Friday, December 31, 2010

First I Would Like to Thank God...

I have been cracking myself up on Face book for over a hour...thought it was time to crack myself up on my blog.
One time a while back I posted something on FB that one of my husband's former classmate's read. He commented back "Kelly, you crack me up."

I wrote back and said "Tim said I crack myself up too".

Bless Tim's heart...we are SUCH polar opposites that it is not even funny but he has put up with me for  20 plus years and I guess he just finally threw up his hands and threw in the towel a few years back hoping he could just survive being married to an idiot like me.

So I think I'm funny...SUE me! Good luck with that settlement.

The thing that has gotten me through this past year has been hands down , God.

 Right behind Him are my family and screaming up their butt's is a myriad of friends. Some from my childhood, some from high school and even from college. Some are people I have never met. Some are former co workers and some are present co workers. I truly think that my sense of humor has helped as well.

 If you laugh, it helps..if you cry, not so much.

Last year this time we were almost desperate. By Spring we were frantic and extremely desperate.

By Summer we were making it with so much help that I felt like a homeless person living under the bridge by Turner field.

As this year ends and another starts...I have realized how many people love us and how many people have gotten us to this point, a point where I can laugh again.

I was booted out of a job that couldn't have cared less for what was happening to me or my family (good riddance) and my husband felt the weight of the world crashing on his shoulders.

I don't know if it was my blog or my upbringing or my wit  but it all seemed to come together for us. Blessing after blessing was bestowed upon us and somehow we managed.

Some days we would be scheduled for cut off on a utility and in the mail box would be a check. Some days we would be facing a mortgage payment we couldn't make and there would be an envelope in the mail with the exact amount we needed.

I even got to take a vacation with Massey early in the Summer...thanks to two wonderful friends that not only paid for everything but fixed my daughter's computer with a memory boost and introduced me to the fascinating concept of how comfy  pillow topped  mattresses are. (I never wanted to get out of bed).

I have always been a Liberal...used to be a Dem but am sick of both parties right now. My two friends are Gay and I can think of no better word to describe them. I don't think I have ever met a Gay person that is not one of the nicest and most sincere people on the planet.

You don't choose to be Gay..."Who would"? It's a life that so many frown upon and condemn because of their own prejudice. It ain't a cake walk for the Gays either.

I am thrilled to say that my daughter has followed my footsteps ,  letting people be WHO they are and loving them for the people they ARE, not for the people others want them to be.

I have also had people that may not agree with my views..which are pretty well OUT there too...but seem to love me anyway and their love has been felt and appreciated as well.

It's a big wide world, with a huge diversity and a huge range of emotions.

I have never pretended to be someone else. Everyone that reads my blog knows me...I put it out there every day for a reason.

I want you to know me.

I want you to know my journey.

I want you to know how much it has meant to me.

"I would first like to Thank God. I would then like to thank my family. Next up would be childhood friends. Then would come the people from high school...The mighty RHS peeps Angie, Karen, Big Scott, Becky and Mary, Linda...Roxie, Rin, Beth and Neesey (Lep's daughter).  Ms.  Dee and Ms. Karen from Massey's high school, including Ms Becky and Ms Tanya. Moving on to all my brother's classmate's and my sister's classmates. Then we'll move on to my college classmates..and my college room mate. " Also..."Chris, you had the most amazing video of the year and although we'll keep it secret....I think you beat Beyonce... you know how to work that wallet and I'll never forget it."

It may sound ridiculous but I am serious when I say there are too many people to name.

OH...don't forget my Hart fed us for a week with your coupons and got me a free oil change from my neighbor's son.

From Mary Anne with her cupcakes and the new friendship with my daughter to the countless ones from EPCC..the Lennon sisters (Taylor girls) and even a few people that still love me from the hell hole I used to work in. Special shout out to Lisa/Teresa. If I ever have another baby (don't EVEN count on it) I'll name it Lisateresa regardless of the sex. Wouldn't THAT be a curse from the jump?

To my Yankee friend J. Durst/ Walsh...I love you, and at least Pelosi has been down graded..she gets on my nerves too.

To my other Yankee friend, Joannah..WHEW, at least I ain't living in YOUR kind of cold. Although it may come in handy when you reach the Hot Flash stage.LMAO

I know as I wake on this first new day of the year,  I will read this post and have so many others to add...but that's a GOOD thing..

Wait for the edited version..but I still have three shifts to go in two days and the dogs are refusing to rub my aching feet.


Love to you all and thanks for thinking I am worth Tim says "I crack myself up."

Til next time...Soaking in a HOT tub COTTON

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Learning to "AGE" Mom

So my youngest child has been issued a learner's permit...when will the State of Georgia learn?

It's like every time my dog's hear you pick up their leash and they bolt toward the door. Massey hears my pick up my key and she suddenly appears out of nowhere, dressed to go and holding her wallet with her permit.

She was driving us home from the store yesterday when asked me if she was a "Goodish" driver?

 We finally settled on "Okayish".  I don't like to argue with her when she has both of our lives in her hands while they are in the proper 10 and 2 position.

I'll admit she's better than Zach was at 15. He wrecked my car the second day he had his learner's. Luckily he ran my car into the side of our garage...only damaging OUR car and OUR property. My car still has the battle scars and so does my garage door frame for that matter. I figured I had one more kid  to learn to drive, may as well get it all fixed at once.

I could say "I'm going take all three dogs to the vet to be put to be put down" and Massey would happily chirp "Can I drive"?

I can honestly say that she is a "Kinda Okayish" driver. Hey! She's only been driving a little over a week and hasn't hit anything yet (she's already beat Zach's record).

Only one more day left in this year before I leave it all behind.

 Adios 2010 and Hola 2011.

Work has been balls to the wall busy all week and I look forward to cashing in on it for at least another week or two while all the gift cards are spent.

Massey is spending the night off at her Chorus slumber party, Tim is at work and Zach is...somewhere.

Some dear friends came into work tonight to eat with me and are meeting up with Massey tomorrow to spend a little time. I am going to catch up with them on my short break between shifts and think it is an awesome way to end my year...making money and spending time with family and friends.

Working a double shift tomorrow. Hopefully it will continue to be busy and I can continue the ascent we have been slowly but steadily making.

Holidays tend to be amateur shifts...filled with people that normally don't go out to eat and generally don't know how to tip well.

These are the shifts where quantity pays more than quality and you once again hope it all works out in your favor.

Case in point...I had a couple at one of my tables. I talked them into ordering the Maryland Blue Crab dip. It is truly yummy dip and when I went back to check on them,  the man grabbed me by the arm and declared "Now that was some good crap ".

   I told him "All  the crap  here is good".

It takes all kinds to make up this crazy world and it takes an even crazier kind of person to deal with them.

I can hobnob with snobs and serve them a $100 bottle of wine or can talk about how good the crap is with the simple folks. It's all sells and marketing with a little dose of psychology thrown in.

I look forward to the New Year...or  I should say I just want to "Look forward".

Hopefully I will make it through tomorrow's double shift and look "Forward" to ending my year with a Blog. Most people would say "Bang" but I would rather it be a "Blog".

Til next time and next year...COTTON

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Why Can't The Entire Year Be Christmas and New Years?

Til next eternally grateful COTTON
Home from my third double shift in a row and I am 'Whupped.' It has been INSANE at work. (that's a good kind of insane)

I opened this morning and lunch was good. I got off a little after two and came home and fell onto the couch in the den (formerly TJ's room) and took a hour power nap. That means I had my Soap's on but had my eyes shut. I could still hear what was happening in Llandview and Port Charles but never even had to open my eyes to keep up.

