Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Where has the year gone?

It seems like last week the kids were out on spring break!!

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve...another year will be tucked under our belt and we will forge into 2009.

I feel a great year coming... a new President (I think a wise choice) and a year full of new resolutions and opportunities.

I have already made quite a few resolutions and hope that I can make at least a few of them a reality.

I want to be a more understanding person and a better mother and wife.

I want to be more patient with my husband...who is as laid back as I am hyper.

Looking over the past year, I have been blessed more than I deserve. I have three wonderful children, who wear me out on a daily basis although I couldn't imagine my life without them.

I have a wonderful job, with bosses that respect and appreciate me (a HUGE plus) and I have customers that seem to genuinely like me being their server and take tremendous care of me every time they come into our store.

I work with an eclectic bunch of goof balls that I love, admire and make fun of on a daily basis. I am 48...most of them are in their early twenties (which makes them extremely easy to pick on).

If they knew what this ole gal knows now...they could all change the course of their lives and save themselves a ton a heartache, money , fines and probation!

My kids are growing up WAY too rapidly, and it leaves me opened mouthed...wondering where the last 22 years have gone?!

My brother in law survived open heart surgery..my sister survived nursing him back to health( A greater feat if you ask me).

My husband has started his own trucking business and survived thus far in this terrible economy.

Our house is another year closer to being paid off (Thank You 15 year mortgage).

Although I am a year closer to turning fifty...I feel just as good as I did when I was 25... except for the carpel tunnel, the bad knee , back aches and the ever growing gray hair and crows feet!

But HEY!! I am here, I am healthy (sorta) living in a great neighborhood with my next door husband close by for repairs and my retired neighbors on the other side always ready for a thirty minute chat any time they catch you before you shut the garage door (That will be me one day...I am sure)!!

Enjoy your last day of 2008 and let's kiss this disastrous year goodbye and welcome 2009 with the optimism and hope that we need.

Thank you all for being readers of my drivel and for taking time to stop and listen to my stories, opinions and rants!!

I wish only the best and most for you and yours in the coming year...and keep on reading...

Til NEXT year....COTTON

Friday, December 26, 2008

Take the Good With the Bad

Had a great Christmas here... The kids got spoiled rotten, and had a great time at my sister's new farm house.

Went into work today to try and pay off our last remaining Christmas bills.

Got a phone call about 3:00 from my daughter.

My middle son had cut himself with a small knife (a Christmas present) trying to open a Wii game that we had gotten the kids.

It was extremely busy at work when the call came through.

My daughter who is 13 is EXTREMELY dramatic... told me

"It is a REALLY deep cut".

I told them to go next door, where an RN lives...NOT HOME!

I told them to go across the street where another RN lives..NOT HOME!

By this time, I told my son to go to the urgent care center (my next door neighbor who is a seventeen year old) offered to take him.

I received at least three phone calls from the urgent care center saying that if they didn't have his insurance info, they could not proceed.

I had tables all over the restaurant, and people at the door waiting to be seated.

I thought... he cut his finger...he has a friend taking him to be possibly sewed up . Everything will be alright

They called my husband who left his job and arrived to give them their precious identification number for our insurance (I had left my purse at home, and was obviously driving without a license...or any form of ID).

My husband said when he got there, Zach was sitting barefooted in his pajamas and it was not a finger that had been cut (which I was imagining) but had cut his wrist!!

Thank the Lord that I didn't know he had cut his wrist by accident..or I would have been out of my mind with even MORE worry!

It all ended up fine..no tendons or arteries cut... just a scare and an added $250 to our Christmas bill.

KIDS!!!! What are you gonna do?

I guess just love them...and be glad every day that they are healthy and happy...minus the $250 deductible .

By the way, since WHEN does it take $600 to put in three stitches, and give a tetanus shot...and THAT is when you DO have insurance?

How ridiculous IS our health care..and how can the average "Joe" afford it?

Happy to report that it wasn't his "controller" hand...he is still playing the video games as I type!

Til Next Time...Cotton

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

OMG...Christmas is HERE!!

Started shopping yesterday for Christmas...I have three kids...no pressure.

I have to go into work at 10:30 on Christmas Eve and won't get off till six PM.

I guess I will be at the gas station telling the attendant (that rarely speaks English)

That I will take one of those daggers he has behind the glass case and maybe a couple of crack lighters for my middle son to start fires with...and give me one of those pink "Ga. Bulldog" hats for my daughter...and maybe some condoms for my 22 year old...What the heck...give me some of these light up pens and some bubble gum tape.

Throw me in some lottery tickets to fill their stockings with...and I guess that I will be done!!

I ALWAYS, ALWAYS wait until the last minute.

I swear every year I won't do it but I do!

But the good thing is that I make SURE all my bills are paid before I spend anything on Christmas.

My husband (God Bless Him) bought the ipods and the nanos.

It only makes me a nervous wreck when I have to work on Christmas Eve..otherwise I could knock it out all in one day.

When I get off of work on Christmas Eve, it will be too late to buy anything except a six pack or some Christmas tree going for a dollar.

It will all work out...I have faith .

Christmas is not about the spending, but about the caring.

I care deeply about my family... about my friends and about the reason for the season.

This is a time to look into your own heart...What are YOU doing to help others?
What are YOU doing to make this a greater place?

If you want your life to be blessed ...you HAVE to "Pay It Forward".

I feel like I am a person that thinks of others, gives to others...and feels the reward almost more than they feel their gift.

It is all about balance.

You give to receive...If you don't GIVE...how can you possibly think you can receive?

This Christmas has been especially heartfelt to me...last year I was at a low point, and my friends and family took care of me.

This year we are doing so much better and I feel compelled to spread my good fortune...and KNOW that it will come back to me TEN FOLD.

Merry Christmas to everyone , God bless

Till next time...COTTON

Monday, December 22, 2008

The True Meaning of Christmas

If you follow my ramblings at all, you know that I am a sever in a restaurant.

Every year we choose a family to collect money for to help them out with their Christmas. Last year...embarrassing as it may be...it was my family.

Not that I wasn't eternally grateful, but it is hard to accept such a gift from the people closest to you, that you see every day working hard for their dollar as well.

Without their help, we would have had a very difficult Christmas...which is hard to explain to your kids!

This year, my bossy friend at work and I (who is probably bossier) decided to keep it once again in our restaurant family.

He was a single father of two who recently remarried. His new wife is expecting, and with the economy in the tank...things just weren't going his way.

I think everyone in America can identify with this.

It wasn't easy collecting money this year...there IS none.

But my faithful fellow employees stepped right up to the plate. Some gave a dollar...some gave ten...some gave twenty...the fives count too!!

This is a man that is the day cook. He is there when we first get to work to set up the store for opening. Sometimes he comes in at 5AM to unload the truck delivering product...rotating all the old product, staying in the cooler for hours on end...and STILL comes out of the cooler at 10:30 when we servers clock in, with a smile on his face.

He makes us grill cheese sandwiches, DELICIOUS patty melts, and pretty much anything we ask for.

I bring in leftovers every Tuesday, because Monday is my only day off and when I cook for my family, I always make extra so we can heat something up to eat on my Tuesday day shift.

He is on the line busy cooking, char grilling and frying...but never refuses when I ask him to heat up our leftovers.

He is a worthy, WORTHY recipient . He puts up with 50 annoying servers wanting HIM to fix THEIR mistakes on a daily basis.

I took the Christmas money to him today in an envelope...took him in the back and gave it to him quietly. He was BEYOND touched.

I think that some of my fellow servers may have been upset that I didn't give the money to him in front of a whole group.

But being the recipient from the previous year, I know how hard it is to accept what seems like charity...but is ACTUALLY a gift. Who do we want to make feel good, him or us?

If I had been given my Christmas gift last year in front of everyone... I think I would have fainted...which I almost did anyway...but at least only a couple of people saw me break down into tears, and sob like a baby.

Giving is the ABSOLUTE and true meaning of Christmas.

We gave...he received... WE ALL WON!!

I know for a fact that I will have a greater Christmas knowing that we at our store have once again helped one of our own. I can personally attest to fact that it is a marvelous feeling to know that your co workers care THAT much about you...especially in these hard and trying times.

"THANKS CO WORKERS"....You not only made his Christmas...you made mine!! (Once again)

Til next time...Have a MERRY one...COTTON

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

Tis the Season to be Jolly....Fa la la la la la la la ooomph!!!

It is a rough year for everyone, it is a year to return to the true meaning of Christmas...not the exorbitant spending but the joy of just having your family with you enjoying the decorations, cookies and the fact that you have your health and a home to live in.

My family is in such a greater place this Christmas. Last year at this time my husband had been ousted at his job, we were in dire straits and luckily my "Family" at work took me under their gracious wing and gave us the greatest Christmas we have ever had.

My job as a server has taken a big hit... people just don't tip like they used to. I can understand, but wonder if THEY understand that I make $2.13 an hour? If I don't make tips... I don't get a paycheck .

Sunday, I went into work giving the same type of service that I have for thirty years. My first tip was $5.00 on an $81.00 tab. My second was $5.00 on a $65.00 tab... HEY!! At least I was going in the right direction!

Just to give you an example; I sold over $850.00 and walked out of the restaurant with $90.00. I would have normally made at LEAST $125.00. Not only that, but my oldest son came in and gave me a 50% tip and some of my regulars came in and did the same. Without their generosity, I would have made $50.00.

