin so I just said for him to get me a wash cloth out of the linen closet by  our bedroom. Two minutes later he came back with TWO napkins and a big glass of orange juice. It was wonderful and right in time for the beginning of me watching my recorded episodes of Modern Family and Parks and Recreation from last night. After my breakfast I looked out the window at a gray and rainy day.

Now THIS is a day to sleep! (I thought to myself as I rolled back over)

Three hours later I hollered back downstairs to him in the living room and said "Lunch please. Just a bologna sandwich with spicy mustard and some pickles, nothing fancy but a cold Co-Cola out of the fridge would be nice." At least I said please.

"BAM"! Maybe eight minutes later I had me a whopper of a sandwich, Wavy Lays and a cold Coke sitting in front of me. I had sat up by then, thinking I might be getting bed sores. It was delicious...could have used more mustard but who am I to complain? Thirty minutes later he said from downstairs "Are you going to pick Massey up from school?"

I think he heard my "HA!" from downstairs and five minutes later I heard him leave the house.

He got back from picking Massey up and when she came upstairs to visit me in my ICU  I mentioned for her to ask her Dad if he would iron me a work shirt when she went back downstairs to the land of the living.

I crawled out of bed at 4:30 and crept my way to the shower. When I came out I had a work shirt ironed hanging on the closet door.

We have been together twenty three years (I guess he is a slow learner) but today was just exactly what I needed. I thought one day off would do it but it didn't.

Today was like spending a day at the spa without a bill. I got fed twice, only had to roll over or wipe my face with a napkin, change the channel on the TV and woke up dizzy from being in a prone position for over ten hours...It Was Great!

You know, I am married to a great, great man. Not only does he put up with ME but  has never ONCE tried to kill me.
I am feeling better now. Work wasn't so bad and six hours later I am sitting in a chair at my house writing about my day.

I don't know why Tim loves me except for the fact that he seems to know I love him too....and I do!

Things are getting better every day, it's just taking a while for me to get over helping things to get better.

Thank the Lord he is off  Saturday too!

Til next  time...Give my man a Gold Star, COTTON!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Working Moms" An Oxymoron If I Ever Heard One!

I don't care if you have never even filled out an application for employment, if you are a Mom...you HAVE a full time job. Granted there are a few crappy Moms out there (we'll call them part time or "temps") but I am here to tell you, being a Mom is a twenty four/seven non stop full time job which more often than not runs into over time and  days off are few and far between.

I've always worked at least six days a week. I did it before I got married and I did it before I had kids so my transition into motherhood was easier than most.  I did take time off when each of my kid's were born... they were the quickest six weeks of my life! It's tough going back to work when you still can't sit down on a hard surface without grimacing...thank goodness I have always been a server and never had to sit down  (I wanted to, I just couldn't.)

It's pretty much okay at  first, they just eat sleep and poop. It gets a bit harder when they learn to walk (you have to chase after them) and even harder when they learn to talk. My kid's haven't stopped asking for things since they learned the three words "Can I have."

We started having kids in the mid eighties. Most jobs all had 401K plans and great insurance. Ten dollar co pays and free prescriptions. Tim moved up steadily and my wit and work ethic  always served me well as I served the masses.

I would have to say as far as Moms go I was about a nine when the kids were little. I was always one of the room mothers, worked the Fall Carnivals and Field Days, attended every award ceremony and had lunch with them at school at least once a week.

Middle school was a bit easier, they would KILL you if you showed up in their lunch room. Fine by me!

High school is a different ball game. Where I live they have the insane idea it is okay to have 3,000 teenagers under one roof with two resource officers and a dog to patrol them all. Heck...sometimes I feel like I need two resource officers to help keep my own teens safe with the world going to hell in a hand basket... they can keep their dog, I have two.

Luckily my oldest got a job at the age of fifteen and after getting his first paycheck caught on quick. A job equals money!

My next oldest , who is so intelligent  it makes me wonder about a baby  swap at the hospital has refused to use his gift since he hit middle school (and he hit middle school  hard, like a brick wall.) Granted the principal was a big blow hard and we had quite a few meetings with him, often at his request but sometimes at  ours. I waited on him recently in the restaurant I work at and he at least  had the
decency  to act like he didn't know me...I felt like sending him a thank you note.

My middle child is TRULY a middle child (seemingly lost in the shuffle of the grand scheme) but of his own choosing. He could be the next  Bill Gates or the next Warren Buffet but  chose the road of  a lonely anarchist. I can understand a lot of his dismay and disgust but with the great mind he was  blessed with he could be one of the few that could change the world, not just bitch about it. I pray for him daily and hope he wakes up and realizes his potential...a Mom can hope!

