Saturday, September 27, 2008

One of The Total Pleasures in My Life...Reese

I have been watching this baby since she was nine months old. Actually my daughter is the "babysitter", but I have been there every step of the way. When she first came to my house, she was only starting to crawl. Now, at over two years of age...she has crawled her way into our lives and into our hearts.

She is HANDS DOWN the smartest and most polite child I have ever encountered. At the tender age of two, she covers her mouth when she coughs, thanks you when you give her anything, and always uses the word "PLEASE" when asking for anything. (I wish my sixteen year old had the same qualities).

She knows all of her colors, knows sign language, and knows how to make you love her without any effort on her part at all.

Her mother has grown so tremendously, and has become the mother that I hope I have been to my own kids.

At the ripe age of two, she always says "please" always says "thank you' and always fills your heart with a warmth that is few and far between with a child her age.

She is so wise beyond her years that it totally amazes me with her complete understanding of social skills, and knowledge of etiquette.

She is a complete and total joy to have in our house, and has charmed the pants off of every male in our household.

She is a girl who is destined to be a great woman, and will go on to not only make her mark, but probably leave skid marks in her path along the way.

She can count in Spanish, and she count on me, for being there ANY TIME she may need me or my family.

She has unknowingly wormed her way into our lives, and I have never been more proud to have this toddler in my life.

Her mom has met an exceptional man, one that loves this little girl as his own...and she loves him right back just as much.

He has kids of his own, and Reese has slipped right into the mix as if she has always been there.

I am so extremely excited for this new found love for her mother...she could have never been luckier than to find this new "baby daddy".

I am so excited that they are becoming a unit, becoming a family, and starting to begin a new life together.

My "Little 'Reese' of Heaven" has finally come into her own...her own family and her own place to learn, grow and flourish.

When they marry and move, I will miss her so much that I am sure I will ache with the fact that she won't be staying with me anymore.

But I will be filled with the comfort of knowing that my "little Reese of Heaven" is having the best life she can have, and the best parents she could ever hope for.

Sarah Palin..."LOOK OUT" Reese will make you look like Rosanne Barr !!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Biloxi Part TWO

Back for a lighter post!!

They should call it a "COLD"sino... not a casino. When we checked into our room, the thermostat was set on 63 degrees. Who in the world wants a room to be set on that temperature in early September in the south?

When we went down to the casino, it was even colder. I had to go back up to the room to get another layer of clothing on, just to be able to stand the Arctic air.

We were on the tenth floor, and since we kept a bottle of tequila (my friend who was staying at another casino kept her bottle hidden away in our suite). It seemed like a long trip up to the room, but once we started drinking for free, it began to seem a shorter and shorter trip.

On one of the trips up to our room, I commented to my friend that they seemed to keep the entire place freezing.

She, being a frequent visitor to the casinos... said "take a look around". Look at all the overweight, out of shape people gambling. She told me they were just trying to keep them comfortable and happy.

I hate to admit it...but she was dead on the mark.

Our suite had a wonderful bed with a nice sheet set, a blanket covering that, a top sheet and a two inch thick comforter on top of the other three layers.

As I cruised the casinos, I noticed walkers piled up like dominoes. I noticed that we were all having to take the "freeze out" just to keep the unhealthy HAPPY!!

Thirty year old people scooting around in their "Rascals" and people EVERYWHERE smoking Camels. In a is like being back in the sixties...SMOKE SMOKE SMOKE... if you are a non smoker, you are one of the trouble makers.

In a casino, they want you to stay so badly that it is actually HARD to get kicked out.

My dear friend that had brought her own tequila down to the casino in a Dasani water bottle (she works for Coca cola)...hence the Dasani. She and I had sat at a poker table that was not being used, and decided that it was our own private night club table. We set up our drinks and just began to chat. She was tutoring me in the ways of the casino. She remarked that "See that big guy over there on the phone? He is the Pit boss and he knows everything that is going on". About that time, the "BIG" guy came straight to our table and asked my friend if she was "SHOOTING".

Being a newby to the gambling world, I didn't know what he meant, but my friend knew immediately what he meant. She had brought her own liquor in a bottle into the casino, and that was forbidden. He was nice about it, but I was embarrassed so I stepped away for a moment so that she would be able to come up with her own excuse..

When I stepped back to the table, the "PIT" boss said that we couldn't sit there. I remarked to my friend "Julie, you know you can't do that". The pit boss replied to my friend..."you told me your name was Tiffany". She rebounded with "Tiffany is my 'out of town' name".