I realize people do not have to give me any tip at all, and I am grateful for EVERY dime that I receive.

If I make a 10% tip...I feel grateful for that tip.

If I receive a 5% tip, I may feel dismayed but I am still grateful that I am bringing in SOMETHING.

I have been a server for over thirty years, and this has been the lowest of times in my occupation.

People come in, already ticked off that the economy is in the tank and that they may lose their job at any time. If they are in my store...spending hard earned money, I realize that now more than ever, they expect me to almost kiss their feet or at least make their visit so good that it doesn't seem quite so painful to leave me a tip.

I have stepped up my service, I go above and beyond.

Sometimes my customers appreciate it and sometimes they don't.

In my business you take the good with the bad...my job is to make it all average out.

Some days, I make "PHAT" money...some days just suck!

But if you give people...ALL people the ultimate in service, you will make out on the positive side of things, build new customers and keep yourself in the "Red".

I work with so many young people that JUST DO NOT GET IT!

I guess that I was young one day...although I can't seem to remember being young anymore.

It reminds me of the beginning of the Dickens classic..."It was the best of times and it was the worst of times".

It may be the worst of times... but we have to make the "Best" of it.

I am a firm believer that if you tough it out...if you give it your best... you will be rewarded, you will be taken care of and you will be okay.

Say a prayer for us servers; We need it as do so many millions of people at this point in time.

Have a Merry Christmas...remember it isn't about presents, it is about being .

What are YOU being?

Til next time...COTTON

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Christmas Present To Elizabeth

DAMN!!! She is a hard woman to shop for.

Her Christmas present from last year is still in my knitting basket. (Not that I knit, but I HAVE a basket just in case I get the urge). She had already read the book that I had bought her and I was too embarrassed to admit it.

As a member of Barnes and Noble, I picked out the greatest book to buy her for a present..and guess what? She just emailed me that she has already read it!!!

How do I keep up with this woman ,who had better be into her eighties or I am a REALLY LAME duck.

I just can't keep up with her.

What does that say about me being 48?

She is sharp as a tack...OUCH!! Maybe sharper!

She gave my Diddy the happiest of times in his latest years.

She is the reason that he died being genuinely happy and at peace.

My gift to her this Christmas can't be a book, because she has already read everything that I was thinking of giving her...@#&$!!!!!

She is one of the most amazing, collected and together seniors that I have ever had the opportunity or privilege to have not only known , but to have LOVE me.

My gift to her; Is to tell her that she made my Father's last days sweet. She made them full of love, full of care and devotion and that he would had never wanted to go out of this world any other way...

He loved YOU, Elizabeth Burton...and in my book , he was a very smart man.

Once upon a time he loved my Mother, and it was a CAMELOT for over twenty five years.

But after trying and faltering for years, he came to love YOU..ELIZABETH BURTON!

I have no doubt in my heart or soul that when he finally passed , he knew that he was lucky enough to have been loved by two incredible women.

I love my Mother..always will...and I love you Elizabeth for letting my Diddy be happy in his fading times.

It came rapidly and unexpectedly...but we dealt with what God gave us... and to think back on those memories in the hospital...

I know now that God wanted Cindy, Chris and I to just be together for a few crucial days, to gather our thoughts and memories... to bond as we hadn't since Mama's death and be happy that Diddy's life had ended with him being serene.

It was YOU, Elizabeth ....You are the reason that my Father died a happy man.

It was truly a tragedy , but if you remember what he told the neurologist on his last coherent day...

I am in Blue Ridge....and it is a Sunny day.

Hopefully this is one book that you HAVEN'T read!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

WHAT is wrong with This World??

The day is "NO gay for a day".

What are people thinking? Do you really think that people choose to be gay?

Do you really think that people would choose a lifestyle that would condemn them and leave them open for torment for the rest of their lives?

Do you really think that they chose this venue, this direction and this choice of life?

If you do, you are so misunderstood and so misdirected that it would take me a few million years to get my point across.

I have a cousin that is gay, my sister's college room mate is gay and I have several friends that are gay.

It is a genetic, born into thing that happens...just like being a red neck just like being a racist, just like being a right wing closed minded Christian.

So you think that you are a Christian...

I feel compelled to tell all of my readers and my friends that I have a gay cousin who has risen to considerable heights in the art world and he is a cousin that I am proud to not only claim, but take my hat off to for being the person that he was destined to be and the cousin that I will always admire.

It is not a life that you choose, but a destiny that you are headed for.

Who is above us to judge, except THE LORD himself? And you know what he would say?

He would say "I love you as yourself, and if you love me...welcome to my kingdom".

To my right wing friends, loosen up and look at the world in the society of today.

I have gay relatives and gay friends...it doesn't mean that I am going to hell nor are they.

We are a varied group, we are a melting pot of society... We are AMERICA...and we stand as one and will live as one...at least by MY standards.

Just a sore point with me that I had to get off my little chest.

God will bless every person...He doesn't pick or choose...WHY SHOULD YOU??

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Little Red Engine That Could...MAYBE!!

One of my favorite people at work is a young Irish gentleman.
In his early twenties (as most of my co workers are) he is an absolute delight.
He is from a strong family and is a favorite target of mine at work.

Let me tell you the first story I remember about him and it will tell YOU a little bit about him.

He came into work one morning for a day shift. A couple of our guys were tossing a football in the parking lot. As my friend got out of his car, they tossed the football to him. He caught it, tossed it back and went inside to work his lunch shift.

After the shift, one of the servers found their car battery dead. They asked if they could get a jump from someone and of course my Irish friend said that he would be happy to do it.

As he went out to the parking lot, he noticed that his headlights were still on. He commented that he hoped his battery wasn't dead as well.

As he got closer to his vehicle, he hears a humming sound. When he reached his car, he realized the car was still running! He had gotten out of his car to catch the football and had slammed his door shut with the car running, and after his victory catch...had run into the restaurant for his shift...leaving his car idling for three hours while he worked an entire shift. He had idled his car almost out of gas, and became "Our Victim of the Day".

I bet we made fun of him for two weeks before we got tired of it.

A couple of weeks ago, he had the section of tables next to me. He IS a man, so of course his tables always have plates, dirty dishes left on them and it looks like the party just got up and left. My tables at the end of a meal generally have napkins and a fork on them when they leave. (Granted, I have been doing this for over half my life).

I couldn't resist the temptation.

I went over to his table and grabbed a cocktail napkin off the ledge and penned a note ...I wrote "Server smelled bad". I left it on the table and went to hide to watch his expression when he discovered the note.

His face was PRICELESS!!!

Only when he looked up and saw me laughing so hard that I almost wet my pants...did he find me out.

I enjoy torturing him on an almost daily basis. Of course so do most of my cronies.

This past week, my sister sent me an email about a flight attendant friend of hers that was selling "Throws"...you know that thingy that you cover yourself with to stay warm. after reading the email describing this great Christmas present, I opened the picture of the "Throw" to discover a nude picture of a marvelous specimen of the male variety spread eagle, face down (thank you ).

It was too much ammunition to waste.

I asked my "LIL" Irish friend...who happens to be over six feet tall...what he was getting his girlfriend for Christmas??

He said he just didn't know, so I told him I would email a GREAT idea for a gift that my sister had sent me...A "CHRISTMAS THROW".

He seemed really receptive, and I told him he only had two more days to order one.

I had to call him two times to remind him to open his email, and both times, he said "Thanks sweetie...I'll be sure to look".

By this time, everyone in the restaurant knew what I had done.

We waited with baited breath for him to open his email from me.

I got a text from him last night..."NO, I will NOT be getting this for her"!!

I only pick on the people I love, and I truly do love him.

He is one of the nicest most sincere people that I have ever met.

He is just still "such a boy"...of course I am 48 so he IS a boy to me.

He is so much fun to pick on, and seeing his Irish face go beet red when I get him with a zinger is priceless.

I haven't seen him since the "THROW" debacle, but be assured, his face will be beet red again and will have a few choice words for me!

Another fave of mine is for all of us older servers to tell him to go onto the patio (a banquet room that we have as an offshoot of of main dining room) and tell him that we will call him when we need him. (Just giving ourselves more tables)

He will look out at us, and one of us "OLE" farts will holler..."DID WE CALL YOU OUT HERE YET"??

He tucks back into the room, and probably thinks to himself..."I hope they call me out there soon".

He puts up with me and all the "OLE" farts and takes it pretty well...although by this point he is probably in therapy thanks to us!

He is a joy to work with, we fluster him to death, pick on him non stop...and you know what? I think deep down, he likes it!!

He'll make a GREAT husband one day!!

His actual name is RYAN. We have tagged him with "CRYAN"..."TRYAN" and probably four other names.

My hat is off to him for still loving me after all the enjoyment I have had tormenting and teasing him.

I told him that I was going to buy him a tee shirt with a bulls eye on it, because he is my favorite target.

Yes, I work with a young, eclectic and varied bunch. But you know what? THEY are keeping ME young!!! (At least I hope so).

Til next time..COTTON

Monday, November 24, 2008

Free at Last, Free at Last, My Wallpaper is FREE at Last!!

Two weeks into my project, my wallpaper is finally gone.

I called my "next door husband" to tell him thanks for loaning me his paper scorer...and thanks for not telling me what a NIGHTMARE it is to take down wallpaper!

He told me that when he started his son's bathroom, he finally said that it would be easier to put new sheet rock up over the old and just be done with it.

It took me a week, but I have finally cleaned the walls of any paper or paste.