Then I have my youngest, a daughter. She came into this world a bit shy of 3 months early and almost killed me AND her. She started out a tiny human so small her head fit into the palm of my hand. She didn't say a word until she was two and then it was only when we dragged them out of her. She was due on my own Mother's birthday and I was elated to be having a girl to name after the Mother I  lost when I had  just turned seventeen. When Massey turned six she started talking and hasn't stopped since. She has great dreams and grand desires,  and is extremely committed to both.  That's the only reason I let her get away with her room looking like a bomb shelter (after the bomb hit.) She is on  track and no one can stop her. All I can say is "You go girl, you make me proud...and don't have kids til you're thirty five!"

I had two great parents, but my Momma was "the bomb.com" if you talk about a Super Mom, that was her. If you talk about a Super Wife, that was her. If you  talk about a Super Friend...that was her. You ask anyone that knew her and I can almost guarantee they will agree. My Diddy (as we called him) absolutely adored her and in return she adored him back just as much if not more. She never worked until we were all in junior high. She WAS the room mom, she WAS the PTA president,  she sewed the uniforms for all the cheerleaders and majorettes, she sewed all the gowns for my sister who in high school  was like a sincere Kardashian without the boob job and on every Homecoming and Valentine court. She was (and still is) naturally beautiful and widely loved.

Momma never had to sew gowns for me (except the bridesmaid dress I wore in  my sister's wedding) but loved us all the same. I was a skinny kid with a big mouth in high school...jeez I guess I've come full circle!
Back to my original point...Being a Mom is hard, I don't care if you clock in or not!

I wouldn't go back on being a mom for anything in the world. If I didn't have kids, who would choose my nursing home? Now if that's not encouragement enough for them all to phenomenally  succeed, what is...have you  seen the cost of a retirement facility?

Getting up tomorrow (hopefully) and doing it all again!

A personal shout out to a Mom who ,  as my daughter would  say is  the bomb diggity...Get feeling better Tammy, the troops are waiting!

Til next  time, "About an eight on the MOM scale" tonight (I didn't cook dinner) COTTON!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Just Crossed The Finish Line!

That's me, the one in the middle...dang, maybe I could stand a few more pounds.

I made it though. It was a long few weeks but most of my bills are current (my definition of current is they stopped calling) and I have enough money to throw a little at the evil money machine in the Verizon store and can buy gas and groceries for dinner.

I looked at my paycheck from the week after Christmas the other day at work. I never get a paycheck...well I do but it says Zero dollars and Zero cents because I claim everything I make. I will be getting Social Security in less than fourteen years and if I lied about what I made, my check would be half of what I will get by claiming every thing. The younger servers just don't get it but they are all in their twenties and retirement seems a million years away to them.

We were balls to the wall the last pay period and I worked 91.49 hours by the stats on my pay stub, and I usually forget to clock in until I get my first table so it was probably more like 95 hours. I claimed over $1284.00 in declared tips and wages. I said to my boss as I sat next to him at  the bar one day between shifts "How can I make over $642.00 a week and still be broke?" He laughed but reminded me that Tim lost a 75K job, was out of work for almost two years so we were 150K behind from the jump. He asked me if it was getting better and I sat there and thought for a minute.

You know, it is. We have worked like crazy and it's just now starting to resemble our old life. It's not the way we used to live but at least our heads are above water. We  still may be treading water but our legs aren't as tired.

The place that has taken the hardest hit is my marriage. I'll have to hand it to Tim, he hasn't killed me yet. I have been a Bee-otch for over two years. I have been frantic I have been manic I have been depressed and I have been certifiable at some points. I  know he has been worried too but just like a man he has been silent and sulking alone. I, on the other hand have worn my heart on my sleeve, bossed  every one in the house around like I was the prison warden from "Cool Hand Luke" with a chip on my shoulder and pretty much made every one else in the house miserable (It's a good feeling when you are a woman and work a lot.)

Next month is Tim's birthday. He will be fifty. I know that I have made him feel like he should have been drawing retirement ten years ago. That's his fault for thinking I was cute when he met me when I was a waitress at Johnny's Pizza on Virginia Ave  back in 1987.

A couple of weeks ago when Massey was working they got slammed at work. I had worked the day shift and was off that night. I called work to check on her and Barb asked if I could come in to help. I went and it was insane. The place was packed, Massey was crying and at least fifteen people stood in the lobby waiting for a table. I bussed tables and ran food, I helped with side work and restocked  ice, polished silverware and reset tables. I never clocked in, I just did it to help Barb (and my girl.)

Len told me when I left after closing (with a free $69 platter of lasagna for the family) that he would treat Tim and me to dinner for a date night...on him.

For Tim's birthday we are going solo to Mama Lucia's and having some great wine and even better food. After that, we are NOT coming home. I'm going to get us a room  at a local hotel and enjoy a night away from the kids, dogs and the memories of the past two years.

I am amazed he has stayed with me. Heck, I even would have left me if I could!

No worries about keeping it a secret. He never reads my blog, he doesn't even know how to find it. He knows I write it but has trouble googling stuff. Sometimes he needs help with the email.

I married a terrific man. Today Massey and I were watching the news before I left for work and they mentioned Towers high school. I remarked  I used to date a guy from Towers. She said "I'm glad you met Daddy...he's pretty good looking for an old dude."

