Saturday, June 30, 2012
I thought about that for a minute or two but thought, if raising three teens hasn't killed me I doubt 102 degrees could. I loaded up a huge cup of ice water and a cup full of nothing but ice and set off on Johnny for the front of the subdivision, Mr. Weed Eater in tow.
The mowing part was easy, keep Johnny in fifth gear and never stop...I even felt a slight breeze. As I rounded the last turn, Massey and Tim drove back into the subdivision from going to the store and Massey rolled down her window and handed me a cold bottle of water.
That got me through the weed eating part. Well that, and Massey driving back up and bringing me two more bottles of water.
I was pooped but it was cut and now the HOA owed me sixty bucks!
Puttered back down the street on Johnny to my house , wiped the clippings off my legs with a rag in the garage and lay under the ceiling fan in the living room for thirty minutes. Jumped in the shower, poured myself into my work uniform and headed off to work!
Woke up this morning for my double shift and glanced at the clock. Okay, I could take a shower and get up then... or rationalize I had just showered quite laboriously less than twenty hours earlier and sleep ten more minutes.
Ten extra minutes of sleep won.
Heck...so what? I put on an extra dosing of deodorant and gave myself a "Ho Bath." Didn't even wash my hair, but then again I only washed it once week growing up as a kid.
Got off around 3:30. Had to be back at work by 5:30. I had a coupon for a $9.99 hair cut and drove by to see if they were busy. Guess the heat had everyone scared and there was no wait. Got "My hurr did" and went home, with an hour and a half to spare.
The new pup is so tiny that he can slip out of every broken board in our privacy fence. My older two pups have such fat heads they couldn't make it out of the back yard even if they knew how to use a chain saw.
I called Massey fom the hair place and told her to borrow wire clippers and a staple gun from my neighbor, Mr. "Slow" Lee. Heck I cut their yards for them, that's the least they can do is supply me with a weapon. He didn't mind at all, they are both precious older peeps that I actually enjoy taking care of and although I kid about them, I hope when I am their age someone helps ME out.
Got home... quickly changed into my shorts and bathing suit top, with my "A" cups just hanging out there and got my chicken wire to staple up across the boards that were missing but Ziggy was continually slipping through. I was sweating by the time I closed the back door to the kitchen and picked up the roll of chicken wire. Massey was thrilled by the electric stape gun and insisted on doing the shooting. Took us at least twenty minutes and were both drenched in sweat by the time we had Ziggy sequestered. Sweat was dripping off my face like water and I felt like I was melting.
The last time I tried to close all the gaps I looked up to see Ziggy on the other side of the fence smiling at me like "You missed a spot!"
I think we have the puppy sequestered now.
Unfortunately I didn't have time for another shower before returning to work but at least had all my pups secured. I put on another layer of deodorant and reminded myself to stand back from my tables. Cleaned up my makeup...what was left of it and went back to work.
Made it through my shift with no one complaing about my smell and had a pretty easy night. Had lots of regulars who asked for me and escaped by ten o'clock . I left and got in my little car. Put the top down and drove home as the dashboard read 89 degrees...only cooling down to 88 as I went down a hill close to my house.
I love summer and love the heat...but when hot flashes are the only thing that cool me down, you KNOW it's HOT!
Promise I am taking a LONG bath in the morning before heading back for one last shift this week.
Yes my life is crazy...Yes "I" am crazy (if you ask my kids or husband) but you know what? I love my life, I love being able to go with the flow... ebbing or flowing.
Life is a circle. I have been around it many, many times. As long as you are in the cycle of the circle...you are doing okay.
The tide goes out...the tide comes in. Just be greatful to do it again and again. Experience the awesome waves of life...like when they uplift you and make you float. Know that when they pull you under, if you keep swimming and stroking...you will resurface.
"Love is all you need."
Til next time...Cotton
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Zach had to be at work at 9:30 this morning and wanted to go in thirty minutes early, which screwed me out of an extra hour's sleep but luckily I went to bed at a reasonable time last night.
Tim gets up for work earlier than me now that he is back on the day shift. (Which means he gets to clean up the puppy's surprises for us) Sometimes it's poop, sometimes it's socks he finds to chew on and strow around the house and sometimes it's just a random shoe or flip flop that looked really yummy. I hear Tim giving him a little pop on the butt at least four times before I get up and by the time he leaves for work, Ziggy is in the backyard for his "Time Out."
This puppy is so stinking cute and so happy here that our anger goes away really quickly. He has made my older two dogs so much more active...it ain't easy keeping up with a twelve week old puppy but they are giving it a good shot.
I recently started working only five days a week. I thought I couldn't afford to but realized I could no longer afford NOT to. I feel so much better it isn't even funny. I sleep better, eat better and I "Feel" better.
I have been cooking dinner...not just "nuking" dinner at least twice a week, sometimes three and the whole family seems to be not only happier but more appreciative of me.
I am a woman of my own making. I spoiled Tim rotten when I first met him and lived to regret it. I spoiled my kids rotten when they were little with the same results...I regret it.
It was okay when we were easily making over six figures a year and had well over ten grand in savings. Once Tim lost his job and then I lost mine and the savings were not only gone but were borrowing money from family, applying for government assistance and living off food stamps, it was the biggest wake up call I ever had.
By the Grace of God, family, friends and even strangers we made it. It was while over two years of scratching, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and learning exactly how humble a person can be that I learned to take "Nothing for granted."
I have tried to pay it forward as much as I could...most probably not enough but have made a sincere effort.
It may sound pitiful to some but to me feels glorious to have not had a cut off notice hung on my front door knob in over a year from our utility companies.
