Saturday, June 27, 2009

How Old am I Getting...Or How Fast is Life Killing Me?

I train new hires for our restaurant. But did they throw me a curve ball yesterday!

A girl who worked at our store over ten years ago when she was sixteen as a hostess , came back to be trained a server (this is where I get dragged into it.)

A beautiful tall blond, so full of life it makes me sick (or maybe a bit jealous.)

Her enthusiasm has no bounds. She gets pumped just taking dishes to the dish pit.

She is so eager that I find myself constantly having to stop her from going too far. Her first day on the floor with me she started going up to my tables and taking orders...putting them in on the computer...some were on the wrong table, some were wrong totally and sometimes she rang an item on the wrong check. I told her that she shouldn't be waiting on tables yet, that on her fifth day of training she would work a lead shift where she waited on all my tables with me observing.

She quickly (she does everything QUICKLY) said she understood, but I felt like I had hurt her feelings. I explained that if I got 'shopped' by corporate when she waited on a table while in training, the report would come back with the name "COTTON" on it and it would be recorded in my file.

She quickly agreed and came back not five minutes later saying that we had been seated with a table again and she already had the order.

HELLO !!! ???

She was quick as well to clear off a table as soon as the guests left. She would come up and say "Here's your charge slip...nice tip." At one point I made the comment that I couldn't believe that one woman who paid cash didn't leave me a tip. She cheerfully said "Oh yeah she did, I have the money in my back pocket !"

I want to express here that I under NO circumstances think that she was trying to take my money...she was trying to help me out.

My husband and I have been going through a rough time financially and every dime counts. I just don't feel comfortable with someone picking up my pay check...and that is what tips PAYCHECK.

I got extremely busy and she had rung in at LEAST four tables wrong and some of the tables I couldn't even FIND on the screen.

I was scrambling to get caught up and fix the table numbers when they seated me with the cheapest people I have ever met. I don't mean to say they were asses ...they were just incredible. They were nice enough but when the mother asked me if we charged for extra butter on a potato I knew I was in trouble.

They asked for peanuts portion for the table and one helping in a to- go bag. The (free) bread I just couldn't bring fast enough and refilling their seven waters was a full time job. They all had those tiny "Crystal Light on the Go" packets and made their own drink every time I refilled a glass.

By this point I didn't know what tables I even had or what they had ordered since my "Bubbly" trainee had done it all for me (thank YOU.)

Then as I was pre busing (clearing away all the dishes) my "El Cheapo" table started asking for to-go boxes for their bread, peanuts and anything else edible on the table.

I picked up a dish that had nothing on it but the wooden skewers that had held their Kebobs together (the cheapest item on our menu.) I remarked to the woman "Are you through with his dish?"

She hastily replied "NO.. I want to keep those wooden skewers for when I have to test a cake."


Does this woman not have toothpick in her entire house ?

These things are about ten inches long and have been stuck through a piece of raw meat...cooked and handled and then you want to take them home to test a freakin' cake?

At this point my trainee came up to me frantically saying that she had to leave because she had driven her boyfriend's car and he was selling it and had someone coming by to look at it.

I said "PLEASE...just go do what you have to do."

She made the remark "I am soooo glad they put me with can fix anything that I screw up... You are the BEST waitress EVER !!!!!!"

After cleaning the ten dirty tables that she left me with and doing my sidework it took me an hour and a half to get out of there. She is supposed to be my "GRUNT" She is supposed to be doing these things for ME not the other way around!

So I went to a meeting this morning at the store at 8:45 after collapsing last night after my grueling shift with the most excited person I have ever met (and that means a LOT coming from someone like me.)

I came home from the meeting about 11:00 and jumped on my John Deere (after jump starting it from my car) and cut grass for three hours. Hopped off the lawn mower and took Massey to Barnes and Noble. I got to the shopping center but just felt light headed and confused. I passed Barnes and Noble and remarked "Why are we at Big Buys?" Massey said it was Best Buys and why did I go past Barnes and Noble?

I told her I was glad we were in a parking lot.

South is brutal for June. When I cut the grass today we had a heat index of 104 degrees.
The heat doesn't normally bother me, but I knew that the broiling sun had taken its toll.

We chilled out in Barnes and Noble for a while while I looked at books...I could do that for hours, but felt it best to go home and rest.

I rested for an hour before I had to go to work. I still felt weird but knew once I got back with my excited trainee I would feel weird anyway.

My mind just wasn't working. I was talking to a table about our newest items pictured in our promo menu. I told them about a couple of them and when I came to the pic of the lobster tail paired with a filet , I said tapping the picture..."You can get our filet with a ...ummm.. once again tapping the picture of the lobster...uhh...tapping the picture again and said unexpectedly "What do you call these?"

The customer looked up at me and said questionably "Lobster?"

I responded a bit too quickly "YES" !!

I then had to explain to them that I felt a little strange... had spent the last three hours out in the sun and just felt a little off. I assured them that I had no part in preparing their meal...but felt like I could do my job successfully without having to ask THEM anymore questions.

It is brutal here south of the "Hotlanta."

I drink water all day long, but today has reminded me of how humidity, heat ...stress and anxiety can really affect (or is it effect ?) you.

When you work in a high stress job (many people would think I am whining...but YOU try it) and you are crashing into fifty while most of your co workers are plowing carelessly into their twenties, it's not only hard to keep's hard to make yourself viable as a good role model, much less feel good about yourself as you walk out the door to not go out and party but go home to your family.

All in all I am a lucky person, it is just that these young adults wear me out and tend to make me feel even older . HEY!! Isn't that MY kids job?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael, Farrah..GEEZZ !

What a weird and LONG day.

First went to lunch at my sisters with my daughter for our dear friend Elizabeth's birthday...we even let Elizabeth come!

Had a great time, signed Elizabeth up for Facebook so she could join all the thousands of groups there are...some are quite good. My sister started a Facebook for the church that we grew up in. We found a group for the church that she went to and went ahead and signed her up for our church too.

My sister started our home church site and with her millions of going ons forgot about it. I came across it one day on FB and signed up..she had one other member.

She made me an administrator and then I took off. I posted a pic of the women of our church holding their babies and standing on the front steps of the church in the mid fifties...that is our profile picture. Then I scanned wedding photos from my parents (who were married at the same church) bulletins from the sixties church services...cradle enrollment certificates and VBS certificates.

By day one we had 23 members. It has been only four days but we are up to 60 members and have more photos posted. It is a lot of fun and I am glad Cin nudged me in this direction .

Secondly the Cousin Cutters took all of the cards we (Massey) made for them last night and taped them all to mailboxes. My nephew liked the cards and guess what? He likes one of the great catch phrases that I came up with for the bottom of their business cards.

I believe we are going with "Dude, your yard looks BAD".

That way when our guys do make it will be "BAD" "PHAT" and "ALL THAT."

See? It can go either way!!

Thirdly, I was at work when a customer told us from his blackberry he heard Michael Jackson was dead.

Dang that just didn't seem right. Not that I have ever been a HUGE Michael Jackson fan, but Thriller WAS a pretty kick ass album and he still looked cute then.

I'm not really sure what happened with him but I do know although he was super rich he was never super happy.

As for Farrah..who didn't have that haircut? Who didn't think Charlie's Angels were cool? Maybe my parents, but all kids my age were fawning over them even if they didn't let it be known in public. It was just "The Thing."

I was born in 1960 but didn't even BEGIN to grow up until the eighties. This was my generation and unfortunately (or maybe not so) I lived it to the max. I guess looking back I am glad that I sewed my oats then and can live a "REAL" life now feeling pleased that I did the round of a careless and worry free youth.

Now I am on the verge of fifty. I view life differently and more in depth (I think.)

MJ dies, Farrah do millions of others that probably never even saw a TV set or a TV program. In Dar fur... in the Iran... in the German occupation during WW2.

I hate to para phrase a quote from a man named Stalin...not a fan of his by any means or stretch of the imagination... but since my my son first said it to me it seems to make more and more sense in our screwed up and twisted society :

"One person dies and it is a tragedy...a million people die and it is a statistic."

Not to downplay or dismiss either death...just think about the millions of deaths that aren't singled out on the news every day.

They are just as not more so. We must and HAVE to think of our future on this planet...I want to help save it for my grand children and feel like I have done a good job at the end of my own life ... that in some way I have helped to extend the life of my offspring.

Am I misguided ?... Maybe.

Am I true to my own beliefs ? YES.

To not have a passion or an opinion is a shame.

To not care at all is a crime.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Kids Just Don't Know How Funny I Am

I just got home from work. A bit depressed this morning when I woke up .