She was right...he IS pretty good looking for an old dude. We started at the bottom twenty two years ago, moved up to a very comfortable life style and sank to the bottom with a big "THUNK" a couple of years ago. We stayed together and weathered the storm with a tremendous amount of help from God, family and friends.

I think Tim will like his birthday present. You know what? I think we BOTH will!

Til next time...COTTON

Monday, January 16, 2012

Reflect..."To manifest as a result of one's actions" Manifest..."Clearly apparent to the sight or understanding"

I am proud to be an American and proud to be from the south. I am proud of my beliefs and values... don't constantly preach about  but simply attempt to live by them and let my actions speak louder than any words.
 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a champion for not only "His" people but  "All" people.

When I was a senior in high school,  I did a paper in my English class on his "I Have a Dream" speech and not only memorized most of it but was mesmerized by all of it.

 Racism, hatred and inequality for ANY human being mortified me at the age of seventeen and  bothers me even more at the age of fifty one.

It may take two minutes out of your day to read the following text, but if you do and are not awed by his perceptive and prophetic ability... (meaning foretelling events as if by divine inspiration) you need to check yourself and then think about how blessed you are.
This country was built by immigrants. We sailed  over and raped the Indians of their land. We brought over robbers. Georgia was originally a "Debtors Prison."  Guess that's why I live here :) We shipped in humans from Africa and treated them worse than mules...who were only considered "Asses." We tore apart their families sold them as pieces of property and treated them as commodities when in fact they were human beings...just like every other person on the face of this Earth.

You know, there are people that I don't like.  But it's not because they are black, it's not because they are gay, it's not because they are Asian or Muslim. It's because they aren't GOOD people.  I don't hate them, I just don't like them and when I think about it...I feel sorry  for them.  I live my life like my parents taught me "Show respect and you will be respected."

Please take a moment out of your day, out of your life or out of my blogging to read one of the most inspiring speeches I've ever heard, read or memorized. The following is the exact text from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his speech to not only the millions in attendance but to the masses that need to hear it.

A hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation we still made black people ride in the back of the bus . We still made them use different restrooms and wouldn't let them sit at a lunch counter... let alone go to school with us. It's a travesty and one I am ashamed of. It's a past that has shown me to love every person for their heart not their religion or color of their skin or even sexual orientation. "Yep, my parent's raised me right!"

If you think "I" am a writer...read the following....

"I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
Martin Luther King, Jr., delivering his 'I Have a Dream' speech from the steps of Lincoln Memorial. (photo: National Park Service)
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

 Now THAT my friends...is what life is all about.  You can also read the earlier version of this speech,  better known as "The Golden Rule."

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Til next  time...COTTON

Sunday, January 15, 2012

As The Dishwasher's at Work... Say "O MI Dios"

I "Think" my last day off was January 4th... I can't remember. I "Know" that I had January 1st off and find it hard to believe I would have taken two days off in one week. I was doing fine until I went into work this morning to open and knew I had to work a double shift. Then the new schedule was posted and I saw that I was working another double shift on Monday. I'm glad that I am, school is out for MLK Day and we should be busy but stupid football playoffs ruined lunch for us and by the time I came back for dinner all I wanted to do was go back home. Lucky for me the other waitress who was a double has been off for five days and wanted to stay. I clocked out by eight o'clock.

I look at  it this way...get home by eight and have a few hours to myself, go to bed by eleven and sleep for ten hours. Heck...That's ALMOST like a day off. I have tomorrow and Tuesday and then , "With God as my witness" I am taking a twenty four hour stay cation.

The kids and even the ole hubby have been really good lately about helping out...just goes to prove what a major meltdown/ shi* pitching tirade can do! (Maybe I should do it more often)

Granted they don't clean the way I would but when they at least give it their best effort, my job is halfway done. So they load the dishwasher but leave the sinks filthy and the traps full of cereal. I can deal with that.

So they empty the trash in the kitchen...and plop the bag down in the garage when the trash bin is only twenty feet away outside. That's saving me five feet of walking!

If I could just teach them to sort and fold socks I would be happy as a pig in slop. This is going to be "MY" year! Things are turning around and my head seems to have quit rotating 360 degrees when I have my meltdowns. Just yesterday I shooed away the Priest at my front door , telling him Reagan didn't live here anymore, but thanks for the offer of a "One time free" exorcism.

I truly believe if the economy didn't suck so bad we would have rebounded much sooner. I also  believe that having a job where I can work as much as I need to has helped tremendously. I am getting close to my breaking point but even closer to the point where I can take at least one day off a week and start to resemble my old self again. What sucks is that I have aged so much in the past two years that I hardly resemble my old self at all.

On the up side, at least now Massey knows what her Grandma, who she never got to meet looks like!
I can do this..two shifts tomorrow and only one on Tuesday. I may rename myself "Wednesday's Child."