My new hair do is very conducive for taking naps. My old hair do would be flat as a pancake if I took a nap. My new hair do is already slick to my head and laying on a pillow actually makes it look better...molds my side burns to my face and I get up feeling somewhat refreshed and my hair looking better that it did when I laid down.  That my friends,  is a win/win hair cut!

Massey had spent the night off and was riding to Guard practice with her friend and Zach was...."Somewhere." All I had to do was give the dogs water and after my short nap head back to work.

Christmas week was crazy at work. This week is INSANE. Christmas week people tended to be cheaper. This week I suppose they are all thinking  "What's a $100 more?'

Every table I had was fabulous. They all bought bottles of wine, one table bought a hundred dollar bottle of wine. It was crazy.

I had a table in the far back booth of the restaurant and a table in the front window of the restaurant. I was running back and forth like a mad woman when the owner's wife told me to pick up a table of 10 in the private room.

There is no telling her "NO" so I added a ten top to my list, along with another seven top and another three top and a two top.

Instead of holding your hand and patting it gently...she is more like Cher's character in Moonstruck ... verbally slaps you in the face and tells you  "Snap out of it!"

I plowed on and for the life of me don't know how I made it.

My table that was far away from any other table was extremely nice and the wife shook my hand when they left and said what a great job I did.  She said I had really been running. I told her I had been running all day and that in fact I had  weighed 200 pounds when I clocked in this morning.

Her husband (who was a pretty big fellow) cracked up at that one.

It has been an excellent Holiday Season at the restaurant. I wish every week could be Christmas week. I cannot even imagine what New Year's Eve will be like, but  will know in three more days.

Working another double shift on New Year's Eve.

This wonderful business push has almost killed me but has surely saved me.

I am sure it will spill over into the New Year. It is a fabulous restaurant with fabulous food and is a fabulous place to work.

Still sitting in my overcoat and scarf as I type. The only change I want is a little more heat and a LOT less cold.

Guess what?

 I am OFF tomorrow and now even have money to go pay bills and buy some groceries. All my checks have cleared and when I made my deposit today the teller stamped a little smiley face on my deposit slip. (Not really,  but I had a smiley face when I realized all checks had cleared.)

2011...You are going to be my turn around year!!!

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

With love , family and friends...amazing things happen,  and just THAT has.

Excited about paying all the love and help forward.

2011.."Look Out" Here comes an eternally grateful Cotton that has so much to pay back and pass on.

We have made it.

We have survived and  been given the chance to actually begin to think about helping others.

"Happy New Year" to each and every one of you that have read my blog, felt my pain and responded beyond my wildest imagination.

It will paid forward and  always be remembered.

Last year totally sucked but our family received the "Breathe of Life."

God is Good. Friends are amazing and Family is essential.

To my sister and  brother...without you we would have been  lost. With you, we have survived.

To all my many have humbled and amazed me. Your kindness and generosity has made me once again realize the magnitude of what "Love" can produce.

I hope to make you all proud.

2011...Here I come!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Pretty Lucky Day

I worked a double shift Sunday, worked another one today and have another one tomorrow.

Gotta cram those shifts in while "Bidness" is booming. Lunch was so so but tips were good and I made enough to buy gas and go buy Tim some warm gloves for work tonight....expected low 17. I got him a six pack of "Hot Hands" and hope they work as well as they say. When I came home from lunch and stupidly announced I would run to WalMart to get him some gloves, little Miss Massey was all over it."I'll drive, I'll drive!"

They have to learn sometime and now that I can't use the excuse of Holiday traffic I was backed into a corner.

Off we went (taking the bypass and back roads) and I  have to admit she is a better driver than Zach was at 15.

We pulled into WalMart and she asked where she should park? I told her to turn up the aisle nearest the front door and we parked at the very end where there was plenty of room for her to maneuver.

As we almost froze to death walking from Siberia to the front door of Wally World,  I reminded myself it was still a good decision.

We picked up a decent pair of gloves for Tim and got in the self check out aisle...usually always a mistake. We were next up for the scanner when Massey noticed our gloves didn't have a
Scanny Thing Tag on them (her words). We let the Latinos, red necks and horribly rude people behind us go ahead and screamed back to the men's department to find a pair of gloves with the much needed Scanny Thing Tag.

Back to the self check out. As always, the guy in front of us had no idea how to use a pin pad system or how to use a debit card.

It's a good thing Wal Mart has decent prices. The place they get you is in the patience and tolerance pocket.

Back to our parking spot in Siberia we full out ran. This cold weather is definitely not for skinny people and I am trying to work my way up to being skinny.

Massey got us back home safely and I went back to work. I was worried that we would be slow with the Falcon's on Monday Night Football.

Not the case. The people came out to eat in the freezing temps and I even got lucky enough to get a a party of 9 in a private room.

Problem was... when they showed up it was six women, two high chairs and a baby in a car seat. That's not a party of nine to a server. That tends to be a lose/lose situation.

I put on my game face and gave it the best shot I could. One of the women was totally ticked to find out that we serve Pepsi products. It took her a full five minutes to settle on a Sunkist Orange and things quickly went downhill. I had the entire order taken while she scowled at her menu. I went and brought them bread...she was still looking down at her menu and had not once looked up at me. Not helping, she was a 'Low Talker.' I couldn't hear a word she said and since she had thus far refused to look at me I finally decided maybe she was mentally challenged. Not the case...she was just a Grinch. She finally ordered pasta with meatballs and I commended her on her choice. "Our meat balls are fabulous." I wanted to add they would go GREAT with that Sunkist Orange she was drinking , but thought better.

You never know, waiting tables.

She could be the one picking up the tab and even if she isn't, she deserves the best service I can give.

When the meals finally arrived she looked disgustedly at her pasta and I knew I was in trouble. I asked if everything was okay and everyone but her replied cheerfully that it was.

She sat looking at her meat balls as if she was waiting for them to grow or something...but didn't complain.

Our entrees are huge and almost everyone had food left for me to pack up. I had everyone else's food boxed and asked if she wanted hers boxed as well. Not looking or speaking to me she shook her head no.

Another woman at the table said to bring a box and SHE would take home the pasta.

It was one woman's birthday and they ordered three different desserts. I ordered a free birthday dessert for the guest of honor and took all of them out.

Luckily it was all on one check and luckily one of the friendly women paid.

When all of them left, with ole grumpy pants dragging behind them I picked up the check. There was a piece of paper stuck in the credit card holder that had a hand written note on it. It read "Thanks for the GREAT service and may God Bless you." That is usually the 'Kiss of Death' for a server. A verbal tip "You've done a great job" always means that they feel that is worth ten bucks and take it off your actual tip. If they mention the Lord in a handwritten are usually screwed.

I flipped over the charge slip and much to my surprise they had left me an 18% tip...AND a blessing from God.

That my friends is what it is to be a good server. You HAVE to give good service. You HAVE to take care of the good people and the grumpy people. You HAVE to give the best service you can...EVERY time and hope that it comes back to you.

It's a crap shoot being a server but when you roll the dice you had better be sure  you have blown luck on them. You better be sure you have done everything possible to take care of everyone...even grumpy ole sister. They are most probably mortified at her behavior but appreciated me overlooking it and letting them enjoy a night out without a server saying "Who brought THIS party pooper?"

Had a few other tables that showed me the money and I walked out on top of the world. Of course it was freezing and I ran and skittered across the parking lot to my car but once in it sat and thought about what a Psych job I have.

I not only use my skills as a server but  use the terrific product we serve and get to throw in some free lance psychology and in the end it all works out to my advantage.

As a bonus I LOVE my job and my employer's seem to love crazy ole me.

Back tomorrow for another double shift/ psych session.

"Kella Gets Her Groove Back."

If this keeps up,  we'll be back on top in NO time!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tis The Season...To Be Cleaning !