I asked the Pit boss what gave her away...was it the salt shaker that she had on the table or the salt she had pre poured on the inside of her thumb and fore finger?

As we got up to leave the table with our tails between our legs, the pit boss called to me and said "HEY left your purse"!!

They were so accommodating , they were so is like we couldn't even piss them off if we tried.

My husband said that that is just the way it is with matter what, they JUST want you to stay there. That is their hold, just keep you there, just make you happy. So they HAVE to enforce a few petty rules.

It is like being in terraincognita, it is an unknown world. You are sitting under the ocean in a smoke filled room with hundreds and hundreds of people, just there to try and make a buck, or worst case scenario...get a free buzz and go home thinking that somehow they have gotten something for nothing.

I am so extremely glad that we do not live closer to the casinos. They treat you so royally that you almost forget that they are sucking every dime that you have out of you...and smiling at you the entire time.

It almost seems like voluntary financial rape!

But it was fun, it proved to be a lesson, it almost seemed like I was a high roller for two days. At least that is the way they make EVERYONE feel...and that is where they TOTALLY suck you in.

God bless the people with their walkers and rascals...I hope that they know what they are doing... I know I didn't!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Here Comes the Bride !!

I gave a co worker a wedding shower at work on Monday.

She is biting the bullet on Saturday to marry her "baby daddy". I wonder if that word will make it into the dictionary soon? It seems to be a pretty commonly heard word these days...but at least she is turning him from that in into the REAL daddy!

She is a dear sweet woman who has made her life into something good and has turned a hard childhood into a working adulthood ...adding a college degree and working on another.

I can't go to the wedding on Saturday because I am working and took too much time off to go to Biloxi to play with my husband for our anniversary (hence the shower).

I must say I outdid myself... Lasagna, garlic bread, caesar salad, champagne punch, spinach dip and a cake. (Do I know how to get out of feeling bad about missing a wedding or WHAT)????

I call her my chubby little friend... but of course with me weighing 105lbs that means most of my friends are "chubby". She has lost a lot of weight and is looking and feeling good about herself and her future.

Getting married is NOT going steady. It is not just living in the same house. It is making a life long commitment... as they say "for better or for worse". In my opinion, too many couples seem to miss that part of the vows.

It won't always be a bed of roses...well maybe for the first year, while you are still unpacking wedding presents and loving your "honey moon" stage.

I have been with my husband for over twenty years. We have had good times, great times, okay times and really bad times. I will admit that before he took me on this last trip, I had fallen into a funk. I was tired of doing everything around the house, taking care of the kids and house...all the while working six days a week. Of course he never demanded that I do those things, I just naturally took it upon myself to try to be a super woman.

After we came home from Biloxi...we had a fight. Not a fist husband would never raise a hand to me in a million years. But I spewed off with my big mouth. I felt that although we had gone on this trip, it was with two other couples, and I felt that for one time in twenty years, I just wanted something to be JUST ABOUT ME! I wanted to be the princess...I wanted to be in his spotlight. I wanted to feel special. The weekend had been spent in the casinos and partying with the other four people, and I just wanted to feel like he hadn't given up on me as being the focus of his heart and soul.

Our actual anniversary was on Monday after we returned from Biloxi on Sunday night. After replacing the screens on the house, and fixing the garage door that the kids had torn up while we were gone...doing all the laundry, cleaning up after the kids and falling into bed, I instigated the argument.

Little known to me, he came home early from work on Monday (our actual anniversary) and took me to our favorite Italian restaurant. He gave me a beautiful gold bracelet with tiny sand dollars and starfish on it (he knows how I love the beach). And then he dropped the bomb. He gave me a card that simply said Happy Anniversary on the front....and on the inside he had written "I never gave up on you, You just gave up on me".

It was the most poignant thing he has ever said to me... and he was exactly and totally right.

I thought he had just had a good time in Biloxi, and that was the end of our anniversary.

But taking me me that bracelet...and giving me that card made all the difference in the world to me.

Marriage is a long road, filled with many ruts and potholes. It is a commitment for life.

Sometimes you have to evaluate and sometimes you have to make adjustments.

But it isn't something that you can bail out on or give up on.

After that lovely dinner, and that special gift and card... I felt renewed.

I felt special...I fell in love with my husband all over again.

I could never imagine being with another man. I cannot imagine being without my husband. I cannot even think of anything that could make me happier than being married to Tim.

It hasn't all been roses, and there have been many ruts in the road.

But after twenty years....I feel a satisfaction that I made a wise decision in marrying him, and with staying with him.