I don't mean to sound like my life sucks. I mean the total opposite. These past two years have been the greatest test I have ever endured and I think I'll give myself a B+ and shoot for an A+ in 2012!

Cooking some delectable grilled cheese sandwiches and crawling into bed with my pups.  Tim's still at work. HEY! It's first come first serve in our bed. He can kick them out when he gets home...til then they are the most fabulous foot warmers EVER!

Til next time...Counting down the days COTTON!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Want Winter AND Football GONE!

Massey took this picture of me when I got home from work one night and was blogging, still in my trench coat that comes down to my ankles, scarf  hat and gloves still on.

I'm not a fan of winter and not a fan of football play offs...it kills business at  the restaurant (unless you are a bartender) and I'm not interested in any of the teams involved.

Once again the tipping gods blessed me.  I waited on just four tables but walked out with over fifty bucks. I didn't get anything on my work shirt so I can wear it again tomorrow...Talk about a win!

Massey has joined the work force and opened an account at a local credit union. With her money and my excellent banking skills, the possibilities are endless!  I am totally kidding (kinda) but  very proud of her. She is sixteen. I started working when I was fourteen and have been working ever since. I can remember going to Greenbriar Mall after cashing my paycheck from the East Point Swimming Pool and buying clothes from Ups and Down...the coolest store in the mall and thinking I was an adult. Throw in my babysitting money and I was a "Teen with the Means."

On another note...I've started "Tough Love" with my husband. He works really hard but has two days off a week. I have NO days off a week. I finally just let the laundry pile up until he was forced to wash a load so he didn't have to go into work in pajamas. Once I got the ball rolling with my clever idea... he totally took over. Every laundry basket in the house is empty, all  clothes are clean, folded and put up.

So  what he's pissed at me? I've been ticked at him for three years! I love him to death...or maybe that was HIM  saying "You are killing me." Whatever!!

Twenty four years ago I met and fell in love with him and since we have raised three kids together. We had twenty one good years...the last three kinda sucked but looking back those are pretty good odds.

The thing with men is...you meet them , fall all in dreamy love and start taking over. "Oh,  baby I can do it don't worry, you just relax and watch  the ball game."
Ten years later it's  like "I thought you said YOU would do it?" Twenty years later it turns into  "Whatever...YOU try pushing a kid out of a hole the size of of a dime and THEN  we'll talk!

I am fifty one, almost fifty two. My Momma died when I was seventeen. She treated my Diddy like a king. He never did laundry but that was the seventies.

I am fifty one, almost fifty two. Times have changed.

I'll admit I am a hard case. I have a mouth as wide as the Mississippi  and it all comes out of a now wrinkled face with facial hair I never knew was possible. Don't even get me started on the hot flashes.

The good thing is  "I said I Do." For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health til death do us part.

If Tim can put up with me, he wins the prize. Unfortunately that prize is ME!

Heading to bed and doing it all again tomorrow.
Til next  time..COTTON

Friday, January 13, 2012

Chugging Along...

I don't know how cold a witch's titty is but I am pretty sure we have it beat down here in the deep south. Working another seven day work week but learning to pace myself. I go to the store when I get off work at night so I don't have to leave the house until I have to go back to work the next  day. The last few days I have just been working night shifts so when I get home...even if it's after eleven o'clock, I don't have to step foot outside again for about sixteen hours. HECK... That's a day off to me!

I get up in the morning and have a cup of coffee, throw in a load of clothes or unload the dishwasher and then I call the pups and we all lay in my big ole king sized bed and watch CNN. Sometimes we feel frisky and stupid and watch "E" The True Hollywood Story. Sometimes we feel thinky and watch the History Channel. When I think I should be outside enjoying the day I put it on The Weather Channel and see what people with clothes on are doing (or enduring.)

Then right before the noon news comes on I start my calisthenics. I roll from my right side facing the TV to my left side. I don't have to watch the noon news, just listening suits me. I get the gist, the world's in the crapper and Joran only got 28 years for killing two young women. Time for my stretching exercises. I lay on my back and put my hands behind my head for a bit...ooh that feels great!

Time for my walking exercise. I go to the potty and within five minutes resume my position. No one is home but me, who's gonna tell...the dogs?

By about two o'clock I feel like I have been at a fancy Spa in Buckhead and  ready to face another day.

It sounds kinda sad when I actually read this but you know what? It keeps me sane and willing to go into work day after day after day. I stay up til around two every night getting things done around the house and blogging. I fall into bed around three knowing the  chores are done, groceries have been bought, put up and the next sixteen hours are  "ME" time.

I have always been a creature of the night. If I lived in Greenland I would probably love it, except  I would freeze to death. I didn't used to be but am currently skinny as a pitiful walking stick. I have been home from work for almost two hours and  still sitting in my long trench coat and scarf as I type.

Most importantly...why don't "Hot Flashes" kick in when you really need them?

Going to throw the clothes from the washer into the dryer, and thinking  that dryer looks big enough for me. Maybe if I just set it on "Wrinkle Guard" one of the dogs will paw the door open when I'm "Done."