 So I told my sister I wanted her to clean my house as my Christmas present.
 If you knew my sister, you would know what a sweet deal I made/maid. If my sister was ever reincarnated, it would be as a modern day "Hazel Burke." My sister knows how to clean and is very meticulous with her method. She said it makes her feel good to clean a house where it really makes a difference...I guess she left my house feeling happy as a pig in slop!
 My kitchen hasn't been this clean since we bought our house brand new 14 years ago.
 She got to my house at 11 AM on Thursday. She came in the door of the kitchen through the garage and got busy! When I left for work at 4:15 she was still in the kitchen. I remarked to her I didn't know she was going to do one room a day...but "Hey" knock yourself out girl!
She started out high dusting and pulled a push pin out of the ceiling over my sink. It was covered with cob webs and dust and she asked me if it was there to hold up the dust ? I said as a matter of fact it was, why...did she need a bigger tack?

She washed all my canisters and appliances, refrigerator and even the cabinet under my sink.

She organized and got rid the of clutter. She cleaned my base boards and even cleaned the light fixtures. I had forgotten how white all of my counter tops were...but they are sparkling now!

It's a good sister that comes over to a hovel of a mess and acts like it's nothing. It's a good sister that even cleans out the bottom of your garbage can. She washed my walls and even washed the panes of the chandelier in my dining room.

It took her two days but Christmas morning my house was sparkling as everyone came in the door (wiping their feet on beach towels I have down to defray the inevitable considering I have three big mutts.). Our family is small, it's just Cindy, Chris and me left. Chris is a bachelor and Cin and I both have 3 kids. Throw in a girlfriend and our family is complete. Small...but complete.

Chris showed up with his traveling "Bloody Mary" bar and the party began.

Shortly after the snow began to fall. "Whoda thunk it?" A White Christmas to go with my White kitchen and my White kitchen floor.

I used to be a pretty decent house keeper. When our life fell did my cleaning skills. I worked so much that cleaning the house was so far down the list it would be years before I got to it.

When Cin came over that first morning, Tim had just gotten home from work...he works 11PM to 11AM. Cindy asked me if running the vacuum would bother him while he was sleeping? I told her I had no idea, I hadn't turned it on since he started working nights.

Cindy thinks her gift was lame. I think her gift was the most amazing thing any sister could give another.

I come home and it just "Smells" clean. It is organized and de cluttered. It is refreshing to start again with a totally clean house. I have DARED any of my kids (or my husband) to cook in the kitchen or even think about.

I have been blessed . I have been blessed by God and I have been blessed by family and friends. I have been blessed by strangers and even random people.

2010 is ending (Thank the Lord.)

A new year is approaching and new memories are waiting to be made.

It was a "White Christmas" in more ways than one. It was a beautiful Christmas and promises to be a beautiful New Year.

Hope everyone had the awesome Christmas that I did and has an even greater New Year!!

Til next time...CLEAN COTTON

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

YIKES...Is Christmas ReallyThree Days Away?

Yeah, I know..."Massey, Massey, Massey."

But I love this pic and my boys prefer it when I leave them out of my blogs totally.

It scares me to think that they are even old enough to know what a blog is...much less that they all three "Star" in one!

I miss my kid's being little. When kid's are little so are their problems...unless they have major health or emotional issues.

I am blessed, my kid's are just doofuses. All are healthy and  all driving me crazy...I wouldn't want it any other way!

I just remember a time when they were all so little. I remember a time when they were just toddlers. It was the only time I liked the time change in the Fall. I would come home from work, Tim sleeping to get up at 1AM to go into the bakery to run his route and I would say at  6 PM "Put on your PJ's and Momma will read you ONE more story."

That worked for about three years until they learned to tell time. "DANG those pushy teachers."

It was a time when they were all so innocent.

 It was a time when they all go through those imaginary friend/imaginary language stages.. I can remember a time when Zach was little that any and every time you asked  him a question, his answer would be "Broccoli."  He  said it like "Brockly!"

That lasted almost a year but we all learned to take "Brockly" as a sign that all was well with him.

You could ask "Zach, are you feeling okay?" and his reply would be "Brockly!" Always an upbeat answer that needed an exclamation point.

Then the boys moved on as teens. My first boy aced high school without ever cracking a book and graduated with a 3.9 GPA.

Massey struggled in elementary school but was so stinking cute her looks and attitude shoved her through.

When Zach was about in third grade...his older brother told him there wasn't a Santa. I was ticked! I believed til I was in seventh grade (so I was slow...can't hate me for that.)

Zach asked me one day to tell him the truth and when I did his reply was "So it's all just a big fat lie?"

I think that it when he turned into a Socialist.

Massey rebounded in high school and has so far sailed through. My oldest boy is still fumbling but finding his footing. My middle boy is debating and fighting hard against the system...any system (Good Luck), but I love all three of them.

I have earned every gray hair on my head and will not color one of them...that would signal defeat.

I miss my little kids. They were so cute and cuddly. They made profound statements as little kids that will stay with me a lifetime and are charted in my journal.

 I  remember coming home from work on Christmas Eve...didn't get off til almost midnight and had tons of things to put together. One of them would wake up and I would say "You sound like you are coming down with the sniffles. You don't wanna be sick when Santa gets here...have a little Benadryl and go to bed."

So I doped my kids. Got me an extra hour of sleep.

They aren't little anymore. They are two young adults and a teen. They are still kids.

I don't think they will fall for the Benadryl trick anymore.

But thanks to many and thanks to family we will have a great Christmas here.

A special shout out to a Mom that I have always admired. Her younger kids went to school with my younger kids. She has been the CEO of a household of four kids and done an amazing job. She was hands down my favorite mom to talk to and commiserate with in those elementary years that we thought were so important ( who knew I would have a Zach to worry about) "Brockly" !!

She is a Mom I admire...and although I admire many, she is one that I truly envy. Not  in a bad way but in a good way. Crazy as it seems...she likes my blog and it means the world to me that she likes to read what I write. I will try to keep her entertained...with my three kids and my three dogs, it shouldn't be hard.

Merry Christmas (Til tomorrow night)


Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Lunar Eclipse

Like a huge red Christmas ornament hanging in the sky...the full moon will be red tonight.

I got home at 11:00 PM tonight after going in at 10:30 this morning. My eyes look like a lunar eclipse.

Lunch started out with a bang and quickly turned into semi controlled chaos. We didn't have a hostess, both owner's had to go to catering jobs and us three servers and one bartender manned the fort. It was crazy...but a good crazy. We all worked together and just as the bottom started to fall out the owner's son showed up and by the skin of our teeth we made it.

Lunch kept getting busier and busier but by the time we almost went under again, both owner's got back from catering and it all came together.

I laughed (after the rush) and said to the owner "If the people out in the restaurant knew what WE know back here we would all win a prize."

That's what's great about working in a family owned place. It's not just the owner's that are family...we are ALL family.

It got close to being out of control but  customers never knew it. We regrouped and plunged on.

I didn't get off til 4 and had to be back on by 5.

Dinner hit with the same ferocity but we were staffed and ready. Christmas is a wonderful time to be a server.

Waiting tables is a crap shoot. You bank big or you go home crying about your losses.

I only went home between shifts to drop off a McDonald's value meal for Massey, the only one home (or awake...Tim was asleep) and back to the firing line I went.

Being a server is all about averages. You have good tables and you have bad tables. You just hope that you have more good tables than bad  in any given shift and that at the end of the week it all averages out to your advantage.

My first table was a woman waiting on a friend. I talked her into a nice bottle of Merlot and Mussels Caprese as an appetizer. Her dinner partner came in the front door and said she had a cake and balloons in the car, wanting to know if she could give them to me and me bring them to the table? I told her certainly and she walked back in with a group of balloons big enough to be in the Macy's day parade.