Husband still hasn't found a job and it just seems to all be crashing in. What's worse is making sure your kids are happy and oblivious (which they are.)

I felt better after I went to work. I got a 100% shop from a 'secret shopper' sent by corporate. Hey, one more and I get a $100.00 Visa gift card!

Came home after making $114.00 in less than three hours and knew that somehow things would be alright.

My middle son (the scholar) has decided to try and go into lawn care with his cousin ... just try cold calls or taping their number on mailboxes of houses that look like they could use a cut. They are really low balling just to get off the ground and with this ATL summer, they may be on to something.

I had to get my "fabulously close to FOURTEEN" year old daughter to create some cards for them to tape on mailboxes and advertise.

I thought about the name "The Lost Boys" for their service, but Massey came up with "Cousin Cutters."

We put that rates started as low as $20.00. We typed both of their names with their cell phone numbers.

Then Massey added a cute picture of an old push mower to display beneath .

She said they needed a catch phrase.

BABY, I am all over it!

My first idea was "Cheaper than a Haircut"

Massey gave me a look like I had lost my mind.

Then I came up with "Have you checked the HEAT INDEX?"

It is an excruiatingly hot summer here and I thought that might pick them up a few lazy people.

I got the same look from my daughter.

Then I thought I had the ringer.

"Dude...Your yard looks really bad"

We butted heads and decided that until they got going, they could go without a "Catch Phrase."

I still say "Cheaper than a haircut" is a winner.

And if the heat index around here goes any higher, we won't even HAVE to mention the other slogan.

We made them 50 cards to tape on mailboxes tomorrow (although I always gripe about people leaving stuff taped to my mail box.)

HEY!! At least my boy is finding his way outside of the house...I thought he had lost the way.

With all the spring rain and the high temps now, they may end up making a killing this summer.

Let's hope they do !

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Painter

My sister called today and asked if she could come paint the trim in my kitchen. I told her ..."Alright, but just this ONE time."

Thank the Lord it was my sister. I had gone to the grocery store and she got to the house before me. I have a HEAVY oak and marble table that I put my microwave on. It is an antique wash stand that my mother in law gave me. Needless to say at this point...I don't move it often, just clean around it.

Of course this was the first piece of furniture that my sister moved. My 17 year old son was there case she needed anybody to just sit and watch her work. He made the remark that behind the wash stand was ... " Now that is embarrassing." This is a comment from a boy that has never used a broom in his life or knows where I keep it.

I am not OCD about my house. I DO think I do a pretty job considering I have a husband, sons and a daughter , two slobbering huge boxers and a six day work week. I couldn't win an award, but DFACS wouldn't take my kids either... At least they wouldn't last time I asked. (totally kidding, but it made me chuckle.)

So my sister cleaned and painted the trim in my kitchen while Massey and I kept her company. Me preparing dinner and Massey just sitting in a chair reading us trivia questions from the sixties and seventies out of a book she had borrowed from a friend. "The Great American Pop Culture Quiz Book."

You know how I am about quizzes. ...GO...!!!

So while my sister cleaned my horrible trim and painted it expertly, Massey quizzed us to death. I will have to admit that my addiction to FB helped me out on more than a few answers!

We laughed and had one of the best times I have had in quite a while. It seems whenever I am with my sister...I am always happy, even when I am venting to her about my problems.

Everybody loves my sister.

I could make this a facebook quiz and the results would always be the same.

Ten out of ten people would love my sister.

If I didn't have her in my life...I wouldn't feel my life was complete.

And as long as I am out here bragging about her...

If anyone ever needs a room painted or wall papered, call my sister. Her rates are great and her end result is amazing. She has a gift with a brush.

Also you get the bonus of having one of the nicest people in the world in your house for a few days ... she doesn't even charge for that.

Once you have met her will probably think she undercharged you and you are most probably right. That is why with word of mouth and reputation she will get this painting business off the ground in no time.

If you are in the ATL or close by, call my sis or contact me. I am thinking of becoming her "Agent."

A neat and rapid painter. No mistakes or taping needed. I don't even think she owns a drop cloth (JK) ....unless you LIKE a drop cloth. If you do... I have 3 to loan her at the drop of a hat !! Once she gets done you will be sorry that she paints so quickly and efficiently.

Just having her in your house feels like you owe her at least a 'note' in the mail.

Painting...know someone who is thinking about painting ?

Call my sister and you will most likely end up wanting to send ME a Thank You note .

Her work is as good as I have ever seen, and her prices are ridiculously low.

Plus I love her, or could you tell ?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

1:54 AM ... Off Tomorrow and Fading Fast

If you thought I had a rough LAST Sunday, just you wait!

So what it is Father's Day? They make 'em WE shape 'em.

Totally kidding...although it felt pretty good when I typed the words.

The bad vibe just comes from being a server for over thirty years. Mother's Day is the absolute worst. Everybody knows how hard it is to please a woman ...especially when you only try to do it once a year. The husband picks up the check cheerfully thinking "FINALLY, I did something right!"

Not a month later he is back in our store with his sponging teenagers , their dates and his wife who suggested they "Take him out" for Father's Day.

This time he has to act happy because it is HIS BIG DAY !!!

He is still going to get to pay for everything, just finds himself frustrated that he isn't home with a beer while he sits in his recliner and watches the US Open.

If you are a server, you know that holidays are for "Rookies."

It is a day when people come out to eat that normally wouldn't spend 75 cents on supersizing their combo, much less have to actually get OUT of the car to enjoy their meal.

Sorry folks if I offend, but next holiday out at a restaurant take a look around and see if you see any BFF's.

I made good money, don't get me wrong. But for the aggravation and the abuse I took from people who waited an hour for a table (who'd think you'd have to wait for a table on Father's Day at 1:00 PM ?)

I took it...but in my sly, subtle way I gave it.

If the men got really obnoxious, I would say "You know you really only have this ONE day...and I'll be sweet... but don't EVEN think about coming in tomorrow unless it is your 50th wedding anniversary.

I bet he'll have to pay then TOO !!

It's over and I made it through and made some green. Let's hope a lot of people are staying home this summer because now starts the "Dry" summer months.

I guess now I will have to be nice to every one!!

Just kidding. I truly do love my job is the greatest psychology experiment I have ever been involved with and never ceases to amaze me.

No wonder I'm so stinkin' smart ...AND humble .

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Stand Corrected

Number one, I feel like I told the David Letterman joke.

Number two I know I feel a hundred times worse than he did.

I meant to write something Frances would be happy to read. Instead I tacked three years on to her life and felt like a complete idiot (Not a stretch for me.)

The only thing I can say in my weak defense is that I didn't meet Frances until a family reunion at my sister's house when my dad was still alive and very active. He has ALWAYS had a youthful look about him, even in his seventies. For as long as I can remember he looked younger than any of his siblings. NOT THAT FRANCES DOESN'T LOOK GREAT ! Here I go again digging myself another grave!!

I felt about two feet high when I read her comment. My intentions were totally sincere...just off by a few years and not in the direction that ANY woman would be happy about.

My carefree daughter heard me lamenting to Zach about my stupidity and came down the stairs to ask what was wrong. Zach said calmly "Mom called a woman mean names on her blog."

I almost shouted when I said "I did NOT call a woman mean names, I just got her age wrong and I feel terrible about it. "

Massey asked how far off I was and when I told her she said just as calmly "Well, that's most of the way there. She won't mind." (Easy for a thirteen year old girl to say!) Boy will I remind her of THAT one when she is her late thirties..."Massey we may as well call you forty since you're most of the way there."

I hope Frances knows how much she means to me and that no disrespect or hurt was intended. I just hate it that I screwed up so royally. Thank goodness my kids were there to make me feel better....NOT !!

Everything was edited and corrected within two minutes of reading her comment to me.

My sincerest apologies to you Frances. As Tim so sweetly pointed out..."I guess Frances really IS sharper than you." Even though he is right, he could have at least patted my hand while he said it. At least my two dogs don't seem upset with me...yet. Watch some loud mouth dog in the neighborhood that surfs the net go yapping off and tell both of them. By then I guess I really WILL be in the Dog House !

Once again... I stand corrected and hope my family still loves me. I guess I will have to start having ya'll fill out questionnaires for me!!

I got Tim to proof read this before I posted it. His only comment was when he got to the part about him and he hollered into the kitchen "Whyda ya have to throw ME under the bus ?" I told him I needed the company.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Super Franny

When I wrote about my Aunt Tillie being the matriarch of our family, I meant immediate family that I have grown up with.

I have a hmmm..I 'THINK' ... great aunt that I have only known for a few years. When my family started a website we got a whole 'nother (you'll know what I mean in a minute by 'nother) set of relatives that I had never met or heard about. I am not really sure if I even know how I am related to her. I know it is from my father's family because her last name is my maiden name.