I know it's still January but I'm praying for an early Spring. My boyfriend "Johnny Deere" looks lonely in the garage. He's so depressed that one of his tires went flat.

I thought it was hell being broke. It's even worse being a Leo in January.
Til next  time...continuing my daily exercises and waiting for SPRING!

COTTON!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Here Comes the Snow!!! (Not Really)

When you live in Georgia weather is a big deal...obviously we are lacking in the "Big deal department." If they forecast snow...even flurries, we all run to the store and buy up all the bread and milk. Forecast accumulating snow and the people who have money go  to Home Depot and fight over generators and Kerosene heaters. I just send one of my teens into the woods behind our house for free firewood.

We LIKE freaking out over some weather down here.
I worked tonight and we were balls to the wall busy... People going out for "The Last Supper" before the mighty flurries hit overnight. I had a party that made a reservation and asked for me. One of them said a friend of hers just moved here from Michigan and was laughing about how the entire city was in an uproar over the possibility of flurries. I told her to tell them "Wait til Tornado season hits."

The owners of the restaurant I work for are originally from Utica, New York. They have been here long enough to know "Weather is not a restaurant's friend, especially in the south."
Give us a warning that the temp is dropping below thirty and we all scurry to protect our  pipes. Tell us there may be frozen precipitation and we rape the store shelves. The problem is that we are not prepared in the least for Winter. Granted, I am a sissy too when it comes to cold weather. I like days that have a high of 95 degrees...as long as my A/C works. That's why I live here. I am skinny and already have hot "Splashes" twenty four/ seven. They can bring on an ice storm but I will still be sweating puddles.

A customer told me tonight that one city in Alaska had eighteen feet of snow dumped on them in a matter of days. Now "THAT" is Winter.

Down here we have school buses that are lucky to get our kids to and from school on a sunny day. Throw in the complication of the forces of nature and they cut their losses and call school off.

I have never worked a busier Thursday night. All the scaredy cat southerners came out to eat tonight, knowing they would be eating beans heated up over a can of Sterno tomorrow with that half inch of snow piled up at their front door barring them from leaving for two days.

Yeah, we're sissies down here and when a BIG weather event happens we are totally unprepared.

I was born and raised here...and it hasn't changed in fifty one years. Give us a day of extreme  heat and we seem prepared for it. (Unless you are homeless or have no A/C) I will admit that at least then the city kicks their lazy butts into action handing out free fans and open cooling stations.)

Talk about snow and everybody freaks! As a woman who sweats away two pounds three times  a night...I'm starting to LIKE Winter! I can always gain the weight back in Spring during Tornado season when I'm eating chips and dip in the laundry room on the first floor at the center most part of the bottom level of my house with the kids and dogs all stuffed in there with me.

Til next time (I did go buy dog food and toilet paper)....COTTON

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Plowing Along

Actually I DO have two pairs of these overalls and two dogs that seem to eat as much as  two horses.

So far 2012 has been MUCH better although I am a little nervous about this coming Friday (the thirteenth.) Work has had some slow days but terrific days as well. Since I've already broken my resolution of taking one day off a week, I tend to  think of the slow shifts as my "Rest" periods.

Zach still hasn't found a job... but unknowingly is working for me. I don't pay him except with the roof over his head , Internet access and food to eat. At least I have someone to pick Massey up from school when I have to work and take her in  the mornings when Tim has to go in early. I have someone to do the laundry and unload and load the dishwasher. He is an excellent vacuumer and is pretty handy with fixing things around the house. I am keeping my fingers crossed no one hires him for at least two more weeks and he'll finally have the whole house in top notch order!

In all honesty I can say that if things keep going as they have , in six months we will finally round that corner we have been staring at way down the road for almost two years. No wonder my eyes are so bad, I've been constantly squinting for two years!

Speaking of that...everyone makes fun of my terrible eyesight at work. There are three computers at work and I have a pair of glasses stashed at every one of them. I buy them at the Dollar Store for $1.00 or root through the lost and found box until I find some that work. I break them all the time but Gorilla Glue them back together. Sometimes my co workers like to hide them from me making me think I have lost not only my eyesight but my mind as well. Don't they realize "I need my glasses to FIND my glasses?"I have found them stuck over picture frames or hidden behind a computer. It took me about a week to figure out what they were doing...Kudos to me, obviously I have taught them well!

My little Frenchy friend at work bought me  pair of stitching glasses from Michael's. They were actually pretty nifty looking and took me two days to break. I Gorilla Glued them and broke them again two days later. She had been off from work so I went across the street to Michael's and bought another pair exactly like them so she wouldn't notice when she came back. It took me three days to break the new pair. I get busy and stuff them into my apron or get in a hurry and drop them on the marble floor.

The problem is I "Refuse" to wear them at a table. I already have a  Great Race going on between my gray hair and wrinkles and another between my Carpal Tunnel and corns on my pinkie toes. I weigh ninety nine pounds.  Pretty much my dignity is all I have left...and I look like a Granny with glasses on.