I put in a call to my sister (who should have her own "how to" show) and told her that I had fifty bucks to give her if she would just come over and clean up the mess that I have made of my kid's bathroom.

Of course she refused the money, but I can always force it into her purse or buy her an even BIGGER Christmas present.

I did the grunt work, but it was the most exasperating project that I have ever started. Now all I need is for Cin to come swooping in, and make it look pretty.

She is such a perfectionist... and she is so detailed and diligent that I know I will have a GREAT looking bathroom by the time my Thanksgiving "Herd" arrives .

Maybe I will allow Cin and her husband to eat in the new bathroom!!

As I finished my horrendous project, I also finished the book "Atonement".

What did you think about it?

I was disappointed with the fifty year gap in the story, and wanted to read of the revenge and "atonement" in a little more detail. I started out not really liking it... How many ways are there to describe the sun coming up or a walk to the lake?
But I ended up really liking it, and I think that after I see the movie, I may feel more satisfied and as an aspiring writer myself...I can see that it was a heartfelt and intimate work.

ANY HOO.. Everyone, even my secret readers, Elizabeth and Frances...thanks for reading me, thanks for thinking that I am interesting enough to check out every day....And a shout out to Kay at my job who reads my blog on a daily basis as well... You know what?

I may start out small, but with the mouth , opinions and stories that I have..."WHO KNOWS"???

And to my friend in upstate New York....Thanks for being my far away reader!!

I feel SO blessed. My life is full of drama (HEY!! I have three kids) But I am so truly lucky and fortunate to be sitting at a computer typing my tiny thoughts on a keyboard and having ANYONE read them!

Life is short.

Life is what you make it to be.

My life is full, but writing this dinky blog gives me a satisfaction that I never thought that I could feel at the age of 48...going full tilt at my job, full tilt at raising my kids, and now going full tilt at pleasing myself. Only a woman and a mother would put herself last!!

Everyone have a tremendous Thanksgiving, and if I don't get back to you in the next day or two...always know that I want to be here....I just want my bathroom finished more!!! (THANK YOU CIN)

Til next time!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Stripping Wallpaper... WHAT A JOY!!!

I think that I would rather BE a stripper than to have to take wallpaper down.

I have been working for over a week just to strip the paper from around the top of the shower of my kid's bathroom.

When I first started, my two younger kids said "take it all down"!!

Thank goodness I don't listen to them much!!

I have tried home remedies, "DIF" the wonder product for taking paper down easy, fabric softener, hot water...and a lot of cussing.

The one thing that I have realized is that when something DOES work, it takes the taping of the sheet rock off, a LOT of the actual sheet rock and a bare minimum of the actual wallpaper.

My wall that I have finally completed looks like it has acne scars.

Pockets so deeply dug into the walls, missing layers of sheet rock, patches of wallpaper glue...and the scars of me unrelentingly forcing the damn scraper that advertised "The Only One That Works".

If ONLY my sister, who can "WISH" wallpaper away was not sick, I could go on to patching up my scars, dents and obvious mistakes.

I am beginning to think she may have "faked" her cold.

Because if I had to look at the mess and destruction I have done in (thankfully my kid's bathroom) I would fake an illness too.

It is a total mess...it is a nightmare that I try to avoid.

I made tremendous progress tonight (Thank you Coors Light).

I alternated between fabric softener, "DIF", hot water and cleaning my scraper every five minutes.

I will NEVER EVER put wallpaper up in my house again.

We bought our house as a new home, and they obviously did not treat the walls before putting up the wallpaper.

I wouldn't be nearly as concerned as I am, if not for the fact that I have 25 people coming over for Thanksgiving, and the kid's bathroom is used frequently when we have a lot of people over.

I have thought maybe I can lock my dogs in the bathroom, and say "OH..Don't go in there, the dogs are in there".

Hopefully, Cin will be miraculously healed by tomorrow and will help me Spackle, re tape and sand the walls...and I can have the walls repainted (NO PAPER) by the time that my avalanche of company arrives on Thursday.

If not... We may start the bloody marys early and hope that no one notices what a wreck my bathroom is.

I know that it won't bother anyone like it will bother me, but with the task of Thanksgiving at hand for over twenty people...I don't want to have to worry about the mess that I have made with the help of so many products that have deemed themselves so "Spectacular...Amazing..The ONLY one that works."

If they are THAT SPECTACULAR...come on over and cook my turkey for me too!!

As I write this in frustration and jest...I hope that EVERYONE has a great Thanksgiving, and is surrounded by love and people that mean the most to them.

And if you can't fit into either of those categories...

Feel free and totally welcome to come to MY HOUSE...You are MOST welcome to come (you may not want to come back) but you will be an honored guest at our table....Just don't go into the upstairs bathroom...Unless my sister makes a rapid recovery!!

To my family, to my friends and to my limited readers...

Happy Thanksgiving... make the best of your life and your situation... and always know that if you need help... Thanks to a huge turnout from the voices ...It is ON THE WAY.

Of course this is only my opinion.

Til Next time...Cotton

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Think That I May Be at My Breaking Point!

After the fiasco with the unruly and rude man at my table the other day... I thought that maybe the public would give me a break for a while.


Today at work, a woman was seated at my table, and promptly brought out her $4 discount for DINNER . It was LUNCH!!!

She asked me if she could use the coupon. I told her that I could not honor it because it was a dinner coupon, and the computer that I ring in orders on did not even show an option to use the coupon until four PM.

She sighed and said to me "What time does dinner start"? I replied 4PM.

She said "What time is it now"? I told her that it was 2:30 in the afternoon.

I followed up with the fact that we also sent a coupon out with the same ad for a $3 discount for lunch. She sighed and said that she had left THAT one at the house.

She asked if I could just ask a manager to honor her coupon anyway. I told her that it is not an option because as I had previously told her, it was all computerized and I could not access a discount for her until 4PM.

She gave an exasperated blow of her breath and we continued on with their order of two burgers.

About two minutes later, the hostess came up to me with the $4 coupon in her hand and said "Table 14 wants to know if the manager will honor this coupon".

By this point , I became somewhat ticked off.

If I go to the bank to make a deposit and say "I am so sorry, but I had $40 to deposit, but I only brought $37". They would look at me like I was an idiot.

The woman at the table had ordered a diet coke to drink...which is priced at $2.79. With tax, if she had just ordered water, we would all be square. I realize that is seems ridiculous to charge that for a soda, but it IS free refills, and I ALWAYS, ALWAYS ask my customer if they would like for me to make them a drink to take with them (a 20 oz. cup).

You know, we are all suffering in this current economy. My company's stock is down from $45 a share to $15.

Yet people come in the door, want to use a coupon that is clearly and specifically labeled.

But I am so tired of letting people abuse the system, abuse me and abuse my management.

Of course if they call the corporate office, they will most likely be vindicated. But what are these people REALLY doing?

In my book, they are grifters..they are people looking for a deal that they don't actually deserve.

I work my butt off... I try to work within the rules of the system.

Why are these people..just because they are customers...entitled to special provisions or exceptions?

I would never in a million years even try to use a coupon or discount that wasn't valid or acceptable.

But these people tend to verge on the edge of having no scruples...having no conscience, of having no idea that the discount that they are squeezing out of us is bleeding our company... not only is it unfair, it is WRONG!

I know that I have been a server for over thirty years, and I may be getting a little jaded..But for PETE'S SAKE people...quit expecting something for nothing... and quit thinking that we have to be nice to you, while you try to rip us off.

Point said, point made... I just had to get it off of my chest and on to your ears.

Am I wrong?? You tell me!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mom's Will Cheat For Their Kids...I DID!!

My daughter has a science project that is due on December 5th.

If you have read my previous posts, it is with a girl in her class that I have sort of taken under my already full wing.

I pick her up every week and bring her to my house to chart the progress in their project.

They were to plant a seed in two pots on the same day, in two different types of soil and chart the difference in the growth and advancement of each pot.

Their first mistake was for them to let me go buy the "seed" .

I went to Walmart and chose something that was to be planted in the Fall (DUH...It IS Fall).

After four weeks of no activity from either plant, I mentioned to a co worker what I had bought for the girls to grow.

I had bought a bulb..to be planted in the Fall...and it would bloom in the Spring.


I immediately went to the landscaping and garden store that is right down the road from my house. I told them my dilemma and asked how at this four week time period of being into the project could I produce SOMETHING by December 5th?

The man suggested red leaf lettuce. It comes up through the soil after seven days, and he had pods of it that had already broken the soil, and I could take it home and put it in the pots and the girls could chart the changes and advancement until the due date of the project.

I don't like to lie, but I will write a term paper or do a project in a pinch to help my kids (no wonder they love me).

I took the lettuce sprouts home and went to the school to pick up my daughter from chorus practice.

When she and (of course) a friend jumped into my car, I said "Has your teacher been checking your composition notebook about the plant project"?

Of course to my dismay, she had been reading it every day and already knew that Massey was growing (or trying) to grow a Hyacinth.

I went home to dig up my useless bulbs and replace them with the lettuce plugs.

But as I reached through the dirt, the bulb seemed to "stick" in the dirt. I turned the pot over and believe it or not...roots were sprouting out of the drainage hole.

I immediately called in the troops.

A dear friend of mine from upstate New York...said that bulbs could be "forced".

I had never heard this term, but it sounded encouraging to me.

She suggested a grow light.

Off to Walmart I went.