I took them through the front window at the hostess stand and delivered them to the table after the other woman was seated. It only lifted me off the ground a couple of times but I got them there.

They ordered Rack of of our high end dishes and after dinner I brought out the cake.

Between two people they spent $91.00.

The chick who brought in the helium balloons large enough to float a blimp paid the check. She handed me a hundred dollar bill and said to keep the change. I wanted to say "Well I'd better tell Tiny Tim to hang on to that crutch cause his leg ain't gonna get no better on nine bucks."

They were very complimentary about the food and service. As a server, the "Verbal" tip  usually means the "Kiss of Death" and once again it did .

But then the next table I had was a party of three. One teen and two women. Tab was $60 and they tipped me $20.

If you are a good server it generally works out to your advantage. Sometimes it doesn't but those are the days that you tell yourself  "Today I was the bug on the windshield, tomorrow I will BE the windshield."

God smiled on me once again and it all worked out to my advantage.

My feet are killing me, I still haven't taken my winter coat off but  am happy in Blogland and have three dogs keeping my feet warm as I type.

Tomorrow is my only day off and I gotta "Get'r Done."

Only have an hour to go before the Lunar Eclipse. Call me stupid (you won't be the first) but I think it will be neat to capture on video.

I'm off anyway and what's going to bed at 2 when you don't have to get up again until the mood strikes you?

Doing some serious frugal shopping tomorrow. Thanks to Uncle/ Aunt/ Friend/ Reader Santa's all I have to do is fill in gaps and get Christmas dinner bought.

I used to think that this has been a crappy year. Now,  with the law of averages weighing in's turning out to be the luckiest year of my life.

Hoping everyone...and I mean "EVERYONE" knows how much the love and blessings have meant.

"Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,  That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.  'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved ;  How precious  did that grace appear The hour I  first believed."

The moon is full, my heart is full.

I am one lucky woman raising a house of teens that try me but can't break me. I love my life and it has taken me months to realize how to apply "The law of averages" to my own personal life.

Hoping everyone has the Christmas I  am experiencing. The  meaning of  love and being loved  go hand in hand ... you can't have one without the other.

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

I have learned lessons and been reminded of things that so many take for granted.

I will never forget this year but as my Dad's wise cousin told me "Look forward, never look back."

Hoping that everyone reading her words think about their own life and also think of the life of one's less fortunate.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Oh yeah, still waiting on the moon to turn red, but trust me I'll be up.

Pics later!!

Til next time...VERY contented COTTON

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What the "Hey" Let's Buy a Tree Too...

I usually buy a tree right after Thanksgiving and have it shedding needles in my living room well into January. Last year we were too broke to buy presents, much less a tree. One day about a week before Christmas I came home from work to find that one of the cook's at work had bought and brought over a tree for us. It was the most beautiful tree we have ever had. Another co worker bought my kid's ihomes and it was a good Christmas

I keep saying I am going to get a tree ...but just never seem to find time. I promised Massey that Saturday we would go get one and let her decorate it.

The last two days have been a blur...let me share some of that "Blur" with you!

Massey turned 15 in mid August and I have been  promising and promising I would take her for her learner's permit.The first time we went they were closed. The second time we went they needed a certificate of attendance from school...that happened to be the first day of Thanksgiving break and school was out for a week.

When school got back in I went by the office to get a certificate of attendance. News to me but they needed a 24 hour notice and a dollar to get it.

Three days later Massey got it and again the DDS was closed. I never knew not getting a learner's permit could make a 15 year old girl cry,  but guess what? It can.

Next time we went, we were prepared...had the certificate of attendance...had the Social Security number...had the birth certificate and even the ten bucks it would cost for my girl to scare me from the driver's seat.

The woman behind the counter who has obviously never taken a customer service course dissed us right off the bat. "This birth certificate won't work. It's not official"

Whadaya  mean?

 Although it is the one they handed me after ripping my body open and grabbing Massey out in under twenty minutes after arriving at the hospital in an ambulance, it seems that it was just a souvenir.  They wanted one with footprints and handprints. For Pete's sake, I felt like taking it back out to the car and drawing some on .

Massey was once again devastated so I asked the unfriendly unhelpful chick behind the counter what to do. I think I used my "Mom is mad face" because her demeanor quickly changed and she became my friend. She told me I had to go to the court house and get an official birth certificate.

So off we went, straight to the court house. Twenty five dollars later I had a copy of the same certificate stating the same facts, except that it had a Notary seal. BIG WHOOP.
I was the one who had my guts ripped open and had my baby pulled out of a four inch incision...I think that is something you don't forget...maybe they should have put a Notary seal on my scar that is still numb 15 years later.

We went to the court house and paid 25 dollars for a piece of paper that said "Indeed this baby was pulled out of this woman's body."

Back to the DDS we went. They were more than gracious on this trip and sent her straight to take her test.

Guess that "Mom is ticked" look works everywhere.

She passed and got her permit. I wanted to remind them that this was the same office that gave my boy a permit to drive with the same type birth certificate just last year.

Massey asked me to just hush, so I did.

I checked her into school and went home...dreading the fact that she was now licensed to drive.

I picked her up from school and she had a guard friend that needed a ride home. I dropped off her friend and then Massey wanted to drive home.

It was a gas/brake shaky steering wheel ride home but she did it. Ya gotta start somewhere!

Today we got up and had to go take her Letter to be sewn on her jacket we had ordered. She wanted to drive but it was drizzly and the Saturday before Christmas...Every nut in the world was out.

We  went to pay on her jacket and discovered that there is more than one Santa Claus. Her jacket is almost paid off, thanks to "DeeSanta" and once again  I bowed my head and thanked God that so many people love my family.

We left there and trudged back to Newnan. We wanted a tree and heard that Food Lion had them on sale . We drove up and there were six trees left with a sign that read "$19.00."

We needed dog food anyway so we went inside. When we checked out I told the woman we wanted a tree too.

When the young guy met us outside he asked which one we wanted and I said  "The biggest one."

When I pulled my Passat up his look was like "Wassup, Biotch...this ain't gonna fit."

I told him to just shove it in. I had the back seat laid down and he shoved the tree up to the gear shift. I had Massey give him a $3 tip and off we went.

We drove home like the Clampett's with our trunk open and a tree sticking WAY out the back.

We got home and I had Zach come pull the tree out. I told him it needed some bottom branches trimmed. He went over to Mr. "Slow"ly's house and got a saw.

Zach trimmed about two feet off the bottom of the tree. Now we have an eight foot tree with two feet taken off the bottom for no reason but it is up.

I came home from work and Massey had it decorated. It looks pitiful , Zach hacked it to death, but it is up and decorated and now we have a tree.

It is a tree that means more to me than any other.

It is a tree that reminds me that beauty is in the eye of  the beholder.

I have had blessings on top of blessings. I have had people that know me, people that have never met me and people that just love me take care of me and take care of my family.

What a wonderful blessing to have.

To be loved is a tremendous thing.

It is looking a LOT likeChristmas here at the Cotton's.

I hope that every person has the Christmas I am going to have.


From my totally full heart to yours...

MERRY CHRISTMAS....from the bottom of my heart.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Love That Jingle...In My Pocket

I just got home from work and am sitting in my long winter coat and hat typing away. 95 pound girls aren't made for this kind of weather.

Worked a double shift. Lunch was awesome. Some girls I used to work with came in and started my day off right. I made $80 at lunch and was off in time to pick Massey up from school and pick up my fruit order from the band room from a Guard fund raiser.

Last time I worked, Barb (the owner's wife) told me I needed a pair of gloves. Barb comes off like a hard ass but she has a heart as big as the Pacific . She dogged me out for not having gloves and pulled a pair out of her coat pocket. She said "I have a pair of gloves in every coat I own." I told her that was nice to know, and now I knew where to find a pair.