I still fight the giants like "Verizon" and "Charter" but have honed my skills and learned that when they threaten to cut us off for being late, simply say "Cut it off. I told you I would pay it on Friday."
I would get rid of cell phones but I have teens that drive MY car. I have teens that go off with friends in this disturbing society and MUST have that connection with them and them have one with me.
Charter is my internet provider and although I could wean myself from blogging and Facebook, they need it for school work. (Guess I got lucky with that!)
We are to the point I can take two days off, while still working at least seven or eight shifts and finally be a "Momma" again.
I feel my old self coming back. I have started delegating instead of trying to do it all. I have learned that if you ask nicely...they are a lot more willing to help. I learned that I was turning into that woman I never wanted to be...a bitter bee-otch.
I blogged about this a year or two ago but like a lightning bolt it hit me last week. I went to check Massey out of school for physical therapy when she was in tenth grade, maybe ninth. She was on medicaid and had a knee injury that required therapy once a week. I had to drive her to north Atlanta for a two hour session...not a fun day for me especially when I was squeezing in the visits between working sixty hours a week.
I went to the high school to check her out and a woman (okay I'll say it) a black woman was sitting on a bench outside the school muttering to herself...so I thought. Turns out she had a blue tooth and was chatting with a friend. She had her legs and arms crossed, deep in conversation and seemed to say to no one in particular (before I passed her and saw the blue tooth)..."Un Huh..I saw her at the club last weekend, she was lookin' all sour."
That just struck me as so funny. Massey didn't think it was funny but Tim and I wore it out for a year (Read post about beating a horse to death.) Tim would mention "Have you seen 'so in so' lately?" and I would say "Yeah I saw him at the club last weekend and he was looking all sour."
I am by NO means a bigot. I went to a high school that was mostly black by the time I graduated and loved every moment of it. They taught us how to rock a beat and taught me what "BUTSO" meant..."Born under the sign of." Yes I am a Leo!
My husband, who attended an upscale high school and was very (too much) privileged didn't believe me when I told him as a cheer leader at OUR school the most popular chant at ball games was "Sardines..YEAH and Pork and Beans. I can tell by the smell that your mother was a whale, Sardines, YEAH and pork and beans!" You know what? Our school rocked the house, blacks and whites all intermingled and were all friends. It was a better foundation for the future than his school was. The only difference was...their parents had more money.
My point is I have worked so much and so frantically that I have become the woman my family sees as the woman "Looking all sour."
I want to be the Momma my kids remember when they were young and I cooked almost every night of the week. I want to be the wife Tim couldn't keep his hands off of. I want to have my old life back with new perspective and appreciation.
I want this puppy to quit pooping on the floor.
You know what? If a puppy pooping on the floor has worked its way up to the top of my list...I have made it!
All the rest is gravy.
Just saying to all the millions and millions of people out here. Hang in there. Keep giving it your all. Give more of yourself than you can afford and it will return to you ten fold.
With God as my witness, I think I have reached the other side. Without him I would have never made it.
I just hope HE never says "I saw Kelly at the club last weekend and she was looking all sour."
Just when I thought my asking for help limitations ran out. When I thought I couldn't go on anymore...God opened another window.
He didn't give me a free pass but gave me a pat on the back, pumped me up and seemed to say "Well done my good and faithful servant...and quit lookin' all sour...It'll be okay."
Til next time..."COTTON"
Monday, June 25, 2012
We don't live in an extravagant house but we have an awesome back yard. It's 3/4 of an acre fenced in with woods at the back, plenty of shade and plenty of room to run. I was most worried about Charlie, the Bratty Bull Dog. He started every fight he ever had with Ham. We would separate them only to have Charlie come back for more, even though he got his butt kicked every time.
Yep! I am a dog loving idiot.
Should I have gotten another dog? As Massey would say "Probs not" but I did it anyway and only being a week into it am glad I did. Ziggy has re energized my other two dogs and made us all smile as well.
Zach had a tough year, but when we brought this puppy home I noticed Zach grinning from ear to ear. He comes in from work at night and actually laughs at Ziggy's antics and goofy disposition. Zach royally "Effed" up but he also "Manned"up. He did his time and owned up to his mistake. More importantly he paid for his mistake and learned from it.
After the past few years I had, I needed something to make me smile...and this little pup does it. Tim loves him too... and he was the biggest objector to me getting him.
Ham has always been my baby, Charlie gravitated towards Zach since TJ moved out and now Massey has her own pup.
It's been a tough few years here but we survived. We are still battling but swinging large and wide.
This pup has turned out to be just what we needed. A new face...happiness and a reason to smile.
After my meltdown on Father's Day at work, they have insisted on me taking at least two days off a week. I thought they wanted to get rid of me but realized they only wanted to "Keep me."
Life is good. The sunset tonight was magnificent. It was like God smiling at me with a soft orange glow. My luck seems to have finally turned the corner. It will be still be a hard road, but I have reached the smooth pavement.
I would like to take all the credit but I can't. I have so many family members and friends that not only helped me weather the storm but gave me shelter from the storm.
One thing I CAN say about myself for a fact (other than I am too skinny) is that I am truly blessed and loved.
I think The Beatles got it right when they said "Love is all you need." Maybe add "Get by with a little help from your friends."
I have tomorrow off...something I am not used to but will take full advantage of. Cutting grass, cooking for the family and kicking back.
I know there are millions and millions less fortunate than me. I know with all we have been through, there are people who would kill to be in my shoes...literally.
For the first time in over two years, my job is done and I am headed to bed before Larry King comes on. (That's how long it has been)
I am a blessed woman, I am a loved woman.
Take some time to think of the millions and millions of people that live in squalor with no water, no shoes, no roof over their heads or even a place to lay their head down.
