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 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 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 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 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 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 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" 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 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 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 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 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 .