Today when she came into work she said "Merry early Christmas" and handed me a pair of gloves she had bought for me.

Now my hands stay nice and toasty!

Went back to work at 5 and we all thought the bad forecast would kill business...boy were we wrong!

I waited on four tables and made over $100.

Like I have said before, my new place is all about "Quality"  not "Quanity."

Sold several bottles of wine,  lots of Cappaccino and Espresso and walked out before 10 with over $100 in my pocket.

LOVE that my pocket!

Another server had cleaned out her closet and brought Massey a big bag of clothes. Gotta love those young was all Abercrombie, Old Navy and Hollister.

She even had some bigger sized jeans and tops that she had from when she was a bit larger. Massey has a friend who's family is having a really tough time and the girl wears that exact size. Not only does Massey have new clothes but we have a bag full to give to her friend.

Karma is a wonderful thing.

I am kind of worried about this whole loan modification we have been "Attempting" to go through. They have called us yet again and we have to fax the same exact documents for the third time. Who's running their office? The three stooges?

Tim seems to be worried that most people are upside down in their mortgage and we aren't. We only have a couple more years and he  is concerned that  is the reason for them dragging their feet. They could make money off of our house.

My sister gave me our seemingly  do nothing congressman's email address  and I am fighting this battle to the hilt. Can't hurt, might help. I am sending him a short email with the short version of our situation and hoping that maybe he can end a golf game early and do something for us.

I am off tomorrow and going to get a tree. I don't care if it looks like Charlie Brown's...I have NEVER not had a tree.

 I even have presents to put under it!

Tomorrow night is Massey's Christmas Chorus concert. Once again I am going to do something with my girl...almost makes me feel like Zach is right about me spoiling her.


On Monday I was working a lunch shift, busy as crap when Zach sent me a text. "You need to come check me out. I didn't eat breakfast and all they gave me for lunch was an undercooked Chicken sandwich. I am starving."

What am I supposed to do with THAT?

I sent a text back from the restroom "Text your dad."

Thirty minutes later I got a call from the school that Zach had been on camera leaving the campus and hadn't returned. GREAT!

It took several trips back to the restroom to send him multiple texts "WHERE ARE YOU?"

I finally got one back. He had walked over 3 miles to McDonald's and then to a friend's house who hadn't gone to school that day. It was 17 degrees and he walked in a hoodie over 3 miles. He called me to say his friend's Mom was home and made him some lunch

What part of breaking all  rules and having to deal with the consequences doesn't my boy get?

The next day I had to speak with the principal...who actually made me feel better. He said they had some kid's that would attend one class, skip another and then show back up for the next.

As the owner at work said to me..."So your boy is the best of the worst."

I think I like his take on it.

Zach is even skinnier than me. Walking the town in teen degree weather in a hoodie and knowing he was in trouble but putting it off made my heart drop and my blood pressure go up.

I decided to take the high road and go easy on him. He was already scared to come home and obviously knew how much he had "Effed" up.

His new nickname is "Skipper."

They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Zach is making it  my Mantra.

I have to think of my life with my kids as comical or it would kill me on the spot.

I look at it THIS way...Len was right, "Zach is the best of the worst."

At least he's batting 500.

Keeping the faith and trying to be "Jolly."

Til next time...COTTON

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

My brother.

He is in a class all his own. He is just like our Diddy except that he smokes an occasional cigar and likes Bloody Marys. That's one thing we have in common..The Bloody Marys.

I have never met someone who doesn't like him and if I did it would be a person that didn't carry their own weight. My brother is big about expectations and  commitments.

My Mom died when I was 17. I was devastated and shocked.

 I wasn't even through being a complete bitch to her when she collapsed on a floor out shopping with me and my sister.

It has taken me  thirty three years to deal with losing her. Eight years ago we lost my Diddy (that's what we called him WAY before Puff Diddy) and my brother has unfortunately been left to take care of me and my sister.

I know he cringes when his phone rings and  sees our number. But Kudos to him...he answers every time.

He has once more answered the call.

He has helped me more than he ever should have to and always acts like it is nothing. He gives me  grief and picks on me like crazy but he loves me...unconditionally.

He is a big guy now...and a big guy with his company, but he remembers where he came from. He remembers that he has two sisters and he takes excellent care of us and our kids.

The Cotton's are having a good Christmas.

The Cotton's are even thinking about buying a Christmas tree.

I am thinking by Thursday I should be able to get a pretty good deal on a tree.

My life has been blessed beyond belief. My kid's will be thrilled on Christmas morning and I will be thrilled to see their faces.

I highly recommend having a brother.

I highly recommend taking the worst part of your life and using it as a tool to help others.

When I got off the interstate to go see my brother there was a pan handler with a card board sign so bent up and  over used that you couldn't even read it.
He was pretty spooky looking and I am ashamed to say I didn't roll down my window and give him some money. The truck behind me  rolled his window down and handed the guy a five. They fist pumped and I thought to myself that I was slack for being scared of him.

 Do you know how many times I have been frightened in the past year? Do you know how many times people have given and given and given to me and my family?

I was scared to give to a man that seemed spooky to me. Without love and care , I would BE that spooky man.

.I know it sounds crazy, but I bet  he is on that corner every day.

Don't think that I am not going  back and giving him a twenty. I don't even care if he uses it for booze. If I was living on the streets I would want some booze too.

It's a pretty cold winter and it's not even winter until December 22.

I am living in a warm house and granted we are fighting off the mortgage people...but all this guy was fighting off was the cold.

Hope everyone has a Christmas that reminds them of the REASON for the SEASON.

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Cold" is an Understatement...

I left the house at 10:20 this morning for was a balmy 26 degrees. The high today was 29.

After lunch I had a short break and ran a few errands. The wind was ridiculous. When I left out the back door of the restaurant I had to hold a large rock in my hands so I wouldn't go skittering across the parking lot. As always I was almost out of gas and stopped to pump my usual five bucks worth. I thought I would literally freeze to death before the pump slowly rolled around to the $5.oo mark.

I picked Massey up from school, took her home and headed back to work. I drank three cups of coffee and stood by the coffee machine with my hands wrapped around the pot for warmth.

When I left work at 10:00 tonight it was 22 degrees. Tim was leaving for work as I pulled in..."Ship's passing in the night."

I hate that he has to work on that loading dock to begin with, but in THIS weather it almost seems like cruel and unusual punishment.

Even my dogs balk at going outside...well not Charlie. He's an idiot and any time you walk toward the back door he is ready to go out. I think it stems from him living with TJ for so long in an apartment. Here he has a huge yard and plenty of places to sniff and hike on.

I've been home from work for well over an hour and still have my coat on.

Tonight is certainly not the night to be homeless but millions are. I think about what my family has been through and have decided it is nothing compared to the millions that are scrambling for shelter as I sit and type on a computer.

I think about my friend whose son is recovering from some extremely serious injuries caused by an IED in Afghanistan. I think about people who don't have a network of family and friends like I do but are all alone in their battles and personal struggles.

I'll be honest...a few months ago I felt like a charity case. The world was crashing around me and I wasn't sure what would happen to me or my family.

 By the grace of God and the help of family and many friends we have not only survived but  been blessed beyond belief.

We have a long way to go but we are back on the right track.

What has happened for me needs to passed on to others.

My blog is my personal journey. It has been my saving salvation. My writing lets me express myself and lets me vent. I have kept a journal since I was 10 years old. To have your life written down and available to read and re read is a treasure. So many things are instant and easily erased ...texts, comments and emails. To have a hard copy of your life is priceless  and I am fortunate to have that .

To the literally hundreds of people that have read or commented on my blog..."Thank You."

Please don't stop my life gets better I will have so much more to write about.

So many people have come to my aid, so many people have kept my family not only afloat but  taught my kids what it is to care about someone and what a beautiful thing it is to be loved.