She reads my blog daily and often makes comments. I am sure to get a lengthy description of EXACTLY how we are related in just a short period of time. Hey! I'm embarrassed that I don't already know. I am sure my dad told me at one time but that fact has seemed to escape me.

She is at LEAST sixtyty ten. (You're welcome Frances.)

I remember when I turned forty two and still called my self "Thirty Twelve." It just made me feel better. Although now a month away from turning "Thirty Nineteen" it has begun to lose the appeal and just makes me sound desperate.

Frances is one peppy Southern Belle. Not even having a computer until the last few years, she now pays all her bills online and is a regular contributor to our family website. She is very computer savvy and gives the most beautiful descriptions of her day and activities with such a southern flair that it makes a wonderful read. Her use of the word "KINDLY" is one of my favorites. A word so genteel and meaningful to people like me that grew up in Georgia with "Decent Folk."

When I was young and dating , one of my boyfriends used to make fun of me for saying "Fixin." I would say I was fixin some tea and he would say "What's wrong with it?"

If you grow up in the South, we have our OWN vocabulary. Words like fixin' ... co' cola... ya'll... ain't... and for the older folks 'battry.' That was a big word with my grand father on my mother's side. He would ask if we had any battries he could have for his radio. Or 'protable'. I remember when portable TV's came out and he had bought a TV that was a lemon. He said he returned it to the store and they told him to pick out any portable he wanted. This was when TV sets were as large a piece of furniture. Since portables had just come out, he remarked "I picked out the biggest protable I could carry."

Of course I guess if he was thinking ahead he would have picked out the smallest, but the economist in him thought "The bigger the better."

But my Super Franny is a true delight. She reminds me of a time when people were simpler and thought more of other people's feelings than their own.

She lives independently and lives life large. Oh, and don't you KNOW she is a member of the "Red Hat" society... a social group for women who wear purple and red and take all kind of field trips together.

She is currently clipping vines at Ison's Nursery in Digby. A town so small you could miss it if you sneezed or turned the radio dial. Not to mention it is already in the nineties here south of Atlanta.

She goes and goes...even after a fall last year and a short gig in a rehabilitation center.

Her writings remind me of my own. She describes life , her outings and adventures with words but you feel like you are reading pictures. (At least I HOPE that is the way I write...that is the intent I have with my drivel.)

But she is in her seventies... (sorry Frances)... and I am in my late forties. She is as sharp as me, sometimes sharper. She hasn't let age or physical setbacks slow her down ONE BIT.

Kudos to you "Super Franny!"

Geez... I hope that I make it to that level and quality of life that she so richly deserves and is luckily able to totally enjoy.

At least I know I come from Good Stock!

Til next time... The thirty nineteen year old COTTON.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Are You Seriously TRYING to Help ?

Sometimes I wonder about my little microcosm of a house that I live in.

My oldest son lives on his own ... Second time trying, and we hope he gets it right this time.

My youngest two are still at home...nice to have some help...OR IS IT ?

Yesterday it was a trillion degrees outside when I went out to cut grass at 1 PM. I start with my front yard, move to my side yard then move over to my neighbor's yard. Cut the front... back and sides and by the creek ... then come home to cut my back yard that is the biggest of all.

I have a John Deere riding mower so it is really easy.

All I have to do is pull my car out of the garage, pop the hood and prop it up with a two by four because the lock doesn't work that holds up my fifty pound hood . Then because my kids played on the lawn mower during the winter and left the key turned on I have to manually pull my lawn mower out of the garage and back it up next to my car, trying not to scratch it.

Then I attach the jumper cables and start my car up and let it idle while I switch to the John Deere and crank it up, hopping off to unhook the cables and then unhook the cables from the car. Then I take the two by four out and lower the hood after putting the fancy "Battery cover" back on. I then turn my car off and jump on my mower to cut three acres without stopping or else I have to go back to the part where I "pop the hood of my car and manually push the mower by its side."

So basically THAT part is easy.

Then I got a phone call I had to take so I asked my almost 14 year old daughter to finish the back yard (I was 3/4 done.)

First she needed me to go get her some flip flops. Once she had her flip flops she screamed over the noise of the motor to ask if I would go get her ipod off her bed up on the third floor of the house where her flip flops had been. By this time I could have finished the yard myself but just remained silent (not an easy feat for me.)

I called home from work today during lunch because I had a 100 guest party and I knew I would be home late. I asked my sixteen year old son if he had fed the dogs. He said yes and I asked if he had given them fresh water. He replied that he had so I went on my merry way to successfully wait on a party of 100 people with a tab of well over $3000.00.

Went home feeling pretty good about my day. It was OVER a trillion degrees by my standards. The dogs were out back. Yes they had been fed. It looked like my son had used a shovel to put the food in the bowls...spilling out in every direction and the bowls were six inches from the back door giving all the flies quick entry when the door was opened.

They had water. Poured right into grimy bowls with algae around the rim it seemed. My concept of giving dogs water on a hot day means washing the bowls out with soap and filling them with ice before ever starting to fill them with water.


What it means to 'do something' to me is a totally different concept than teens have when you tell THEM the to do the same.

In their book "Hey! At least I did it! "

Granted they did it.

It took more time getting my daughter's accessories for her short ride on a lawn mower and washing out dog's water bowls and sweeping up scattered dog food than it would have for me just to have done it myself.


I seem to be dragging them kicking down the road to responsibility...but DRAG them I will.

Remind me to ask for a new battery for my lawn mower for my birthday next month...but at least Massey DID paint the two by four in a really pretty aqua AND painted her name on it for me. I think of her every time I have to jump start my John Deere.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What a Shift!

Sundays are my busiest day at work. I go in at 3:00 to catch the tail end of lunch and work right through close of the store.

I walked in and they immediately seated me a table, then another and another then just one more to make it easier. I hadn't been clocked in for one minute when I had all sixteen people waiting for their drinks , appetizers and of course that free bread (Christian Crack as we call it.)

It got a little hairy but with the help of many servers who didn't want to have to take another table themselves...I got caught up. Then they seated me a group of six followed by a party of four and let's go ahead and pick up that one woman that was sitting alone. How can one more hurt? At least I had already put in the first four tables orders, now just get these next three table taken care of. Then the host tells me they seated me a table in the bar area...another section of the store completely, I couldn't even see them from my section.

It went this way the entire seven hours. BAM BAM BAM, BAM!!

I think I am getting too old for this rapid fire profession.

Then they dropped the BOMB.

At my table they sat the "Family From Hell."

I have waited on them several times...and just didn't think I could keep a pleasant look on my face for them during their nightmarish visit.

I asked a young male server that was in the same section I was if he would "PLEEEEEEZE take that one table for me?"

This guy is one of the nicest guys I have ever known and I absolutely LOVE to work with him . He is engaged to marry another one of our servers (this next Saturday.) I can pick on and joke with him, his attitude is always great and he has a really good sense of humor. He is relatively new and didn't know the ADDAMS FAMILY yet.

He agreed and I snuck off for a quick giggle and then back to my other eight tables.

This family is absolutely incredible. The husband is in his sixties, the wife in her late twenties. They have five children under the age of eight. When they used to come in they brought a DVD player and set it up on the table. Then they wouldn't even bother to take the younger two kids out of their car seat or put it in one of the slings we use to sit car seats beside the table. They would just wedge them sideways into the booth or put them both ON the table (I guess they wanted to see the movie too...cranked up loud by this point.)

They ask for, order and expect things that aren't even on our menu. We serve a multi grain bread with butter. They ask for Texas Toast or can we just bread and butter some buns for them with garlic and some melted butter on the side? Then the wings. They can't have wing sauce on 1/4 of the wings and toss the others in BBQ sauce with maybe some honey mustard and chipoltle ranch as well.

And that's the good part of your experience with them. The kids wail and scream the whole time (I guess they HAVE to be loud to be heard over their DVD feature presentation.)

They don't have very good hygiene and don't smell of money. They smell of SOMETHING, but it ain't money. I really do feel sorry for the kids but she comes in pregnant every year and seems to be determined to keep on trying til she beats the "OctuMom."

And the husband! Don't even let me get started. He is not attractive or even pleasing to look at...especially when he is stuffing his face. They have horrible manners and scream at the kids the entire time. I remarked to another server the last time she came in pregnant "You know, I just don't think a room can get THAT dark. How does she stand it?"

So it's onto my new favorite server that I so efficiently dumped this nightmare .

When he came back from just greeting them, he replied "I hate you."