So what gas prices are down? That's great for me. Let's all look at the BIG picture.
Help a friend when you can, help a stranger when you feel compelled to...Just help, this world would be a better place if you do.
Pay it forward...Pay it forward...Pay it forward.
May sound crazy but a concept that has not only helped me but one I intend to live for the rest of my life.
Til next time...COTTON
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Picked up a huge box of hand me downs from a high school friend for Massey. It was like shopping at Old Navy and American Eagle for free and Massey was thrilled! I even got a few things too. (Thanks Vicki)
I am worried about the heat outside. I usually have my cousin's hubby come by and shoot up my A/C unit with freon once a year but when he called to offer I was tapped out and hated to bounce a check to a relative. Unless it's my Siblings.. then THEY are only to blame, for forgetting who their sister is and taking my check :)
The A/C has been working fine thus far, but as a avid Weather Channel freak I know the temp is sky rocketing at the end of this week. My only week spot is my kitchen and not totally my fault. The idiots that built our house put ONE a/c vent in a kitchen that faces east and has full sunlight until at least four in the afternoon. My kitchen has two windows and a glass back door. I have blinds on one window and used to have a curtain over the back glass door until one of the dogs ate it. I bought a set for the back door and a set for the window over the sink yesterday, each costing less than four dollars and brought them home.
It took me almost two hours to hang two sets of blinds. The back door wasn't so difficult after I used a nail and hammer to punch through the metal door to make starter holes for the screws. Let me back up.
First I had to go over to my next door husband's garage and borrow a Phillips head screwdriver. My tools seem to walk off mysteriously...that happens when you have teens who have friends who fix THEIR cars in YOUR driveway and garage. At least they get them fixed and moved. I've had some sit here for a week. If it only costs me a screwdriver or wrench..."Take it!"
Moved on to the next blind, above my kitchen sink. People who install mini blinds above kitchen sinks for a living must be millionaires. I sweated, I cursed. I tried a step stool and finally just stood with one foot in each sink trying to get the blind brackets screwed in with my (next door husband's) manual screwdriver. Once again starting with nail hole starter guide and after several attempts, got the blind up. It wasn't perfect but it was close enough. My window faces directly east and once the sun comes up the kitchen stays hot all day. When I turn the oven on it becomes a sauna...thanks to the geniuses who built my house and decided a kitchen facing east only needed one A/C vent. Guess they thought I wouldn't cook much during the summer months.
The next morning the kitchen was so much cooler it wasn't even funny. Why I didn't do this years ago remains a mystery, just like the missing pliers screwdrivers and wrenches but at least it is done now.
I only worked a day shift on Thursday and came home. I did some weed eating and went to the Grocery de Amigos aka "Food Depot." Thanks to one of my blog readers I have discovered a terrific grocery store that makes Kroger seem like the Nordstrom of food. Great prices, no frills but clean and fully stocked.
I sat out back for over a hour reading before cooking. I simply read and watched the dogs get to know each other out in the shadows finally casting some cool on the back yard lawn.
People think I'm crazy to have three dogs. I have always been crazy. I had three dogs before my precious Rosie died. Now I'm just back up to par.
He poops or pees in the house, gets his nose rubbed in it before we clean it up and is shoved out the back door for a time out. I've been down this road before with pups and know the drill. It's not like we live in the Ritz anyway...it's more like we live in the "Rizzle Fo Shizzle." This could be loosely translated as "Our house, but at least it's a real place to live and love."
I have downgraded my work load. For over two years I have worked eleven, twelve sometimes thirteen shifts a week. Yes it helped and I am grateful I had the opportunity to do it, but I was wearing myself down and felt like I was losing what little sanity I had left. I worked seven shifts this week, more than most people I work with do but it felt like a paid vacation. So I am a bit behind on a couple of bills. I'll make it up next week. At least we are to the point where I can do that.
It hasn't been JUST me. It's been my husband helping out with laundry, my kids finally learning how to unload a dishwasher when it's full and reloading it. It's been the kids telling me they love me more often. It's been having more time for myself. I plucked my eye brows yesterday and can't even remember the last time I had time to do that. (Let's don't even mention shaving legs... Massey says I am just gross in that department)
It's been taking a step back. Do I kill myself to make ends meet or simply do what I can to stay healthy enough to keep on keeping on?
I am in a good place. We aren't back to normal (if I ever was) but are to the point I can feel justified working a bit less and feeling better, mentally physically and emotionally.
A guy I went to high school with, who I haven't seen in over three decades saw a post on FB I made about not having health insurance and wrote this back to me about our three year journey back from the edge.
"As far as loosing jobs goes, just downsize and start from there. Maybe some of the people complaining SHOULD have lost that "roof over their head" and moved somewhere that would allow them to not only afford mortgage but also AFFORD health insurance. If you are having financial problems then you are living OUTSIDE of you means.'
In the words of my almost seventeen year old daughter..."WTH?"
Social media is great...it can also be abused. I never rant about my faith...I talk about it to God. I never rant about politics, I use my rant in the polling booth on election day...where it TRULY counts.
I have said it before...if every single person voted instead of just bitching , the country would be in better shape. Voices would not only be heard but make the difference.
People who haven't seen or experienced what my family has been through certainly don't have the right to judge me.
It was the click of a mouse...I usually don't de friend people, but he de friend ed me first by judging without knowing the facts.
As a fifty year old woman with three kids... who has worked since she was fourteen...I had to walk into the unemployment office and file for unemployment Insurance. I had to put my younger two kids on Medicaid. I had to go to the DHR in our county and file for food stamps. I cried like a baby at each office and the humiliation was totally overwhelming but I did it.
