Sunday, July 27, 2008


Back to the ole less serious Cotton.

I took my daughter, who is turning 13 next month (YIKES)!! to see "Mama Mia" today.

I can't remember a more enjoyable two hours sitting down than we had today.

I don't go to the movies much, but my daughter begged me and ACTUALLY bought my ticket for me.

After she sat listening to me sing along with all the ABBA hits... She asked how I already knew the songs?

I said "Baby, your Mom is A LOT older than you think, and I was out at the disco being a "Dancing Machine" while it was still HIP to "BE" a dancing machine.

I laughed, I cried and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

What a GREAT movie to see with your daughter!!

It is times like today that make me so very happy that I have a daughter that is my best friend...someone that is not embarrassed to be seen with me, and someone that will always hold my hand when I cry, and scratch my back when I ask (although I HAVE to do it nicely).

The cinematography was gorgeous...I am ACHING to go to Greece now...and the story was almost as beautiful.

I can't wait to take my sister to see it and recommend it highly to my few and loyal readers.

I have another couple of dozen ideas stewing in my empty head, and will spill them out to you as soon as I can.

Right now , I am in mourning for my "John Deere" that is ailing...hopefully my "Next Door Husband " will have me back on track tomorrow.

Then I will have all my yards cut, the front of the subdivision looking good, and will feel relieved enough to come back to my ole "PUTER" sit down and be able to tell you all more about my life, feelings and takes.

I just want to add that I have had over 4700 hits on my blog, and to me that seems to be amazing.

Am I a good writer, or are you just all BORED??

I love to hear comments...good or bad.

To hear praise or condemnation is equally gratifying for me. And think about it...if I EVER make it to a book...YOUR comments will most definitely be included.

I know from my account that I have readers...what I WANT is comments, thoughts and ideas. How long can it take for you to type "You Suck" or "I Like It" ??

This is a BIG HUGE step in my floundering career as a novice writer, and what I need most is some encouragement or maybe "DIS" encouragement.

Let's just put the ball into the other court and see who serves up.

Till next time COTTON

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ain't Life A Crapshoot ??

I am back home, two days back into work...ignoring the unpacked suitcases, stepping over the $300 worth of fireworks that my two "boys" bought in OLE "BAMA"...and have decided to start yet another book. (I read usually 2 to 3 books a week).

It is about a young woman in her thirties (WHEN did I get old enough to call a woman in her thirties...YOUNG)???? Her boyfriend (at this point in the book) has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

At this point in the book , I put it down on the patio table where I was reading... and began to ponder my life and circumstances.

I am 48 years old. I lost my Mother (I always capitalize my parents..they deserve it) when I was seventeen. I lost my Father when I was...umm... thirty twelve.

I always thought that I got a raw deal .

I lost my Mother when I was a complete "bitch" other word for it.

I didn't mean to be that way... it was just the "Way to Be" your senior year in high school.

She took it with grace and a grain of salt.

The day she died... she did it exactly the way that ANN LEACH would want it to happen.

It happened in the span of about thirty seconds. She was with me and my sister one minute, picking out and trying on clothes (only for my sister and me) but would pay for our selection of clothes...then she would go to Cloth World, a discount fabric store and buy herself some nice fabric on sale and go home and sew up an outfit for Sunday church service.

Don't get me wrong...She could have worked for Calvin Klein. Her sewing skills were legendary in our parts of the south west part of Atlanta.

As she fell back onto the floor, I knew in my tinny, whinny 17 year old brain that my Mother had just died on the floor in front of me.

It possessed me for years....I had been cheated !!

I gradually (about 15 years down the road) realized that God had smiled down on my Mother.

He knew what a fabulously talented woman and Mother that she was, and decided that she would not be left in a vegetative or impaired state.
He would just take her then...and WE could deal with the consequences.

As it ended up..the "Consequences" were vast and far reaching.

Our family fell completely apart...rebooted , readjusted and soldiered on.

Although it seems likes six months went by, it was almost twenty five years.

My Father at the age of seventy seven, was diagnosed with West Nile Virus. It was a rapid and unforgiving decline. (read my previous post).