His next trip back from the table, he asked "Who's the jack ass that told these people we could make them TEXAS TOAST?"

I told his fiance that my tired ole body just couldn't take that family right then and that I was testing her theory that you just COULDN'T make Josh mad (we'll call my new favorite co worker "Josh".)

He did get me back though. Since the table was really in my section, when they asked for peanuts (we hate peanuts, they make a huge mess and are hard to clean up) he purposely didn't take them a "Shell" bowl...another bowl for them to place their empty shells in.

Oh no, those kids were throwing them under , over and across the table.I had to compliment him on his strategy, knowing how hard it is to sweep up peanut shells off the carpet with a three foot broom. He said that he thought it was a nice touch, and to enjoy cleaning up after them.

I told him to just consider the table an early wedding present from ole thoughtful Cotton.

He made it through ..I'll have to hand it to him. The manager only had to go over to the table three times and that may be a new record. Josh is such a good kid that even The ADDAMS FAMILY had a hard time picking his service apart.

They used seven different gift cards to pay their bill. The balance of $2.00 went on a credit card (the eighth card used).

Josh got busy and when they finally lumbered out the door carrying, spanking and screaming at their kids I went to clean the table. Josh still had the payment book on the table so I took out my pen and above the 8% tip on the charge slip I wrote "Server sucked." I waited fifteen minutes to see him finally pick up the book. I had already told his fiance what I did so we were both waiting.

He came around the corner and said "Look what that ass wrote on my charge slip." I just couldn't start laughing soon enough. I told him what I had done and I almost thought he would say "Touche'."

That's the kind of kid he is. He will go far in life...he'll HAVE to to keep the little fireball he is marrying happy, they are like me and my husband... opposites. And she is the only person at work that weighs less than me. One night when she left it was stormy and very windy. I told her to pick up a big rock to carry so she didn't skid across the parking lot and possibly rip her jeans.

I told "Josh", after the nightmare clanked and clattered it's way out the front door..."If that ain't a commercial for birth control, what IS ?"

Later on in the evening I put a sticker on his back when he was cut from the floor but walking around the back of the restaurant "My name is DOOFUS."

Wonder how he knew it was me when the manager asked him what it said?

I owe them a nice wedding present for real. He made my day, took a burden from me and turned it into an hour and a half comedy routine that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Even the managers were laughing .

I have a good job. It's killing me but kids like this it makes the death so much easier to bear.

As I wrote this post I actually laughed out loud a few times. Wait til I tell "Josh" he was the highlight of my blog and that I think he was the medicine my old bones needed.

What do you give a Mormon who is marrying a Catholic ? There's a joke in there somewhere but I think I have abused "Josh" enough for one day.

But REALLY !! What 'DO' you give to a Mormon who is marrying a Catholic ?? MORE GUILT ??

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thank You Bonnie Hunt !!

If you've never watched the Bonnie Hunt Show I highly recommend it. I have seen her for years but the most memorable was on the David Letterman Show. David had just had stitches in his finger and it was time for them to be taken out. When Bonnie came out she remarked that she could remove the stitches as she used to be a nurse. She said that it just didn't turn out to be the right profession for her. She commented that one time while she was in training she had to put her first catheter in a male patient. She asked the man to please place a towel over his face while she did it. She said she just couldn't look at both parts at the same time. Her instructor happened to walk by the room as this was going on and did a double take . It was a hilarious story and I have been a big fan of hers back as far as when she was the bitter older sister in Jerry McGuire.

Her new show is a breath of fresh air and a ride down memory lane at the same time. She was just talking one day when it came up that when she was young (having six siblings) her mother told her one day when she was in her early teens : "If you are ever out somewhere with your friends and something doesn't feel comfortable to you or something tells you it isn't the right me and I will come pick you up questions asked."

Skip to today... my almost fourteen year old daughter asked me if she cleaned her room (RIGHT) could she go to a pool party at her friend's house from chorus? She said that I could phone the girl's mom when I got home from work.

Came home and the room was "BETTER." Her friend called and I told her I needed to speak with her mom. She said she wasn't there and her dad was asleep. Massey baked brownies to take and actually did pretty good on her room (for her).

When I took her , one boy from school was there and the girl who lived there. I got out of the car and asked if her mom was home. She said she was taking a nap.

I just had a feeling. It wasn't suspect or deceit, it was just that MOM feeling. I told Massey that the girl's mom needed to call me when she woke up and I left my home and cell number on a piece of paper for her.

It was a very nice house and I remembered the girl from chorus when I first saw her in her bikini by the pool. I left Massey there and drove home slowly. It is such a weird freak of nature that on the way over to this girl's house...Bonnie Hunt's story came to mind as I drove my daughter to her "POOL - PAR -TAY."

I turned the radio off and told her: "You are getting older and making so many new friends. I want you to know that if you are ever somewhere and you begin to feel uncomfortable or feel like you need to leave a me and I will pick you up with no questions asked."

My daughter shot me a look (not a mean one) and said that she would never drink or do drugs.

Thank you again Bonnie Hunt . When Bonnie told her story, she found herself and friends in a store when the other girls wanted to shop lift. She felt like she was pressured, she didn't want to snitch...but she knew it wasn't right. She went to a phone booth and called her mom to pick her up, and left the girls in the store.

Her mom never asked, but the daughter always knew. What a relationship!

I told my daughter that it wasn't just drugs or drinking, but that if she ever felt like she was in a situation where she was apprehensive or me. NO QUESTIONS.

I went back home and told my husband. He said she was getting older and we had to trust her to be the daughter we have raised before we jumped to conclusions.
My husband called her but she didn't answer (POOL -PAR-TAY.)

I was sending her a text telling her to have a good time and have the mom call me when the call came through on our land line. It was the girl's mom, apologizing for being asleep. It was all okay and it was a ten pound weight on my heart that seemingly disappeared.

Her husband works the night shift at Delta and she is a "SOFTBALL MOM."

This was the first day that they had had off and her daughter had missed her friends.

"WHEW !!!!"

I hate to be paranoid. I really do. I just want to stay close to my kids and their thoughts. Let them hear my take on what I think our roles are and how we can be a support to each other and become closer as they grow away from me chronologically.

My daughter made me proud. My worries were unnecessary. But the feeling that I can trust my kid and know that I have "Had the TALK" is a powerful feeling and a comfort.

She knows now that if she ever needs me... not to worry about consequences or excuses. I will be there...I will come to your side and ask no questions. All that matters is that you are alright and that you made the right choice.

Am I over cautious or planning a pro active relationship?

She will be picked up in 23 minutes by her father and my crisis will be over. I am sure the next one will be soon.

Once again..."WHEW!!!!"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Facebook Quiz Addiction

Hello, my name is Kelly and I am a quizalohlic.

Why did I ever listen to my neighbor's 12 year old daughter ? I remarked one day a couple of months back that people kept asking me to take quizzes on FB and that I thought it was ridiculous. It happened in the car ride home from school... me and three middle school girls (my daughter included). It turned out that it was a day when they were all currently speaking to me. You never know what kind of girl you will be picking up when they are tweens and starting teens. Middle school is a three year long drama series that has more ups and down than 'All My Children.' Thank the Lord my girl is moving on to 'General Hospital' this year at the high school...much hipper show and a LOT more things that are virtually thought of as impossible, yet still happen against the odds. I think their Principal's name is 'Luke Spencer.' One of the girls said that quizzes are really cool and a lot of fun. I had five minutes of free time on the ride home and thought "HUH..maybe I will click on one."

ANYHOO!!! I go home after the 'chatty' car ride and later get on FB and just happen to click on a quiz. For Pete's sake! What is wrong with this world when a 49 year old woman can't stop taking a quiz? You always have to click a box to say that to take the quiz you are allowing access to your profile and friends.

Pretty soon a screen will pop up saying that by continuing I give access to my social security number and my bank account , and I won't be able to click "YES" fast enough to get to my quiz about "Can you name this cocktail?" ...I know ALL these answers...GO , GO , GO !!!

I've learned that it is best to start with the oldest quizzes and work my way forward to the new 'lame' ones that EVERYBODY but me is doing..."I'll Show Them!!"

I 've even sucked my almost 17 year old son into the quicksand with me. He is brilliant...just doesn't want to use all that brain power up when he could stay a sophomore forever.

He loves a back scratch and I love to have a 'Bill Gates' helping me with some of the harder quizzes. He is skinny so it doesn't take much to scratch that two foot area while he enlightens me to 'Mafia Bosses'. The ones that he helps me on I don't publish or lay claim to...I am just doing this because I HAVE to. You would all be impressed with how well I did with the ' Mary Tyler Moore Show ' quiz... I 'SMOKED' 'em.