I bought a grow light that would probably grow a kilo of pot, and installed it over my kitchen sink. I bought a grow light for the inset bulb that is over my kitchen table and another grow light for the lamp that is on top of my microwave.

I dared anyone in the house to turn off or unplug any of the "purple" lights that are now glowing in my kitchen...my girl's plants need all the help that they can get.

My neighbor is going to bring me a "bloom enhancer" tomorrow..whatever THAT is.

Pray for me that by December 5th...I have some kind of results to show.

I feel horrible that I have screwed the project up for them...but I have spent $58 on trying to not only rectify my mistakes but speed up their route to a successful outcome and grade.

The BAD thing is that she is only thirteen... Do you REALLY think it is going to get BETTER from this point on ????

At least I really made some GOOD treats for the "Teacher's Feast" tomorrow at the middle school... maybe it will all be okay.

At least I have given it my best shot.

Some parents don't even seem to care...

At least I worry what people think about me as a parent...and I worry even more what my kids think about me as a MOM.

Their future thoughts will probably be "How can I take her with me when I go" and "Why doesn't Dad realize how lucky he REALLY is"?? (He does...he just likes to yank my chain too..and knows how to rile me up...maybe he likes the "Firecracker" in me!!

At least when all that DOES happen...they will all be bearing grandkids that I can't wait to spoil rotten and can't wait to tell all of these stories to.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Secret Life of Bees

Monday is my only day off, and for the past two weeks I have worked on Monday as well (I did take one day off to move my sister into her new house, but that wasn't really resting).

Today was my first full day off in over three weeks and I took the day to read "The Secret Life of Bees".

I cannot express what a wonderful day I had reading this book. It touched my heart and touched my conscience.

I first heard about this book on my family website from a cousin, and today when picking up a book for my daughter at Barnes and Noble, I picked up a copy of "Secret Life..." and came home to an empty house, the kids were at school and the husband was at work, so I sat down to just read a couple of chapters.

I paused to feed the dogs and cook dinner, but I spent the balance of my day reading this book.

I finished it in six hours (with interruptions for taking care of my family) and consider it a day well spent.

It was possibly the most moving book that I have read in years.

To think how far this country has come, to think of where we emerged from (segregation) and why it has taken us so long to get here...baffles my mind.

To think that a person is a lesser person because their skin color is different totally offends me.

I went to the only fully integrated high school in our small town and had as many black friends as I had white.

I feel blessed to have gone to this school, because it raised me to know that people are people...it is what is inside your soul that matters and what is in your heart that counts.

With the new President elect...I pray that America will stand up to the task at hand...Support our president and end bigotry and partisan thinking.

We need to be a nation of Americans, not Dems or Repubs..we need to be a nation standing together and working for the same goal...To keep America the great nation that is has been and the great nation that it can continue to be with the right leadership (That's where you come in Obama) Make me and all of America proud...and be SO successful that your name won't even bring up a spell check on my computer in four years!!

Til next time...COTTON

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Big Move

My sister moved yesterday.

Ya know, you just feel guilty if you don't offer to help...and you always cross your fingers thinking that they will say "You don't have to help".

NOT SO!! But my sister helped us move out of our old house and into this one...so we were screwed from the get go. She did so much for us when we moved that this pay back was destined to happen.

My husband is a partner in a trucking company, so he brought a HUGE truck and luckily we made the move in one giant trip. My husband was absolutely thrilled at the prospect of spending his entire day off loading and unloading boxes and furniture...and he got his wish!!

It was a family effort and with the help of two Latinos we picked up at a gas station that serves as our local "Temp" agency...we began the day.

My thirteen year old daughter was thrilled to ride to my sister's house in the "BIG" truck with her dad, and by the time I got there, she had a "HOG" hat that my sister had given her, and a bird's eye view of the packing process from her perch on the top floor of the house we were moving them out of.

I told Massey that if my sister tried to give her ONE MORE THING...refuse it. I know the game. Offer a thirteen year old all the junk that you don't want, and suddenly the moving truck has more open space and I need another vehicle to cart home all the "Crap" that she has unloaded on my daughter.

It is the "Mema" syndrome.

When we were younger, we would go to my grandmother's house and come home with a box of junk that we thought was precious cargo.

We would try to refuse her offers of the amazing treasures...and she would sweetly reply "I am just going to throw it away, so TAKE it"!!

So home we marched, with our potholders made off of those little weaving frames with the stretch loops, baskets of dried flower arrangements that were twenty years old and King Edward cigar boxes full of S&H green stamps and Doral coupons.

The old woman was smart. It was even better than a yard sale. She did nothing but hand us her junk and we thanked her profusely for being so gracious to give us her treasures.

My daughter would have taken every piece of junk my sister tried to pawn off on her, had I not shown up after she received the Razor Back helmet.

Once the big move was made, we transitioned to the unload phase.

My sister and her husband bought a century old farm house, including six acres of orchards, vineyards, gardens and a coy pond. It has a barn with a loft and an old smokehouse, surrounded by magnificent old trees and every flower and plant that you could imagine.

My daughter was immediately over helping us in any type of way or fashion, but roamed the acreage , discovered every nook and cranny and spent most of her time swinging on the tire swing...hollering for a "PUSH PLEASE".

Once we unloaded the truck, there was furniture that couldn't fit into the house and my husband and our new friends Omar and Jose loaded it back onto the truck so that Tim could pull the truck back to the barn to store it there (until my sister could pawn it off to other unsuspecting relatives).

The driveway curving around the house was a tight turn, but my husband who has been in trucking for over twenty years seemed to manage the tight squeeze pretty well until he asked our daughter to stand in front of the truck and let him know if he was about to hit anything.

He stopped the huge truck and began to back up as my daughter emphatically motioned "come on"!!

My sister and her sons were saying "Why is he backing up? What is he DOING"?

When he put the truck into park, he was about three inches away from three live power lines that ran from the barn to the house.

My daughter replied that she was just looking down and no one told her to check above the truck.

Once the electrocution of my husband was avoided, we unloaded the rest of the truck and by the time we got the last piece out of the truck, I swear I heard tires squealing as my husband turned the corner of the house to take the truck back to his company . He said to himself "I AM OUTTA HERE"!!

We didn't get her settled in, but we got her moved in.

It was a day of adventure, it was a day of family and it was probably the longest day that my husband has seen in a while.

I am glad that it is over, and I am glad that we could help.

Moving is NEVER fun...and it truly lets you know who your friends are.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What are You Giving "Thanks" For This Year?

I posted this same question on my classmates website and have had only one response.

What I am grateful for is probably such a long list that I would bore you before entertain you... But here I go anyway.

I am grateful for the fact that I was raised by the most two amazing parents that a child could ever hope or dream of having.

That is the one statement that most defines me... and tells you readers what kind of environment I was raised in and grew up in ; Having my parents values and having the love that so many millions of kids miss.

I was blessed from the start, although it took me some thirty odd years to realize it.

I now realize that the reason that my parents were taken so early from my life, the reason is that they want me to make them proud, it is the reason that they brought me up to be a person that cares... a person that wants to make a change and a person that is so passionate and so insistent on not only helping others, but helping any person that comes my way that may need a hand up, or perhaps need a hand out.

I wear my heart on my sleeve, actually it never reaches my sleeve... it hits my soul first and is already in action before I know what hits me.

Yes, I am a Democrat, but I have voted for Repubs, I vote for the person, not the party.

But this nation, this world, this economy, this total feeling of despair and this feeling of failure needs to have hope. It needs to have someone that can TRY to make a difference, and someone that is not born from wealth, but has made their own way in this world, has overcome hurdles that we could never fathom... and reached the point that he can in fact "MAKE A DIFFERENCE"... I say let's let him try...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Better Than A Butt Whoopin' !!

The high school that my middle son attends called my house last night during dinner with a recorded message that let me know my son was absent from first block at school.

Earlier that day I had gone to the high school to get a personal code that would give me internet access to his attendance, assignments, grades and missing assignments in each class. He didn't know that I had done this and was vehemently denying being absent from his first class.

After the recorded phone call, his memory suddenly came back to him.

He rides to school with the next door neighbor who is a senior. Zach said that Kevin had taken an extra long shower that made them late (YEAH! RIGHT!!)

So he wouldn't have to go to in school suspension, he had hidden in the bathroom at school for the entire first block and then checked himself into school.

Now I don't know what kind of sense this is all supposed to make, but it made very little to me.

Although we are at war in two different countries...I have been in battle with Zachary in a totally different kind of war since he got out of fifth grade...a battle of the "Wits".

He is a worthy adversary...he can debate and rationalize better than a crooked politician.

On failing his com/lit class with a 69...he remarked that he used to fail with a 25 and he has almost tripled his grade. Anyway, he only failed by one point...and that teacher just has it in for him . (Bless his pea pickin heart)

This is a kid that can debate any and every issue, and is well informed about pretty much everything...except how to pass a stinking class and move on from a teacher that he doesn't like, rather than having to suck it up and be with the "Demon" of a teacher for another nine weeks or another year.

This is the kid that INSISTED on having his hair done in a liberty spike mowhawk...because that was his right to express himself in any way he wanted. (He'll love me bringing out those old pictures when he brings the girl of his dreams home for the first time. I will probably have them blown up into 8x10's to just show his woman how stupid he can be when he gets his freedoms and rights to self expression all in a tizzy).

What about MY rights...to not have a major stroke before the age of fifty? What about MY STRESS level? It is currently off the charts because of my "Boy Genius" who refuses to conform or be mainstream in ANY type of fashion?