He was healthy and vitally alert on day one...and ten days later he was taken off the ventilator.

I have often thought about these two days in my life.

But I realize that I could have been subjected to visiting my Mother in a nursing home, hoping for miracles that may have never happened. Instead, she went to her Heavenly she could sit on my shoulder every day and be with me in my dreams every night.

As far as my Father was concerned..he HAD reached his late seventies..was sharp as a tack and was as happy as a GRANPA without his GRANMA could be.

He had his "lady friend" (was he OLD school or what)..and we all loved her.

His decline was unexpected and extremely rapid...(God once again smiled on our family).

It was tragic, it was horrendous, but it all happened in the span of ten days.

As I read about these cancer victims, Alzheimer's victims, heart patients... It comes to my mind that God has treated me more than fairly.

I am truly blessed with the fact that I had two amazing parents ; and BOTH of them were spared from the Chemotherapy, the nursing home and the rugged road to a decline that neither of them would have wanted for themselves or for us.

Sometimes I just feel like writing about them. Sometimes I just feel like telling you how I once felt cheated by this "crapshoot" we call life.

And sometimes I feel like looking at my life and saying, "THANK YOU, GOD" for not only giving my the most incredible parents in the world, but for taking them when you did...and for them not having to suffer, or make me suffer over their departing.

It has truly been a battle for me , my brother and sister as well...But to know that their suffering was brief is almost a sigh of relief.

To know that they are out of any discomfort , pain or impairment is just a tremendous amount of comfort to me...and knowing my parents as deeply and profoundly as I did...They would be thrilled with God's decision.

As it is, I have to be content with God's decision to take both of my parents, and live up to the standards and expectations that they not only instilled in but showed me every day of their short but very impressive time in my life.

I used to think I got the "SHORT" stick in life.. but in retrospect...I was a pretty lucky gal.

There are so many people in so many lands that have nothing close to the upbringing and inspiration that I had from my Mother and Father. Although it was brief, although I felt it was snatched from least I HAD it.

It wasn't cancer followed by years and years of unanswered questions or prayers.

It wasn't a fall into the abyss of Alzheimer's that they could never climb back from.

It was simply a loss that I had to eventually learn to accept, and finally realize that I had been spared many years of discomfort not only for me but for one of my parents who may had been labeled to suffer and wither away in front of my eyes...and make their last years not pleasant to remember.

Except for each of my parents unexpected and sudden deaths...all my memories of my family unit as a whole are absolutely the BEST experience a child could ever dream or hope for.

Nothing but good memories(even the few not so good memories were always worth the lesson).

But as the years fly by, as my kids grow older I begin to think how truly blessed I have been.

Although my kids didn't personally know my parents...enough stories have been told and retold and retold. They have all three met my parent's life long friends and love each and every one of them. We have boxes and boxes of old pictures, report cards from first grade and even our "Cradle Roll" certificate from when each of us was enrolled at the church nursery on our first day at church service as a newborn. And know that my Diddy had each of us there on the first Sunday when we were brought home from the hospital; and probably didn't miss more than 3 Sundays over the next twenty years.

Our house was always alive with people , chatter and the hum of my Mother's sewing machine.

Our house was like a magnet for every kid that lived within 2 miles of our house. (Didn't you ALWAYS love to be at THAT house when you were a kid)?

Well that was MY house... and kids, adults and neighbors were always there and there could not be a more wonderful place to be... than to be at 2545 Bayard St.

I had the most fantastic parents that any kid on earth could ever have. I had a secure, loving and safe environment to grow up in, and I thank God for it every day.

Sometimes life IS a crapshoot. But my crapshoot of losing my parents early is totally overshadowed and made all the more bearable knowing that I had Frank and Ann Leach as parents, and that I was truly one of the three luckiest kids on the planet.

Every body loved my folks and that is really not much of an exaggeration.

I was blessed in the short years that I had with them, so many times over that I had to quit counting.

It has taken me till the age of 48 to realize that I may have gotten the short end of the stick...but it was the "best" end of the stick and the end that I needed to grow into the person, wife and mother that I feel like I am continually becoming and aspire to be.