Marriage is a lot of work... but if you both work at it, it is so tremendously rewarding that you can not possibly think of your self without thinking of your spouse. You are forever intertwined and I mean this in a good way.

I look at him and I feel so blessed to have a man that loves me with such depth and devotion. (and trust takes a LOT to live with the likes of me)!!

So I wish the same good fortune on my very dear friend. I hope that her future husband realizes what a wonderful woman he has, and treats her accordingly. Because if he doesn't...he can always just be "baby daddy".

But to be man and wife is a blessing that is all too often taken for granted and thrown away at the first sign of trouble.

To work through the problems, seek out answers and solutions, realize mistakes and make up for is all a process that is called "MARRIAGE".

If you stick it out, if you love each other totally and completely... you will find the greatest bliss that you could ever imagine.

There will be bumps in the road, there will be trials and tribulations... but there will be a satisfaction at the end of the day when you realize that you have a partner in your life and someone that loves you just as much as you love them.

Good luck to my dear friend and may she have the wonderful wedding and marriage that she so tremendously deserves.

You have to be in it for the long haul...for the good, the bad , the ugly....and whatever else life may throw your way.

Just remember that now you will always have someone to turn to and someone to lean on and depend on... and in my book that is a pretty awesome thing to have.

I hope that twenty years down the road you are still in love with your husband like I am with mine... TRUST is an AWESOME and powerful feeling to have, and I feel extremely blessed to have it... and to have him love me as well.

Good luck my friend... enjoy the ride and make the most of every moment and day.

Life is short...

Til next time.....COTTON

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Is the Country Just NOT Paying Attention??

I get emails EVERY DAY from people.

These "Cute" texts from people. I have one currently on my phone sent from a neighbor.
It is a text showing a monkey with a banana... with the white house in the background. It fades to a picture of Barrack Obama standing in front of the white house.

I do not know what the correct word to use is...but I think I could sum it up in three.


This is a man that is a Christian, an advocate and an obvious patriot.

How in the world can you portray him as a muslim, black, or terrorist? (you repubs CAN'T tell me that you haven't tossed THAT one around )!!

I consider myself a Democrat, but HAVE voted for republicans. I vote for the person...not the party.

And Roe vs. Wade?????????????

Give me a break. The repubs have had eight years to overturn the decision.

My only argument with PALIN (besides her sarcastic comments about Obamma in her acceptance speech) is her opposition to abortion..even in cases of incest or rape .

I have a thirteen year old daughter.

If by some freak of nature, she was raped by a crack head, alcoholic or even by a relative( I know that last scenario is extremely unlikely)..but it COULD happen to some one some where.

There is NO man on this planet that is in the position to tell a woman what to do with her body. There is NO governing official that has the right to tell or legislate anything that can instruct a woman how to conduct her life or destiny with her bodily capabilities... or the options that are hers to choose.

Look at the economy...look at your own portfolio.

Are you happy having to drive around your city looking for gas?

Are you happy with us spending billions of dollars a month on a war where they don't want us...killing over 4000 of our own citizens?

Are you happy with having a man in the white house that only wants to sugar coat his election, get into office, and continue the last eight years?

Are you happy knowing that if his health fails... we will have a woman in charge that would let the government tell women all across this great nation that THEY do not have a choice on what they can do with their OWN body?

How many more banks can we bail out? How many more houses have to go into foreclosure?

It hasn't worked for the last eight years.

I say it is time to give someone else a chance.

Not a monkey with a banana...

But a man that has a vision to try to change the politics, the lobbyists, the CEO's..the wall street crooks and all of their cronies.

It is time to take back our nation, time to worry about the Americans, bring home our troops, fix the economy...and fix our future.

I would have voted for Mike Huckaby...and did in the primaries....but we are far past that point now.

It is a time to stand up to all of our fellow citizens and say that the time of racial bias should be a sore point in our past...not a stumbling block for a better future.

As I write this post, I know that I am losing readers. I know that I am in the minority.

I also know that I have three children who are coming into their adult lives WAY too quickly.

It is them that I worry about the most.

It is ALL of our futures that I worry about.

Take a look at your life now, and remember how prices, gas and the whole economy was over eight years ago.

Whether you agree with me or not...your only option is to VOTE VOTE VOTE.

I promise that I will not rant about this again until after the election.

But I am a DIE HARD voter.

If every person in America voted, if every person actually cared about their opinion being heard and counted.... We would be living in a MUCH different society...and it would be a much better place, a more peaceful place and a better world for all of us.