My husband, who I lovingly call a "trophy" husband...is just that. He works his butt off for our family and provides us with a nice house and it seems to stop there. He comes home exhausted and plops down in front of Sports center or Dancing With the Stars and I run the entire ship. I cook, clean do the laundry the yard work... make sure the kids have lunch money and rides to and from their activities and sleepovers, take care of the dogs and make household repairs (I AM pretty darn handy) and on top of it all, I still manage to squeeze in a six day work week...sometimes seven.

As I talked with Zach in earnest about his slipping grades and complete rebellion against the educational system that he is forced to endure... I relayed to him that he is slowly KILLING me with stress for no reason. He literally is driving me to a breakdown before my time...and God knows I am crazy anyway, so why push my buttons any faster than need be?

I told him that if he didn't straighten up, they would be left with a widowed "Trophy" dad, who when called into the situation at hand, rules with an iron fist and an even firmer consequence. I said to my son, "How much fun do you think THAT will be"?

His response was evident when I came home from work the next day. The laundry was done, the dishwasher unloaded and reloaded, the trash was out, the dogs fed and the entire house was vacuumed.

I guess that overnight, he came to the realization that he had it pretty darn lucky with me in charge...and left to the iron fist of his father...he would be in a deep pile of DO-DO.

I am telling you that that talk I had with him , and him sleeping on the results of his current actions, was better than ANY butt whoopin' I could have ever given him.

He is smart enough to know what side of the bread is buttered...and it AIN'T dad's.

He has been riding the bus to school in the mornings, helping out around the house in the afternoons and going to bed early on school nights.

I guess that he is thinking "I have got to keep the ole lady alive, or I am really going to be screwed".

I don't care if that is what he is thinking....at least he is thinking and at least he is attending class and completing assignments.

I hope when he is married and has kids, he mails me a gold medal and the biggest apology letter ever written.

The last two decades of my life have been totally devoted to my kids and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I just keep telling myself..."Hey, they ARE Half Tim ".

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Revenge is MINE...Saith the Server

I had a great lunch shift at work today.

It started with a party of 18 women, mostly in their eighties...out for an annual lunch.

One lady immediately sat down and dug her ziploc baggie out of her handbag. She probably had fifty coupons for our restaurant, free deserts, free appetizers, $3 off two entrees, you name it and she had it. I was the bearer of bad news that she could not deal the coupons out like a deck of cards to her other seventeen friends and have them all taken off the bill. It specifically is printed "One coupon per table" and "Not valid with any other offer or discount".

I summoned my manager to the table and we worked out a deal. We would buy them three appetizers and let them use two free dessert coupons.

The lady in charge of this Grand group of Dames, somewhat begrudgingly agreed.

Not to mention that when she had called the day before to make the reservation, my general manager had told her precisely the same thing on the phone. (Good try, Granny)!!

Of course I made sure the lunch went as smooth as silk. Every glass was refilled, every dirty plate removed, salads all came out perfectly on time, and they all received their lunches at the same time (thank you fellow servers)!!

They were a truly pleasant bunch to wait on, and I enjoyed waiting on them.

I had all eighteen separate checks ready for them...all in the order that they sat around the table, and they were very gracious about giving me a few extra minutes to make change for eighteen separate tabs. Most all of them left me more than 15% as a tip, and several commented on my wonderful skills as a server...to which I gave my standard reply "I didn't go to college for Nothing"!!

I should have known that next table was bound to happen (the law of averages).

The host seated my table with a gentleman (I'll be nice and call him that). He asked if I could do something about the A/C vent that was "BLASTING down on him.

I suggested "Another table perhaps"? (With the hot flashes that I am having in my late forties...ain't NOBODY turning the A/C off...at least not from MY request)!!

After changing tables three times, "Captain Sunshine" was ready to order his drink.

When I brought it back to the table, he was already frantic that he needed three more menus (he was expecting joiners and had left at least one menu on every table he had tried).

I told him I would have those right out, and if he needed me before his party arrived, my name was KELLY. He quickly told me in a booming and demanding voice that "I DO need you...I need you to WAIT on me and do it now"! I calmly replied that I thought he was waiting for three others, to which he BOOMED back "CAN I ORDER SOME APPETIZERS"???

I turned around, before I bitch slapped him and spoke to the man I was waiting on at the table next to Capt. Sunshine. My other customer gave not only a pitying look of condolence, but a quite loud comment of "You have been a great server, thanks for the good service and I hope you have a wonderful day". (Thank you unknown customer).

When I saw that the three joiners had arrived, I dreaded going back to the table, but plowed on with my job...avoiding eye contact with the old man and focusing with a smile at the three people who had sat down (all three around my age).

Once I had taken all three drink orders, the ole man said in a huff "My friends aren't as rude as me". To which I replied somewhat loudly, with my arms lifted toward the sky "THANK YOU JESUS"!!!

Actually that got a chuckle out of everyone at the table, and ole grumpy pants said "I've just had a really shitty day".

I started to point out that he was beginning to make mine the same way...but I restrained myself (I CAN do that if I really try).

I made sure their meal was as flawless as my sweet old ladies lunch had been...and almost had the old man wrapped around my finger without him ever knowing it.

After the lunch, he came into the service hallway, barking out that it was the younger man's birthday, and didn't we do something for birthdays? I replied that I could bring him a hot fudge sundae...to which he said "Just make it quick...I gotta be back at the office in ten minutes".

I returned to the table with the birthday sundae and told the younger guy "Happy Birthday"!! My crusty old "friend"(by this point)said "I thought that ya'll used to sing or something".

I said, with a smile on my face and a sweet glint in my eye "We used to...but people just started getting so mean we stopped doing that".

(Actually it was a corporate decision, but one that I was grateful for. It wasn't TOO bad when we used to chant our little birthday limerick ...unless I walked up to a table and it was someone that I went to college with. Then it was just embarrassing).

By this point in the lunch, I had taken great care of this group, given them outstanding service, and I knew that I had made my statement with my server skills.

Ole grumpus gave ME a 20% tip and I had given HIM a subliminal tip.

You don't have to be an ass until something goes devastatingly wrong or someone screws up the service that you expect and deserve when spending hard earned money in today's economy.

Another lesson learned, and another one taught.

Sometimes I really love my job, and today was the perfect example.

Til next time...COTTON

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Kids Can knock Ya Down A Notch....

I went into work today at 10:00 AM.

Worked until 4:30 came home, went to Walmart to buy new rugs for my kids bathroom, a new weight scale (my oldest son took ours when he left).

I guess he wanted to see how much weight he lost when he left our house so as to have a barometer to measure when he actually "needed" to move back home or die of starvation.

I came back home, and my sixteen year old wanted me to take him to Blockbuster for a new video game.

Of course I complied, and on the way home, my thirteen year old daughter having arrived back at home after going to a lake house with her friend...who she brought back home with her for a sleep over called me.
They wanted me to stop at Wendy's for two burgers... two minutes later I got a text that they needed fries as well.

Of course I sucked up to all their wishes as they demanded.

My son , in the car with me said "She always wants something from you".

I reminded him that we were on the way home from Blockbuster.... a trip ONLY for him.

Once home the saga got even deeper. I changed the air filter in the attic for the furnace, folded the laundry, fed and watered the dogs and cleaned the bathrooms.

Once on my own time, I decided to light my tea light candles that I have burners for..I can select my own favorite scent, put them in the Yankee Candle burners and make my house smell cleaner than it actually is.

Not that my house is a pig sty... but with me working six days a week and having three big dogs... it is nice to have a clean scent wafting throughout the house.

My sixteen year old son seems to consider himself a "Scent" connoisseur. He hates some of the scents that I burn, so I asked him to smell the one that I had selected to help me feel relaxed. I thought that I had made a wise choice "Clean Cotton".

He sniffed the cube of wax that I was posing to put in a burner, and he told me that it smelled "pretty good"... in fact, it reminded him of the bathroom at the McDonalds... or maybe it was Wendy's?

What a blow !!!

Either they have stepped up their quality control immensely, or I am a pretty bad house keeper.

I know he meant it as a compliment, but it took me down several notches.

At least now I know what standards are expected of me at home by my kids...

If these are THEIR measures... I am so far ahead of the game that I may not vacuum or dust for two weeks...Hell, I might quit scrubbing toilets and doing the laundry too!

The next time they ask me for lunch money, I'll just ask "Do you want fries with that"?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Veterans Day at My Daughter's School

I attended the Veterans Day service at my daughter's middle school today.

I began to tear up when the color guard marched in the flags.

It was an extremely moving and emotional program... and over 1000 middle school children were silent and attentive (kudos to the principal that rules them with an iron thumb).

Vets from world war two, vets from Vietnam , Korea and the numerous Gulf wars were there. It was the most amazing two hours that I would never think that could come out of a middle school program.

These men and women were called out by name, recognized for their medals, honors and years of service.

Each branch..Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard were lined up , recognized and each group received a standing ovation.

I felt emotional throughout the entire ceremony, and when one of the Naval officers from world war two wept while their anthem was played by the middle school band...I was brought to tears myself.

I live in Georgia... a Republican state.

What amazes me about being a Democrat here is that most people look at me as if I can't possibly be patriotic if I am a Democrat. I am possibly the most patriotic and passionate person that you could ever meet.

I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I and never worry about professing my party affiliations or voicing my convictions.

I am also the first person to go out of my way to help another human being...or even a dog (I am am a big canine supporter as well).

