Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Where has the year gone?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Til NEXT year....COTTON

Friday, December 26, 2008

Take the Good With the Bad

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

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

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

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

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

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

"It is a REALLY deep cut".

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KIDS!!!! What are you gonna do?

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

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

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

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

Til Next Time...Cotton

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

OMG...Christmas is HERE!!

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

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

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

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

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

I ALWAYS, ALWAYS wait until the last minute.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is all about balance.

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

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

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

Merry Christmas to everyone , God bless

Till next time...COTTON

Monday, December 22, 2008

The True Meaning of Christmas

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think everyone in America can identify with this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Giving is the ABSOLUTE and true meaning of Christmas.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are YOU being?

Til next time...COTTON

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Christmas Present To Elizabeth

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

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

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

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

I just can't keep up with her.

What does that say about me being 48?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

WHAT is wrong with This World??

The day is "NO gay for a day".

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

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

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

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

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

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

So you think that you are a Christian...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 4, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I couldn't resist the temptation.

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

His face was PRICELESS!!!

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

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

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

It was too much ammunition to waste.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He'll make a GREAT husband one day!!

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

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

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

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

Til next time..COTTON