So "Thanks" Momma and Diddy....You were the BEST!! I wish you could be here physically...but know that you are both with me and my kids in our heart and constantly on our shoulder. We are grateful for what we "WERE" able to have...You as grandparents, parents and our personal heroes.

"HEY"!! Maybe life isn't a Crapshoot.... Maybe it is just what WE make of it?

Till next time.............COTTON!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

I Am Back , And My "Back" is Well...

After a week, I feel refreshed and ready to face the world again. It is amazing what a week at the beach can do for you, not to mention how it can make you realize that thirteen relatives can only be together for one week at a time...once a year. "We're OK with that"!
For the other 51 weeks..we try to stay away from each other as much as possible. It makes our family much more "Loving".

Once a year, we tell our brother how much we love him...and "BAM"...he forks out bucks to us lowly sisters...and subjects himself to a week with his siblings and our "CLING ALONG" kids...not to mention their girlfriends, once they reach the "likeable" stage.

It was an amazingly pleasant week...not ONE family fight...(We are famous for THAT one).

I only have a brother and a sister left in my "OLE" family tree. They are my "safe" place , my refuge and my saving salvation. They grew up with me, saw the same things that I did, and remember more things about my early youth than I do....although I can kick their butt in the memory department once I hit about 1970....both of them had a life only life was to watch, admire and fantasize about what it would be like to be in their teenage shoes.I remember every detail of their high school years, and remember how excited I was to have them as an older brother and sister.

They have not let me down yet, and I am pushing fifty!!

We are all three from the same Mom and Dad...yet all different in our own way. I feel that we are pleasing blend of "tough", "mothering" "fumbling" being the obvious "latter".

It was week filled with kids, kids, kids...sun, sun, sun...and cocktails,cocktails,cocktails.

We all survived and feel better than we did when we left for the beach.

It can only be done ONCE a year...but ONCE a year we do the unthinkable...cram 13 or so people into a house for a week, and still come out loving each other, knowing each other a little better...and still feeling like a family. Actually, a pretty good stinkin family...if I may say so myself.

I will wait while the next 51 weeks go by until I go back to spend a cluttered, crazy and wonderful week with my family. It will probably take that long just to laugh at all the things that happened THIS trip and to save up for the next one.

Let's just hope my brother keeps his "PHAT" job....maybe next year, he can afford to fund the WHOLE SheBang!! (Hope he doesn't read this) !!!

Till next time..."SUNKIST" COTTON

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I am OUTTA here!!

Got home from work, folded laundry, watered the dogs, packed a few items...and I am fixing (a southern term) to fall into bed.

I have worked seven days a week for the last month, just to save enough money to drag my tired ole self and two of my kids to the beach for a week.

I don't know exactly what I have packed, or what I have left out..but come hell or high water ...we are leaving in a few hours for a week of RELAXATION. Leaving the hubby at home...if I knew how to do a frowny face I would do that ..but my daughter, who is my "Textnology" expert is asleep.

I leave you all you faithful readers knowing that I am taking my daughter's lap top with me, in hopes that I can post from the beach.

I have become "hooked" on my posts, and believe me when I tell you that going to the beach with 3 teenagers, and four kids in their early PLENTY of material for me to write about.

Look for me to post..because with MY family...there is ALWAYS a lot to talk about.

I have packed my compression hose, my back brace and my corn pads... and my sister is bringing the vodka for bloody marys.

I will end for now...I am too week to type on the key pad anymore.

But tomorrow you will hear from a hopefully rejuvenated , relaxed and sunburned middle aged woman that has never needed a vacation more in her life...and one that is going to enjoy it to the "MAX".

Till next time...COTTON

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How Attractive AM I ?....REALLY

I came home from work tonight...Back killing me, worn out from working seven days a week.

I was sitting out back with the dogs reading my book..(the new David Sedaris book).

My husband came out back to talk to me when I started my lament.