When it came to frequent childhood illness...BAM! Ten out of ten.

I even called my daughter into the room to help me with the TWILIGHT quiz.

I have been fortunate enough to have issues that truly DO demand my attention, thus I have been detoxing myself from the "Quiz Hole".

I look and water at the mouth, but I guess that I can wait one more day to tell the cyber world that it was Tiger the dog that ran through the house of cards that Marcia, Greg, Peter, Jan, Bobby, and Cindy built in the den as Alice flirted with Sam the butcher at the back door.

WHEW! Just wanted ya'll to know that I knew all of that. Not that I am a bragger, but ya have to admit that on a 'Brady' kind of level it was pretty impressive.

Wait til ya see my 'Seinfeld' quiz!! Folks I didn't think I could shine as bright as the night I knew Cosmo's real name. (Send me your bank account # and I will tell you.) When I knew Mr. 'Big's' name on The Sex and the City quiz I knew that I had reached my limits as a rookie.

I have been weaned off of this addiction from too much stress and worry. But as I feel better about myself and our outlook...I am slipping!

I've thought about a "QUIZ" party at my house. We'll have to wait til we get richer and have a huge touch screen monitor. OOOHHHH! I can hardly wait.

Pray for me as I fight this addiction...I bet I could go to the "How many of your friends pray for you" quiz and get ten out of ten. Send me your social security number and I will let you know the results of THAT one.

Thanks for reading and thanks for letting me write...

I feel better already...I took the "How many people do you thank quiz" and I think I did pretty good.

Til next time...(Take the quiz to see my name)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How OLD am I Getting ??

My husband is on the computer in the dining room and I got stuck with my daughter's lap top.

Had to wake her up when I got home just to get her password, which she obviously changes on a daily basis or a "whim."

It took me thirty minutes to just get online and then I realized that she has cluttered up the thing so much I had to restart, delete all temporary files, passwords and cookies and begin again.

It took me thirty more minutes to set up "cc cleaner" so that some of this will be done automatically for her. REMIND ME TO NEVER BUY A LAP TOP FOR A TWELVE YEAR OLD.

My husband went to a career management counselor today and I begrudgingly went with him. After two hours I began to agree with my husband that this could be a good move. The guy has an MBA from Harvard and made some really good points. So we have invested in this man investing in my husband.

We are at a breaking point and considered our options...go it alone or pay someone to help him find the job that I know he deserves. If it works out the money will be well spent...if we don't try how will we ever know? There is an "out" in the contract that says after the third meeting if we don't feel like it is a workable option we can walk away and get all of our money back except $300.00.

After much thought and discussion...and after I made the guy bring up the BBB site about his company (which had an A plus rating) we signed the deal. I feel this is the best way to go and given the current state of the economy. I feel better having this professionally taken care of and they are obligated to help us for a year from today. If they find him a job and he doesn't feel comfortable after a couple of months, we can go back to them and they will start the entire process over.

Besides that weighing on my mind, when have I become sooo old that using a lap top throws me off so much? I can't remember how to move the cursor over the sentence I am working on, I am constantly having to correct typos that I never had to before and pretty much killing myself just to make a simple post. I am so honed into my PC that when I have to get on the lap top it is like having to fly a Boeing 747 without the instruction manual or one day of training.


This lap top gig has me correcting my mistakes more than writing what I want.

At least now that I have been forced to use it I have cleaned up my daughter's computer and installed some tools that will keep her current and virus free. I am just so used to my PC that when I have to use this "new fangled contraption" I find it is almost a chore to use the internet.


This isn't helping my confidence but at least I have cleaned up the mess that my kid has made with the most expensive toy I have ever been stupid enough to buy her. Heck, I should have just bought her a tank and said "Now you be CAREFUL WITH THIS...YA HEAR?"

Thank the Lord Tim is off the PC and I can go check this post...that I have had to make at least 50 corrections on, and go back to using a mouse (HEY at least I use a wireless mouse) and get back to some semblance of the "ole fart" that I enjoy being.,

BTW...just hit a button and thought that I lost this entire post!

This was the most excruciating post I have ever made... and the most eye opening experience that I am "still OLD school".


Since when is a PC considered"OLDSCHOOL"....and as I said "When did I turn into such a fuddy buddy?"

After one in the morning, started posting at eleven, Let's at least hope this makes it online.

DANG...I AM getting old!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Secret "Snipers"

At work, we have "secret shoppers" sent from corporate to pose as guests and critique their experience. They start when they walk in the door, grading how the host staff greets them and how long it takes them to be seated. They grade the restrooms, parking lot and quality of their meal and their service. These are people that just sign up to be shoppers. You can spend time online and sign up to be a shopper for almost any business from Walmart to Target to any restaurant you can imagine. You get your meal and gratuity basically it is a "free" meal. What these people do not realize is that a LOT of money is spent on this program therefore a LOT of attention is paid to these reports. We've had servers fired over having a bad "Shop".

I agree that it is a good tool to keep us on our toes and try to be consistent in our service. I also agree that depending on what type of day and what type of mood the customer is in, it will reflect on how they perceive their meal and experience in our store.

My good friend , let's call her "Shawty" has been at our store since it opened. She has gotten 100% after a 100% on her shops time and time again.

Last week she caught a bullet in the back from a "sniper"...I mean a "shopper".

She said that she was so busy and had so many tables that she didn't even remember who the people were. Obvious from their report they had a stop watch on them. "It took six minutes for my husband to get his horseradish for his steak." "The server seemed like she didn't want to be there." "It took 25 minutes for me to get a glass of water." (I find that fact a little hard to swallow...even if I had to wait 25 minutes to swallow it.)

Out of 100% she got ...ummm let's just say "Not a good score."

When I walked in today and saw the report posted my heart dropped into my stomach. If "Shawty" could get a bad shop, I was destined to be next in the line of the "Sniper's" fire.

What is crazy is that we work with so many young kids that could give a flying fart about how they do their job or could care less when they get a bad shop.

AS for me and my friend...we care about our jobs, we work our butts off from the time we walk in the door until the time we walk out of it. We leave our problems at the door, we give the job our total attention and realize how lucky we are to have a job that gives you a paycheck every time you leave...and that our performance determines what that paycheck will be.

No wonder so many of the younger servers leave ticked off. They do a crappy job and they get crappy tips. Lucky for them THEY didn't get shopped!!

Unfortunately for my friend "Shawty" she did get shopped...and on a horrible shift to have it happen.

I think that could have been STILL could be. I wish that these people knew how much weight their comments carry. They are getting a free dinner consisting of whatever they wish to order regardless of the price. We are getting "Their View." Whatever that may be, that is the view that counts. I think that if they knew they could possibly have some one's job on the line , that they would lighten up on their critique.

I WILL say that if it is a truly horrible experience, the server and the entire team should be held accountable. If it is just a busy, BUSY night and you can see that for yourself...cut us some slack. Could YOU wait on eight tables at a time and have everything go perfectly? Sometimes as a seasoned server it DOES go smoothly, sometimes it just turns into a train wreck and you are glad that you don't break down into tears.

Never downplay the role of a "Waiter." It is a hard job if you do it right, and it is as I always say "sales and marketing."

Just be careful..."BIG BROTHER" is out there and I hope I am not his next victim. My thanks to "Shawty" for taking this hit for me, you never know when the bullet may be whizzing MY way!

Monday, June 8, 2009

More Family Photos

This is on my parent's wedding day (DUH!!) My parents on the right, Tillie and her husband Pont on the left and my grand parents, Bigmama and Bigdaddy. You can click on the photo to make it the original size.