We are by NO stretch of the imagination "Living beyond our means" but graciously surviving with the help of many and the Big Guy upstairs. We are making strides and thanks to the system I have paid into since 1974 we have almost made it.
It will take at least five years to get back to where we were, but at least we are here. At least my kids are healthy and my poor husband hasn't choked me in my sleep. (yet)
People who are haters get on my nerves.
I never voted for Bush. (Did vote for Huckaby) But if a country votes and a leader is elected...it is sad to see people not support THEIR president. When Bush was in office I wasn't a fan but he was MY president, and I not only supported him but prayed for and respected him as our leader.
I don't agree with all the politics, rebpub and demo. I think the country is more in a state of moral, racial, and a heartless financial dilemma that cares more about lining their pockets than they do about the people who have earned their due and deserve more.
Who can take the country back ?
Your vote can.
Til next time...hate me or love me...COTTON
Sunday, June 17, 2012
I have been a server so long that this is actually the way we used to send checks to the kitchen. Write it down and walk over and hang it up with a clothes pin on a wire they had strung.
Now everything is computerized and when a computer goes down we have to use our brains...that's when the trouble starts.
I've worked too much this week and I know it, but when you are in my line of work every shift is a paycheck. We are so close I can smell it... It smells like being in the black!
I fell asleep on the sofa in the living room Wednesday night. I keep the ceiling fan on high so it helps keep the house cooler. Woke up the next morning freezing and both my ears ached. My throat hurt and my nose was stopped up . NOT GOOD...
I waited for it to go away instead of simply taking some medicine. By Friday I was miserable. The problem was I was scheduled to work Friday day and night, Saturday day and night and Sunday day and night...added bonus was Sunday was Father's Day or as we like to call it in the restaurant world "A Mother of a Father's Day."
I started pumping in the meds on Friday during my break between lunch and dinner and felt somewhat better. It doesn't help that I have terrible eating habits unless you consider coffee a food group. Saturday I was on the fence but feeling a bit better, I found some 800 MG Ibuprofen Zach had left over from when he was sick. They ran out today...and so did I.
I got to work five minutes late today...it wasn't the day to do that. We were already filling up quickly and I got my head bit off when I walked in by a manager. I knew better than to be late, but almost never am.
Then a computer crashed and we were all fighting to ring our orders in on the two left running.
Here's my beef...
I work like a demon from the time I get there til the time I clock out and I clock in A LOT! I am fifty two years old and weigh 99 pounds. All the working is of my own choosing and I totally realize that but keep a good attitude and try to be nice to everyone. I am nice to the dishwashers, the prep team, the hosts out front and even the surly cooks...on top of being nice to customers who sometimes aren't.
I'm not sick a lot, but today I felt terrible. When things went whack with the computer and the kitchen lost one of my checks it got dicey. One of the cooks was yelling at me, Barb was yelling at me because she was trying to make people happy up front waiting to be seated and I was so behind it wasn't funny.
I snapped. And then the worst thing possible happened...The tears started pouring.
I am usually tough skinned (you have to be in my line of work.) I didn't feel good, I'd been working too much and it suddenly BECAME too much. The cooks were screaming at me, the managers were screaming at me and my customers were screaming at me.
Calgon never showed up to "Take me away."
MY point is that YOU don't have to be ugly to get your point across. I get it. I treat every person I work with as an equal. I treat every one the way I want to be treated. It's called the Golden Rule but the memo got lost today. I had a thirty minute breakdown and had absolutely no mascara left, and a snotty nose to boot.
Had I not been sick I could have handled it perfectly and probably even with a joke or two. Feeling like crap though...they better be glad I don't carry a gun.
I think it shocked and surprised all of them. I am usually the one that can blow off or defuse any situation and here I am sniveling like a baby.
"I wanted my mommy."
When I got cut from the floor for my break, the owner said "Let me make you some Chicken noodle soup." I told him I just wanted to go home and lay down for a hour and he said "Just take it home with you."
I got home and lapped the soup up, crawled in bed in with my work clothes on and assumed the position of Lily Munster sleeping...not mussing my hair or what little make up I had left on.
I got back to work and they all seemed to be walking on eggshells around me. I tend to have my seldom breakdowns at home and think I terrified them all. They let me have an extra hour off, I was due back at five but they let me come back at six.
Six is good...we close at 8:30 on Sunday. The soup was great (everything the owner cooks is) and I felt better having a hour on my back with my girl beside me and two pups wagging those stumps they call tails every time I say their name.
Ya know...sometimes you just gotta flip out, sometimes you just gotta say..."We're all in the same boat and it's not just YOU with an oar... Let's row together."
Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love my job. I absolutely love the people I work for. When I'm feeling great I can do it shift after shift after shift.
But when I already feel like crap, don't throw more in my face.
All's well that ends well...and the night ended well.
I usually always work a double shift on Monday but when the owner posted the schedule for the upcoming week before I left...he had me scheduled off for Monday and Tuesday. He said "Go home and get well."
Sleeping til I wake up. Taking a day for myself . Then starting all over again.
Til next time...COTTON
Saturday, June 16, 2012
You did something REALLY wrong in our house and my Momma would say "You just wait til your Diddy gets home."
Wait we would... then once he got home from his exhausting job and talked with Momma we would be led to the gallows of the "Green Bathroom." Nothing good ever happened in there. I think the enema bag hanging on the towel closet door with that wicked looking tube pretty much made all three of us kids HATE the "Green Bathroom."
I was fortunate and had wonderful parents ... if you did something really wrong, my Momma would squeal on you first to Diddy, and once he got home would sit on the toilet with the lid down, make you pull down your pants and lay across his lap. He would always start with "This hurts me more than it hurts you." I doubted that fact til I had three kids.