Sometimes I feel like I spend more of my time helping others than I do helping my own family.

But I know that MY family is loved and cared for.

To me what counts are the people that are sick or in need . It feels so good to have someone come see you when you are feeling bad or down...just to have someone knock on your door with a paltry offering of a grilled cheese sandwich is sometimes a welcome meal...and you can always stay to chat if you can.

To cut neighbors grass when they are elderly; You wouldn't believe how much the Mee Maw and Paw Paw next door to me appreciate my lawn work on their yard (granted I LOVE yard work).

The friend of my daughter's, whose mother has had her car repossessed. We pick her up every Monday and bring her to our house to do homework and sometimes have dinner.

Or a customer at my restaurant that has had heart surgery and is elderly. How hard is it to take the time to go pick up lunch and have a visit with her and give her an hour of your time to let her talk and feel loved?

My new neighbors that move into our subdivision and we take them a basket of homemade brownies and invite them to dinner at our house.

Yes, I feel the compulsion to take care of everybody.

But if I didn't, do you know what a heel I would feel like?

My husband told me the night of the election "Kelly, you wear your bleeding heart liberal name very well".

I would never have it any other way.

I love my country, I love my neighbors, I love my friends AND my children's friends.

At the end of each day, I know that I have done my best to help others and it helps me feel better about the person that I am and the person that I hope to be someday. (I haven't EVEN begun to make my mark as I want to).

I have faith in our President elect.

The "Messiah" allusion was labeled upon him from republican ads with Brittany Spears and Paris Hilton .

But I truly do feel like he is a messenger of hope.

I feel optimism for this country and for all the men and women that are currently in harms way.

I don't want MY kids there; and pray that we can bring all the troops left overseas home safely.

Just give this new President a chance before you throw anymore stones.

God bless America, God bless each and every one of you.

And if any of you need help... don't hesitate to call on me. It's what I do!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Day with New Hope

I am thrilled with the outcome of the election.

I also want to qualm the fears of my republican friends.

Obama's speech was magnificent, inspiring and uplifting.

While watching TV tonight, I was amazed that Pat Robertson gave Obama a glowing tribute, saying that he had ran the race well, never wavered and that if he in fact DID the things he said he would do, he could truly be the greatest president we have ever had.

He is a brilliant man with the smarts to surround himself with the smartest people and expect them to step up to the plate along side of him.

The country spoke...not only in electoral votes, but the popular votes as well.

This country that I love is in dire need of serious help.

I WILL say that McCain's speech was the most eloquent one I have ever heard from him. If he had spoken like that over the past months, it may have been a closer race.

The people of America have spoken.

The people of America want and need a change.

I truly believe in my heart that Obama will stick to his platform, and take all this pile of poop that has been dumped in his lap and will begin to return this nation to the country that was and SHOULD be.

As he said, it may not happen in the first year, or even the first term...but if he does the job that I think he is capable of and prepared for...we have a brighter future arising and a future that will bring us back to the title of being the greatest nation on earth.

The one thing I admired most about his speech was when he said that even the people that didn't vote for him...he hears their voices too and will be their president as well.

Even my repub husband has said that he thinks maybe this man can do the job.

I say let's give him a shot, and have his back the entire way.

It will be a tremendous job, and not one that I would want...but I feel that he is up for the task and ready to not only fight for this nation but for our future as well.

God bless him and his family

And God bless America!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

To Kill a Mockingbird...

As I sit on the eve of this most historic election..."To Kill a Mockingbird" came onto my TV screen.

What an appropriate movie for an appropriate occasion. People hating people exclusively for the color of their skin.

That was 1962...this is 2008.

Have we come such a long way to drag our hate bias and bigotry into the picture ?

My sixteen year old son, who would LOVE to be in charge of this country, because in his mind we are SO misguided (He is probably right) commented to me that it bothered him that black people that had never voted were voting for Obama JUST because he was black. He also said that if he had to be pinned down, Obama would get his vote (don't tell daddy).

I can see his point, but not as clearly as I see that there are people that WON'T vote for Obama JUST because he IS black.

Where does the racism stop?

I hope that the rumors, lies about his citizenship, quotes by his minister (who are we electing, Jeremiah or Barrack)?? just be what they are... points that they are picking apart from their own desperate last ditch effort.

In your heart... take a good look at your self and you may see a hint or maybe a smattering of racism.

You will deny it, but if Barrack was a white man with the same platforms... it would be a WHOLE different ballgame.... with hopefully the same end result.

AMERICANS.... CHECK YOURSELVES..check your 401K.... check your stocks, and check your instincts.

He is black...but I sincerely feel grateful that he is going to help this nation out of the worst shape it has been in since the great depression. And that as a middle class person (who all my friends are as well) will benefit greatly and begin to see a nation that cares about the people... not the resolutions (ie...Cowboy Day,from a sentator in Arkansas. Watermelon day (from Saxby Chambliss) but to take care of this great nation and to give us some pride in our standing as the greatest free nation in the world.

Will it kill us to have a black man lead the charge for four years?

We lasted eight years with Bush...

Look where that has gotten us .

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oldest Son Moves Out... (AGAIN)

Almost two years ago, our eldest child came limping back home with a broken heart and an English bulldog in tow.

He left his girlfriend after she cheated on him...took the $3000 puppy she had given him for Christmas and headed back to the nest for some TLC.

He was almost as sad looking as the fat little "UGA" he had brought with him.

We took both of them back into our home and heart, and gave up the cozy den we had made in his former bedroom.

He said he just needed to be somewhere that he was loved. (He got me with THAT one).
He only needed a couple of months to regroup and he would be moving on again.

Two years later...He regrouped.

After the first year, we decided to get him a bed to sleep in, we were hoping that the uncomfortable couch he had been assigned to sleep on would encourage a quick move (it did NOT).

During this time, we began to get weary of his presence(when he DID decide to stop by for clean clothes, a free meal and to pat his dog on the head).

His room was always a wreck, and if he didn't have a sweetie at the time, he'd be home. If his love life was swinging...we wouldn't see him for days on end, all we had to remember him by was the total wreck of a room that he left with dirty clothes piled four feet high and empty soda cans and chip bags.

When he FINALLY found a place with some frat bros. we started to dread him taking the dog. We are all big dog lovers and although it was tough to make "Charlie" realize his pecking order with my two boxers...after he got his butt beat a few times from jumping on my dogs, they settled into a happy co existence. We came to call Charlie, and my male boxer, Ham... our own little "Sigfried and Roy". Their game was 'I'll hump on you for a while, and then I'll give you your turn'. Meanwhile, my female boxer Rosie...just lay in the yard and looked at them like they were idiots (which they are, but we love them anyway).

The big day arrived...THE MOVE OUT!!

I was just waking up for my Friday day shift, when my sixteen year old son came into my room and forlornly said "Well, TJ is all moved out".

I leaned over the side of my king size bed and looked underneath...the bulldog was snoring loudly, happy in the spot that we referred to as "his cave"...because my two boxers were too big to get under the bed. I got up to start a pot of coffee and looked into my son's room. All the furniture was still there, his computer, shoes,trophies, plaques, radio and all his books and such. I remarked to my younger son "You mean that your brother took some clothes and left".

My young son said "Oh, he'll be back for his stuff tomorrow".

I had already bought a couch from a co worker, two nice club chairs and had a butterfly table in the garage ready to re assemble my den.

When I got home from work, I told my two younger kids that we were going to help TJ by moving all of his things into the garage so it would be easier for him to pick them up the next day. We took apart his bed (that he wasn't taking, because it was my parent's and he had already gotten another) and I had Zach move it upstairs piece by piece to re assemble it in his room, where he had been sleeping the floor after out growing the futon he had had since he was nine.

We moved every bit of sports equipment, posters from the wall , trophies clothes and shoes out to the garage and dusted vacuumed and cleaned the entire room and began to move my couch, chairs and table into my new den.

After one hour, I had my den back , and if I can say so myself...it looked GREAT!!

The next night I got home from work, and TJ was sitting on my new sofa in my new den, watching TV (he came back to wash his four foot high pile of clothes while he still had access to free detergent and a washer and a dryer).

I could tell that he was a little miffed at how quickly I had changed things, but he had the good grace to say "the room looks nice".

My daughter told me later that when TJ first came back...he made the comment "It looks like an old lady's room".

Guess what? It is NOW !! and 'This' ole lady is LOVIN it!!

My only regret is that he took the bulldog... we miss him.

My son seems happy in his new digs...and I know that I am happy in mine..."My ole lady's room".

You never know with kids...he may be back...and we'll let him come back, but if he does, he will be sleeping in an 'ole lady's' room and it will stay that way.

I love him, and we do actually miss him now that he is gone, but it is nice to not look at a mess of a room; but be able to walk into my 'ole lady's paradise and feel comfortable and put my feet up, give myself a manicure and enjoy doing my laundry while I watch whatever channel I want on the TV.

But I still miss the dog...

Til next time... OLE LADY COTTON

Monday, October 27, 2008

Making My Rounds...

After I got off of work today, I picked up my daughter's friend and brought her to my house to work on their science project.

After dropping her by her house, my daughter and my youngest son and I hit the highway to downtown Atlanta.

I am the trainer for the restaurant that I work at, and one of my most recent trainees is a girl of 18 or 19.

Her father (only a few years my senior) had a massive stroke on Saturday night. He was pronounced brain dead last night and is being kept alive to harvest his organs. I applaud this decision by the family and it is a wonderful thing that they are doing for so many others in their own time of despair and grief.