Once's only MY opinion Till next time....(hopefully)


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Livin " Large" for 72 Hours!! PART ONE

My husband took me on a surprise trip to Biloxi for an anniversary present. It's only taken him 20 years...but I have to admit he did it 'right'.

We stayed at the Beau Rivage, and I HIGHLY recommend it. Over twenty floors of almost embarrassing pampering and luxury (at least to someone like me).

We got there at 3:00..4:00 our time, when my kids usually get off the bus.

My phone rang at 4:05.

My middle son was calling to say they were locked out of the house. I always leave the back kitchen door unlocked. # one....we have three huge dogs in the backyard #2.... one of the kids are always losing their key, and can jump the back fence for easy entry through the back door.

My daughter had forgotten her key, my son had lost his...and their older brother had taken the hide a key.

My son was on the roof of our house. Not a good sign when you are two states away.

They finally got in after lifting up the second garage door (packed with junk).

When we got back from our trip... there was a screen on the roof of the third floor, and the complete top panel of the second garage door was off. WELCOME HOME !!

As I realized while I was in Biloxi, they are IN the house now..."LET'S GO GAMBLE"!!!!

WE all took the elevator down. When it is "JUST" your own talk and chat. When there is an outsider in the group, you tend to just 'mutter among yourselves'.

It was the six of us, three couples and an odd man with a suitcase going downstairs to check out.

I couldn't stand the opportunity.

I said that my friend Jew and her husband could stay in our room that night . She said that she wanted to sleep by me, and with my butch haircut and wrinkles remarked that I had been meaning to break up with her.

The man with the suitcase began to pivot and move his handle of his suitcase up and down, and totally NOT looking up in any direction.

About that time another of my friends picked up on my Que , and said quite loudly "Julie, did you pay off those bad check charges before we left"?

The odd man out began to not only shuffle, but seemed EXTREMELY uncomfortable.


AS the elevator door opened to let our 'friend' out, I gazed across the elevator at my husband and said...."Good luck beating that RAPE charge, Tim".

The man finally looked up and said..."I really hate to have to get off here".

He certainly had tales to tell when he met up with his party...and we continued on with our own.

It was a weekend filled with stories, lots of walkers piled up in a corner, rascals scooting everywhere and extremely over weight people "GASPING" their way through a weekend at the casino.

It was a wake up call.

Am I going to BE one of these people? Or am I going to be the one to assist them?

I don't think that I want to be either,

""DING A LING A LING" ....bells ringing....people thinking that they are winning money.

It is ALL a SCAM!!!

You can go to the casino and win a thousand...or lose a thousand.

It is just the energy...the free drinks...the oxygen that they pump in to keep us all alert.

It is a money making machine, and I CAN'T BLAME THEM.

We had a great time, and I have several more stories to tell about our short stay in opulence...

SO MUCH to come later...COTON.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

"SNOT" That I'm Lazy... I've Just Been Sick!!

It started over TWO weeks ago with a scratchy throat, which developed into a sore throat...followed by a week and a half of snot working it's way out of my body...orifice by orifice . It hasn't been pretty... but I still managed to work every day and crash early every night.

I went into work today, when a co worker of mine said she had somethings for my daughter that she had kept when she cleaned her own daughter's room. Our daughters are 3 years apart...PERFECT for "Hand Me Down" syndrome....and we have reaped tons of great clothes, nic nacs and shoes from my wonderful friend.

Tonight she seemed a little hesitant as she took my car key from me to go load the "Treasure".

When I got off from work, I returned to my car to check out my daughter's "LOOT".

The first thing that I saw was a ball of yarn. The second thing that I saw was a door mat that said "CAT HOUSE".

Thank the Lord my three dogs can't read. But unfortunately they can "Smell".

They smelled the kitties that had entered and scratched their razor-like claws across the door mat...swishing their tails so vainly (as cats MY book).

I will have to mail my Mother in law this item, as she genuinely "Lives" in a "CAT HOUSE". (See previous "Cat Whisperer" post).

We netted some good items. but as I remember my friend's hesitation when borrowing my key to load the
"CACHE".... I was reminded of my grand mother...The only grandparent that I ever had .

I had a "Step" grandfather and he was wonderful, but as far as blood relatives..."MEMA" was all that I had.

She stood at least 5'11".

I am 5'4" on an impressive day (when all my checks have cleared the bank and I am feeling pretty proud of myself).

She never learned to drive (another blog ALTOGETHER).