He didn't beat us, but it never felt good. Once done though...you learned your lesson!
The trivets on the wall behind them hang on my own kitchen wall today. The memories in that kitchen are marvelous. I remember the Cape Cod curtains on the door behind Diddy. I remember being in that kitchen like it was yesterday.
Had I not grown up with the two most amazing parents in the world, I think I probably would have been a failure.
When I felt my life was in the toilet a few years back I would look at this photo and think "This is Tim and me."
We signed up for having a family and nobody said it would be easy.
The goal is to raise kids who make you proud. If they falter along the way, that's okay as long as they learn from their mistakes.
I was a slow learner ...but they loved me all the while.
I aspire to be the parents I had. If I do just that...I will be happy and so will my kids.
Oh , for the days of black and white photos, rotary dial phones and butt whoppings in the bathroom!
I had two great parents even if they were snatched from my life too soon... to fail would be a personal defeat .
My parents taught me better than that!
Happy Father's Day, Diddy !!
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
This is the last line of "Mocking Jay." Haven't enjoyed a series of books this much since I read about my new kick a** friend, Lisbeth in "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" series.
I love me an underdog! Maybe because I felt like one for almost three years but have survived and lived to tell my story.
My life is actually pretty stinkin' great now. We are still in financial recovery but compared to three years ago, are living the 'High Life."
I still have bad days but of my own choosing. I work too much and I know this but simply can't help it. When you begin to advance it is hard to stop. (At least for me)
We've had a few setbacks...well maybe more than a few but nothing working hard doesn't help alleviate.
In my opinion, we are living the American Dream. Work hard, live by The Golden Rule and above all else have faith in God and yourself.
For the very first time every person in our house and even the one that faltered but flew after a tough love shooing out of the nest is working and it feels good...to me AND them.
It hasn't been easy but has made an impression on me that will remain forever.
I work for kooks, but then again I AM one. They have helped me out time and time again and all they have asked is that I work hard for them.
When Zach had his "Unfortunate Incarceration" co workers gave him rides back to the "Pokey" so I wouldn't have to go back and pick him up after working ten and twelve hour shifts.
Massey had plenty of love thrown her way too.
I just seem to be loved and it is a wonderful feeling.
Yesterday I took my lil' car in for tires after seeing steel belts showing on the back two. I called my BFF at the tire place and warned him I was coming. Massey and I got there and at least six other people were waiting. I walked in and the owner said "Well hello, Mrs. Cotton." He took my keys and immediately told one of his guys to take my car and put on two new tires. Massey and I went out front to sit in the sunshine and read our books. Not twenty minutes later they rolled my car out of the bay and we were good to go...all six people still sitting reading newspapers and magazines. I didn't feel guilty until he said "That will be $321.00...how much are you going pay?"
I told him I had half but would be back the next day with more and have him paid off by Friday.
He shook his head, smiled and handed me my receipt. When we left, Massey made the comment "Do you think those other people who came in earlier and paying in full were ticked when we left first and only paid half?"
I told her "Maybe he told them we were relatives."
I went by today after my lunch shift, gave him another chunk of money and told him what Massey said. He smiled again (he is the silent type) and quietly said "I told them we were cousins."
It's things like that. It's things like my brother in law changing my oil to save me thirty bucks. It's things like co workers taking Zach home from work so I don't have to go back after working twelve hours to pick him up. It's my sister loaning me her car. It's my brother spoiling Massey like she deserves but that I can't afford right now.
It's everything...it's people taking time out of their life just to help me.
It is humbling but a fantastic feeling. It makes me get up day after day after day and work shift after shift after shift.
If all these people do this for me...I'm not an underdog anymore. I am one of the luckiest people on this planet!
Have tomorrow off...cutting Mr. Slow Lee's grass next door and helping out the owners of the restaurant at a wine event...payment: Free Chicken Cacciatore!
Dang it feels good to be worn out but know that life IS getting better...day by day, friend by friend, co worker by co worker, relative by relative and blessing by blessing!
Til next time...Contented COTTON
Monday, June 11, 2012
Went in to open the store and while setting up, the young girl (who I love dearly) was mopping the front lobby and mentioned a car was on fire in the parking lot! We went to the front door and sure enough...
They weren't overly friendly and not to seem judgemental, the young man looked pretty sketchy to say the least. He had on baggy pants that were so low I could have given him a suppository easily and he had a "loosey" tucked behind his ear. Neither of them thanked me for calling the fire dept. but looked around nervously. The fire truck rolled in less than two minutes later followed by three police cars. A car pulled in on the other side of all the commotion and two women got out. The young couple walked towards them, looking back over their shoulder at the flaming vehicle and all got back in the car and simply drove away...leaving the now fully engulfed car.
What the heck?
I walked out front and told one of the officers that the people who had been driving the car just left in another car with two women. They asked if I had a tag number but they had backed out and I had no way to see. I gave a description of the car and one of the officers said so far the tag on the burning car hadn't shown up as a stolen vehicle but maybe one of them had a warrant out for their arrest.
The fire was out and they were cleaning up the mess when another car pulled in and two older women got out accompanied by the preggers chick. Sketchy dude was conspicuously absent.
There was a lot of hand motion and arm waving by the cops as they all talked.
Exciting start to a long day!
The rest of the lunch shift was uneventful. It rained and rained and rained. Peeps in Georgia are terrified by ANY inclement weather and it made for a slow lunch shift.
Went back for my dinner shift and was thrilled to see my new friend and server "Timmy Tune" was working. That made my night. Even if it was slow again I could pick on him and entertain myself.
It wasn't slow and I scrambled for a while just to keep up. Once it slowed down I began to relax and the "Fun" started!