This is a picture of my Aunt Tillie when she was "Mrs. Atlanta". She is an artist and always hand makes her Christmas cards. When I was little I loved going to their house. When you walked into their entrance hall, there was a little babbling brook that ran the length of their front hallway. On Halloween when everyone gave out store bought candy, my Aunt made popcorn balls to hand out to the kids. What a treat! At Christmas time her tree had little water filled ornaments that bubbled and glowed in different colors. She made me a huge toy box one Christmas. It was red and shaped like a train car for a traveling circus. The front had black bars going from top to bottom and she had painted a picture of three monkeys peering out through the bars. it was one of the neatest things I have ever been given. As you can tell from the picture, she was a real looker. She in turn had two daughters who were as well and her grand daughter is just as pretty (wish my side of the family had gotten a little more of THOSE genes). She was married to my Dad's brother for years and years, he died of a heart attack years ago, but growing up around them was always such a treat. They had a big ole boxer...Benji that everyone loved. Tillie is one of the most talented people I have ever met and her artistic flair surrounded everything she did or made. I kept that toy box well into my teen years. It opened from the top, had two rope handles on either end and even had wheels on the bottom. It looked like you could have hooked it up in front of a caboose and never known it was just a toy box. It's weird how some things stick out in your memory. No telling how long it took her to make that toy box...but the fact that it was such a thoughtful and personal gift meant the world to me and still does to this day. She is the matriarch of our family seems like only a few years ago we were all just kids piling into our car on Halloween night to go get our popcorn balls or going to her mother's house a couple of doors down to look at all of her grandfather clocks. Family is a wonderful thing to have, so many people are left without any semblance of feeling loved by not only parents but aunts, uncles and cousins. I had it all. My kids are growing up the same way. They adore their cousins, aunts and uncles. They adore the only grandparents they have left and have been told countless stories about the ones that have already departed. Times are so different these days, but love is a never changing feeling and emotion. Love just grows if you let it and is always a comfort and a reminder of how truly lucky you are. Tillie is till cranking out her homemade Christmas cards, her eye sight is failing but her grand daughter addressed them for her this past year. I have so many wonderful relatives and even though we don't get together as often as we'd like...we love each other as much as we did when we spent our youth around each other on a weekly if not sometimes daily basis. I wish my parents were still here, I wish all my relatives were...but to have been part of such a great family is a feeling that never goes away or fades. Just a little trip down memory lane for me...thanks for letting me drag you along.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thank God It's My Friday

Got home from work a little while ago. Had some computer issues. It was just running really slow, then all of the sudden I had no "connectivity" to the Internet. Called an American on the first try!

I'm not real computer savvy, but I learn something new every day. I had restarted my computer and when I did it started up my Windows firewall. I have Charter Security Suite and don't need to use another firewall. Had to turn that firewall off and got back online. I think one of my teenagers did something. (Always blame it on the'll usually be right).

It is still running a little slow, but I will work more on it tomorrow.

Worked the past thirteen days in a row and I was FEELING it tonight. I felt like my legs weighed a hundred pounds...more than my entire body weighs. As I counted down the hours and took three Advils I began to have a burst of energy. It was like my body was saying "The faster you go the faster you will be out of here." We have four servers that close the restaurant. I was busy cleaning the expo line, one server still had a table, one was upstairs cleaning the dining room...and one server was sitting down eating a chicken finger plate with fries and a drink. What part of this picture seems a little unfair?

For Pete's sake, I think we would have all liked to sit down to a nice hot meal, but don't take a freakin break when you are supposed to be helping your fellow employees out. Sometimes I feel like I am working with my kids. No kids aren't quite that bad and at least they tell me they love me on a regular basis. The kids at work only love the way I get THEIR work done.

I have tomorrow off though and for the first time in 13 days I don't have to go into work for a whole 24 hours! It's the little things that make me happy!!

The kids are settling into the summer routine. Massey still has all kinds of practices and camps at the high school and Zach is just glad to be out from under the "oppression" of those cruel, cruel teachers that judge him by "numbers and letters". The NERVE of those teachers! My boy could be already graduating from Harvard if he would just let that mind work and quit fighting the system.

He is on the edge of brilliant, yet seems content with staying on the edge of failure because of his hate for "The System."

I told him if he thought it was bad now, just wait untill you burn those french fries at McDonald's and you get sent back to mop the restrooms and have to work your way back up to the fry machine...THAT will REALLY suck wind! Or what if they fire you and you have to peddle your bike back home to tell me you are once again unemployed? (He doesn't really like this senario)

On the other hand is my daughter who can't seem to get enough of the school. I seem to going to the school more now than I did when it was in session. A trip to pick her up at the band room usually always requires a check...usually post dated .

My kids are polar opposites...I guess between the two I have a somewhat normal kid!

It is almost nice having these two totally different definitely keeps me on my toes and usually always gives me an amusing blog to write.

Oscar and Felix!! That is who I am raising. I could use a little more Felix, but you play the hand you're dealt. Sometimes I wish they would take the
"Jokers" out before my cards were put down... Give me an ACE every once in a while!

I say it all in jest...I love all three of my kids so much it hurts almost physically. They keep me young and I keep them in check. That is the way it is supposed to be and when it gets down to it...they all three know that ; That is what makes me proud of them and all their flaws. Dang! Do you know how hard it would be to get them to do something for me if they were perfect in every way? Maybe that is what they are doing..."Just tryin' to make it easier for Mama. "

How considerate are MY kids...and "Who wants 'em?"

In the words of my daughter.... JK!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Timing is Everything !!

Massey has started up her color guard again, so I am HOT on the trail of the fund raisers. The first one is for ten visits to a new gym in Newnan for ten dollars. A DOLLAR a visit!!

Lucky for me the people I work with are having a "Biggest Loser" contest, where everyone put in ten dollars and whoever loses the most weight by July 1st wins the pot of almost $300.00.

Boy have I used THAT one to my advantage! What is great about this fund raiser is that 100% of what I sell goes to her account. Usually it is only 50%.

I started with the cutest girls at work , then moved on the guys, telling them who all had already bought passes! Am I a THINKER or WHAT?

I have already sold ten passes and will get ten more on Monday when I turn in this first round of money.

Also the band has a concession stand at the Hi FI Amphitheatre here in Atlanta and if I work there, the proceeds and the tips that I make go directly to defray her dues.

You know...with my marketing skills and my PHD in BS , I may be able to pay for this color guard thing without ever having to kite another check!

Some people at work that already belong to another gym just bought a pass because they know and love Massey and know what a tough time we are having on the home front. One guy just gave me $10.00 and said to sell his pass to someone else, just to help my girl!

It's like stress causes your brain to shut down sometimes. I just haven't been thinking clearly or sometimes just not thinking at all. Even if I pay her entire dues with fund raisers, I still have to buy her shoes, wind suit and under garments. But now that I have been inspired by these loyal friends, I feel empowered.

I can do this! I can work my butt off and knock this bill down from $680.00 to maybe a hundred bucks...I already sent in a check for $200.00.

It's funny the things that you do for your kids...and it doesn't even seem like a sacrifice.

More than anything, I do not want my kids to feel the stress of their Dad not being employed. They seem thrilled that they get to see him so much and that is the thing that I want them to feel.

Life will be smacking them in the face before they know it... and I want them to enjoy their childhood carefree just as I did.

After I was grown, I realized exactly how many sacrifices and concessions both of my parents made for us three kids to have such an excellent and unworried childhood.

That is what I want for my own kids.

My parents didn't drink or go out on dates. We ate at home every night...except Friday when we would go to "The Varsity" for dinner. My father stopped smoking when my oldest sister was born. He told my mother that kids were too expensive for him to have vices.

My mother, who's father was an alcoholic never touched a bottle her entire life. Her vice was "Kool Milds". I remember one time when my father came home from work late, my mother told him he would have to make a sandwich for dinner because there were no left overs.

He went to make a sandwich and commented that there was no loaf bread left. My mother said that he would have to run up to the "Majik Market" to pick up some bread because she had run out.

My father commented "How come we never run out of KOOL MILDS"?

My mother calmly said, "Well, if I smoked bread...we wouldn't be out of bread ."

These are priceless and precious memories to me. My mom sewed our almost every outfit. She was the PTA president, she was the room MOM, she cooked dinners at the church on Wednesdays and cooked for our youth retreats on weekends. She made all the majorette and cheer leader outfits, she sewed ball gowns for my sister who was constantly being voted onto a Homecoming or Valentine court. She even sewed my sister's boyfriend's boxing trunks and robe when he was a Golden Gloves Champion at the age of seventeen.

I say she DESERVED those Kool Milds!

I need to look back at the sacrifices and the commitment level my parents had. This was a time when my father was raising a family of five on a paycheck that doesn't even SCRATCH the surface of what I alone make in a "BAD" week.

We had every thing that we needed or sometimes wanted. We never felt poor, in fact we were popular because my parents were loved by every one they ever came into contact with and ALWAYS had people at our house...just to be able to sit at the kitchen table to talk to my mother while she either cooked or sewed was a pleasure for the "Egg" man that brought us fresh eggs, or the Charles Chip guy who left us a can of fresh chips or the old man that owned the Gulf Station in downtown East Point. He "LOVED" my mom, his wife was an ole biddy that didn't like him hanging around my mom, but he used to bring her extra dishes that they used to give away with fill ups. I still have them. White octagon dishes.

My kids will be as happy as I was...they already are.

I am no match for my mother...she was one in a million, but having never thought of it before, I now realize that she lives in me. She taught me what I needed to know. You do for your kids before you even THINK of doing for yourself.

It makes their childhood stress free and fabulous...and one day thirty years down the road, they will remember it and in turn pass it own to their own kids.