I told him I was going to get a back brace to wear under my shirt at work. I said that between the corn pad I was wearing on the corn of my right pinkie toe (it's the size of a football least it feels that way)...the compression knee highs that I wear because of my varicose veins in my calf's...and the knee brace that I have to sometimes wear because of a skating injury that I incurred during a race for mothers at a skate night for the elementary school that my kids attended (I came in second)...I was feeling OK about myself.

His reply was "You have never looked more attractive to me.You just need to get a hair cut".

I informed him that I had gotten my hair cut just which he replied "I was kidding about the haircut".

How can this good looking man stay with a woman that is falling apart in every limb of her body?

Of course comes the next question... Who in the heck would take care of everybody?

Granted, I will be limping and crawling before you know it...but limp and crawl I will, until someone has me put away.

I am 48...I have been on my feet as a server for thirty years, and it is beginning to every joint, bone and muscle.

Luckily, I am going to the beach for a week with my brother and sister in four days... all the kids, and hopefully a lot of bloody marys.

Gotta remember to pack my back brace, heating pad, corn pads, knee brace and compression hose...Vodka can only do "SO" much!

Yet, my husband for some unknown reason loves this broken down, worn down body that I wear...and I remain in his heart...remain in his life (who else is going to SHOVE" him down the path of life?) and he remains in my heart and soul as well.

Maybe I will get another haircut in Florida, maybe my joints and limbs will begin to mend. Maybe I will come back rejuvenated ...but at least I know I have my husband to come back to...and for some reason he seems to want me back. Beside the fact that the grass will be overgrown and the laundry will be piled up.

If he can take me with all my flaws...I feel lucky to have him.

Till next time...COTTON

Monday, July 7, 2008

My Girl is BACK...and my BACK is OUT!!

My sweet little girl came home tonight, after an eight day vacation with her friend and their family.

My back went out yesterday...Painfully so, after a 12 hour double at work on Saturday... carrying probably 30 racks of glasses and about at least 30 buckets of ice during my shift. I guess that I am not as young as I used to be.

I regretfully had to call out of work on Sunday. The spasms in my lower back were almost bringing tears to my eyes.

I went to WalMart and bought a heating pad, came home and ran the hottest bath I could...added a two quart pot of boiling water to it..and scalded myself silly.

After sleeping on the heating pad and repeating the scalding bath routine..I felt well enough to go back to work.

I take the good with the bad...My girl is back..but my back is killing me!

She remarked that I should let all the lazy young people at work do the heavy lifting....I believe her comment was " are OLD"!

Number one..they aren't going to do it...Number two..don't call me OLD to my face!!

She said she meant it in a good way.

Exactly what "GOOD" way was she talking about?

I guess she meant that I was still in shape, had a funky haircut and can still stand to listen to
STAR 94. (our local top 40 radio station)

My girl is finally back...and my back is finally better.

It freaks me out when I have a physical ailment that could possibly stop me from doing my job.

I have worked since the age of fourteen. I have never been without a job.

My husband is on the edge of making his dream come true. He has started his own air freight business...and is working relentlessly to make it ALL come together. It may take a couple of years for it to come to fruition...but I have complete and total faith in him.

If only my old tired body can make it that far. I am going to start taking it easier on myself...stop doing what others should and WILL start helping me with...and start making other "Young Farts" at work pull their own weight. I think that we will be OK..By that, I mean "I" will be OK.

At least I have my girl husband has my back...and hopefully I will keep my OWN back!

If only these young people that I work with knew what I know...knew what I have done and experienced; and knew what lay ahead of them in life.

OOOHHH!! The magic word is "ONLY".

I guess that it is lesson that is learned by experience, trial and error.

But for Pete's sake...don't break "MY" back by learning it !!

Gotta go scald my back again...Till next time COTTON

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth!!

I had to work today. (UGGH) I was at work when one of my favorite servers came in. She was the subject of one of my posts. My African American friend that we will call "Tiffany". Her boyfriend is a football player at Clemson. She text him to tell him "Happy Fourth of July". He responded that he didn't celebrate "WHITE" people's holidays. She was fuming when she sent a text back that the first man to die in the revolution was a black man.

Even I was astounded. I had no idea that the first man to die in the revolution was a black man. She could only remember his first name "Nat".