When someone looks under thirty and orders a drink I card them. I squint at their driver's license and often ask them to point out their date of birth. Sometimes I can't get it far enough away from my face and ask THEM to hold it. Sometimes I have to take it back to the computer and look at it with my "Eyes on."

When I pick up a check and it has a credit card that says "Check ID" I put my glasses on when I am running the card by  the computer and look at the name. When I go back to the table at least I can say "Mr. Jones, I need to see your ID." If the fuzzy picture resembles their face I know I'm okay.

To make myself feel better I  tell myself my eyes aren't getting worse... my arms are getting shorter.

I can see fine unless it is up close. I can see that my life is getting better, I can see that I am blessed, I can see I have a great job and a wonderful family. What I can't see... is the things that aren't really THAT important, the little things.

Til next time "Squinting Cotton"

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rolling In The Dough...

Had a great weekend at work. When you are a server for a living it's a crap shoot day by day. You can have a great day or you can crap out. You roll the dice every time you clock in and just pray it all averages out to your advantage in the long run.

Christmas was busy but nothing like last year. The week after Christmas it actually picked up and this past weekend was "Christmas" for real! I had friends and blog readers that came in and tipped me outrageously and was just blessed with great tables and phenomenal tips. It allowed me to catch up to being just barely behind...something I am often not!

Friday was great, Saturday even better and Sunday was icing on the cake. We have a brunch on Sunday's that is off the chain. Frittatas and omelets, Eggs Benedict, fresh blueberry pancakes, banana nut pancakes and the best french toast I've ever had. It wasn't as busy as some Sunday's have been but it was just so great! My first table, an older couple from Jamaica who are regulars left me a fifty percent tip and my next six tables weren't far behind. Every table I waited on was pleasant, friendly and loving them some Kelly! No one griped no one sent food back no one treated me like "Just a waitress." I only waited tables for two hours and made almost seventy bucks. Adding this to my Friday and Saturday night...I "Took the money and ran."

I commented to another server "I'm probably gonna get T Boned at an intersection on the way home since I've been so lucky all weekend." Then I added that if I did,  she needed to speak at my funeral and say how prophetic I had been. I added to make it funny because my funeral is going to be one big comedy show send off... a "Comedy Roast of my ashes." Nothing but funny stories, lots of laughter and a keg of beer by  the door. I already have my hilarious brother booked as the emcee with my sister who is ALMOST as funny as him as his lovely assistant. The server said she had no doubt about that, as Barb walked by and added "Should we say you were a prophet or that you profited on your way?"

I'm in such a good place, not financially but physically. I work for people who genuinely love and care about me. I work hard for them and they appreciate it...that's hard to find these days, even if you are an executive or even just a dish washer.

A couple of weeks ago when I had a major meltdown before Christmas and my emotional walls were caving in I confided to Barb that I almost felt like killing myself except for the fact it would ruin Christmas even more for my kids...they would say "Dang, she didn't even buy us presents AND killed herself?"  Barb gave me a hug and said "Sweetie, I would miss you."

That's all it took...a hug and five kind words. I scraped my emotional self off the floor, shoved it in my pocket and kept on going. It ended up to be a great Christmas and I  realized all the drama was in my head when I should have realized what was in my heart...love and determination.

I laugh every day at work... a lot of people can't say that. I have three healthy kids, a husband who puts up with me and I laugh with them too. I think one of my better qualities is finding humor in most everything...

For example I was at work yesterday in the kitchen by  the bread oven. Barb goes to the bakery and buys  bread fresh every morning. If someone cuts half a loaf and doesn't use the other half it gets hard and crusty. There was a piece sitting on the cutting board and when I went to throw it away another server said "Don't throw that out!" I picked it up and it was hard as a rock. I said "What...are you going to use it to exfoliate your face?" I went to walk out of the kitchen as another server walked in and I commented over my shoulder "Don't throw away Dayna's loofah on the cutting board."

Today I worked with my buddy, Hoke and we ALWAYS find something to laugh about. A woman came in all by herself and sat at his table. Okay, she was strange and obviously lonely for company but very nice. He went to take her order and I went in  the kitchen to do something. I kid you not, ten minutes later he was still standing at her table with his order pad in his hand. When he came back to the kitchen I said "Were you  taking her medical history or her order?"



It's fun working with the public...it's like a constant psychology course. Some days are bad but there is always something to laugh about.

I love my life. I loved it more when we were making over six figures a year but at least I still love it. I remember one time years ago when I waited old two older women, well into their late eighties. We had a vegetable medley as a side dish on the menu and one of the women asked "What is your vegetable melody?" I sang back in a cute little tune (which I still remember to this day) "Broccoli, carrots, zucchini and peas!" She didn't bat an eye at me singing, just replied "I'll have them."
So I am "JUST" a waitress. I am "JUST" a mom. I am "JUST" a wife.
Life could be one heck of a lot worse...at least I laugh every day!
Til next time...COTTON

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Slowly But Surely...