My family has been humbled and have all learned how great the power of love is.

As cold as it is outside (and it is balls to the wall COLD) I am warm in my house sitting here typing in my winter coat and hat that my Aunt Tillie knitted for me, thinking about what a wonderful life I have.

I want every person to think about what they can do for someone else. As I have been blessed,  I have the "Pay it forward" fever.

When you do something for someone else it comes back to you ten fold.  When someone blesses your own life you need to bless another's. When good things happen to you ...pass it own. When bad things happen  know that it can turn around.

My life fell apart a year ago.

One year later,  I am not rich but I am surviving and  moving mountains in my mind.

To all who have helped me..."I needed it and can't begin to thank you enough."

To the millions of others who are in need...I will continue to pay it forward for the rest of my life.

I am a lucky, lucky woman. Granted I am freezing but my heart is warm and toasty.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

How Cold Can a Witch's Titty Be?

I  may be a sissy...but I KNOW that I am a Southerner and today was as "Cold as a witch's titty."  I  never understood that phrase unless it means that a witch is always aroused in her breast area.

I went into work at 10:30 and it was 44 degrees. That ended up to be the high for the day. It was sleeting on the way to work and the temp was down to 36 degrees by the time we opened at 11:00.

After lunch I left to go do some Christmas shopping for the three cards I had taken off the giving tree at work. I had to go pick Massey up at the high school where they were painting their Winter Guard tarp and the flurries were bouncing all around.

I took her home and went to Blockbuster to get a gift card and then to Claire's for another gift card. My last stop was at the theatre next door to Mama Lucia's for a gift card for movie passes and by the time I walked...I mean "Ran" into work I was frozen.

My feet remained cold all night at work and I wish I could have waited on tables in my winter coat.

I am not a fan of Winter...that's why I live in the South.

Give me a 90 degree day and I will be out there sweating and soaking in some sunshine.

Give me a 29 degree day and I will be shaking with chills til I cover up with a comforter.

It's not even Winter yet...for Pete's sake how cold will it be by December 22?

How can people live in Minnesota or Michigan? They may  as well be in Antarctica. Oh I know I will get some flack from Jerri ( a Yankee friend) or Joannah who is somehow surviving in upstate New York. How they do it is a mystery to me.  They must wear a thermal bra and heavy wool panties.

I have been home from work for two hours and  still wearing my winter coat...rubbing my feet under my Bulldog that stays under the computer desk I blog on.

I guess  we are experiencing "Global Cooling" giving Al Gore another Oscar to look forward to.

Our company Christmas party is coming up this next Sunday night and I am really looking forward to it.

I am very happy in my new home and enjoy my daily banter with the owner. It's crazy, he is originally from New York and is  supposed to be a Democrat. Instead he moved to the South and has had his mind taken over by Bill O'Reilly. How can a person rely on a former anchor for "Inside Edition" to tell them how to think?

That's why he hired keep him in check. We battle on a daily basis and I enjoy it tremendously.

The Employee Christmas party is a week from tonight. I work a double that day but will be attending. It is held at the restaurant after we close.

I bought the owner a special gift and can't wait to see his face when he opens it.

He is recieving an "Obama Chia Pet" from me. He can see the "Fro" grow and think of me, the Liberal every time he waters Barack's head.

It is probably the thing I look forward to the most. I have already told his wife what I was doing and to get a chuckle out of Barb is an achievement...and she LOVED it.

Back to the weather..for Pete's sake, someone turn the heat up. Will I have to wear my winter coat 24/7?
Heard that my Yankee friend Jerri lost power for a while tonight. If that had been me I would have been at the Red Cross Shelter.

Give me heat. Give me 99 degrees. Don't give me cold feet.

Been home almost three hours now..."Still Cold."

So I am a sissy about cold. I am a LION about some heat.

 "Dear Santa..I am a LEO and you are killing me."

Saturday, December 11, 2010


When I think about what Santa would really look like it is  the above picture. It's gotta be a real beard and those beautiful blue eyes.

Seems like Santa comes in many sizes shapes and forms these days.

I decided to go put a down payment on a Letterman jacket for Massey today. Another guard mom emailed about a place that sells them much cheaper than ordering them through the school. I knew we really couldn't afford it but work has picked up like crazy and sometimes you just get tired of not being able to do something nice for your kids.

I know I spoil Massey so on the way I decided to go ahead and spoil Zach too...whether he wanted it or not. There is a great consignment shop in a neighboring town that was on the way to the Sporting Goods store. Zach has two pair of jeans and about five tee shirts that make up his wardrobe. He HATES me shopping for him but they had a huge sale at the consignment shop and I got him an American Eagle zip up sweater for $5.00 and Massey picked out a beautiful baby blue Hollister pull over sweater that will look great with his baby blue eyes...$5.00 as well.

We ordered a jacket for Massey and I  put half down on it. She was BEYOND thrilled.

We came home and as always  stopped at the mailbox before pulling in the driveway. Of course there were the usual "Immediate Attention" letters and a couple of Christmas cards. Massey snatched them out of my hand and squealed "I got a letter from the North Pole!!"

It was addressed to her and the return address was indeed the North Pole. She opened the envelope and once again I was blessed.

It told her he had heard about some kid making fun of her repeating outfits at school and her wanting a Letterman jacket. Enclosed was $50.00 and a note that said to use it for her wardrobe or jacket...her choice. It went on to say things about her parents that brought tears to my eyes and that made Massey realize the power of friendship and love...two tremendous things to have in life.

Now the jacket is paid off in full.

Now my heart is full. I am not sure what I have ever done for people to shower me with so many blessings but I know I have so much to pay forward that it isn't even funny.

I have a great job and a family that stretches far beyond blood relation. I am on the road back and I know what a long road it will be but with all the Angel's and Santa's that have come into our life we are destined for greatness.

Zach balked at his sweaters when we got inside the house, but when he left fifteen minutes later with a friend he was wearing the American Eagle sweater. Teen age boys are a toughie. They don't want attention or love but need it more than anyone else.

Zach and I have had our battles and I am quite sure there are many more to come but when he answers his cell phone and says "Hi Mommy" it makes me smile. When he puts on a sweater I bought for him it makes me warmer than it does him.

My kid's have been through a lot this past year. At first all they knew was that their dad was looking for a new job. As the weeks turned into months they realized the big picture and I am sure it wasn't easy for them. To their credit they have been quite incredible and resilient. Of course they are teens and have given me a lot of new gray hair and wrinkles along the way but I think teens do that anyway, regardless.

Massey has her Christmas present coming...and all paid for. Zach has a warm sweater that he really likes but is too cool to say so and my new job is proving to be the best thing that has happened in over a decade.

All I have to do is get the boy's their present and shopping is done. TJ is easy...he is out on his own and nothing says Merry Christmas like a pre paid gas card and a Kroger gift card. Zach is a little tougher...and Tim has balked at me signing him up for the military as a Christmas gift. He needs some new tennis shoes and some new drawers, he is growing like a stinkin' weed (no Zach pun intended.)

Christmas has been all about Christmas the past two years in our house and I can say with conviction that it makes the Holiday sweeter. We  have our family over and eat, drink and get our Merry on. We laugh and force our brother to spend an entire day with his niece and nephews. We are a small family now but we have a heart that only needs love pumping through it...and pump it we do.

So my Christmas shopping is done and paid for. My brother is the rich one (LOL) so we'll get him to bring a Honey Baked Ham and the Bloody Marys. My sis and I will make some side dishes and we will spend the day together and it will be incredible...(maybe not the word my brother would use) but he'll tough it out with us and be done til Thanksgiving 2011.

How can such a horrible year seem like a blessing? With much love from family, friends and God it has turned out to be the most eye opening and reality checking experience a person could ever have.