I told her that it was really nice of our men to send him on out front...."Just let us know what is going on, and we will be RIGHT back here waiting to hear back from you".

All kidding aside (not really) Happy Fourth to every one of my faithful blog readers.

We live in a great Nation...the greatest in the world. We just need to take control and take stock in what the entire country needs...not just the select few. We need to Thank God that we are blessed enough to not only be Americans; but to take charge and command of the situation at hand..retuning this nation to a stable economy, and getting out of Iraq.

Although this is only MY view, I feel that it is beginning to be a broader and more practical view.

Now off the soap box..I hope you all had a happy and safe Fourth.

I hope that every person looks into their heart...and thinks "What can I do to help another person...what can I do to help make a change...what can I do to make a difference"?

Each one of us has an opportunity every day to make a difference. Whether we choose to do it is up to each individual..and more importantly up to the ones of us that have a conscience and a drive to make this country the "America The Beautiful" that is can be if we all take the initiative. Baby steps is all we need steps is all I am asking steps can be all that it takes. We can move mountains... we can CHANGE the world.

I have faith that there are enough of us that genuinely care and enough of us that could have an impact.

Think what a wonderful world we could create if we all "JUST TRIED".

I am an optimist...I am a believer...I am a participant...I am a person that cares.


Till next time...COTTON

Thursday, July 3, 2008

For Pete's Sake, I am Tired

Just got home from work...but I am HOOKED on my blog. I just wanted to give my latest update on my life, feelings and situation.

My daughter is sill away with friends... If I knew how to create one of those little frowning faces with my keyboard I would. (:):) >... Who discovered how to use colons, hyphens and semi colons to create "MOODS"?... And how much spare time did THEY have?

I am left with my sons aren't much for the "HUGGY" type. But when I come in from work... my three pooches are all hovered by the door...waiting for "MOMMA".

I go upstairs and they are beating me by at least a step. I go back downstairs and they are flying in front of me..oomffing down every step. I go out back to read my book (currently "Angels And Demons"...don't even get me started on THAT book) and they are scratching at the door.

I come back inside to switch the laundry and they are all three laying by my feet in a pile. I go to the restroom..and all three tumble in right behind they are seeing which of them can get closest to me.

I guess that they all know I am in "Massey" withdrawals.

It is extremely sweet of them to notice...and I appreciate their effort..but after working a ten hour shift... For Pete's Sake!! just give me a minute!!

But they don't..and I have to remember that they are JUST dogs... although in my house, that isn't a bad thing to be.

As I type this post all three are gathered at my feet....snoring away...just happy that "MOMMA" is home....and waiting for me to get up and put another load of clothes in the dryer, so that they can all three get up and follow me to the laundry room , just to make sure that I make it there okay.

My husband says they hear me when I pull into the subdivision and I don't much doubt that.

But they are keeping me company while my girl is away, and will lick her face silly when she comes back.

People that do not have dogs, just do not know what kind of companionship, dedication and loyalty they are missing...(and they don't even have to go to Teacher conferences, or look at disappointing progress reports).

All you do is love them, treat them to food, fresh water and a huge back yard to explore. They require nothing else, expect nothing else and want nothing else.

DANG....Why can't kids be that easy?

I wouldn't trade my kids for anything thing in the world...but I would have a hard time trading my pups as well.

It is all relevant... In my house..FAMILY is FAMILY. Yes I love my kids the most by any sense of the word "MOST"... but my pups are pretty important to me as well. They may come in second to my kids..but they are a close second...albeit they are definitely kids would be devastated without these three dogs that are currently curled around my feet..snoring and farting and making me feel secure.

My two boys are out somewhere daughter is 300 miles away. But my pups are at my feet...loving me now. Somehow they JUST know that I need them, while my "youngins" are away. And they don't even mind when the kids come back.

They actually act happier than me when the boys come back. And to me..that only means we have raised our pets right...or maybe We have just been blessed with the greatest dogs on Earth that know how to realize when they themselves have been blessed...and they just want to THANK US.

Till next Time...Cotton