Work was WAY too much like work tonight. It's been crazy! This is typically a slow week but the past two nights have been like working in a cartoon. All I heard was the sound of bongos as I raced from table to table to table. Remember when  Fred Flinstone ran real fast and passed the same table and lamp in his cave time after time with his fat bare feet having the sound effect of  bongos? That was me all night except I had on shoes that were killing my feet and  sweating like I was in a sauna not a cave.

I'm not complaining (well kinda sounds like it) and it's been great but it ain't easy when you're fifty one and a menopausal woman. Christmas week was busy but not like usual. New Year's week was better but still below par. This past weekend has been insane! It's been great and my saving salvation. Cell phones are still working and I have made gas money for both me and Tim for the week. I almost have enough for the cable bill (cable and Internet providers are almost as evil as cell phone providers...greedy bastar*s.)

I have made my New Year's resolution. I am taking one day a week off...no matter what. The problem with me is if I take a day off I don't make any money. On the other hand if I kill myself working week after week after week, what's it gonna help when I stroke out at work and crack my head open on the floor when I crash? That may give me TOO many days off and another bill to pay unless they Gorilla Glue my head back together.

Life is slowly getting much better... well I wouldn't say MUCH and it has been slowly,  but I  WILL say it was once SO bad that it makes NOW look Tim and I are Ralph and Alice Cramden making Ed and Trixie Norton jealous.

Baby steps... One day at a time. Be a good person and good things will happen to you. Love and you will be loved. Keep humor as your friend and God as your guide. Never give up and always know you can make tomorrow a better day.

Heading back to work in a few short hours but only for a day shift. You have to take care of  yourself if you want to be able to help take care of others.

A New Year...a New plan.

Til next  time...Cotton









We are so close, well not SO close but it is easing up a bit.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back to Two Shows a Day...

Had me a big fat day off yesterday. It's turned into Siberia here in the deep south and when I came home from work Tuesday afternoon I vowed  to not step out of my house until I had to be back at work. I cooked Chili for my family and all the teens that somehow miraculously show up when I decide to cook. ( must be an app on their smart phone) I went out begrudgingly, on Wednesday for gas and some groceries but was back in my comfy slippers long before the sun went down. We heated up left over Chili and munched on a massive coffee cake I bought while at the grocery store. I was in the bed by nine and LOVIN' IT!

I went to sleep and woke up three hours later in a pool of sweat so deep you could dive into it and not hit your head. I ain't kiddin'.

I've only experienced night sweats sporadically for about a year but the past month somebody turned the heat up WAY too high and is trying to kill me by drowning me... in my own sweat. I wake up literally soaking wet and five minutes later add another blanket and a pair of Tim's tube socks. Two hours later I am stripping again and then two hours later hunting around in the dark for the tube socks I hurled across the room in a fit of sweaty rage.

I went into work today and limited myself to one pot of coffee. I came home on my break ... stripped climbed into bed and a tee shirt ... lay flat on my back (to not muss my haircut I got on my break ...less than twenty bucks with a 20% tip and my makeup that took five minutes to apply this morning)

I went back into work this evening to have the honor of  waiting on two older women I have waited on before.

The two women, one in her eighties and a buddy (my kind of table) said I looked too skinny and I told her I was losing weight because I was currently sweating out at least five pounds a night.

They had a great meal and loved my comedy routine. When I went to give them the check, they fought over it but one of the women slipped me her card..."She won!"

I got to the computer to scan her credit card and noticed she had given me her driver's license. I  went back to the table and  simply said "You won the check but can't pay the bill with this...although now I know where you live and how much you weigh."

The other older woman said "What would you have done if she had handed you her insurance card?"

I told her I would have run out the back door,  to the nearest Emergency Room and demanded for  someone to stop me from sweating away the last ninety pounds I had left."

The next table I had was a younger couple. The wife said "I love your haircut...where did you get it cut?'
I told her at  a military base." She asked "Really?" and I said "No but that's what my husband says."

They had a great meal and I  wowed them with I think is what one of  my greatest advantages...my humor and obvious PHD in BS that I have honed quite masterfully.

It was slow at work but I made enough to keep the cellphones on...for another day. I've figured out how to work the system there too! Number one, Verizon won't go bankrupt without my own time payment. Number two even though cell phones seem to be a necessity now, especially when you have teens driving your vehicle, they fall way down the list behind mortgage, utilities and groceries. First off I DO try to pay them, I stop by and throw a twenty in the auto pay machine when I can remember to when I leave work if they are open. Number two if they don't harass me I sometimes forget about them and then suddenly I get a text or phone call from them saying I am due to be cut off. (Cry me a river Verizon, try walking in my tiny shoes for a while)

Now I've learned not to answer their call, they always want you to use a credit card to pay them (don't own one) or draft a check from your account (good luck with THAT one...tee-hee)

I wait for their next move...sending you a text. I answer the text which leads me to a number I can call and talk to no one but hear a menu to choose from. Press one to make a payment (no thank you) Press two to hear your balance (already know my balance...it's past due) Press three for more options. (BINGO)  Then after pressing three there is an option  "Notify us of a payment that has already been sent."  I have the number "three" programmed on speed dial . Then the automated voice thanks me sweetly for letting them know that money is on the way (which it isn't) but buys me at least four more days (five with a holiday thrown in.)  Then I go by when I can and put a twenty into their hungry automated pay machine . By  the time I get the text notification "This is to notify you of a missed payment arrangement" I usually have made enough money to repeat the process all over again!!