All the employees and regulars at the restaurant signed a card for this young girl, and my kids and I took it up to the hospital.

It brought back many memories for me of the time in the hospital with my own father in a very similar situation.

I was relieved to see a tremendous showing of friends and relatives. The family was being tended to by at least twenty people in the ICU waiting room.

She seems to be holding up well...as well as can be expected when you are in total shock and despair AND losing your father.

I wrote her a rather lengthy note on the back of the card (all my notes seem to be lengthy) because I can identify with her situation so closely.

My heart just breaks for her and her entire family. Only time (a LONG LONG time) will eventually start to heal her pain.

We will all be there for her at work, and I have told her she can call on me day or night...either to talk or listen...what ever she wants or needs.

Then my little entourage headed to another hospital in Atlanta where a dear sweet customer has just had open heart surgery for six by passes.

I wouldn't dare guess her age, but she is retired and a fixture in our restaurant for lunch MANY days of the week.

She was sitting in a chair eating her dinner and looked absolutely marvelous for an older woman coming out of a major heart surgery.

She seemed in good spirits and loved my two kids coming to see her as well.

We chatted briefly and I told her I would come back on Wednesday when I didn't have to be at work til 4PM.

It makes me realize that I am an extremely lucky woman.

I have had many tragedies in my life, but I have had even more blessings and feel grateful to have teenagers that will tromp around the city with me to let others in need of company know that they have friends that are not only thinking of them, but take time to come visit, even if for a short time.

I am am firm believer in "What comes around goes around".

It saddened me to see a family watching their loved one being kept alive by machines, and it lifted me up to see an older woman improving so quickly after such a major trauma.

Life goes on, the pages turn...lessons are learned...battles are fought, won and lost.

Treat every day on this earth with the respect that it deserves.

Sometimes you will be let down and sometimes you will be uplifted.


Til next time.. A reflective feeling COTTON

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Weight Under My Wings Has Become Immense

I called my Republican best friend tonight to tell her that I was almost on the verge of changing party affiliations because I don't really know if I can take many more people under my "Left" wing.

It started at 7AM this morning, my daughter was on the phone with her science partner for a "plant" project they were doing. Her mother's car had been stolen overnight, and she didn't know how she would get to school.

They had to plant two plants at the same time , chart and monitor their growth.

After I got off of work, I drove to WalMart and bought two clay pots, potting soil and a Hyacinth bulb that is to be planted in the early fall.

On the way to the girl's house, Massey told me that her Mom had learned what had happened to her car.

She told me that in the middle of the night, the dealership had come and taken her mother's car.

I couldn't bring myself to tell Massey that it was a repossession.

When I pulled into the driveway, I immediately knew that this was a family that was doing much worse than my own. My daughter told me that her dad has never been in the picture...Thus, a single mom with three kids, trying to scratch out a living and provide her kids with a roof over their heads.

I casually introduced myself and said that I was always off on Mondays, and if it was okay with her , I would come over and bring her daughter to my house to chart the growth of their project and bring her back home.

She was extremely grateful for the gesture, and said that unfortunately her cell phone was dead because her charger was in her car...that had been taken.

I told her..."No problem".

I will pick up and deliver her daughter back home once a week, and hopefully the project will be a success.

And I thought that MY family was in need?

How ridiculous does that seem to me now?

This woman, trying to survive alone with her kids is struggling more than I could ever imagine having or wanting to do.

I told my daughter on the way home...

"You be a good friend to this girl".

But my daughter... "My little upcoming Democrat in a pretty package" ...said that everyone at school makes fun of this girl because she doesn't wear cool clothes and is a little chunky; commented that she liked this girl and wanted to be her friend.

I will try to help this family as much as I can without possibly being noticed (and I am pretty good at that).

With the help of friends ...right wing and left... we will help this family and make them feel like it is just a GOD send...not charity or pity.

It makes me realize how extremely lucky and blessed that my family is...and only makes me want to help others more.

My daughter has another friend who's mother has Leukemia and a terminal heart condition, and is on so may meds that I know her family of six is holding on by a string. Talking to her is an ordeal that I endure...but her endurance is much, much greater, and a fate that I wouldn't wish on my greatest enemy.

But I talk to her, listen to her and bring her daughter over to my house for a breath of fresh air and a feeling of normalcy.

Her mother doesn't WANT to be sick...but is trying to make it another day, another week, another month.

It makes me realize how TRULY lucky we have been in the "Grand Scheme" of things.

My husband DID lose his job..

But at least I HAVE a husband.

I do not have terminal Cancer.

It makes me realize that I am SO extremely lucky, so blessed that I need to get down on my knees and thank GOD that he has blessed me with good health and the ability to help the other people that I can... in ANY kind of way or capacity.

It is not my burden ; but my destiny and privilege. To be able to help others less fortunate than me... and that some people gain from my tiny offering of help...my caring, my sincere offer of not only ... friendship, but a concern for their well being and ANYTHING else that they can possibly think of.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Finally...AN American !!!

Still having computer problems.

I called back to my internet provider, this time using the automated service (the fake voice).

I fixed my problem, being led through the process with the help of prompting by a voice that is on every other message machine.

I faltered once, when the voice asked me to say "continue" and I said something to my daughter in the background.

I was at once sent to a "live" operator who magically answered the line saying "This is Bob, can I help you"?

I was just thrilled even hearing the name "Bob".

I asked him if he was in the United States, and was just giddy with his answer of "YES".

This man solved all of my problems in under five minutes, gave me more practical and usable advice than I had been given on my last five calls to my internet server.

He apologized for the "out sourcing" and gave me more help than I thought that I could ever get from anyone .

I have called my husband's best friend, who is a "Big Wig" with Charter, and he said that he could access my account and find out who I talked to.

I want to give this guy not only a big kiss, but a letter in his file that shows how much customer satisfaction and help he gave to me...I hope that someone at least gives him a slap on the back, and tells him how GREAT of a job he is doing.

He solved my internet problems, taught me many proactive things that I can do to prevent further obstacles and in essence... saved me from "Crashing" on my computer and websites ( God forbid I lose my blog).


I asked him what his extension number was (just for future reference) and he did not have one.

But I have put out a call to his superior so that I can give him a glowing and heartfelt commendation.

In today's world of internet technology and razzle dazzle, that I am too old to know, this man helped me more than I have been helped since I learned how to send an email.

At least my big mouth is "BACK ON LINE" and expect the spewing to keep on coming.

That may be a good thing , or it may be a bad thing.... YOU decide!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Hoke" and "Miz Daisy"

When at my restaurant...there is a couple that come in at least twice a week.

A young African American, guiding his eighty something year old charge. An elderly white woman, who always looks as sharp as a tack...shuffling one foot after another, taking forever to get to her table. She takes an eternity to just get to the women's room and another eternity to get out. The nurse stands by the door patiently, and we have started to joke with him about hanging outside of the restroom door trying to pick up women.

Last week, I stopped to talk with him. I told him how I admired how he treated this woman. He is so respectful and thoughtful with her. He never rolls his eyes or gets agitated with her slow walk or demeanor.

I remarked to him the other day, that when they walk in, I say "Here comes Hoke with Miss Daisy".

He said that he has heard it all.

He said that he has been with this woman for ten years, moved down here from the north with her. Her husband had died, leaving her with a 300 acre Arabian horse farm out on Smoky Road. (An exclusive...still rural area that I would LOVE to live in).

It just strikes a cord in my heart that she is left with nothing now but money and an African American nurse that seems to genuinely and compassionately care for this tottering, feeble and fragile person.

The horses and farmland are gone, she has moved into a condo with her "Hoke".

She acknowledges my comments to her, but it is obvious that she is in her last years.

I wonder if she even knows or grasps what gracious and capable hands she has been lucky enough to fall into?

He never seems to waver in his devotion or care of this woman. He never acts exhausted by his role or short in his temper with her slowness or lack of awareness.

She , in my mind is as lucky as "Miss Daisy" was in the movie. This man genuinely cares about this woman, doesn't care if she realizes his compassion or attentiveness, but just does his job.

He treats this woman like royalty, gives her the respect that I am sure she deserves and is giving her the quality of life that she has earned...right up to the end!

I do not know who I admire more...HIM or HER?

I just know that it makes me smile to see them walk through our doors, see that "Miss DAISY" is still with us, and has this awesome companion to not only take care of her , but to make her waning days as important and meaningful as all the other years that have come her way.

If I am as lucky as our "Miss Daisy"... I will truly be a blessed person.

"GODSPEED" Miss Daisy...and thank you "HOKE".

Monday, October 13, 2008

Won't You Meet My Neighbor !!

I have a neighbor that I met over ten years ago when we first moved into our neighborhood.

She is a feisty woman... a hard worker and a wonderful person.

She has fallen ill. She has been sick since January but I did not learn of her misfortune until her boss came into my restaurant over a month ago.

She is not the type to send out an email or call neighbors.

She has raised two kids... not always to a happy note. But when is raising kids ever a breeze?

I have three kids of my own and they have tormented me from the time every one of them reached middle school.

She has always been a rock.
She has always been the most lucid and focused person in her house hold.

She has five dogs in residence (don't let the county know) and loves them as her kids... at least they have always behaved, and don't talk back much.

She is someone that would not ask for help, even if she was in dire straits or incapacitated totally.