I will never be the same. I will never see a person hurting , wanting or needing without trying to help. I picked another card off the tree at work tonight.

 If so many can help leaves me open to help so many.

I hope that every one has a wonderful Christmas...I know we will.

And are the best!

Til next time.....Christmas Cotton

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

What a whirlwind of a day. I went into work at 10:30 and had a GREAT lunch shift. I had a party of 10 little blue haired ladies that cracked me up and treated me wonderfully. I got off in time to pick Massey up at school, only ten minutes late.

We had to go take a check to a bartender I used to work with who won a raffle that Massey's guard held. Unfortunately he was at work and I had to walk through the doors I said I would never walk through again. I didn't hear any cheers go up when I walked in...but I fully expected that. There are VERY few people there that I care about and I could count them on four fingers. Luckily  three of them were there and were very nice to me. It's amazing when you work at a place for over a decade ... once you get fired they quickly forget about you. It took all the strength I had to even open the door and walk in.

Once I walked back out the door five minutes later I felt an immense feeling of relief knowing that I never had to open those doors or wounds again. I know I should let my anger go, but I believe it will be years before it subsides. I gave 13 years of my life to that company. I did everything they ever asked of me and more. I was a devoted employee but once I had troubles in my own life they dropped me like a rotten potato. If it had  affected only me I think I would have been over the bitterness months ago but they put my entire family in a desperate situation with no possible way to recover and showed no remorse for the place we ended up. I truly believe that the one's responsible will get their due one day ...God's big on Karma.

Before we left Massey wanted to go hug one of the regular's. I told her I would wait in the car. When she got in the car she was smiling. I asked her what she was smiling at and she said when she hugged his neck the man next to him asked who she was and the man Massey hugged said "This is Kelly's daughter . Kelly doesn't work here anymore because the  idiots fired her." I know he probably said that just to make Massey feel good (and it did) but it made me feel good too.

As I drove out of the parking lot I realized I never had to go back again. I never had to see any of them again unless I chose to do so. There was nothing more they could do to me...they had done enough and now the book was closed. The further away I got the easier it was to breathe.

I had to take Massey back to the high school to paint their tarp for the Winter Guard season and I was due back for my dinner shift. My hands were still shaking after I dropped Massey off and I silently cursed myself for letting it all get to me again.

I walked back into work after my 30 minute break and the bottom fell out. "HAPPY HOLIDAYS, MERRY CHRISTMAS, GO  KWANZA, SPIN THAT DRADLE!" It was a mad house.

What's even better is that at my new place it is quality quality quality. My old place was quanity quanity quanity. Sold a $69.00 bottle of wine (Thanks Anna) and waited on just seven tables and walked out with $177.00 after tip out. Had I been in my old place I would have waited on 25 tables and been lucky to walk with $150.00 after doing an hour's worth of sidework and rolling at least 100 sets of silverware.

It's still a balls to the wall job but it is for a family business not a huge corporate never seen CEO...and lucky for me a family that seems to genuinely love me.

It took me until another server and I closed our first check  splitting a $125.00 tip before I could quit thinking about how humiliating it was to have to walk back into that dungeon with people staring at me like I was a stranger when they used to act like they were my friend.

When I left work tonight I was finally over  my grudge. I think I finally let some of the venom go as I walked out of the restaurant that treats me as a part of the  family with their huge heart ... instead of the insignificant speck of a huge corporation that couldn't care less.

Granted it could have been better timing. Granted I could have been better prepared for financial catastrophe. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

I am so strong now I don't even wear a bra and panties ...I wear a Wonder Woman suit under my clothes. Thank goodness I am skinny as a rail and you can't see the bulge of my big gold belt under my shirt. My gold bracelets look pretty with my uniform though and give me that softer looking image since I have such a short hair cut and my youngest son thinks I look like a Lesbian. That's okay, I think he talks like the son of Stalin but I love him anyway.

Getting my groove back and my Christmas Spirit on.

Dang it feels good to feel good again.

Til next time...Contented Cotton

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Overstating the Season?

Massey and I were coming home from her guard practice the other night when we passed a house that during the Summer months and always in daylight looks pretty bad.
 It was dark and their house was all aglow with Christmas lights and looked beautiful. I remarked to Massey they needed to leave their lights up year round.
 It amazes me that people could care less about cutting their grass during the Summer or could care less about picking up trash and debris in their yard...but come Christmas they fall over themselves stringing lights and  placing nativity scenes all over their once cluttered yard.
I got these pictures off of google images. Massey actually downloaded them for me while I was cooking dinner and every fifteen seconds she would yell "Come look at THIS one!"
 The photo right above looks like the yard of an obvious "Christmas Decoration Hoarder" It is just a cluster of lighted crap if you ask me...but that's just me. We'll call this "Christmas Vomit."
 This picture above gives me a headache just looking at it.
Here above we have a house that seems like it was most likely decorated with "Electric gift tags."

I used to decorate every year. I used the same colored lights on the bushes by the garage and the same clear lights on the bushes by the front door. If the weather ever warms up I may go out and string them again but I could never imagine decorating my house like these houses.

There is a house on the way to the high school that really went all out last year. It seems to house a family of about twenty and there are at least six people out on the porch or wandering the yard at any time of the day.  Last year they even went as far as SPRAY PAINTING their message across the front of their house with white spray paint...problem was, they spray painted "Merry Chistmas."

HELLO??   You left the "R" out of Christmas!

Every day when Massey and I would ride by we would tell each other "Merry Chistmas." I guess there's no spell check for painting across the front of your house.

I spent my entire day listening for that stupid "Jingle Bell Rock" to play twice. I guess it would be too easy for them to play it twice when I had a day off...they'll play it tomorrow when I have to work a double shift.

Don't worry...I'll be ready! I have the radio station programmed into all our cell phones and house phone. I even taught myself how to use the redial button on the phones at work.

I am beginning to get out my OWN decorations...they seem puny compared to these pics but my decorations are all wonderful memories. I have a framed Christmas card my mother gave her own mother when she was still in high school. I have framed letters that my kids wrote to Santa. I have Zach's wish list from Kindergarten that still warms my heart every time I see it.

I have ornaments  that hung on our Christmas tree when I was a little girl. I still have the Nativity Scene my mother made in ceramics in the 1960's. So the donkey lost an ear and baby Jesus only has one arm but I cherish it and put it out every year.

I am beginning to feel "Christmasy" myself!

Making cheese straws tomorrow night after I get off work (my fave) and dragging out all my OWN decorations . Some are in the attic, some are in the garage and some are still in the livivng room closet (for easy access.)

My house may not look like the ones pictured here...but the message will be the same:

"Welcome to MY Christmas...hope yours is Merry too."

Til next time...COTTON

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What a Wacky World

So I worked tonight.

When I leave work and have only a nickel's worth of gas in my car and it is below freezing out, I stop at the nearest gas station to pump $3.00 to get me home and back to Kroger in the AM for my ten cents off a gallon.

Sometimes it is the owner's son there...a really nice Asian kid. It's a pretty nice gas station, they have a flat screen that the employees can watch movies and cable shows on and they also have a lap top behind the counter where they can surf the net in their down time.

Other times it's two older women (sisters.) One of them is really nice and friendly and the other one is just an old bat. I went in the other night and "The Bat" was the only one there. She had the lap top up and running...a Nazi site complete with an iron cross and pics of Klansman in their robes. She made no effort to hide her surfing. If it was me I would have at least shut the lap top halfway so no one could see that I was a crazy person looking at crazy sites that are a part of the problem with crazy society in general.

Tonight when I went in the nice Asian kid was there and as he looked at me as if I was crazy for buying $3.00 in gas I mentioned the Nazi site the "Old Bat" had up last time I was there. He knew exactly who I was talking about and said they had customers who have mentioned it.