Call it a legacy, call it karma or call it "Having good parents"...I know that they left me with memories that have lingered into my mid life. Memories that come back now and show me how to be the parent that I need to be.

I hope that one day my kids will look back and be as proud of me as I am of my own parents.

There is no higher honor in my book than that.

This is a picture of my Mother taken the day before she died. She was a woman revered by many and loved by hundreds. I love her more today than I have ever loved her before.

She is the woman I aspire to be, the woman that I envy every day of my life.

She is the person that I miss on a daily basis. I love my Dad just as much, but it is HER that made it all happen on a shoe string, a woman that knew how to make a home, make her husband proud and happy and make her kids feel like they didn't have a care in the world.

Isn't that what we all want for our kids?

Til next time...COTTON

Friday, June 5, 2009

Here Comes the Weekend!

I love / hate Fridays! I love it because I get to work the day shift and have the night off with my family. I hate it because it starts the most grueling part of my work week. I work all weekend. Weekends aren't great as a server because it brings out the "rookies". People that usually don't go out to eat, therefore the tips aren't that great and a lot of them tend to be idiots.

I had several customers that came in today asking for my table and saying that they had read the blog about Zach. I like it that even though I am not quite reaching the masses, I seem to reaching "someone".

Went to work today, my general manager who has been out the past two weeks after having surgery was back and the phone rang. The hostess said the call was for me. I answered the phone and it was a guy from Capitol One Finance about my oldest son's car loan. I co signed a loan for his car (BIG MISTAKE) and when he is even one week late the phone calls start coming in rapid fire.

They have never called me at work though and I was pretty ticked off that they would do that. My manager was standing beside me when I started my tirade...."He is 22 days late, not two months, not three months. He is making payments to you , paying late charges and giving you even more money, yet you call me when I am at work and want to harass me. My manager, who knows what kind of situation we are currently in just mouthed "give me the phone".

He spoke to this man for at LEAST five minutes. He told them many things...I don't think I will ever have a phone call at work from them again. It touched my heart that he would go to bat for me.

I don't need anyone telling me the situation I am in...I am more aware of it than ANYONE.

I love my oldest son and wanted to help him with a car. He has been late , he almost always is...but he pays them. He is only ruining MY credit and to be honest, I probably don't even need his help on that one!

What amazes me is how they obviously have me on speed dial and no qualms about pestering me to death about his account.

My husband says it is because they always finally get a payment from TJ and that they have so many accounts in default that they have to pester the people that DO pay them.

I SAY: Leave me the hell alone. You already know that it is my 23 year old son, who has this car and that if I could make the payment for him I would. I can' I let him drag my credit score down month by month and learn what calls NOT to answer on my phone.

I guess it could be worse, he could be sitting in a crack house or not making payments at all. He is just a kid that doesn't realize the ramifications of his actions.

I have a LOT bigger fish to fry at this point in my life. Capitol One isn't one of them.

I have two younger kids at home that I hope never know how desperate we are right now. We have a nice house and a roof over their heads. They have everything that they need, and the ONE thing they don't need to know about is that we are struggling.

We will make it and we will be OK. The blood thirsty creditors can do all they want... they are getting their money with a big bonus of a late charge and a mark up on the finance charge. The only one that will suffer is me. I can take that hit, what I can't take is them continually calling me and reminding me of my situation and circumstance.

I think that my manager took care of that today (I owe him a big hug) and just think about the millions and millions of people that are currently defaulting on every debt they have incurred. Leave the people that ARE paying alone.

I am in a bad place in my life. I am also married to a wonderful man that is doing EVERY THING in his power to move forward from a bad card dealt. I could be married to man that doesn't care or one that walks away from responsibility .

We will make it out of this tough time, like we have made it out of tough times before.

Our kids will always be happy, always have what they need.

I have faith that our President will find a way to make the system equal for all of us...the rich and the poor (I feel we are somewhere in the middle).

I will go into work tomorrow with a smile on my face and the resolve that I will do whatever it takes... I am a citizen of the United States of America and this the best place to be.

We are struggling now...we will be taken care of not only by our own resolve, but by the grace of God and the fact that even though we are suffering now, there are millions of others worse off than us ... and that in the grand scheme of things we are only a "Blip" on the screen of what is really happening all across this planet.

As I think of this all, I think of myself as a lucky person.

It could be so much worse. We could be people that can't read or write, we could be people that live under a bridge. We could be people that do not know how to work the system. We could be people that feel lost in the shuffle. We could be the people that I pass, that have a card board sign begging for money.

I am TRULY a blessed person. I strive to remember that every morning when I wake up. I have a husband that is determined to find a job, a family that has slept well in their own beds.

If not for the grace of God... I could be a child wandering the streets , not knowing who I really belonged to or have a person to turn to.

I was dealt a lucky hand. I have family that loves me, I have an education and a way to dig myself out of this hole.

Do you realize how many millions of people feel desolate and desperate at this exact same time? They do not even have a home to go , or a place they feel they can turn to.

These people are under THAT bridge...they are covering themselves with newspaper, they are hoping ...JUST LIKE ME...tomorrow will be a better day.

My prayer goes out to these people....they are as human and as real as I am.

I want to make a difference in their lives....I just have to straighten out my own affairs before I do. But mark my words..."I WILL". SOME DAY".

Am I too "bleeding heart" or am I just the only person that sees the pain, discrimination and obvious neglect that has led to an uprising and an uproar? I know that if I was an African American (we used to call them coloreds) I would stand up and say: "I am an American and I need to be counted".

I wear my heart on my sleeve and my compassion runs too deep, but I know that my ideals are the ones that will make a difference.

I would rather be known as an idiot than to be a person that wasn't heard from at all.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Stupid "BOYS" !!!

I was at work tonight , training a new hire when around 9:00 the host said I had a phone call. I knew immediately that it was Massey. I had rushed out of the house for work and left my cell phone (AKA "Life Line").

She generally texts me about four times a shift and ALWAYS for something

can u get me som twizzlers? guard girl

my tummy REALLY hurts :( guard girl

bobby pins, fruit cup and shaving cream:) guard girl

r u wokin late? ;/ guard girl

r u almost done ? :( guard girl

I love my daughter and she is my best friend, but I have never had a 'needier' best friend. At least she is a good girl and makes those grades for me.

I answered the phone to hear a pitiful tiny voice say questioningly..."mama?"

I asked if she was crying and she sobbed out 'yes' as she "pretend" hyperventilated at the same time. (my drama queen)

She said that she had sent me a text asking if she cleaned her room could she go home from dance camp tomorrow with Courtney.

Number one, I don't think she even remembers HOW to clean her room. I threaten and growl, and sometimes when I walk by and say "It's still not clean"...she will reply "But it looks a little better doesn't it?"

So after she sent the first text to me (not knowing I had left my cell at the house) my 16 year old son picked up my cell in the kitchen and texts her back saying "no. u r grounded"

Of course she sent right back "WHY"????????????????????????????????

Then my son (the comedian) texts back and says "i am sic of ur attitude and ur room is never clean"

I think that the reason she got so upset is that she knows those facts to be true, although I would have never done it in "text" language and I know how much it would hurt her already extremely 'sensitive' even though she lives like a little pig in her "domain" at least she does well in school and is very involved in anything she can talk me into signing (kiting) a check for.

When I came in the door from work, "Zack Benny" was watching TV in the den. I asked him if he thought that was funny what he had done to his sister and his reply was "Hilarious".

I let it go for the time being, but when I came downstairs with a load of laundry I guess he felt guilty because he remarked that her room was still a mess anyway . I told him the only reason that his room stayed neat is because he doesn't move any further than the remote control from the PS3 will allow him, thus keeping his "dirty" area to a four foot radius. I told him I had twice shortened the controller cord hoping to minimize the mess to an even smaller area.

I seriously told him that even with her many flaws...his sister did the ONE thing that I sincerely ask and want from my kids. DO GOOD IN SCHOOL.

BINGO!!! I got him. He said he would get up in the morning to cook breakfast for Massey before she went to dance camp and would apologize for his prank.

Then he went on to tell me that our male boxer had a tick on his eye and that he had sliced half of it off with a Swiss Army knife (he couldn't find the tweezers or wait for me to get home obviously).

I am surprised that my dog even still has an eye ball. This is the same Swiss Army knife that he slit his wrist with trying to open a controller for the wii the day after Christmas when his idiot Uncle gave him the knife as a present.

Now I have the pleasure of holding down a 100 lb dog while trying to pluck off the other half of the tick from his eye before it causes an infection.