Dang...I should write a book! "How to be poor but survive AND Have Cell Phones."

I don't like not having a lot of money anymore...but it is temporary. Verizon has plenty of money, so does my bank. I look at it this way... "I am helping THEM help ME."

BFF's again. In this economy I am living by  the seat of my pants and the motto "A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do." If Verizon doesn't like it I can go to WalMart and buy us all pre paid cell phones. (not really, WalMart pushes a check through like a line backer)

It's getting better, we're getting better and the economy is slowly getting better. I have done things I really don't like having to do but have somehow made it this far. Hopefully I will laugh about all of this one day when I am old... Who am I trying to kid? I "AM" old, but I'm not trying to get one over on anyone just trying to muddle through til the path is clear in front of me.

To be honest I am a firm believer in God and Karma. I may not be Mother Teresa, but I'm not a bad person and I still help others when I can. I know THIS system works because I have been helped these past two years by SO many people that it boggles my mind.

If you need help from me, just call my cell phone and press "Three."  :)

These night sweats, we're gonna have to talk about. For Pete's sake...I'm getting hit with another now.

My life is good...at least I am breathing and I am loved!

Til next time....Flashin' With Fury, COTTON

Monday, January 2, 2012

I Knew Getting Old Would Suck...Nobody Told Me It Would Be a Vacuum!

So I snapped a picture of myself today and this is what developed.  Wow...what will I look like at 52?

I'm skinny and winter has reared it's ugly head today here in the deep south. I froze all day at work...I held a cup of hot water to warm my hands and spent all my free time in  the kitchen holding my arms under the heat lamps we have to keep food warm til the cooks put plates of food up blocking my access. I left around three for my break and could barely get the back door of the restaurant open,  the wind was blowing so hard. I skittered my way across the parking lot to my car. I had one hour between shifts and crawled under the covers fully dressed...flat on my back so I wouldn't muss my hair or makeup and my feet didn't get even semi warm for at least forty five minutes.

So here's my problem...I'm too skinny and I know it. One of my resolutions is to get back up to my fighting weight.  On the other hand, I wake up at LEAST four times a night sweating like a race horse coming into the home stretch.

To  add insult to injury I need to shave my face more than I do my legs these days. Tim says it's because I am so damn bossy my body  thinks I am a cranky old man. I told him to leave the comedy to me, thank you very much!

Massey gave me a free facial gift certificate for Christmas from a spa in the shopping center where I work. I asked her if she thought they would give me a free shave too and I think she threw up a little bit in her mouth (at least her expression looked like it.)

Getting old ain't easy...between trying to stay warm and cooling down from hot flashes I should have pneumonia. I tend not to shave my legs in the winter too much (which also totally grosses Massey out) but it helps my knee socks stay up. I have  my hair cut at least every six weeks or I go totally gray headed. When it's short it just looks like I paid for highlights.

I have Carpal Tunnel in one wrist and a bad hip on the other side. I currently have two painful corns on both of my pinkie toes and if anyone even grazes my shoe at work I react like a Clydesdale stepped on my foot.

I seem to be falling apart at my tiny seams but somehow keep on keeping on...I think it is a "Female" thing. I remember when my youngest son was born and for the life of me I couldn't get him to say "Momma." All he would say at one year old was "Daddy." My husband said to me  "You're so bossy he thinks he has two daddy's."

So number one my husband can be funny...number two, if I'm not bossy nothing gets done.

Age has never been a factor for me until recently. When a woman hits "HOT FLASH" stage the whole game changes. It may sound crazy and most probably is but when I wake from a deep sleep and stretch or yawn...I immediately have a hot flash. Is there a correlation? There must be, I have actually noticed it over the past few days.

So men just get soft around the middle but plow right along while women get bombarded with ailments and pounds of unwanted sweat at the most inopportune times.

I sit here at my computer having been home from work for over two hours and still have on my lined over coat, hat and scarf while my husband is snoring away upstairs in his tighty whitey's with  the comforter pulled up to his neck sawing logs.

I blame it all on Eve.

It's supposed to be even colder here tomorrow... Going to bed in tube socks and thermals only to peel them off night sweat by night sweat.

Vasectomies should be a LOT more painful...now THAT would make ME feel better!

Til next  time...Cold, then hot COTTON