While working the slow lunch shift I told the owner's son about my game "Planting the seed." The owner's son is the sous chef and I have known him longer than I have his parents (my bosses.) Poor Tim...
Just when it started getting busy, Leon (the owner's son) started slowly and aimlessly singing from behind the cook line "All by myself...don't wanna be, All by myself."
I started laughing, poor Tim just looked and me and said I was a bitch. He smiled though as he walked out of the kitchen.
Let me also say that after our second night of torturing him with my "plant the seed" game another co worker got him to sing "YMCA" by The Village People. I told her if she could get him to make the letters with his arms she would get fifty bonus points!
Since he was on to my scheming I decided on another line of torture...throw him under the "Barb" bus. (a horrible place to be)
Barb was going to retire last month but it has been waylaid. She has worked like mad for over forty years and is close to the end of her rope, mentally and emotionally drained from decades of seventy hour work weeks. She is a good woman but crazy as all get out. Her temper can flare up quicker than the car did out front of the store this morning.
She has a jar of Kraft mayonnaise she keeps in the small cooler for her own personal use. She uses more mayo than any person I have ever known. When servers need mayo they are supposed to go to the back walk in cooler and get it out of the gallon jug. She saw Tim getting some out for a guest and in usual "Barb" fashion chewed him out for using her own personal mayo and dogged him out for the top not being screwed back on correctly.
I was laughing so hard (you HAVE to laugh at Barb or you will go as nuts as her AND her husband) and said to Barb "I see Tim eating your Kraft mayo all the time."
Tim apologized at least twice and left the kitchen. I walked out front and told Barb "Sometimes when he works a double shift, he takes your jar of Kraft with him on his break."
Not two minutes later... Tim came back and said "Barb just accused me of taking her mayo with me on my breaks."
I looked out front from our service alley and Barb was sitting on her perch by the bar chuckling to herself.
I work in a freaking nut house...but love it and tend to call it the "Fun House."
Yes, the owners are (as Massey calls them) "Cray-Cray" and can make you madder than a hornet but if you work really hard for them the entire time you are clocked in and always think of the restaurant's best interest...they are the most sincere and honest crazy people I have ever had the good fortune of not only meeting but lucky enough to work for.
Tim (my husaband Tim) noticed yesterday that both the rear tires on my car are showing steel belts and I gulped, thinking I just took this car to Atlanta and back a couple of days ago going eighty both ways and down to Warm Springs and back last Sunday.
Called my buddy at B&L Tire today while out back at lunch calling home to check on Massey and told him I needed two new tires. He said to come in tomorrow and told him I hope I was gonna make $300 at work tonight. He said he hoped so too.
I made pretty good money tonight but not near enough to pay for my tires. When home on my break I packed up some of the potato salad I made to take back to Barb, who LOVES my potato salad. (thank you momma for teaching me how to make it)
Before I clocked out I pointed out the potato salad in the cooler to Barb and she thanked me for it. I told her it came with a price and asked her if she could float me a loan to help with my tires?
With another shake of her head, a quizzical look and a sideways glance; she fronted me the money to get my tires tomorrow.
I work in a Nut House...but it is a Fun House.
Sometimes they kill me, but have always come to my rescue in our time of need.
Getting two new tires tomorrow, don't have the full amount but for some crazy reason my buddy at the tire shop loves me too and will be fine with me having half the amount due. I am working non stop the rest of the week and can have him paid off in a couple of days.
Life is strange. You think you are losing it, all is lost and your life is over. Then people who love and have faith in you come to your rescue.
Next week Massey and I are taking Barb on a road trip to Warm Springs (a BEAUTIFUL place) with the top down on the car and a full jar of Kraft mayo in the cooler.
When you think you are lost...look for a friend. When your life sucks, keep on keeping on. When you think it will never get better, pray.
If YOU don't try, why should anyone else?
Til next time... Cruising again soon COTTON
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Her mother had Alzheimer's and not only the mother suffered but the daughter as well. The high school I went to was small but we're a close bunch and all stay in touch. Once Facebook exploded we connected even more, leaning about each other's going ons. I have followed this journey she has made with her mother and respect her even more for the way she has handled the battle.
She is smart and funny and took it all in stride. She laughed about the sad, tried to make light of a dark situation and somehow maintained her own sanity. She loved her mother when her mother didn't even KNOW she was her mother. I have tremendous respect for children who grow into adults, only to take on the role of parenting their own parents. Another one of my friends from high school went down this same road with her own mother and did just as good a job.
I used to think I was cheated. I lost my mother when I was seventeen...in thirty seconds as I looked on helplessly. I lost my healthy father in the matter of ten days from one tiny mosquito bite.
In hindsight, I was the lucky one.
We never had to put them in a home or even take them into ours. They both went quickly and spared us from having to see them turn into someone we didn't know and someone we had to care for without them even recognizing us.
My father's cousin was in a nursing home for rehabilitation a couple of years ago and my sister, Massey and I went by to visit her regularly. It was a depressing place. My dad's cousin was always upbeat and never once complained. She was there a couple of months and by the grace of God went home and is still living by herself and is a hoot!
It reminded me of a comedian my sister told me about. His routine was about nursing homes and the difference between men and women. He said most of the women still tried to fix themselves up and simply sat in the halls in wheelchairs with a look on their faces that expressed mild disappointment...kinda like "Ya know, I always thought I'd go to Europe" while the men sat in wheelchairs or lay on gurneys in the hallways with a wild look on their face like they wanted you to tell them a secret..."Where's the gold???"
I was lucky. I avoided both. Many of my friends didn't.
I have so much respect for people that have taken care of their parents and not dumped them off somewhere to die alone.