My sister's son who is 27 is still living at home and Zach is sitting here doing nothing. I told Cin that they could load up his push mower and I would throw in my weed eater and blower and they could be gypsies traversing the county in search of lawns to mow. They are both close anyway, Zach adores his cousin and I told Cin they might end up being room mates one day. I told her what worried me ... would they want to be room mates in her house or ours?

Let me go find my tweezers to eradicate the bloodsucker living on my dog's eyelid, push through some more laundry and wake up tomorrow to do it all again.

HEY! At least life is never dull in our house.

I hope that Zach remembers the quote "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". If Massey is the girl that I think I know....LOOK OUT ZACH !!!!

Til next time......COTTON

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My "Diddy"

This is a picture of my "Diddy" just a couple of years before he died. He had the name "Diddy" long before Puff Diddy was even a twinkle in his parent's eye. He is over seventy in this picture and I hope I pickle as good as he did. The following is a blog I wrote about him shortly after his death and I thought with Father's Day coming up I would pull it forward to let people who don't dig way back in my posts to see a glimpse of how lucky I was to have the parents I had. As my brother says..."No long suffering for our parents, luckily they both took the express check out." If you are lucky enough to still have them today and tell them that you love them.

The One Hundred Eighty Degree Turn

Just after I go and make a post about customers at work, I go in a have one of the best shifts I have had in quite a while.

No tip was under 20% and every customer I had was a sheer joy to wait on and converse with.

That is what is so bizarre about dealing with the public. Every single day can be different. Their mood reflects how they perceive their dining experience. Their mood or mind set determines how they tip . It is my job to drag out the best in the worst customers, to make them enjoy spending that hard earned dollar and make them want to come back to eat with us time and time again.

I was training a young girl tonight. Nineteen years old and full of life. She is cute as a button and seemed to hang on my every word. (Smart girl)

Some people that I train, I can tell from the start whether they will make it or not. I think this girl will make a good server. This job is great for college kids...short hours and a paycheck every time you walk out the door. It ended up that I worked with her mother when I worked at the elementary school and knowing that she comes from a good family is always a positive.

It's nights like this that make the other nights bearable and thank the Lord it all seems to average out to my advantage.

The husband is still pounding the keyboard and pavement for a job. I have total faith in him and know that something good will happen soon.

Hoping I have another fantastic night at work tomorrow...just let the odds go in my favor ONE more shift and all my current bills will be paid!

Even the grumpy ole man that comes in every day to sit and have his two Manhattans who sometimes eats and sometimes doesn't usually ALWAYS leaves me one dollar no matter what the tab is...he left me $3.74 tonight!! I must be doing something right!

Til next time....COTTON

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

In the Words of My Daughter.."OMG"

What a day! I went into work at 10:30...expecting to get off around 3:00. I didn't leave until 5:00.

Not that it was a BAD thing. I was glad we were busy and that another server wanted to leave early and I got to stay. Thank the Lord for co workers without kids!

I had the 'attack of the dummies' right from the start.

My first table, all males wanted to know what we had fat free in our restaurant. I replied, "Pretty much, ME". I went through all of the salads that we serve...a long list in itself...telling them about the way they could leave off seasoning and dressings or have dressing on the side. Then one of the men...who had been staring at the menu in his hands for ten minutes said "How about a chef salad, do you have that?"

I just looked at him with my "mommy' stare and he said "I guess not."

They all ordered burgers dripping with Bleu cheese or Parmesan chicken that has the the highest fat content other than a fat back and bacon sandwich. When I asked if they wanted bread, they replied "Two loaves please."

My next table, of ladies this time asked me what I knew about how many weight watcher points were included in this item or that.

I replied..."Do I really look like a person that is counting weight watcher points?" (currently I weigh 95 lbs) . At least she laughed and I went to get another server that WAS on weight watcher to tell me what to recommend. They ignored all suggestions and ate like it was their last meal on earth.

Then I had a guy by himself...weighing no less than 300 lbs. He ordered a chop steak dinner with a sweet potato with butter, extra butter and cinnamon sugar with a side of brown sugar and added a 7oz portion of salmon and an order of shrimp scampi. He started out with a bowl of shrimp and lobster chowder that has enough calories to choke an elephant, and what do ya know?...He ordered a diet coke! Slurped down three before his meal arrived.
When I took his feast out, I asked what else I could bring him and he replied "More butter."

I almost felt like saying..."If there was one guy on the planet that I thought would ask me for more butter, I would probably place my bet on you...and why don't I bring you TWO sides of butter and a Camel unfiltered to enjoy after your light lunch?"

He was really nice, I hate to make a joke...but it is just too obvious. How can these people "ACT" like they care about calories and content and go on to order amounts of food that a starving child would share with twenty others?

Such is the life of a observer of human nature and a foot servant of the masses.

I still love my job, probably because I need it so badly...but to hear the "BS" that flows out of their mouth is sometimes almost too much and if they only knew who they were talking to...they would re think their stupid and inane questions and "JUST ORDER LUNCH."

Til the Next time..COTTON

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer is Here

The kids had their first day off from school today. Of course I still had to have my daughter at the high school by nine for her "Guard" practice, but at least I didn't have to make sure papers were signed...dole out lunch money or ask if homework was "Really"done !

Finished a GREAT book, 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett. About black women raising white kids in the south in the 40's through the 60's. Not only did they raise these kids...they waited on , cleaned and cooked for them as well.

I remember that when I was very young...even before I was born my mother had a black woman come every so often to help clean.

Her name was Carrie...the one that helped before I was born. When I came along, my mother had been caring for not only my grand mother but my great grand mother as addition to her own husband and kids.

When I surprised them with my appearance in the world, a woman named 'Berta' was occasionally helping out my mother. She could lift the end of a couch with one arm while she vacuumed under it with the other.

We used to have an older black gentleman named 'Peg' That my Dad knew from somewhere in his 'EastPoint' past that would drive his ole truck and park in front of our house to sell his produce off of the back of his truck to my parents.He had every type of produce you could imagine...and sometimes sugar cane to boot!

I had never met a man with one leg (hence the name 'Peg').

At the timeI had been around very few black men at all.

It isn't like we had full time help, but my parents never spoke of these people that came to help us out as if they were any different at all from me and my own family.

But the way that some people... 'White' people treated "NIGRAS" in my early years makes my skin crawl and gives me a VERY uneasy feeling.

I went to a neighbor's graduation party for his son over the weekend. I was telling about how long winded the principal was with the ceremony and how I had to leave before my daughter won her award.

My neighbor, who I love to death... and this came from 'Her' friend anyway, said that she felt the same way. Her friend sitting beside her at the ceremony had a daughter who all of the sudden won the "Presidential" award. She remarked to my friend and neighbor that how could she bring this award home without buying a sticker to cover the President's face because Obama's face was NOT going to be in her house!!

You know, I turned into a coward.

I didn't laugh with the other women, but I didn't say what I should have.

I should have said "Why in the world wouldn't you want a picture of "OUR" President in your house congratulating your daughter for achievements she has made?"

Is it it that you are so FAR to the right that you can see no other possible solution to our woes than your own?

My husband is a Republican...I tend to have a bleeding heart...but we co- exist, we argue and sometimes we agree.

He has agreed that this man...THIS Barack the leader of the country...OUR country and that because of the electoral and the popular vote, 'WE' have chosen him and he is our ally and our Man in the office.

He has also said that at least he is trying...and in these 'Trying' times...that seems to be our best shot.

You know, I never really liked Bush, but he was my leader...elected and a sitting President. I had respect for him and supported him as my duty as an American compels me to do.

What bothers me is that... is it because he is a Democrat, or because he is BLACK?

Don't EVEN start the
Socialism card with me...we are just trying to find the easiest way for EVERY ONE!!

As one of the people that currently have NO health insurance at this time, I would truly like to hear the options and see what we could do about making the whole thing more reasonable for every one involved.

Of course I am one voice.

But I am also 'ONE VOTE'.

If you do not question the way that African Americans were treated when we first dragged them over here on their first 'Big Boat Ride' and expected them to sit idly by while we humiliated and sometimes tortured them for decades...WOULDN'T YOU BE PISSED TOO?

Although there are blacks that act like 'Ganstas' , there are Latinos just as bad or worse. There are the White Supremacy groups and just stupid "Bullies" looking for an easy way out of their demise.

Take time in your life to look around. How can you help a person that needs it? We are a melting it or not.

There are people that need help, and there are people that are sucking us dry.

There are people that if you just take the time to ask if they need help... there may be one thing that you can act of kindness or a gesture that can make a difference and impact on a "HUMAN BEING".

I know that I could not live with myself if I was not comfortable with the President of the United State's picture being in my house.

Could you? SHOULD YOU?