What person (even an old bat) surfs Arian Nation sites and feels it is okay for other people to see that they are nuts?

Granted they are in a southern state...a rural county considered "red neck" by many but inhabited by mostly sane citizens.

He laughed it off but at least I got in my comment about her being an obvious nut job.

I am going to have to pump more gas in when I go to Kroger.

How can people in the year 2010 think that ANYTHING can be right about viewing and following the Klan? How can people be so narrow minded and hateful and expect good things to happen in their own life?

I picked Massey up from school today and she was in tears. Another girl who she didn't even know very well made the comment to her that "You wore that same outfit just last week...are you poor?"

It's a good thing I wasn't there. I would have slapped her face (in the shirt that I wear every other day along with the jeans that I wear on a daily basis) and told her exactly what kind of shallow and spoiled person she was and that in fact she would most probably end up in a loveless marriage to a figure head who would cheat on her from the jump , leave her for a younger woman once he had enough money to pay for her much needed plastic surgery and condo to call her own... while she spent the rest of her pathetic life in therapy trying to become HALF the woman my daughter already is.

I may be poor...but not forever. I know what makes a person good and know how to help not only myself but others as well.

I am working on that money part !

 B98.5 (a local radio station) pays $5000.00 if you are the 98th caller after they play "Jingle Bell Rock" back to back.

I had just dropped Massey off at home and headed into work when it played once. I sat in the car listening to commercials when "BAM" it played again.

I flew into the restaurant and had my cell dialing as I skidded into the office and picked up their land line. I dialed and re dialed, using my cell and the three lines available on the store phone.

My sister called me on my cell and I almost screamed "They're playing it for the second time!" She knows the drill and said immediately "I'm on it!"

I finally got  through and it was ringing! I let it ring and ring and ring. Then I got the fatal "Your call did not go through, please try again."

You can bet your bippy (an old Laugh In line) that I have every radio in my house and  my car tuned to B98.5. My family is already sick of Christmas songs but if there is a chance of five grand...get used to it!

Massey wants a Letterman's jacket (they cost about $260.00). You know, it's like the football jackets  the guys wear in high school when they are on the football team except now the band wears them too. She told me they had one at a consignment shop in our town for $35.00. All I would have to do is buy it and have her letter sewn onto it. I went to the shop today and the woman told me it had sold  not ten minutes earlier.

I have kicked myself for not going there earlier...but hindsight is 20/20.

I have learned quite a bit about hindsight in the past year.

You can always look back but it doesn't help in the least.

 I am going to search Craig's list and local websites to see if I can find another jacket...but if I can't, I will put a down payment on a jacket for her and pay it off like a car loan.

I'm not a Nazi. I'm not a member of some hateful organization. I am a woman who has had some hard knocks but one who can  survive and WILL with the blessing and comfort of God's mighty hand.

I am someone that has some good Karma coming. I am someone that believes in GOD. I am someone who believes that God will take care of me and take care of my family... He has for the past year and he will continue to do so.

I am also a person that is wacky enough to know that B98.5 is going to play that song twice when I am listening and I am going to feel like I am in Australia with Oprah.

Tonight at work I waited on a table of doctors. One of them was the doctor assigned to my Diddy's case when he died of West Nile Virus. Of course he remembered my father, he was the first man to die from West Nile in Fayette County.

I told another server at work that when we  took my Diddy in they told us it was a 114 million to one chance that he had West Nile.

My Diddy died from West Nile Virus...those are some pretty awesome odds.

My co worker told me that if THAT had happened to my Diddy I had some pretty good odds at winning the "Jingle Bell Rock" contest.

You know what? He is right.

114 million to one that my Diddy would die from West Nile and he did.

I am determined to win this silly contest on the radio.

It won't keep me out of debt but will help, it won't solve my problems...but it will make me realize that miracles do happen.

Hey!! I got just a good a chance as anyone...and I THINK I got the BIG GUY on my side..

Til next time

"Crossing fingers and toes" COTTON

Monday, December 6, 2010

Deep Freeze

I live in the Deep South...

Right now I am living in the Deep Freeze. The expected low is 20 tonight. The expected low tomorrow night is 19. Tim left for work out on the loading dock about an hour ago and I don't envy him. Hopefully he is moving up (and inside) soon and all this manual outdoor labor will have finally paid off.

I worked another double shift today and after posting am going to snuggle up in my comfy bed with my warm pups and catch a few ZZZZ's.

While at work today we were watching the Food Network when a commercial for Blimpie came on. I'm not sure but I THINK their lunch meat comes out of a can. I'm not a big fan of theirs, Massey seems to like them but then again she considers McDonald's fries a vegetable.

I made the comment that junk food is JUST that..."JUNK." I mean I like Arby's roast beef sandwiches but if that is "Roast Beef" I'll kiss your butt on Main street.  I like a Krystal  every once in a blue moon but if that is hamburger meat we are ALL in serious trouble.

Chic fil a is great but for the price of a "value meal" I could buy enough groceries to cook a meal for four.

Christmas is fast approaching and once again it will be a slim one at our house. It doesn't bother me in the least. I have long since learned the true meaning of Christmas and ours will be blessed and happy. We have MUCH to be grateful for and as long as we have each other and a roof over our heads we have all we need.

At work the owner's have a huge tree in the corner of the foyer decorated with nothing but "Wish Cards" from the Salvation Army for kid's that are in need of help. One of the regulars pushed in a brand new bicycle today for a 12 year old of the card's he pulled off the tree. It has hand brakes and a basket on front, tassels streaming out of the handle bar grips and he even bought a helmet to go with it. Can you imagine how thrilled some 12 year old little girl is going to be Christmas morning when she wakes up and sees her new bike?

I rode it around the inside of the restaurant today to make sure it works okay for her (and it does.) I pulled two cards off the for a boy and one for a girl. The boy wants a Blockbuster card and the girl wants a Claire's gift card.

 Massey and I are also helping with a family at the high school. We bought a baby doll for a 2 year old little girl.

 These are the things that truly make it "Christmas."

My family has been helped by so many this past help someone else out, even in a small way just makes me feel better.

Every person needs to sit quietly for a moment. Think about their life and think about someone who prays every night to have a tenth of the life you have.

It is simply called Karma. It is knowing the difference between wants and needs and knowing when helping others helps helps yourself even more.

The older gentleman that wheeled the new bike into our restaurant today  said that he never had a bike as a kid... and he wanted this kid to have one.

I sat talking with him and remarked that as a kid I did have a bike. It was a bike that my sister had and  passed down to my brother and then got passed on to me. It was so big for me that I had to learn to ride it from leaning it on the wall in front of my neighbor's house and climbing on it from the wall. I could just reach the pedals and once I got going had to stand up and pedal, if I sat on the seat my feet wouldn't reach. Once you wanted to stop you simply fell over or had the bar ram up between your legs (ouch.)

We were not poor by any means but had a frugal existence and one that I am grateful to have experienced.

I remember roller skates that you wore over your tennis shoes and tightened with a  key. I remember attaching playing cards to the spokes of your bike tire with a clothes pin to give it that cool "Clackety Clack" sound as you peddled faster to make it even cooler sounding.

The life I led as a child was a simpler life...a purer life and the luckiest life you could have.

As a fifty year old woman I have those wonderful memories. As a fifty year old woman I have blessings beyond belief.

As a fifty year old woman I feel blessed to be helping a few kids that have so much less and ask for so little.

It isn't hard to make a difference in someone else's life...and it makes all the difference in your own.

This Christmas Season look beyond your own wants and desires. Help someone else out that is less fortunate than you and it will come back to you ten times over.

Merry Christmas...and  always "Remember the Reason for the Season."

Til next time...COTTON