I have been trying to cook for her a couple of times a week...tromping over with my meager offerings.

I wish she would let me do more, but she won't.

I have always admired this woman that I feel lucky to call my friend. She lost her parents early on, and after marrying her husband ...moved on to "raising" him.

She is a devout christian, and I often wonder why God has chosen for her recent life to be so stressful?

We talk on the phone, while I try my best to bring her over to the Democratic side... she shares her Republican views with me as well.

It is a friendship that I treasure dearly and I pray that all the tons of doctors she currently sees , figure out EXACTLY what she is facing and bring her health back to her.

Her family is like mine... without us women...they would be SCREWED!! She is a superwoman like I am and every one of her family members rely on her for support, encouragement and discipline.

It is truly a tough job being a woman.

But being a woman facing uncertainty about her health, future and prognosis is almost too much for me to think about.

I have faith in God that everything will turn out okay for my dear friend.

I have faith that her family will rise to the occasion and help her through this trying and draining time.

I have faith that I can be the friend to her that she needs, and the friend that she can count on.

I have faith that she will let me help her in ANY way that I can, and that she will know that it is TOTALLY my honor to do the small things that I can to make her journey back to a healthy life easier.

As a request to all my faithful readers... PRAY for this wonderful woman and pray for a rapid and full recovery.

I know that it will happen...but extra prayers going up to the big "GUY" won't hurt and will let her know how much she is loved and thought of by friends... even ones she has never met.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Over seas Chat With Lu Tong

I am currently having problems with my email.

I am getting fifty spam messages every time that I open up my email.

"How to enlarge Your Penis"


"How to Make Millions From Your Home"

I am sick to death of it, so tonight, I decided to call my Internet provider (who will remain nameless for a day or two).

I reached a girl who was in Indonesia.

I know this because I asked.


Just let someone answer the phone for ONCE...and say "This is Sally" from Kentucky...How can I hep ya"??

Once I told her my email name "The clampetts"...I could right away realize that she had NEVER seen or heard of the Beverly Hillbillies.

Her pronunciation was at BEST..Clampeets.

I tried to small talk while she led me through a myriad of functions and clicking that did no good at all.

I thought about saying "Can you transfer me to "Bob" in Missouri"??

I know that we are shipping more jobs than we could ever imagine out of the country, but it is tiring to me to not only be upset with my computer, but be pressed to decipher what in the world she is trying to tell me.

I will give her this one.

I am NOT computer savvy.

But when I sit at my computer in Newnan Georgia... I want someone that I can chat with, someone that I can identify with...and someone that understands my language and my dialect.

I don't want my nails done, I just want to fix my computer.

She was gracious and nice...but I am no closer to an answer than I was when I placed the call.

It is no different when I call about my son's XBOX.

It is like I have called Mars.

They confuse me so much (which is usually MY forte) that I almost feel like saying

"You make this more difficult than the game my son was playing, when your piece of crap game unit stopped working after I paid $450 for him to have three months of playing it".

Are all of these people sitting in a back room somewhere, laughing at us, or are we not taking them to task?

When you make a phone call these days...you could be calling across the street or calling across the planet.

I remember when ANOTHER of my son's game systems broke down right before Christmas.

I had bought him three games to give him on Christmas morning.

When Rasheed answered the phone, he was very polite, but told me that there was nothing they could do for me before Christmas.

I explained it like this:

You wake up on the morning of Hanukkah , and you have a cool toy, but no AA batteries to operate it , THAT AIN'T MUCH FUN!!

He was wonderful in supplying me the the customer satisfaction that I not only wanted, but deserved.

My point is...

Used to (a million years ago when I was young)

You were calling someone across town to complain.

Now you don't know who you are talking to , or where in the world they are (LITERALLY).

I guess that I am turning into an old "FOGEY" ... if they EVEN use that word anymore.

The only point that I want to make, is that it no longer a small world that we live in...

It is a tremendous, expansive universe that we ultimately are forced to join.

To keep up with the technology, the phrases, the jargon keeps a person of my age SO on their toes...that you would think that I am a ballet dancer .

But I am just a Mother, Wife , server and aspiring writer.

I just like it so much that you all let me talk to you, and that sometimes some of you feel like you need to respond.

This world that we know is changing.

This world that we know is turning into something that I would have never imagined as a child .

But what are we going to do?


Am I just thinking too much, ranting too much, or bitching too much?

Or could I possibly be right...or close to it?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Just Can't Seem to Help Myself...

I am SOOO glad that the election is getting closer.

I am getting worn out.

Defending my beliefs, defending my choices, defending a man that I believe in.

Even my husband, who is a Republican told me just yesterday morning that he thought "my man" was going to win.

One of the many reasons that I love my husband is what he said to me after I said that Obama will be a great president.

He said "I really hope so".

Not that "The country will be ruined" or "This is the beginning of the end".

So many Republicans believe that if they don't have an elephant tromping through the white house... the country will fall apart.

In my opinion, the country has already fallen apart.

We may be donkeys...but we aren't asses!

WE have our downfalls, we make our mistakes, but we try more to take care of the people that need it the most.

My sister recently retired from her job after thirty years of service.

When signing her retirement package a few months ago.. she had $25,000 in her 401 K.

She checked it yesterday and she had $1.43.

A friend at work has lost $150,000.

After thirty years of service to a job...my sister is WIPED OUT!

My friends say "Leave it in there".


If it took her thirty years to acquire $25,000... it will take HOW long to build back up to at LEAST that minimum? And does she really have THAT long to wait for the money that she is deserved and entitled to?

SOMEONE dropped the ball.

Let's see...

Who has been in charge for the last eight years and what in the hell have they been doing?

I stand by my belief that the (republican) American people are terrified of a BLACK man being in the highest office in the land and think that it will be the down fall of the nation. That almost seems racist , if not ridiculous. If you feel this way, you should check yourself for not only racism, but for bigotry as well. If you don't believe me, just let it all play out... and condemn me in six months when he has taken control of the situation and made all of our lives better. YOU CAN QUOTE ME ON THIS ONE... because it is going to happen and the country had better get used to the fact that the "BOY" is going to end up being the "MAN" that makes the difference and makes the changes that help us all.

My vote has already been cast.

My HOPE is that he swings into the white house with a vengeance and does what I know he can do...FIX THIS COUNTRY !!

I hope that in 2009.. my friends that were against and opposed to him will realize that all the talk and rhetoric were wrong.

We need a new start, we need a new government, we need a new leader.

I personally feel that it is Barrack Obama...I feel that it is time to give someone else a chance...a time to let us begin to take back the title of being the "Greatest Country In The World".

Quote your arguments about his past life, spout out your differences with his minister... WHO is trying to lead this country... Barrack or his "FORMER" minister?

Who are we voting into office... Barrack, or his preacher? Who is McCain's minister?

Haven't heard that much about McCain's church or affiliation.

Give this man a chance... and he can make this America a brighter and more prosperous place!!!.

I am NOT misinformed.

I am a very literate and informed person. I have done my research and I have evaluated my economic and political positions.

I watch the news and political shows .

My country, as well as my own family are in DIRE need of help and I as one American can stand up and say...

Get off your high right wing elephant butt and let the donkey kick some ASS.

Trust me in two years you and your 401 K will be grateful.

If not... you will regret it more than you could ever imagine.

And you can quote me on that!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Happy Birthday, "MAMA" !!!

With thirty minutes to go... I could not let this day pass without telling my MOTHER that even after thirty one years...she is still on my mind and still totally in my heart.

She left my life WAY too early, yet she has remained in my heart constantly.

I have a daughter that is her name sake. A daughter that was due on this very day. Complications caused her to be born on August 19... the date that my Mother died.

Eighteen years to the day that my Mother died, my daughter fought her way into this world.

I miss my Mother every single day.

I wish that she was still with us.

But God has plans that sometimes we can't understand .

I have come to believe that God sent me a present to make up for Him taking my Mother.

I have a daughter.

She is a best friend to me...has calves as thick as my Mother (a Leach girl trait) and fills me with joy.

I still miss my Mother, wish she were here every day.

But I have been blessed beyond belief with two of the greatest parents a girl could ever hope for, an upbringing that was extraordinarily wonderful and enlightening.

My Mother was a person that could do anything , could wrap people around her little finger...and they would feel grateful to be there.

She was taken from me too soon ... in my opinion... but has left me with the comforting fact that I was "ANN LEACH'S" daughter... and in retrospect... I was very lucky to have not only had her for a Mother, but for an example of what a GOOD person should be... not only how to live my life, but how to raise my own kids.

They flounder and wander, but my kids know ALL about their "GRAND MA" and I have no hesitation in saying that they will ALL find their way....

My Mother would NOT have it any other way.

I still dream of her.. and my Father.

In my dreams, they come to me...I know they have passed, but just seeing them in my dreams...I can smell them, I can almost touch them. It seems so vivid that it almost seems like a vacation... and it is ALWAYS so welcoming to me.

I may sound crazy... but if you have ever had parents as great as mine...I think that you could understand me.

They pop up in my dreams, and they are as real and as comforting as God can allow them to be.

I hope that I can make my Mother proud...My Diddy too.

I know that I lost them both too early... but what kind of person would I have turned out to be if I hadn't had THEM???

Happy Birthday, MAMA... I Love You, and I thank you for not only bringing me into this world, but making me the person that I am, and making me want to be the person, wife and mother that I know I CAN be!!


I will see you in my dreams... and you will be forever in my heart!!

Your daughter, KELLY