I have given Massey strict instructions. If I ever lose what little mind I have, simply put a pillow over my face and do NOT remove it until my little legs quit kicking...no matter what I say or who I call her.
I wrote to my friend after her mother died. I had just gotten home from work and it was late. Better late than never.
I sat for a while thinking what to say, then posted this.
" It's late. I'm a night owl. Just couldn't let the day pass (although it technically has) without telling you how relieved I was to hear God released your mother from her (and your) torment. I know you feel sad but don't! She is up there with so many others she knows and is the young vibrant woman she was so many years ago. Although you are crushed (as I would be) think of the well earned release your Mother has received. You are a wonderful woman, mother, daughter , friend and person. Grieve her passing, relish the memories (good AND bad) and remember that you wouldn't even be here to cry except for the fact she gave you life. You have made her proud. You have made all of US proud by loving and taking care of her when she needed it the most. Kudos to you my friend...you stepped up to the plate, accepted what was on it and hit it out of the park. You are my hero...you are your Momma's hero and as the Good Book says ..."Well done my good and faithful servant."
People so often think of death as horrible. Sometimes it is salvation.
Til next time...COTTON
Saturday, June 9, 2012
I cut the front of the subdivision the other day right after it rained. Of course in true fashion I wore Daisy Dukes, a tank top and flip flops. In retrospect I should have known better but they'll have to pay me extra to think AND cut the front!
Came home covered with Chigger bites. I know them all too well. Zach got zapped by them when he was just eight and building a fort in the woods behind our house. I bet I used three bottles of nail polish on his tiny nuts before we got rid of them. I think that's the last time I saw him naked...but he hugged my neck as I slathered on the last coat of pink nail polish.
There seemed to only be few and at first I thought it was mosquito bites.
I learned in the past four days that although it feels fabulous to scratch them, "They ain't skeeter bites."
I keep meaning to stop by the pharmacy on my way home from work but they really don't start itching me til I am home, car and butt parked and then I remember.
By that point I resemble my Diddy when I was little and he finally got home from work He ate dinner, was tired and seemed to enjoy watching MASH or All in The Family while he scratched his Athlete's foot. Gotta admit...it feels pretty good.
The ones on my back I got Massey to hit with nail polish. The ones on my legs and feet need it too but all our nail polish is hot pink or blood red...Sixteen year old daughter. (go figure)
All my Facebook friends were starting to freak me out and after I saw this pitiful picture of this not too photogenically pleasant looking man on google images I thought to myself...if they can eat up a 250 pound man, imagine what they can do to my skinny ass?
Taking an Aveeno bath before work, and stopping by the pharmacy on the way TO work.
"Kinda" freaked out now, but if the past two years haven't killed me I doubt a Chigger will.
I am the type to move EVERYTHING to the back burner...that's why I have two on my stove.
I have ten shifts to work this next week and all of them are double shifts. That should leave little time for scratching.
My life is nothing if not a comedy of errors, goofs and amazing comebacks.
Headed to bed to enjoy scratching for a few more hours before I rid myself of yet another one of life's annoyances....Can you consider Donald Trump an annoyance and will nail polish make HIM go away?
(I just made myself laugh)
Til next time...COTTON
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
I have had a lot of boxers in my life over the years. The first one I remember was Punch when I was five. (We named him that cause he looked like someone had punched him in the nose.) Then we had Smokey. My aunt and uncle had a boxer named Benjie. When my sister married she and her husband got a boxer named Champ. After Champ, they got Spunky.
After their demise my sister bought the boys a pup they named Maggie. Maggie had pups and they gave us one...a sweet female named "ROSIE."
She was tiny and demure, exuding femininity and just "looked" girlie. She had the softest coat I ever felt. We got her when Zach was about five.
Massey left the next day for a trip to visit my friends in Florida and by the end of the week we all decided it was time to let her go. She scrambled around just trying to stand up and had a hard time just walking. It killed me to let her go but it hurt more to see her suffer.
A dear friend of ours had someone they knew from the Humane Society come to our house and let Rosie go in peace in familiar surroundings. It broke my heart but it was harder seeing her struggle to make us happy to just have her around. She went peacefully and looked up at me one last time...almost with an appreciative look.
When it's time to let them go...it's time to let them go. They have done their job supplying years of joy and love. It is our job to know when it is time to let them go.
She came and we had a cook out. The kids were still little (hence the play house) and when she sat down on a bench to eat her burger, Rosie climbed right up next to her. She never shooed Rosie away or acted irritated as Rosie stood three inches from her face as she ate her burger. You GOTTA click on this photo for a closer look...it is priceless!
Oh how I miss my Rosie! She was the best.
I remember when it got so bad she couldn't walk without her legs splaying out in every direction and we decided to have her put down, one of my son's friends spent two hours in the back yard digging her grave. It was hot and he was sweating. Zach had mangled his arm in a long board accident and couldn't do it. When his friend came back into my house drenched in sweat, I told him how much it meant to me and he simply said "It was my honor."
Everybody loved my Rosie!
The next day another one of Zach's friends helped bury her because Zach had a cast on. I creeped on Zach's facebook page that night and it simply read "RIP Crazy Legs."
I cried and cried and cried.
Rosie is gone but will never be forgotten. Two of my friends made donations to the Humane Society in her honor...That lets you know what a great dog she was!
I still trim out her grave with my trusty weed eater and think of her every time I cut the back yard. Dogs just don't live long enough on this earth but this girl will live in my heart forever!
"RIP CRAZY LEGS"
Til next time COTTON
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
I can't take much credit for it...I had a force behind and above me that made it all happen and was just a fortunate recipient. It has made me see things more clearly. It has made me appreciate waking up and has made me realize in the grand scheme of the world, I am a pretty lucky gal.