She raised my Mother and my uncle by herself during the Great Depression.

Her husband was a raging alcoholic, and an absentee Father and Husband.

My uncle went on to college ...and my Mother met my Father.

The times at my grand mother's on my mother's side are a sincerely and blissful memory.

My Mother took care of not only her new husband's bedridden mother and grand mother, but her husband and kids and did a MOST spectacular job and never complained or thought it a burden.

My paternal grandparents had all died by the time that I can even recollect being on this earth.

My Mother's mom is a different situation all together.

Every Sunday, it seemed like they would come to our house for dinner...after which my "PAPA" would remove himself to my parent's bed for a nap after lunch.

PAPA was a huge man, drove a tank under Patton's command. I remember that he brought back a Nazi flag that my MEMA made into a quilt.

Things like this spring from my earliest memories like no time has passed at all.

After my Mother died, we made the obligatory visit to sister was MUCH more constant than me...but at least I made an impression when I DID show up!! (in MY mind anyway)

Every time that we came into her house, we had fried chicken for lunch, with buttermilk biscuits and whatever "PORK" or red meat was thrown in to spice up the Pole Beans.

After the meal was the usual "Let's see what we have HERE"??

Sometimes it was a treasure, sometimes it was her cleaning out her closets.

I can vividly remember her saying "HONEY, I am just going to throw it away".

I have told my sister time after time after time...."WHY didn't we just LET her throw it away"????

We survived with a lot of memories and a lot of stuff that has been designed to be a family "JOKE".

Exactly WHERE are those pot holders that were framed on one of those squares with the rows and rows of teeth that stick up frantically saying "MAKE ME A PRESENT...YOU'LL SAVE $$$$$" !!!!!

I still have the Christmas card that my Mother gave HER Mother on one Christmas.

I still have pictures, dishes and relics that I wouldn't give a million dollars for.

But to think back to that time... My friend is only doing the same thing that my grandmother did .

Offer up their offering..."TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT" .

Some things I will keep... some things I will ship off to others.

Some things mean NOTHING...

But other things mean the entire world to you.

We discriminate, we decide what is to keep and what is to discard.

In this time of election, in this time of turbulence, in this time of need...

What do we DISCARD and WHAT do we KEEP ???

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

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Today is my "Diddy's" birthday. His 83rd on this earth...and his 6th in Heaven.

How have the years flown by in such a 'blink' of an eye? How can six years have passed, when sometimes it seems like last week that we had our 10 day trip down the "Nile"??

He is missed as much today as he was when he took his last breath.

He is a fixture in my mind and heart... He is at the center of a "mini" shrine to him in my dining room. He looks at my daily with his smiling face every time that I walk through the room (probably at least 30 times a day) and gazing from picture to picture
I am amazed of the time line and man that I can follow by pictures and documents from his years in grade school, through the Navy and into a blissful marriage with my saint of a Mother (I can state this one on a Bible).

Through our years growing up in a community church....remembering their out pouring of love when both of my parents died.

Now we are left with their deaths...

What do we DO with "That"???

We begin by saying a prayer every morning...

"Thank YOU Almighty One"....for blessing me with the greatest gift an infant could ever receive...two wonderful parents...a childhood full of grace and tremendous memories, and parents to aspire to be like every day of my walk on this earth.

I used to think that I was so unlucky to have had my parents die so early.

Now I know that it was just God telling me that by giving me the greatest parents on the earth...he needed them more than I did, and had to take them back.

A fair trade, in my years and years of trying to make some type of believable reason for losing my parents....this can be my only option.

But as they enjoy their reward... I KNOW that they are with me every day, and look forward to our all meeting again....I look toward that day (hopefully in the far, far distant future ) and know that I have been lucky, blessed and have been given far, far more than millions of other people on our planet.

So happy birthday, "OLE MAN"......and as he would always say..... "That's MISTER OLD MAN to YOU"!!!!

I can still see the car grease under your nails, smell the forklifts that you sold, see you scratching your feet in their white socks...laying on your back after church on the hall floor in your boxers...underneath the huge attic fan...floating on your back in the Gulf of Mexico, always bailing me out of trouble and remember MOST vividly that you worked yourself relentlessly to give me the greatest child hood that ANYONE could ever dream of and one that I feel totally and eternally grateful to have experienced.

Happy Birthday to you! Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday day DEAR "DIDDY"...Happy birthday to you!!!!!!

This is my weak attempt at a tribute to a man that will always have "hung" the moon in my book... and this one is definitely "NON" Fiction.

Till next time.......COTTON