I was so burned out at my old job at The Western Sizzler. My husband had lost his job and I was working thirty days in a row just to make ends meet when they fired me. (Note to self: send them a "Thank You" letter)
I was hired by a family that I have known for almost 14 years and dug right back in, working 13 shifts a week. Somehow we made it... with help from the government and help from my family, friends and new bosses. I started to burn out about a month ago but being almost fifty two thought I hung in there pretty well. I never put in a schedule request, just let him schedule me as he needs me. He started giving me two days off a week and at first I was ticked. He still has me working eight and nine shifts a week but the days off have made me realize how very much I need them. One of them I sleep the entire day, the next I get some things done. He's a big scary guy...but one that loves me and knew I was burning out.
We've made enough strides now that I can take a day(or two) off and it won't mean our electricity or water will be cut off. It's a good feeling. It's a guilty feeling, but it's like I have finally been given a reprieve.
Thrown into the mix my younger son got in a butt load of trouble and took a year for it to all be said and done...but it is. He learned his lesson and paid for it. The lesson I learned is that you love your kids and will do anything for them. He has grown into a man this past year and I have grown into a woman with a head full of gray hair.) Tim went totally gray two years ago but at least he is handsome.
At least we are all still here, with electricity, water and even internet connectivity. (Thanks to my excellent PHD in BS, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and sneaky banking skills)
I went up to the front of the subdivision today to cut so I could get my sixty bucks from the HOA (Home owners Asses.) They all detest us after Zach's arrest...except for my next door husband on one side and "Slow" Lee on the other. I'm surrounded by REAL friends. Even the neighbor across the street who obviously saw it all go down has been a buddy.
You learn who your friends are and learn to know what kind of people other's can be. Obviously only some of them know about KARMA and have a great deal to learn.
We are still sitting in our little house...utilities paid both cars have gas and we have less than four years before our mortgage is paid off.
I've lived through the Good...took it for granted. The bad was an awakening but one I needed.
The ugly is lfe is an instant. You suck in a breath but may not be around to exhale and if you are...consider yourself extremely lucky.
Looking back I feel like I have climbed the alps Maria did in The Sound of Music.
The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music
My heart wants to sing every song it hears
My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds
that rise from the lake to the trees
My heart wants to sigh like a chime that flies
from a church on a breeze
To laugh like a brook when it trips and falls over
stones on its way
To sing through the night like a lark who is learning to pray
I go to the hills when my heart is lonely
I know I will hear what I've heard before
My heart will be blessed with the sound of music
And I'll sing once more
May sound lame..but when I am on my Johnny Dear making my own yard look great and the hills at the front look good for everyone that not only turns in but drives by...I'll sing it once more!
The way I feel now is tired but satisfied. What a wonderful way to feel! Appreciate your own life but once you do...help another. Said it before and will say it every day of my life...I am a lucky woman.
Til next time...COTTON
Friday, June 1, 2012
Their dad was a big athlete so the boys came by it honestly. Casey was knocking home runs by the time he started tee ball and has been doing so ever since. Casey is still as meek and mild as he was when this picture was taken... just look at that smiling face!
Griffin on the other hand came into this world with the above expression on his face and it didn't go away until he turned four. (Or at least it felt that long)
Casey was the sensitive one...Griff was a screamer. When he was born he was jaundiced and came home from the hospital complete with a set of lights that were obviously there to help us see him screaming more clearly. Casey was always the silent one and Griffin was the one we always tried to KEEP silent.
All the pictures we have from our vacations at the beach when Griff was young are ones of him glaring into the camera , squinting and waiting to scream. We would go out to eat seafood and all took turns walking outside with Griffin so we wouldn't get kicked out of the restaurant. The boy had some lungs... no problem there!
Once Griff had screamed for several years (we still have the photo of their dad sitting on Santa's lap with both boys because Griff was horrified) he simmered down and became almost as mellow as his older brother and just as good an athlete.
They both turned out to be amazing ball players (and still are.)
Their mom ended up raising them as a single mother and did an excellent job. Their dad remained in their lives until he died from Alzheimer's at the young age of early fifties.
I have always felt close to both the boys and still do. Casey is still the silent one. You can (and could EVEN when he was young) ask Casey any number of questions about his day, his life or mood or liking of something and his response is always the same... "Good."
Cindy told me about one Christmas morning when they were both young and woke up to find Santa had come. All the presents lay in the living room on the sofa and chairs. Casey came into the room wearing his Thunder Cats briefs yawning and his dad said all excited "Look at what Santa brought you!" Casey walked around the room seemingly unimpressed as his dad kept prodding some kind of excitement out of him... "Look at this. Look at that!" Casey finally stopped by the Masters of the Universe sword.
Griffin was total opposite. He had to be held down for my sister just to draw on a mustache on him with an eye brow pencil when he went dressed as a cowboy one Halloween. Guess which outfit they never repeated with him?"
He fell one time when he was little and had to have stitches. I bet the doctors and nurses are STILL talking about that one! My sister said they had to strap him down on a papoose board and was sweating and screaming so much that he finally wore himself out...or maybe that was the doctors who were worn out?
They have grown up now. They both are still excellent ball players and I know for a fact that makes their dad smile from his perch up there with my own momma and diddy. They are all looking down and cheering us on.
I have a crazy family. I wouldn't have it any other way. Two things I can say about my family...
#1 There is an abundance of love.
#2 There is an abundance of laughter.
Who needs #3 when you have the first two?
I say it time and time again, but can't say it enough, I am a lucky woman!
Til next time...Comfortable COTTON